15 Tips That Will Help Your Relationship Get Past The One Year Mark
Always find yourself short of reaching the one year mark? These tidbits of advice may help.
Are you a gay man who seems incapable of having a boyfriend for more than a year? More than six months? More than three months? Now this is absolutely fine if you’re not looking for a serious long-term partner, but if you are, you might find it a bit disheartening. We're here to help.
Here are some tips for gay and bi men who seem unable to break past the one year relationship mark.
1. Don't rush into anything serious
This can happen to the best of us, especially when you desperately want to be in a relationship. You jump into a serious relationship with the first guy that makes you laugh. Slow. It. Down. I wouldn’t give this advice to everyone, but if you haven’t made it past the first year, then yes, absolutely, I am giving this advice to you.
2. Make each other a priority
Life gets busy. When you're first dating, you're all over each other and you can't spend enough time with each other. Once the spark fizzles a bit, maintain keeping your partner a priority to increase your chances of making it for the long haul.
3. Be real about your insecurities
How many times have you pushed someone away because of your insecurities? How often has it happened to you? Honesty is key in any relationship, and if there are things that make you feel insecure, open up. Use it as an opportunity to grow together instead of pushing each other away.
4. Make sure you like his personality, not just the idea of him
This ties into the last reason, and is why you should take things slow. You want to make sure that you like him, not the idea of having a boyfriend who treats you nice. You need to make sure that he will actually treat you the way you want to be treated.
5. Communicate your needs consistently
It's corny, but so, so true. The two of you should consistently be talking about your needs throughout your relationship. You shouldn't have hard-hitting, heavy-duty talks everyday about where you’re going in your relationship (that’s too much), but you should be discussing what you want out of the relationship, where you see it going, and what both you and he can do better.
6. Be honest about how the sex is
I dated a man for over a year, and truth be told, I didn’t really love having sex with him. It was fine, but that wasn’t the glue that held our relationship together. I told him that, and we started incorporating new people, toys, and activities into our sex life so I would enjoy it more. Even with that though, sex wasn’t a huge component of our relationship, and we both agreed that was fine.
7. Continue having date nights
No matter how long you’ve been dating—and no matter how busy you are—you should still have date nights where you go out to dinner, go to a show, something. It doesn’t matter what. This is crucial.
8. Have hobbies/friends/a life outside of him
When your life absolutely revolves around the other person, as it often does in the beginning of the relationship, it makes it difficult to sustain a relationship when the honeymoon phase wears off. You need to have friends, hobbies, and a life outside of him that keeps you fulfilled. You can’t expect one person to keep you fulfilled for the rest of your life.
9. Admit it when you're wrong
Acknowledge when you make a mistake and apologize for it. This is so simple yet something so many men don’t do. Fuck your pride, be a man, grow up, and admit when you’ve done something wrong.
10. Don't rub it in when you're right
The flipside of admitting when you’re wrong is not being an asshole when you’re right. Don’t rub it in. Don’t make him feel worse than he already feels. Nobody likes hearing an "I told you so" when they already feel like crap.
11. Tell him you love him every day
Simple. Necessary. Adorable. Nothing more to say.
12. Accept him for his flaws and don't try to change him
Don’t try to change him, but you can help him grow. In fact, you should be helping him grow. But his fundamental flaws that won’t change? Don’t waste your time and his by trying to. You need to learn to accept them.
13. Consider an ethical non-monogamous relationship
*Cue outrage.* Obviously, this isn’t for everyone. It probably isn’t even for most folks. I would say, however, that if you’re interested, it’s something you should discuss with your partner. You can still love and be committed to your partner without being completely monogamous.
14. Watch shows together
If you’re into TV, you should have a specific show (or two or three) that you watch together. Honestly, I think it’s one of the best things couples can do together. My ex and I did it for Westworld. It was so nice looking forward to the show together weekly.
15. Compromise on the things that don't go against your values
Relationships take compromise. You need to compromise. Don't compromise on things that go against your values and against your moral code, but everything else, you should at least be open to compromising.