Written by 11:03 am Health / Wellness

Be Real from Day One: The Key to a Lasting Relationship

couple waking on beach

Do you believe in soul mates? Love at first sight? Happily ever after? 

No? You’re not alone. 

I used to think the same way. My whole life, I believed that making a marriage work required hard work and constant effort. Countless books and therapists have emphasized that both parties must “work” on the marriage, navigating through ups and downs together. 

Balancing Agreement and Disagreement in Relationships

But what if I told you I both agree and disagree with this notion? Would you think I’m crazy? Maybe, but hear me out.

I agree that both people in a relationship need to want the same things. If you want kids and your partner doesn’t, or if your visions of marriage are completely different, it’s a recipe for disaster. 

Similarly, if you’re constantly traveling for work and your partner struggles with being alone, you’ll face challenges. Alignment on fundamental issues is crucial.

However, I disagree with the idea that relationships should require “work.” Happiness in a relationship shouldn’t feel like a chore. Instead, I believe in being real from day one. Openly share your thoughts, dreams, and plans with your partner early on. 

You don’t have to talk about marriage on the second date, but the sooner you discuss your desires, the sooner you’ll know if you’re truly compatible.

Here are a few key topics to discuss during the dating phase:

Children

When you’re out on a date and see children around, use it as an opportunity to gauge your partner’s feelings about having kids

If you want kids, you might say, “Those kids are so cute.

 I hope mine will be that adorable someday.” Watch your partner’s facial expressions and listen to their response. 

If you don’t want kids, you might say, “I don’t know how parents do it. I don’t have the mother gene; I’m focused on my career.” 

Pay attention to their reactions.

Finances

It’s crucial to understand if you’re aligned on financial matters early in the relationship. You can bring this up by sharing your career and financial goals

For example, “I’m applying for a promotion because I want to pay down my student loans,” or “I hope I get this raise because I plan to buy a house within the next few years.” 

This can start a conversation about your goals, and your partner should reciprocate. If they don’t, it’s okay to ask more questions. 

During the dating phase, it’s customary to share a lot about each other’s aspirations.

Retirement

Retirement might seem far off, but it’s an important topic to discuss. If you dream of retiring on a beach while your partner dreams of retiring in the mountains, this could become a significant issue later. 

Everyone deserves to have their ideal post-work life, and if you aren’t aligned, one of you will end up compromising, leading to potential resentment.

Hobbies

Believe it or not, hobbies can be a major source of happiness or discord in a relationship. It’s essential for both partners to have personal hobbies that bring them joy and relaxation. 

While you may have shared hobbies, having individual outlets for re-energizing is crucial. 

Discuss your hobbies during casual conversations, like car rides, and listen to your partner’s interests. Respect each other’s hobbies, even if they differ from your own.

For instance, if your partner loves hunting and you don’t, respect their passion without nagging or making them feel guilty. 

Alternatively, if you’re into yoga and your partner isn’t, that’s okay too. The key is to allow each other the freedom to enjoy personal hobbies.

The Takeaway

The concept I want you to take away from this blog is the importance of being real from day one. 

Stop trying to impress and instead focus on truly learning about each other. Have fun playing 20 questions and discover each other’s visions for the future. 

See how aligned you are or how different you might be. Be open-minded and expect the same from your partner. 

The moment you start compromising or adjusting yourself is the moment you lock yourself into a version that might not be true to you.

Stay real, stay true, and find someone who loves the real you from the very beginning.

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Last modified: July 1, 2024

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