Relationships are not easy to maintain, and being together through the first year might be a difficult hurdle to get through.
Here are simple ways to make things easier for you and your partner.
1. Stop picking fights about things you don’t really care about. Screaming about him not really liking your bandage dress is not helping anything, it’s just making both of you feel confused about your emotions.
2. Be a generous compliment-giver. No one feels bad when you say they look great today or brag about their promotion in front of your friends. Do it more often.
3. Spend plenty of time with your friends. Yes, even at the beginning when you’re totally obsessed with each other and just want to lick faces 24/7. You’ll need your friends later.
5. Try new things together. Remember to try new things together as much as you can. Having new experiences is certainly one way to feel connected to your partner.
6. Go to their family/work events if you’re invited. It’s not that fun, but it’s also not that hard and it’ll mean a lot to your partner.
7. Get to know their friends in doses. Being in a new relationship means inheriting a whole new set of dude-friends. While that might seem exciting or overwhelming or just terrible, you don’t have to put pressure on yourself to get to know everyone too quickly.
8. Make sure you tell them when something really matters to you. You can’t be mad that they didn’t come to your friend’s birthday party if you told them, “My friend is having a party on Friday if you want to come.” Be straight up: “My friend is having a party on Friday and it’s really important to me that you come and meet my friends. Let’s meet beforehand and go together.” There, fixed.
9. Try sex things you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try anal sex or light bondage, but never wanted to bring it up with a casual boyfriend. Now’s your time! You have a loving partner who you want to be with for the long haul and a currently missionary-only sex life! Ask him if he’ll tie you up.
10. Don’t only tell your friends about the negative sides of your relationship. It’s easy to just bitch to your friends that HE IS BEING SO ANNOYING RIGHT NOW, but if that’s all you tell them, they’ll think you have a pretty terrible partner. Plus talking shit behind his back will get back to him eventually.
11. Know that your partner doesn’t have to be your best friend. Being a romantic partner is a lot of pressure. You have to be supportive and loving and also good in bed. Leave the best friend duties to your girlfriends and it’ll take a lot of pressure off of him. Also: more time with your girlfriends is never a bad thing.
12. Don’t judge their sex habits. It usually takes a while for someone to share their fantasies or porn habits with you. Don’t scare them off by making them feel weird about whatever gets them off. Porn and fantasies are fiction.
13. Know that your first fight is not an indication of how it will be forever. Right now you’re bickering about him not spending enough time with you. Next month you’ll be busy and he’ll be a little lonely. Don’t stress.
14. Don’t snoop. Everyone who snoops finds what they were looking for. If you think he’s cheating and you hack into his Facebook, you will find some random message with an old female friend that you could probably construe as cheating somehow. Just don’t do it. Even if they accidentally left their Gmail open on your computer and you’re drooling to read through it.
15. Apologize when you know you’re wrong. Yeah, it probably will blow over after a while, but if you don’t solve a fight and just let it simmer it will come to a boil again at some point.
16. If you hit an awkward spot, do something fun together to remind you both of why you started dating in the first place. Sometimes it feels like, “Whyyyy did we ever even start dating we hate each otherrrrr.” That’s when you plan a fun date that’s reminiscent of the stuff you used to do when you first started dating. It’ll take your minds off your differences and remind you why you love each other.