Being in love is undoubtedly a coveted act, no matter what your age, sex, or personal outlook on life might be. The allure of those hand-holding, kissing-on-the-swing-set, ice-cream-sharing moments is something even the most pessimistic soul can’t deny as desirable. As millennials, our lives are flooded with Instagram boomerangs of quick kisses, and we read tweets of heart-throbbing declarations of adoration. It seems to prove to us that lasting love, despite how difficult it is to maintain, does in fact exist.
If you’re single, you may be (understandably) fascinated with the concept of working relationships. Whether it’s because you have a deplorable ex as a reminder of the absolute mayhem that companionship can wreak on your life, or the nonexistence of a serious/long-term infatuation that negates your ability to fathom the notion of complete and utter connection, functioning relationships can be captivating. As an outsider, or someone not engulfed in love, you might rely on your happily “cuffed up” couple friends and (shamefully so) the all-inclusive media to help wrap your head around the possibility of finding “The One”. The difficulty with relying on your friends and the media is that they aren’t necessarily the most reliable sources.
The truth is that friends, for the sake of their own relationships, aren’t always honest with their gal-pals (or bros… hey, no judgement!). That is mostly due to a self-preservation instinct: when relationship problems are shared with an outsider, they are very rarely (and almost never at all) put forth with an unbiased opinion. This consequently creates a compromised vision of either party in the relationship, and can lead to awkward and difficult sharings of “opinions” between friends later on. And the reality is that the media isn’t much help either. Between the unrealistic standards set in Hollywood films and the undeniable temptation that social media brings to the table, millennials are experiencing relationship complications that no generation before has.
However, this doesn’t necessarily put us at a disadvantage. For millennia, each generation had their own obstacles; our grandparents had immigration, our parents dealt with interracial tensions, and now we battle the manifestation of ever-evolving enticement… all very valid and difficult issues to tackle. Nevertheless, the continued existence of long-term relationships proves that any problem can be overcome. The fascinating truth is that (despite the distinctive differences in all societal issues that influence relationships) they have all been cured with one not-so-simplistic act: communication. Whether it be conforming to a literal new world, the changing of mind-sets, or truly and 100% committing, communication has proven to be couples’ one chance at complete and utter clarity.
Sitting down face-to-face (I’m looking at you, Snapchat fiends) is the first step to successful interpersonal communication. FaceTime is fantastic for keeping in touch when we’re miles apart, but nothing interrupts a heart-filled discussion more than troubleshooting the Wi-Fi password. Secondly, honesty (despite the vulnerability that accompanies it) is the only way to truly be on the same page as your partner. Lastly, there is real commitment. Without a mutual desire to make a relationship work, it will never succeed in the modern world. So for all you partly-pessimistic outsiders, and seemingly-struggling insiders, remember that the problems we anticipate and/or face today are no more impossible to overcome than those of our predecessors.
With honesty, perseverance, and communication, any healthy relationship can transition into long-term love.
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