6 Things I Learned about Being in a Long-Term Relationship

6 Things I Learned about Being in a Long-Term Relationship

Nhi (Nina) Tran, Mental Health Editor/Contributing Writer, Mayer AZ

I’m still in high school and have dated, and it was a wonderful learning experience for me. My relationship had its highs and lows, positive and negative impacts, but most importantly, I’ve learned so much about myself, love, relationships, emotions, etc.

It doesn’t matter what you see in movies or in dating couples at your school, it is not always easy to stay in and maintain a long-term relationship in high school, as a teenager. And today, I’d like to share the lessons with you.

Below are six things I’ve learned from being in a long-term relationship. I dare say this can be applied to relationships beyond high school, and I hope you’ll find something useful for yourself.

#1 Debunking Misconceptions

In this section, I will debunk some of the misconceptions that some of us might have about relationships and dating.

1. Dating Doesn’t Guarantee Happiness or Validation

Have you ever felt peer pressure to date? Have you ever wanted to date just to escape loneliness, to become “cooler” and climb up the social hierarchy of your school?

If you are seeking a potential girlfriend/boyfriend in the hope of feeling happier, less lonely, more validated, and/or to boost your social image, I’m here to tell you this: dating doesn’t guarantee any of that.

The rosy picture that the other couples pose, whether fictional or not, is not always a true reflection of what’s really going on inside.

The desire to be in a relationship with someone should only be based on interest, care, and/or love from both sides. That’s the only way it’d be meaningful.

It is not easy to fight the temptation when relationships are so romanticized everywhere you see, but stay rational. I personally think it’s better to stay single than to be in a superficial, meaningless, time-wasting relationship.

Believe that you will meet the right person at the right time, and don’t force things that aren’t meant to be 🙂

2. Expect the Emotional Low

The feeling of falling and being in love can be quite splendid; it’d make you want to be in that state forever. Therefore, it could feel quite unbearable when you face emotional lows during a relationship.

Every relationship has its highs and lows (more highs than lows in a healthy one), and it’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes, conflict and misunderstanding help the two of you understand each other more, hence bringing you closer together. In other words, dating isn’t always delight and bliss, and that’s alright!

#2 To Defend and Not Lose Yourself In the Process…

This part might be unnecessary for some people, but it’s important nonetheless. If you grew up in an emotionally difficult environment (one that negatively affects you emotionally) and/or usually have trouble standing up for yourself, that is perfectly okay, and I am here, embodied by this particular section, to show you how to defend and not lose yourself in a relationship.

3. Make Time For Yourself Too

It’s easy to get swept off your feet and attached to your person and want to be around them all the time. However, it’s crucial to make free time for yourself that doesn’t involve them.

Making space for one another is quite important in maintaining a long-term relationship, no matter how much y’all adore each other. Not sure why? Imagine your favorite food, your absolute favorite. Now imagine only having that food for every meal every day. Sooner or later, you’d get sick of it, even though it’s still your favorite food.

See my point? Having too much of something is not good, thus having too much time with each other is not that healthy or beneficial either.

Spend some free time with your friends, with your family, some alone time to recharge, anything that you enjoy doing before hanging out with your boyfriend/girlfriend takes up that time.

4. Have Another Person on the Journey With You

One of my biggest regrets when looking back at my relationship is not having another best friend to vent to, to support me emotionally throughout the dating period.

To have someone that you can share things, vent to, and get advice/second opinions from about things related to your relationship is quite important. It’d make you feel less lonely on the journey, and provide refreshing perspectives/companies.



5. Trust your Instincts. Do Not Ignore Red Flags

Do you sometimes have that nagging feeling inside you, trying to tell you something, and then it turns out to be true? Those are instincts.

If there’s ever an instinct trying to warn you about someone, take some time to look into it, dig deeper, and observe whether there’s something you should worry about. Any red flags, signs of mistrust should not be ignored.













6. Don’t Let the Relationship/Partner Negatively Impact other Aspects in Your Life

What’s considered a negative impact? Does it have detrimental effects on your emotional and mental well-being, your grades, your other relationships, self-image, etc?

If you see that the person you’re seeing, or just the relationship as a whole, has a negative impact on your life, then it’s time to reconsider why and what’s the best next course of action.