It’s pretty safe to say that most couples hope that their relationship is good enough to become a long-term one. Of course…we know that that often isn’t the case, and sometimes that’s for the best! I mean, come on, how many of your friends have had crappy partners? Other times, the strife that leads to a couple breaking up could have been avoided if they were a little more aware of the realities of what a long-term relationship consists of, the good and the bad.
Okay, especially the bad.
As someone who is in my first relationship ever at the moment, I’ve definitely had to learn the hard way that there are unique trials and tribulations that come with the territory of navigating long-term romance. So if you want some tips that’ll help you get through yours, here are nine cold hard truths about being in a long-term relationship that everyone should know.
You Won't Always Like Your PartnerWe're human, aren't we? You don't always like things your parents do, and you probably still love them. Your friends probably piss you off sometimes too, and you still love them as well. Your romantic partner is no different, and will also bug the hell out of you. You might even find moments where you're not super attracted to them, or times when you really need space away from them. This is normal; you're not required to always like every single thing about bae, okay? But if your dislikes start to outweigh your likes, then you have a problem. Pretty In Pink
Both Of You Are Still Going To Find Other People Attractive, PeriodI'm going to be super frank: Y'all still have eyes, don't you? You're going to find other people hot. Your partner is going to find other people hot. The. End. If you're going to freak out because your partner thinks some girl on Instagram is hot, then you're not ready for a relationship. I mean, wouldn't it be nuts if your partner freaked out because you thought some waiter at a restaurant was cute? Or if you thought some dude in your favorite band was really attractive? Of course it would! Unless your partner is using someone's beauty or sex appeal to actively make you feel bad about yourself, chances are you need to chill out about harmless crushes. Dazed and Confused
You're Going To Have To Put Work In To Make Your Relationship LastIf you think that long-term relationships are super successful because two people are just magically super compatible and happy together almost all of the time...then you're in for a rude awakening. Relationships require work from both parties to remain stable. I think that's the biggest surprise that I've encountered now that I'm in one. What kind of work am I talking about? You know, actively making sure you're communicating with each other in a healthy way, not letting everything you dislike in your relationship turn into a deal breaker, doing little things of value that make your relationship feel special, etc. The honeymoon period where you are head over heals over your bae doesn't last forever! What do you do when not every little thing about them dazzles you anymore? Food for thought. Clueless
Length Has Nothing To Do With LoyaltyYo, if people were less prone to cheating if they were in long term relationships, we'd live in a much happier world. Unfortunately, that's not the case. Don't assume your partner will be loyal to you and respect your relationship just because you two have been in it for a long time. Cheating happens, y'all. I'm also not saying that you should always be paranoid that bae is two-timing you; that can lead to so much mistrust, confusion, and miscommunication that you don't need. Just know that if your partner engages in some suspicious behavior, don't lull yourself into the delusion of security based on the idea that you can't be cheated on because you two have been together for, say, over a year. Life just doesn't work like that, and many have had to find out the hard way. Skins
You'll Have Plenty Of FightsPetty fights are in no way a recreational activity that only those in flash in the pan relationships experience or succumb to. Yes, expect to get into many an argument with your significant other and hope that they're mostly petty in nature. But remember that not all fights are inherently bad. Some fights can lead to helpful communication between you two so, hopefully, you'll butt heads less in the future. My Mad Fat Diary
Yes, You Could Very Well Fall Out Of Love, Even If You've Been Dating For AgesScary thought, right? That all this time spent with someone will feel like a waste of time because one of you falls out of love with the other. But, you'll tell yourself, you've been going out for so long! You're in it to win it! You two are here for the long haul, right? Well...maybe. Or maybe not. Look, people fall out of love all the damn time, and relationships end all the damn time too. Yes, even when people have been together for ages. I don't want you to be consumed with this fear that that is what your future holds, but acting as if you and your bae are somehow above such a thing because you two are so in love with each other is incredibly naive. Submarine
You'll See Them At Their Best AND Worst, And Vice VersaRelationships can be eye opening in ways you least expect; the best of you can come out, but the worst of you can rear its ugly head too. Same goes for your partner. Learn to be gentle and understanding with each other when this happens. We ALL have our moments. The Incredibly True Story Of Two Girls In Love
You'll Have Moments Of Uncertainty About Your RelationshipYour mind will wander, wondering if this relationship is really making you happy, wondering if you could "do better," etc. Believe it or not, these are totally normal thoughts to have, especially since relationships can be so high stress and make you question so many things about yourself and about what you really want in this weird ride called life. Maybe you'll realize that this relationship isn't what you want, but don't assume that just because this thought comes to mind, that you've fallen out of love. Moments of uncertainty don't have to be the end of the world. Freaks And Geeks
Their Family Will Affect YouIf you go out with someone for long enough to know their family, prepare for them to have an impact on you to some extent. That impact can be great, or it can be complete garbage. Hey, let's be real: Whether it's dramatically differing politics or contrasting attitudes, you might have a rough relationship with them, and you (and your partner) have to try to make sure that that doesn't interfere too heavily with the relationship you two have goin' on. Like, if your boyfriend's mom can't stand you, as long as your boyfriend defends you, try not to let her negative attitude get in the way of what you and your BF have. That '70s Show
Which of these cold hard truths leave you feeling the most nervous? Most hopeful? What other cold hard truths should be on this list? How do you deal? Tell us in the comments!