Hello guys & happy April! I know this is a very broad topic and it is different from person to person, but there are some rules that apply to every relationship in order to be successful as well as signs to look for when you choose the person you want to be involved in a relationship with.
In this blog post I'm going to share with you my own view as well as Paul's because I think it's very important to see the way both persons think about relationships. Also, I think it is very juicy to find out what guys, in particular, are looking for in a girl when they decide to take it to the next level and have a long term relationship. So, let's dig in!
Disclaimer: we still have no idea what we are doing with our lives, this is just what we figured out so far :)
♥ Before dating
* Before being picky, take a look in the mirror
There is a verse in the Bible that says:
'Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.' (Matthew 7:3)
The same goes for dating: you cannot look for someone who is positive, kind, polite, hardworking and handsome if you are negative, arrogant, deceitful and lazy. I'm not saying you are a bad person, we all have moments in life when we don't feel our best and that is ok. But first, we have to take care of ourselves and work on us before looking for someone else. Having a relationship is not an answer to your own problems, in fact when having a relationship you need to put a lot of effort in it in order to be able to grow together and this won't be possible if you need to work on yourself first.
* Analyse your social media
How do you represent yourself to others? Is this representation accurate, are you the same person in real life? Is your representation suitable for long term relationships?
This point is absolutely crucial nowadays in terms of dating as it can be responsible for losing time on unsuitable relationships as well as breaking good relationships. As I've met Paul on social media, I feel I need to give a little bit of personal background.
So, as I was a model back in the day I did have many pictures on my social media with me from fashion shows, in bikini or just 'sexy' representations in general that I thought will make me look cool and interesting. I'm not saying it's not good to show your body because you should be proud of it however it is, but I am saying it's not ok for these representations to be predominant on your accounts. Of course, I had many likes and comments on my pictures and many guys asked me out. However, for my surprise, none of these people was good for me. In fact, when I expected less, the cutest guy ever (Paul) commented on a selfie that I took during the summer holiday when I was in the park with my niece and grandma. And what he said was: 'what a simple girl.'
I've also asked Paul what guys look for when they check a girl's social media and he said:
'Guys look for smiley girls who share bits and bobs from their life. They should be open and kind and that would be reflected on social media. We don't want attention whores.'
I 100% agree and I believe this also applies to guys.
* Be respectful and kind
Nothing is a bigger turn-off than people who treat others badly, believe they are superior and make you feel awkward (especially if they do so because of their financial status, oh God, run!). So make sure you are respectful to your date regardless and be kind to others around you. Of course, it's attractive to be confident and have tongue-in-cheek fun, but make sure your date is also comfortable and having fun. Nonetheless, if the date is going very bad and you feel like you're wasting your time, just say so politely and leave instead of making sure the other is having the worst time as well.
* Don't expect too much from each other
The other day I saw a video online with dating tips from a 101-year-old British man. He was the sweetest person and he said 'my relationship was easy, I brought the fish, she got the chips.' This is so true! Relationships in general and especially during the dating months need to be easy-going and fun. Don't expect too much from each other; after all, you are just two persons who are trying to get through life and make the most out of it together. Don't put pressure on the other person because things won't turn out well. Of course, if he/she is not the person who you're looking for, it's better not get involved in a relationship just for the sake of it, only to struggle to change a person completely later on.
* Be independent
I believe that if you want a successful relationship you need to be independent financially, as money is a sensitive enough subject and you don't want your relationship to be conditioned by it. However, there is more to being independent than money. Paul said he would only be interested in girls who are driven, motivated and have their own path in life. And I feel the same way: I want the person who I am with to be a hard-working person who has goals in life and wants to grow. Someone without passions is very unattractive in my opinion and a relationship with someone who hates their job and works 9-5 every day only to come home and watch TV all day, that's a relationship that is doomed to fail.
♥ Early Relationship
* Put your partner's interests before yours
When I asked Paul why did he decide to stay in the UK for me he said because I'd put his interests first. I didn't even realise this until last night, and he said that when he was thinking to move to America and I suggested for him to move to the UK instead, I didn't say come here and stay because of me. I said you can try moving to the UK before going to the US because it's closer to home, we can spend time together and you can earn some quick cash before moving. Fast-forward to three years later, this small principle remains as important even when it comes to small things: if I want to go out during the weekend and he wants to stay in, we can compromise and go out in the morning to do what I want but then I need to remember Paul wants to stay in so we will go home and spend the afternoon home.
Again, this is also something that the Bible speaks about in Ephesians regarding elevating others. According to this, a wife should respect her husband and allow the husband to be responsible for her. A husband should love his wife and use that responsibility to lay down his selfish agenda and to prioritize his wife's well-being above his own, exactly how it should work between a child and a parent. How beautiful is that?
* Have your own success
It is very easy to forget about your own failures when you begin a relationship and your partner's mistakes seem more obvious than yours. For example, if your partner is very talented at painting but he is not doing anything with his talent it will be easy for us to criticise our partner for not being proactive enough when we as well might neglect our passions. I am definitely responsible for this, especially while I was at uni, but we solved this problem through communication. The best solution is for both partners to keep doing their own thing separately even when they are in a relationship and encourage each other in doing so. We do feel like we have to share everything in a relationship, but you have your own measure of success and cannot hold responsible others for your own life.
* Know that novelty fades for everyone
You can feel this is something that a guy said...But Paul is right. In the beginning, everything is new and pink and we enjoy exploring each other, we enjoy the mystery that comes with new beginnings. However, a relationship is not a game meant to entertain us and it's easier to look for someone new and exciting than working and putting the effort in what you have. I know this may sound harsh, but any other person will drive you just as crazy. It's not easy to push each other and build a relationship but it's always fun to provoke each other in being creative, do new things separately and together and have a laugh about it.
* Communicate openly
I believe 99% of relationships fail due to lack of communication and ego. If you want a long-term relationship you should be able to let go of your ego and communicate openly with your partner. If not, please don't lose your own and your partner's time. Of course, to let go, to show love and to be compassionate needs work but you will be able to learn to do these things more and more each time. What do fights usually look like?
Guys: what's wrong?
Guys: I know something is going on, tell me please why are you upset?
Girls: I said nothing, can you leave me alone?
* guys being stupid and actually leaving*
Girls: What is wrong with you?!
I'm sure you recognise this pattern and I am also so guilty of it. But because of Paul's patience and my willing to learn from our fights, now we rarely fight. I believe this is an ongoing process and it will be so our entire lives, but it also makes us better persons that have grown emotionally. One little tip that I promise will be helpful is to use 'I feel like..' instead of accusing the other person.
* Move together in a foreign country where you don't know anyone and you're stuck together haha
(Paul's point, of course)