We, people, thrive on our relationships. It’s where we learn the most valuable aspects about ourselves and the world around us. In our different relationships, we experience the greatest joy but they too, sometimes, give us our deepest sorrow.

We sometimes forget that it’s not all butterflies in the stomach and morning roses when we get up. There are moments when our relationships can break us and make us want to give up. But what we fail to realize is that our struggles in our relationships are exactly what gives them color. It is when we surpass them that we feel our relationships have more meaning and significance.

When we enter a relationship, we have to fully understand and accept the whole package and everything that comes with it. And so, I’ve dissected the word to reveal the harsh realities that we all have to face in all of our relationships. These are the things that threaten the integrity of our relationships and test them to their limits. But, it’s how we choose to deal with these challenges that determines the outcome of our relationships. Accepting and acknowledging them can actually turn everything around.

R – Reality, Deal with it. Don’t believe that your relationship is lifted out of a romantic comedy or fairy tale. Know that there will be real problems and imperfections and you have to learn how to deal with them.

E – Embrace each others flaws. It’s impossible to love everything about a person. There will be times when their mannerisms will tick you off, but you have to accept all of them– both good and bad.

L – Love is not enough. Sometimes, we have to accept that relationships are not all about love but a combination of a whole lot of other things and that sometimes, we have to see beyond our feelings and place effort in making something work. We can’t just rely on pure emotions. Not, unless we’re 15.

A – Arguments are normal. People have disagreements and misunderstandings all the time. At first, we don’t recognize them because we’re stuck in the infatuation bubble and we do everything to keep our significant others happy. Time will come when you feel the need to put your foot down and prioritize your needs and this is when you will start to contradict each other. But doing so will let you learn how to compromise and give way.

T – Timing is of the essence. Sometimes we have the right person at the wrong time and vice versa and it doesn’t mean that we automatically have to think that it’s not meant to be. Know that there are times when we need to put other things before love and that’s okay. Everything will eventually fall into place when you let time work its magic– but of course, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to work for it too. 

I – Insecurity is a necessity. People who tend to be overconfident and secure may be too complacent. You can never be completely secure about someone’s feelings for you. It is important that you know that you can lose someone in the blink of an eye and you should never take anyone for granted. Always think that there is someone out there who is better looking and better performing than you.

O – Open your mind. Remember that relationships involve two people. Sometimes, we may be inclined to do things out of our comfort zone or be introduced to things we never knew of prior to meeting someone. But don’t limit yourself to only what you know and allow new ideas and new experiences to bring more color to your partnership. 

N – Neediness is not always negative. People like attention. We love it when someone is concerned about us or when someone is looking for us. It makes us feel significant. Just don’t overdo it.

S – Secrets are meant to be kept. You don’t always have to know everything about someone. People deserve to have privacy and keep certain things to themselves. Couples who argue that they should know every detail about each other are only insecure about their loyalty.

H – Head over Heart. Never allow your emotions get the best of you and remember that you shouldn’t make decisions only with your feelings. It’ll make you happier and more human, but it will never work in the long run. Trust your emotions at first, and then rule with your mind.

I – Intimacy is not the most important thing. People say that being intimate is apparent in a relationship, but it really depends on what you favor as a couple. You don’t need to have this just to validate your feelings for one another. 

P – Prioritize yourself first. It’s always easier to please others but remind yourself from time to time that, first and foremost, you also need to look after yourself. Prioritize your needs and your future and don’t let a relationship stand in the way of your self-growth– unless you can make it work together, then even better. 

You can only call a relationship effective when it has its imperfections. Let them challenge you and change you for the better!

About the Contributor

As a Structural Engineer in a male-dominated field, Kai tries to release all the excess testosterone she’s inadvertently absorbing through sports and exercise. She also makes orgasmic chocolate chip cookies. For a sweet fix – visit her Instagram.

This contributor is a customer of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®.

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