I've been in a relationship for over three years now, and over that time I've learned some things about myself as a boyfriend, my girlfriend, and other people as well. So without going into too much personal detail, here are some of those things.
I'm Wrong Almost All Of The Time
The stereotype that men are stupider than women is true. At the end of an argument, it's almost always me that is the one apologising. And although sometimes I do it just so we aren't fighting any more, 90% of the time it's because she's right. And I'm not just saying that to get into the good books; it's the truth.
She Won't Get On With All Of Your Friends And That's Okay...
To expect her to be introduced to all of her new people and to get on with all of them is ridiculous. She doesn't have to like every single one of them, and vice versa, so as long as they can all be civil around one another.
...But If She Doesn't Get On With The Closest Ones Then You'll Have A Problem
You're closest friends have your back, so if they don't get on with your girlfriend from the start then it's probably never going to work.
Being Single Is Sh*t
This is just my opinion, but seeing my single friends desperately trying to pull on a night out makes me feel really relieved that I'm already in a happy relationship.
Compromising Is Key
One of the most important things to know about any relationship before you get into it is that you are going to have to compromise with the other person. It's impossible for the two of you to want the same things every single time, so you have to learn very quickly how to find a middle ground. And when you do sometimes do what she wants to do, don't hold it against her when another compromise has to be made. Recipe for disaster.
Thinking Of Present Ideas Is Really Hard
Birthday, Christmas, Anniversary, Valentine's Day. Don't get me wrong, I love giving her presents, but thinking of original ideas for all of these days is a lot harder than anyone makes it out.
I Get Jealous Easier Than I Thought I Would
It's not that I think she's ever going to cheat on me or anything, I even get jealous when she's out with some of her female friends, just because I'm not there. But obviously the jealousy is worse when she's out with other guys. You just have to learn to deal with it.
I Know Probably Too Much About Women's Fashion...
Over the three years I've obviously gone shopping with her a good few times, and I now know the names of things that I really shouldn't, like body-con and skater dresses and skirts, and that the measure of the thickness a pair of tights is called the "denier", e.g. 20den, 60den, 100den.
...But Being In The Women's Underwear Section Will Always Be Awkward
Always. I stay as close to her as possible whenever we're there so as not to come across as a creep.
Having Things In Common Isn't That Important...
Liking the same movies and having the same taste in music isn't important at all, and it could actually be better if you don't, because you both start watching and listening to things you never usually would have, and grow as people... Sorry I didn't mean to get that deep in this point.
...But Having The Same Values And Personalities Is
This is completely different, and if you don't share most of the same values then the relationship is never going to last.
Couples Who Post Their Lives On Facebook Annoy Me Even More
There is absolutely no need for the whole world to know about everything you do together, and to me part of the point of being in a relationship is that you do things that only the two of you know about. The constant checking in and uploading of photos makes me think that they're on their phones non-stop in each other's company.
There Is Such A Thing As An Un-awkward Silence
This is one of the best indicators of being in a long-term relationship. Being able to sit in total silence in each other's company and it not be weird or awkward.
You Have To Be Honest For It To Work (But White Lies Are Fine)
Basically, you should always be honest with the important stuff. After that, it's up to you if you want to tell a white lie here and there. This however is not an admission of ever saying that I liked her outfit when I didn't, or that I said that her hair looked lovely even though the hairdresser did make a mess of it like she suspected.
Making Time For Each Other Is The Most Important Thing
And the longer you are in a relationship the more important this becomes. At the start you don't want to seem over-eager, but you still want to see the person all the time. But when you get comfortable in a relationship, the danger is that you'll get lazy and stop making time for each other.
Even Happy Couples Have Arguments
Every couple under the sun has had an argument, regardless of if they never got on or they're the happiest husband and wife that have ever lived. What I've found though is that the further into the relationship you go, if it's heading in the right direction, the less frequent the arguments become.
Having Sex Never Ever Gets Old
Sex is the best thing ever, and I will never ever ever ever ever ever take it for granted.