10 Things That Are Saving My Relationship That I Wish I Had Learned Sooner

Once again, I found myself watching yet another relationship with a guy I really liked crumble right before my eyes. I decided right then and there that I had to do things differently if I wanted things to work out. After taking a short break to cool off and regroup, we started over and I made these nine changes. Our relationship is now better than ever, and I can’t help but wonder if I could’ve had success much sooner with past partners by doing these things.

  1. Being patient Simply put, patience is something I don’t have. But what I was doing before wasn’t working and it was time for a new tactic. When my current guy and I started talking, it just wasn’t a good season for me. I needed my personal storm to blow over. This also coincided with a Mercury Retrograde. Between these two factors, we were doomed for rough waters. There was really nothing to do but ride it out and things did improve afterward. It’s almost as if that time never existed now and we are smooth sailing.
  2. Taking the lead One major issue I kept having with my current guy was constantly thinking he was ghosting me because we wouldn’t talk for two or three days at a time. What was really happening was he was assuming I needed space while I was quietly fuming over an assumption I had about him. Once I started reaching out more instead of waiting and being mad, our communication became regular and more enjoyable. All he needed was a cue from me that it was OK to talk consistently.
  3. Going with the flow I am always so preoccupied with the future (are we getting married? will we have kids? does he plan on growing old with me?) that I end up putting unnecessary pressure on the present to speed up the unknown time between now and our “destination.” I almost became obsessed with the “what are we” from day one instead of just relaxing and enjoying spending time together and getting to know one another. Unfortunately, not every potential match leads to a full-on relationship and this is the whole purpose for dating in the first place. It’s better to find out you two aren’t meant to be while things are casual than to have this whole title that needs to be publicly broken up. Don’t put the commitment cart before the dating horse and end up getting too deep in to easily part ways.
  4. Accepting his flaws I always talk about taking on “project men,” but if we’re being honest here, aren’t we all in some kind of need? Everyone is on a lifelong journey of learning and discovery. I’m not perfect and it’s not fair to demand he fully accepts me but try to force him to change. I just acknowledged that we have differences and he has some quirks and flaws, but we can still get along and enjoy our bond.
  5. Not talking to other people I’ve always been guilty of holding onto backup options in case my current relationship falls through. I’ve also had male friends I stayed in regular contact with and even some exes still lingering in my DMs. It may sound dumb to be exclusive during the “talking” stage, but if you don’t give your relationship a fair chance on good faith then you’re basically pre-setting it up for failure. Eliminating other men from my life allowed me to focus on what I had going on with him from the start without distractions or the thought in the back of my mind that I had other people to turn to for my emotional needs if he wasn’t making the cut.
  6. Following my heart I’ve always let my friends egg me on. I took the opinions of others on my private romantic relationships too often. I knew that I liked this guy and at the end of the day, I was the one involved with him. My friends weren’t dating him, I was. Had I listened to my girlfriends, he would be blocked and I’d never see or hear from him again. Instead, I did what I wanted and trusted my intuition. Now we’re happily together instead of me still moping around knowing I really did want it to work out.
  7. Learning how to stick it out through conflict I’ve always been such a fairytale dreamer when it comes to how relationships should go. Whenever there was a hint of conflict or discord, I was quick to bail on the whole thing. Allowing the natural good and bad times wave after the initial honeymoon phase to occur without immediately resorting to a breakup actually resulted in less bad times and more evenness overall. Had I immediately thrown in the towel like I did before, we never would’ve had a chance to get to this place.
  8. Doing more homework on our compatibility factors This is the first relationship I really took the time to learn about my guy. I looked up his sun, moon, and rising sign. I tried to analyze his patterns to guess his love language and attachment style. I even watched generic videos on understanding how men function in relationships and how they typically pursue women. Doing some research gave me a lot of insight into the intentions behind his actions. I realized he was communicating pretty clear messages to me in his own way that I was trying to get from him through my communication style. Figuring out how to decode him really gave me a new perspective on how well our relationship was going and helped me to relax and feel more secure with him.
  9. Prioritizing myself Expecting a guy to come along and fix my life for me or provide me happiness always resulted in an epic fail. Taking care of myself first did wonders for my current relationship. Not only was I happier in general and able to be more positive when I spoke to him, but he also noticed and became more drawn to me.
I’m Cara, not to be confused with Carrie, although you could say I’m a Millennial Bradshaw of sorts. Pop culture connoisseur. Lover of all things creative and passionate about health and personal well-being. Follow me on IG @cara_vale_writer