I used to be the queen of being single. I’d refuse to get into a relationship because I absolutely loved the independence and freedom of flying solo. Somehow, 3 years ago, a poor sucker got me to jump head first into a long-term relationship (LTR) and it’s been the healthiest one I’ve been in. What I’ve learned is that what I thought relationships were “supposed to be” is not at all what they actually are. I know, I’m sorry to break it to you.
If you’re dating around to meet someone who’s in it for the long-haul, you’ve come to the right place. This is a no-judgement, bullshit-free zone that tells it like it is, because sugar-coating things helps literally no one. Which is exactly why Clover has a filter based on intentions so you can both be on the same page about what you’re looking for (pretty important if you ask me!)
LTRs aren’t just about the lovey dovey, they’re not always romantic or happy, they’re hard and they can be difficult, but at the end of the day, they should be rewarding and satisfying on multiple levels.
I think you’re now well prepared to yeet yourself into some real raw truths about long-term relationships that literally no one tells you about. But you’ll be waaaaaay better off with knowing, let’s do it.
1. You’ll have doubts
You’ll have doubts about your relationship, about your partner, about whether or not this is what you want, about whether or not you see a future with them, etc. Doubts will show up in many different forms, at different times, and you know what? It’s fucking normal.
You might think that when the person is “The One”, you’ll know, but the reality is that people are complicated, feelings are complicated, and sometimes “just knowing” isn’t reasonable or attainable, and that’s okay.
Jonathan Bennett, a relationship coach tells Bustle that “everyone has doubts from time to time, whether it’s about the future of the relationship or if your partner truly is ‘The One.’ As long as the doubts aren’t lingering and constant, they’re normal and even healthy.
2. LTRs change over time
You and your partner were alllllll over each other for the first 6 months? And now, you’re not? Yeah, well, I’m gonna take a wild guess that the Honeymoon Phase is prooooobably not sustainable over a long period of time. Don’t freak out when that changes!! Think about it, there’s no way in hell that hyper-focused on each other, super lovey dovey, world revolves around your relationship type thing function for a long period of time?!
Your relationship will go through different phases, and the Honeymoon Phase is just the tip of it! And that’s a good thing, here’s why.
Your relationship will evolve into so much more than what the Honeymoon Phase gave you! It’ll get deeper and more connected on a level that isn’t purely sexual. You’ll be each other’s best friend, support system, companion and confidante and that’s amazing. That’s what lasts.
Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still be all over each other. It’ll just look differently than it did in the first 6 months! Sex every day could simply turn into him making sure he tucks you in at night, it’s still love. It’s just more about the little things.
3. Doing things alone is okay, in fact, it’s healthy
Odds are, you and your partner will not have every single thing in common with each other.
My boyfriend and I sure as hell don’t. He hates going out with friends (in fact, he’s got 1 friend, I think?) but that definitely doesn’t stop me.
What is important is having a partner who supports you in doing the things you love to do, all the things that make you who you are.
3. Temptation is normal
No, getting hit on at the club by a super hot guy you totally would’ve gone for if you were single which slung you directly into the depths of FOMO hell does NOT mean you aren’t in love with you boyfriend!
The important thing is being aware that the temptation even exists! You’re human, there are 7.5 billion people on this goddamn planet and you think that you’re going to find only ONE person attractive? LOOOOOOOL dkm.
So, next time temptation’s little head pops up, acknowledge it, and know that it’s a normal part of life as long as you don’t act on it. If you’re in a monogamous relationship, you gotta pinky promise to choose your partner every single day. If that changes, then you might wanna just throw the whole relationship out.
4. Sexual desires change and grow with your relationship
It’s normal for sexual desires and sex in general to diminish over time. And yes, you will go through dry spells and that’s okay! The important thing to maintain is communication. As long as you and your partner can talk through your desires and talk through the dry spells, you’re golden! Life gets busy, exhausting, messy, sad, depressing and that means that sex ends up taking a back burner from time to time which is totes normal!
Just always make an effort to keep the passion alive when life’s craziness inevitably settles down.
5. Some of your partners quirks you used to like may end up annoying the living shit out of you
People are annoying. You’re annoying. I’m annoying. And typically, in LTRs, you spend a loooot of time around each other (especially if you live together), so you’re bound to get on each other’s nerves.
Like, listen, one of the reasons I fell for my boyfriend was because he makes me laugh like no one else. Three years later, I’ve realized he makes a joke out of LITERALLY EVERYTHING!!! So I GET IT, IT’S ANNOYING.
Just try not to dwell on it and always appreciate the things you love about your partner!
6. Fighting is absolutely normal, in fact, it’s healthy
Fighting in a healthy and constructive way is actually good for your relationship. What matters is how you argue and how you communicate during and after it!
Million $ Tip: Remember, it’s you two vs. the problem. Not you vs. them.
7. There may likely be a “three-year itch”
The three-year mark is kinda where shit gets real real, you know? It’s when all the frivolous, lovey dovey, fervent desire to see each other dies down by a looot. You’ll probably have even farted in front of each other at least 1001 times at this point, too!
It’s that turning point where you can choose to end it because it’s still early enough, or you can choose to continue investing time, love and energy into it for years to come because you know this is what you want.
Personally, choosing to love someone day in and day out after those feelings of love lessen is what real love is.
Just a heads up that when you get to the three-year mark, you’ll have two choices:
- End the relationship because you genuinely don’t see a future and at this point, you should.
- Figure out how to re-ignite some of the passion and how to grow alongside your ever-evolving relationship so it can last for years to come.
8. Going to bed angry is okay
Listen, “never go to bed angry” is really cute advice but it’s SO unrealistic! The reality of life is that you work 8-10 hour days (if not more) and I’m willing to bet you’re emotionally and physically exhausted by the time you finish dinner. Being grumpy, tired, and emotionally drained isn’t exactly the best combination to problem solve or resolve a fight.
So, go to bed angry. Deal with it in the morning when you’ve got the resources and tools to deal with it properly.
9. You’ll find out some pretty weird shit about each other
More specifically, when you move in together you’ll get to know ALL their quirks and I mean LITERALLY ALL OF THEM.
When I moved in with my boyfriend, I found out that he can’t poop if his feet are cold so he has to BLOW DRY THEM WHILE POOPING. And yet, here I am, still dating him so…
10. At some point, you’ll forget that you’re supposed to be a team
Life gets difficult, work sucks, the weeks literally fade into each other, and at some point along the way you may forget that you guys are a team. You guys are tackling life together. Make sure you remind yourselves this, it puts a lot of things into perspective.
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