Relationship Issues: In the Beginning
The tone of the relationship is set from the very first date. The more control you maintain from the very beginning, the less you give away as the relationship develops. By control, were not talking about who wears the pants round here. Its more of a self-control.
If you lie or act like someone youre not to impress your guy, then this is a lie that you have to live for as long as you keep this guy around. Lying while dating is bound to pop up as relationship issues so its best to just be real. Withholding information is not the same as lying but can be just as bad.
Of course, you don’t really have to tell him about your crazy years as a groupie, but telling him about having kids or sexually transmitted diseases might be painful at first, but if he loves you, then it can only strengthen the relationship.
Set your boundaries in the relationship
The very beginning of any relationship is the best and pretty much only time for you to set your boundaries. If there are things that you absolutely can’t stand, now is the time to make that clear. Basically, if he doesn’t know, then its not his fault. A perfect book to read is Rousing the Lion. It teaches you how to “guide” your man into wanting to be the perfect boyfriend. Communication problems in relationships are usually the single biggest reason for the breakup. So, if you dont like the way he does the dishes or how he puts the toilet paper on the roll, tell him in the beginning so it doesn’t turn into one of those things that drives you absolutely mad later on.
In a man’s mind, if you two did something together before and you didn’t complain, you have permanently endorsed it forever. This applies to what kind of movies you watch. It applies to guys night out. It applies to how clean he keeps his place. It applies to sex. If you let him get away with whatever bad behavior without at least noticing, then you have placed your stamp of approval on it forever.
The tricky part is how you protest. The absolute worst thing you can do to cause yourself an endless set of relationship issues is to be labeled a nag. Avoid nagging your man at all costs! The best way to guide your guy into making the right decisions is to razz him about it the way one of his buddies would. Maybe hes a slob. Instead of scrunching up your face and proclaiming that he is a disgusting animal, try the buddy system. While smiling, you can simply say, “Hey Pig Pen, you gonna eat that moldy pizza? I don’t think I can stay here without a Tetanus shot.”
See what you accomplished? You got to call him out on his piggery. You announced in a friendly way that you won’t stay there if its this messy. AND, you came off as one of his long-time friends in the process. He’s sitting there thinking, This girl is really cool! Relationship crisis avoided.
So he gets the message and cleans up his place and has been shown one of your standards. Perhaps, he does nothing at all and remains a filthy slob. Some guys can’t change. At this point, you must decide if you can live like this or not. I know you love him by now and can’t imagine leaving, but if living with a slob, or a deviant, or a gamer, or an unemployed dude gets under your skin right now, this will become one of those 900lb gorilla-sized relationship issues later.
Hold your ground
Simply put: a deal breaker is a deal breaker no matter how invested you are.
Save yourself the intense pain of breaking up three years from now and dump him while things are easy. Believe me, its a lot easier to walk away when you’re not dealing with splitting up assets. Who gets the dog?
How can you say that?!! We are soulmates!
When you were daydreaming about your soulmate at age 13, did you imagine him to be a dude with serious social problems that refused to change in any way? Relationships are about compromise, but there is only a compromise because you WANT to so that your lives will intertwine better and stronger. There is no way for him to know that you can only have a few small things a certain way. He has to acknowledge your pet peeves and at least attempt to not violate them.
Make communication playful
The only way to squash relationship issues before they turn into relationship problems is through communication. If there are things you are unwilling to talk about or just cannot say, then you have to be willing to live with them. As said before: no complaints = complete approval.
We can’t stress enough that you really have to say it (whatever “it” is). If asserting yourself has always been a problem for you, the Unstoppable Confidence program is one of the best ones out there. You learn how to assert yourself and say what you mean. The best part is that it not only helps you in your relationships, it works in all other aspects of your life. Wanna learn how to ask for a raise at work…?
Insults are fun!
One of the best tips I learned from a friend of mine is that she has a cute insult name for whenever her boyfriend gets out of line by stepping on a relationship issue. In turn, he created one for her. These names were created in fun moments like when he was tickling her. Now, a couple years later, she can drop his naughty name and he knows he’s about to get corrected.
Once again, the key to developing the naughty name is that you can NEVER use it when you’re angry. Then it loses its power by taking all the playfulness out of it. Imagine that instead of getting upset he always changes the channel when you are watching TV, you can simply say, “Hey Jerkface [or insert your naughty name here], I am watching my show right now.” He might respond with, “Hey Crankypants, your Gilmore Girls reruns are boring me to tears.”
Whenever he hears the term Jerkface (or whatever name you create), he knows he’s upsetting you. By creating a name for you, he gets to fight back while still backing away. You get what you want. You communicate what is upsetting you. He understands you’re serious and POOF… crisis avoided.
The more you communicate your needs and the earlier you start, the better the experience for both of you. Now, in order for this to really work, you have to listen to him when he’s got the microphone and try to avoid stepping over his boundaries.
Relationship issues are unavoidable, but they are a snap to deal with as long as you create a good foundation for communication from the very beginning.
Have you found a great way to prevent problems in the relationship? Tell us about it! We want to know about all your greatest advice on keeping the relationship awesome!