A few years ago, when my younger brother was planning to move out of our parents’ house, my mother sat us down and had one of her long talks with us. A lot was said that day, most of which I can hardly recall anymore. However, a few things really stuck with me.
One of those is the life advice she gave us, including her relationship advice. These words of wisdom have gotten me through a lot over the years, and I would like to share them with you today.
There is a lot that was said on this subject that day. Maybe I’ll tell you guys all about it someday. For today’s purposes, though, I have tried to come up with a concise list of relationship advice that my mother gave to my brother and me.
I know this may sound like I’m overselling it, but I really believe these right here are the best words of advice you will ever get when it comes to relationships. So let’s begin!
Know thy partner
Men and women are different. Generally speaking, women feel loved when they are cherished and shown affection, and men feel loved when they are respected and needed. When both partners understand this, it opens up a new channel that they can use to proclaim their love for one another apart from just saying it.
As a man, when your partner has had a rough day, she may open up to you and talk to you about it. When this happens, it is very important to understand that she is not seeking advice by opening up to you. So don’t give it, no matter how tempting it may be! She just needs someone to listen to her, that’s all. So just be that person!
She doesn’t really mean that
Sometimes, women will say “You never care”, or “You’re never there for me”, or “You never apologize”, or something along those lines. As a man, do not take these words literally. It’s not that you never do those things ever. It’s just how she chooses to express her feelings at that moment. Don’t get defensive. Let her let it out then talk things through after.
Give him some space
As a woman, you have to understand that sometimes, men need their space. They may not want to express their feelings immediately whenever they get sad or angry or frustrated. Don’t pressure them into doing anything while they are emotional, because they might end up resenting you for it. Just give them the space they need to work it out on their own first.
Let her talk it out
As a man, if your partner is sad or mad or angry, whether at you or at anyone else, you need to encourage her to talk about it. I know this is the exact opposite of what you would like to happen if you were in the same situation as a man, but it is what it is. We are all wired differently, and women want to talk things through. It makes them feel better afterward. So encourage her to talk about it until she expresses and releases all that pent up negativity inside her. Interestingly, this ties back to the second point!
Learn to speak your partner’s love language
This one is not from my mother, but I think it has a place on this list. The five languages of love are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Each of these is important and expresses love in its own way. When you learn your own and your partner’s love language, it will really help you to create a stronger bond in your relationship.
There are bad reasons for getting into relationships
Here are 7 bad reasons for getting into a relationship: sex and physical intimacy, loneliness, to fill a gap in your life, external pressure from friends or family, to become happy, to boost your self-esteem, or for financial security.
What are you fighting for?
Whenever you have a fight, know what you are fighting. You are fighting to have a better relationship. You are not fighting your partner; they are on your side. So don’t take things personally, and don’t resent them for their mistakes.
You can’t change them, don’t try!
When you get into a relationship with someone, don’t expect to change them. They are who they are, and you are who you are. Make your peace with that and walk away if you are not happy with them.
Go to bed mad at each other from time to time
There is a popular myth in relationships, “Never go to bed angry at each other.” In truth, this is actually a good thing sometimes. It is ok to step away from a fight, sleep on it, and get some perspective on things. It will allow you to have a healthy conversation about it after, and perhaps figure out what went wrong and what can be done about it, which is the best way to build a strong foundation in any relationship.
Appreciate the little things
Humans crave appreciation. When we are appreciated for doing something, we tend to do more of it, and it causes a domino effect that improves multiple aspects of our lives. Showing your partner how much you appreciate them won’t cost you much, but it will mean a lot to them. So be generous with it and do it often!
Know who to take your advice from
Seriously. Yes, I know this is quite ironic coming from someone who is dishing out advice in the first place. However, you should only take relationship advice from someone who you want to be like who has a healthier relationship than yours. So if you are a stay at home mom who runs her own online business, for instance, you should take your relationship advice from a stay-at-home mom running her own business who has a healthy, thriving relationship. You get the idea.
I know all this sounds so simple in theory, but it’s a real balancing act that takes a lot of tight-rope walking and caring deeply enough for the other person to understand them while they are being vulnerable.
If you forget everything else, please remember that men want to be needed and they appreciate it when you respect their space. Women want to be listened to and to be shown affection. Figure out how to do both of these for each other and you will be well on your way to a very happy, healthy, relationship.
Well, that’s the gist of what my mother told us, with my own little spin added to it because why not. I would love to hear your thoughts on all this, and whether you would like to read more relationship advice articles like this on the blog. Also, what is the best relationship advice you have ever gotten? Let me know in the comments!