Keys to a Good Relationship
As I sat at home today cleaning I remembered awhile back one of my dorm mates was discussing with me how she had just broke-up with her first boyfriend after I told her my two year anniversary was approaching. I remember when I mentioned the length of my relationship she asked me what the key was to have a long-lasting relationship. Well I am not a relationship expert; in fact I’ve only dated one person. Despite these minor flaws I have managed to stay with that one person for two years and we are still together (for young adults those years are often viewed as being the equivalent to dog years.) I believe that there are common threads in all relationships that keep people together for 60 plus years and these same threads are what can cause a relationship to last only a few minor months. So here are a few things that I think are keys to a good relationship.
1. Laughter-I think there is nothing sexier than a man who can make me laugh. In fact, I’d probably date a butt ugly man who can make me laugh compared to a man who looked like Michael Ealy (the blue-eyed guy who played Ricky in all the Barbershop movies), but was a wet blanket. I mean we all can’t be Chris Rock or Eddie Murphy back in his younger years, but I think humor is kind of like a key and a lock. Everyone’s humor is different. I know a guy in my dorm who loves doing impressions and telling jokes that I find extremely weird, but I guarantee that there’s a woman/man out there who loves someone that’s constantly doing impressions of the characters from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, I am not that person though.
2. Good Food-We all know that old adage that says the key to a man’s heart is through his stomach, well that also applies to women and I am one of those women. My boyfriend knows that feeding me is the way to keep me happy. Sharing a good meal together, a bag of popcorn, or even a popsicle is the perfect way to have conversation in my opinion. You also learn a lot about a person from what they eat. You’ll learn a person’s likes and dislike simply from eating with them. For example, I know that my boyfriend’s preferred meat is beef and his drink of choice is Sprite and he knows my preferred meat is chicken and my drink of choice is fruit punch or lemonade. I mean, it would suck if you order your boyfriend/girlfriend a slice of yummy red velvet cake only to discover that they are allergic to all kinds of nuts. You can also learn whether or not you need to run far, far away from someone by what they eat. If your date always wants to go to Red Lobsters or Carraba’s Italian Eatery, you should know that this relationship is going to pinch your pockets later on down the road. I mean since when has someone been too good to eat a $5 pizza from Little Caesar’s ?
3. Stop Thinking the Grass Is Greener On The Other Side-If there is one thing I can’t stand about people in relationships it’s the fact that they’re always wanting to compare their relationship to others around them. “Why can’t you be like Jamal? He’s always buying Tiffany gifts.” Well, have you ever thought that Jamal has a job and your boyfriend doesn’t? Or have you ever thought that maybe Tiffany is only getting these gifts because she’s always fighting with Jamal and this is his way of apologizing? These are things that we never think about. We only see the positives about a of lot things when that’s not really how they are. You know, all relationships have pumps along the road. This is also a reason why people cheat. I remember a girl who had a boyfriend in high school and she ended up cheating on him with another guy simply because he offered to sleep with her. In the end she had a scare because the guy she cheated with got an STD and she spent half the week running around town trying to find out if she had caught something.
4. Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough-This deals with food. I hate hearing about girls who act as if they can’t eat a lot around guys. I don’t care if I’m eating with freaking Barack Obama at a 5 Star Restaurant, if I haven’t ate all day I will be ordering a salad first with an extra ranch dressing, croutons, and no onions followed by a well done flat iron steak, and if my stomach can hold a piece of cake I will be ordering that too. If he can’t afford that piece of cake I will gladly pay for it. I also hate girls who act like they must eat pretty around their men all the time. For example, you really want some baby back ribs yet you know that you’ll get barbeque sauce all around your mouth and fingers so you order a salad (no creamy dressing, I mean you’d hate to have a dab of ranch in the corner of your mouth wouldn’t you?). All foods are not meant to be consumed in a dainty fashion , and if you’re with a man who thinks that you can eat ribs in such a fashion get rid of him and his unrealistic ideas. If he stays around he’ll start thinking your sh*t smells like a bouquet of flowers all the time which isn’t the case.
5. Telling the Truth-The problem with so many relationships is that we try to give half truths such as the fact that we don’t like women who expect us to take them to expensive restaurants every Saturday because we’re having a hard time trying to pay off our student loans, rent, car note, etc. Instead you’ll tell her price is no problem and keep letting that girl order the $30 lobster tail with calamari, a bottle of the best white wine, and that $12 slice of strawberry cheesecake that we can purchase at Sam’s Club for the same price and get a two whole strawberry cheesecakes. Yep, sooner or later this fantasy world will come crashing down on you when your credit card gets declined out on that date where she’s promised you some of the best sex of your life. All of that crazy, wild, jungle sex is now out the window because you didn’t want to tell her about your financial situation. I mean all you have to do is tell the truth. If the person doesn’t like the truth well, as my previous advice has been run far, far way.
6. Keeping Things Behind Closed Doors-Early on in my relationship I was constantly telling my friends about the negative things that occurred in my relationship. For example, I once told my boyfriend that I wanted to join the Air Force. He told me that he couldn’t see me joining the military, he could only see me going straight to college. I was extremely upset and I told everyone about how he had no faith in me and that I didn’t understand how I could possibly stay with someone that didn’t have faith in me. Instead of telling him this I just ignored him and soon everyone that I had told the truth to ended up telling him why I was upset. If I had simply told him the problem it would have been over right then and there. Instead I let it drag on for a week.
7. Let Your Hair Down-Nobody likes someone who’s a prude 24/7. I mean there’s nothing wrong with maintaining your classy, sophisticated persona who never curses or dances provocatively in public, but if you don’t do it out in the open there’s nothing wrong with doing it behind closed doors. If your man wants you to act like a stripper one day there’s nothing wrong with that. So many women think that doing things like this will make them look like a whore, but if you don’t he’s going to think you’re a boring person who doesn’t like to be loose around him. The same thing goes for men, if you have tough as nails persona with the outside world don’t bring it behind closed doors. If your woman ask you to paint her toe nails one night do it! She’s not going to think you’re a sissy and it won’t become a thing that she’ll constantly ask for either. Oh yeah, a big problem I have is men and women acting as if something is wrong with oral sex. Men say they don’t like how it taste or that they’ll never do such a thing, well guess what you’ll probably never a good blow until you cave in. The same goes for women. (P.S. As I typed this I was actually listening to Usher and Nicki Minaj’s “Little Freak”)
8. Cheap Dates-Sure it’s nice going out to dinner for every date, but who doesn’t like a date where you just come over to find your girlfriend with sweatpants, hair tied, and chillin’ with no make-up on (Drake knows the deal) to watch a free movie On-Demand or something that’s coming on TNT later that night that neither of you have ever seen? Dates like this are the perfect time to just sit back and cuddle all night. They are also the time to do items #1, 2, 4, and 7. Cheap dates don’t have to consist of being at home the whole time. You all can go out and eat at a cheap place (Zaxby’s, Burger King, Chick-Fil-A) and watch a movie back at home or you can cook a nice dinner together and go watch a movie at the local dollar theater in jeans and a t-shirt.
9. Gifts-Now before you get into a rage let me explain. Gifts do not have to be expensive. You can always just make a card out of construction paper or you can make a movie out of photos that you all have taken together over the months. These are the best kinds of gifts because they truly come from the heart. You should do gifts like these at random moments. For instance, maybe you just bring a teddy bear and your girlfriend’s favorite candy to her one day at school or maybe you can get your boyfriend that Hangover DVD that he’s wanted for a few weeks, but couldn’t afford.
10. TALKING-I’m going to keep this short and simple. Texting is not the way to communicate. It’s a lazy form of communication. You don’t get to hear the emotions that come from the person on the other end and when a person types “LOL” I guarantee that they have a blank face. It won’t hurt to pick up the phone and have a 30 minute conversation. Honestly, have you been told that talking on the phone will cause death? No? Okay then, suck it up and actually TALK!