6 Basic Lessons in a Relationship

I am definitely not a model to look up to if you want to know about the ideal relationship. I have made a lot of mistakes in that area. What I do know is that relationships take time, lots of mistakes, and lots of heartache. But many joy comes from it.

I always said that I would rather be alone than be unhappy in a relationship. I don’t have to watch friends in lukewarm or sour relationships to know what I learnt and didn’t learn. The difference with being in a relationship that means something versus nothing is that you work hard. I mean, really hard!

Sometimes, you just want to throw in the towel. Sometimes, you do. Those are relationships that aren’t worth pursuing. When you don’t know where the relationship is going, when you are half hoping that something better will come, or you’re constantly disappointed, you need to end that quickly before it steals years from you and the other person.

In the past 2 years, what I learned from a relationship are 6 basic lessons.

Love and desire are the first two things. Not just love—head over heel, can’t sleep, can’t think, can’t breathe teenage love. But the one that fills your heart, seeps through,and stains every inch of your body so that you’re aglow with joy and happiness. It’s the love that keeps you warm at night even when he isn’t around. Desire and physical intimacy heightens the sense. Watching the way he moves, smiles, the sharp lines of his face, the strength in his hands, these are subtle eroticism without being explicit. Learning to appreciate him without touching him leads to this intense want and when it’s fulfilled, it should be utterly satisfying.

But when that red hot fire of desire tampers to just a constant burning light that beckons you home, a relationship is strengthened by respect and admiration of your partner. When I am with someone, I want to be able to be proud to show off and proud to say he’s with me. I want to be with someone whose thoughts and actions I admire and respect. If I can’t respect you, how can I respect the relationship? It would be an imbalance. I am a Leo at heart so my first action will always be to think that I’m better, that I’m right. I want someone who can challenge me, make me be an even better person.

The hardest part about relationship I learnt is forgiveness. Human are all imperfect. We make mistakes, we thrive on them to learn and to grow. With that comes the ability to acknowledge these flaws and forgive even if it takes every piece of your fiber to understand and let go. If in your heart, you know can live with that mistake, you must forgive and forget. My mother always tells me, “cool feeling…hot temper leads to mistakes you’ll regret.” And when you can forgive, truly forgive, which is he hardest lesson I’ve had to learn, moreso than patience, you let go and never bring it up again.

And finally, laughter. Laughter is the best elixir to the enjoyment of life and love. The type of unabandoned laughter, the type that makes the side of your stomach laugh, the cheeks hurt, and you feel young again. It will heal the soul, mend the pain, and comfort you in your darkest hours. It will make you see color, see light, and see that life is after all just a ball of fun and adventure.

And when all is said and done, you can look back and laugh and look forward for more laughter. All the drama, the heartache, the fights, and dissatisfaction will mean nothing when they are outweighed by love, desire, admiration, respect, forgiveness, and laughter.