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What has your SO/relationship taught you?

KimberVaile

Officially elected and actual ruler of FAF
So, I guess in the theme of the upcoming Valentines day, I wanted to ask something that would have a nice breadth of interesting answers.

Perron doesn't come here too often, I usually have to bug him to check here, hehe. Though I felt it was appropriate to tag em here.
@Perron The Fox and I have been in a relationship for some time now, and I continue to learn quite a few things along the way. For instance, I quickly learned that while communication is important, having patience and faith in your partner is perhaps even more important. If you can't let your partner work with you at their own pace, you risk alienating them. I've also learned how important it is to understand that people show their love in their own unique ways, and to always expect them to cater to your specific definition of what love, could quickly make things draining and stessful.
And lastly, I've found that, fights are not necessarily bad as long as they aren't happening every week. It's usually healthy if it happens once in a while, it's a good indicator that there is still passion in the relationship!

As always, don't be shy to tell your own experiences, whether they be exes or current partners. Do it in the spirit of Valentines day! Or not, up to you!
 

FunniValentine

Valentine
Honestly, being a relationship has changed me very much for the better. In 2015, I started dating my girlfriend. She was a lovely, shy, broken mess. She had lost her mother to a botched surgery only three or four years prior, and it was incredibly clear that she had been left with a hole in her heart since then. She barely spoke, she seemed happy a lot of the time, but distant. Like a front. At the time I was a anxiety ridden but outgoing creature who was about to have their egg crack a few years later (a term sometimes used for the realization that someone has when they're trans). It seemed like a bleak future, but we persisted. As the years went by, we grew off each others strengths. She became more outspoken, social and self driven. I became comfortable with who I was, which was a big tossup at the time. She was accepting in a town where I was scared to come out for my safety, my friendships. She gives me a space for me to be myself, and I give her a space for her to be herself. It's like we completed one another somehow, slowly finding ourselves again when we were both incredibly fractured people for different reasons. We live together now, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've learned that as hard as a relationship is, it's been one of the most fulfilling things in my life. That since we're such different people, my strengths are her weaknesses and vice versa. Find someone charmingly different, someone who completes you as much as you complete them.
 

KimberVaile

Officially elected and actual ruler of FAF
Honestly, being a relationship has changed me very much for the better. In 2015, I started dating my girlfriend. She was a lovely, shy, broken mess. She had lost her mother to a botched surgery only three or four years prior, and it was incredibly clear that she had been left with a hole in her heart since then. She barely spoke, she seemed happy a lot of the time, but distant. Like a front. At the time I was a anxiety ridden but outgoing creature who was about to have their egg crack a few years later (a term sometimes used for the realization that someone has when they're trans). It seemed like a bleak future, but we persisted. As the years went by, we grew off each others strengths. She became more outspoken, social and self driven. I became comfortable with who I was, which was a big tossup at the time. She was accepting in a town where I was scared to come out for my safety, my friendships. She gives me a space for me to be myself, and I give her a space for her to be herself. It's like we completed one another somehow, slowly finding ourselves again when we were both incredibly fractured people for different reasons. We live together now, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I've learned that as hard as a relationship is, it's been one of the most fulfilling things in my life. That since we're such different people, my strengths are her weaknesses and vice versa. Find someone charmingly different, someone who completes you as much as you complete them.
That's a super wholesome story, I'm so glad for you! I know the fear of coming, especially in a more, well, traditional town, I guess is the best way to put. Not that traditional towns are inherently bad, I still love mine. It's just, well you know, some of the less open minded types are too keen on seeing any of it. So, I caught some flak for seeming gay, (I was but I never officially came out IRL). It sounds like you found each other at just the right time, it's just awful to hear you both had such a rough time of things. I always find the best relationships tend to result in the whole being greater than the sum of it's parts. So it seems like you covered each others weakness with your strengths and become something more than you would be alone. I often feel that way about my SO. Even if we find ourselves with disagreements at times.

Thanks for sharing, it remind me alot of my own struggles in some ways. It's inspiring to know how a good person by your side can help you rise past your previous limits and weaknesses. I hope everyone can be shown that have that same chance too.
 
Go with the tummie feeling. Don't give something a serious go just because they seem nice or is a good friend to you at the time.

In general people have very different pictures of how a relationship should be and work and there are no rules set in stone.

Things can also change with time.
 

alphienya

Perpetually sleepy cat
I'm actually allowed to say no to stuff and can have friends of my own. While I still struggle with a lot, my existence still has value to it. I bring more to a relationship than I realize and um. I deserve something nice every now and again. It's okay if I need to take my time when it comes to opening up. And I don't need to provide a reason that can be seen as "good enough" for every single decision I make/action I take.

It took 5+ years for some of this stuff to sink in, unfortunately. >.<;
 

Perron The Fox

Well-Known Member
It taught me that change isn't something that will ever happen overnight. It takes time, and patience and you may not even be able to change completely. I've learned to accept faults, and I'm glad that @KimberVaile accepts my faults to. Not to say I'm not working on them =P. The most important thing that Kimber does, is make me laugh. Being with them is not one of, but the best thing to happen to me.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
You really haven't been in a relationship until you've been married to the same person for forty years. Yeah, forty. Four. Zero. Forty.

Best to take the path of least resistance. Learn to tell when you're pissing the significant other off. Try to find middle ground. So far, I let her pick all the colors in the house. Remember, path of least resistance? Actually after about fifteen years, you begin to have half-sentence talks that would drive a shrink crazy. A few words that mean several paragraphs of information.

Me, at the hardware store: color?

Her: Greigh. (not gray, not beigh. Greigh. Baby Cheerios barf color)

Me: Not the whole dining room?

Her: Lower half. Hall. Bathroom.

Paint Salesman: ?!? Excuse me, I think I hear my mommy calling.

But again, that's after forty years. What I have learned that I haven't shared with her. If I have enough guitars, she can't tell when a new one comes into the house.

Her: Hon, where did that purple Strat come from? I don't remember it.

Me: Huh? Naw, that's one that I've had forever. You helped to pack it for the move, remember?

Forty years.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
Never settle for less. Even if you're lonely for the rest of your days, sacrificing your sanity for some unloving twat isn't worth it.

Machines are your friend.
Machines are the future.
Amen to that! A close high school friend married on the rebound from a failed first courtship that lasted waaaaay too long. She got tired waiting. His rebound marriage was a failure from the word go because she was nothing but a gold digger. He found love, after she divorced him he thought and married a second time. Wife number two was a troll, physically and figuratively. She was actually scary to look at. Four foot Six by four foot six. Not kidding! A few years into their marriage, her dad dies and suddenly she has to care for dear old mommy. It's too much for her, she left him without warning, went to Texas from California, shacked up with this dOOd, wanted hubby to come live with them in a three-way.

. . . Okay, everyone get your minds out of the gutter so I can continue this story. Ahem. Three-ways . . . sheesh . . .

He says, no effing way he's living with this dOOd, tells her he wants her home pronto or a divorce. I had to listen to his crying on the phone for weeks when she said he needed to stuff it. A few months later on when I thought they were divorced, he's in a jail cell in Hurst, Texas, because he beat up the dOOd over wanting his car back. Mind you it wasn't in her name. I had to make his bail.

So yes, if there is no love, do not get into that arrangement just to have somebody nearby. Everybody has somebody out there, they just have to find that somebody.
 

MaelstromEyre

Slippery When Wet
Today is our 12th anniversary.

This relationship has taught me that nothing is ever going to be perfect, you're not going to agree on everything, you're not going to like or dislike all of the same things. It's important to communicate with each other about your goals, long and short term. Don't assume they'll change their mind to suit you, and don't let them manipulate you into going along with something they want if it's not what you want to do.

For example, having kids. If one person desperately wants to have kids and the other doesn't - you need to be honest with yourselves about it, if the relationship will even work. One of you may end up feeling resentful for "giving in" to the other. Talk about this stuff. Don't avoid these conversations just because you don't want to admit you don't agree on everything.

Love is a choice. We CHOOSE to love others. It's not something that just "happens." I mean, you may feel initial attraction to another person, and that's what draws you to them in the first place, but that phase of infatuation will end eventually. Neither one of you is perfect, you're both going to have flaws and quirks, you may do things that annoy your partner. What makes or breaks a relationship is how both of you choose to deal with these differences.

It's easy to have a relationship when everything is going well.

But what happens when something goes wrong? If one of you loses a job, or get sick or injured, or something else unexpected happens that will change your way of life? Will you stand by them? Will they stand by you? That's where the "love is a choice" part comes in.

You also have to know when to call it quite. Some relationships just aren't going to work. Even if you started out great, especially as teens or young adults, you're going to change. You both may end up different people, with different goals for life that just don't line up. Don't force yourself to stay in a relationship just for the sake of not being single.
 

Faexie

Rara for short :)
Things I learned about myself:
-I'm good at making people feel safe to open up
-I don't have to do things I'm uncomfortable with for people to love and respect me
-I'm much more awesome than I think I am

Things I learned about relationships:
-You're always going to need to put your needs above your partner's, but your wants under your partner's needs. Otherwise it gets unhealthy.
-Every relationship is different, has different dynamics and goals. Many of them are perfectly healthy
-Being in love doesn't mean that you don't feel attraction for others. Don't feel like it's not true love if either you or your partner does.
-The distinction between a romantic relationship and frienship depends from person to person.
-Conflicts don't have to become fights, and you don't have to just give in to avoid them turning into these. Speak up about your needs, try to understand where your partner comes from and what their needs are int this situation, and find a solution that works for everyone together.
-Always take into account your partner's needs and feelings, especially when you're angry at them. Expect your partner to do the same.

And very importantly: You can't fix people through love and support. Love and support are very important when healing and growing, but all they do is provide a safe environment for people to do so. They have to do the rest themselves, and you can't force them to do it
 
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AppleButt

Well-Known Member
Communication is key. Sometimes being the couple that never "fights" isn't a good thing. I realized we were only that couple cause we were both too afraid to express what was bothering us about each other.

And that just cause someone makes you feel that they'll always love you for who you are, doesn't mean they will in the end.
 

MosquitoBeest

Small but Mighty
I started dating my now-husband in November of 2008 when we were both in our freshman year of college. We married January 2019. Yes, together for a little over 10 years before even getting married! (We did a move to another state and got settled in new jobs and wanted to save up for a nice wedding). The week before our wedding my husband fell on black ice on a job he was at and broke his kneecap right in half. I drove the ~2 hours to the hospital he was at and stayed with him in the ER until they decided to give him a room and knew he was going in for surgery the next day. I stayed overnight crammed in an uncomfortable chair trying to sleep next to him. He went in for surgery and I drove home to take a shower and sleep a little. I drove back and stayed with him again until they discharged him a couple of days later. I helped him at home and all we could think about was our wedding. We still had it, him with a crutch for our vows and first dance and a wheelchair the rest of the time. Definitely wasn't what we were envisioning and I hope we can redo our first dance some day but it was a jarring situation that was a true test of our relationship and we got through it. For us, we knew we were going to get through it but it was still tough. It really showed us just how much we loved and cared about each other.
 

Kit H. Ruppell

Exterminieren! Exterminieren!
Nothing.
 

Shady Fish

New Member
My relationships mostly taught me that I won't find a person who loves me in a romantic way.

I still think there is love for other people though!
 

Mambi

Fun loving kitty cat
So, I guess in the theme of the upcoming Valentines day, I wanted to ask something that would have a nice breadth of interesting answers.

Perron doesn't come here too often, I usually have to bug him to check here, hehe. Though I felt it was appropriate to tag em here.
@Perron The Fox and I have been in a relationship for some time now, and I continue to learn quite a few things along the way. For instance, I quickly learned that while communication is important, having patience and faith in your partner is perhaps even more important. If you can't let your partner work with you at their own pace, you risk alienating them. I've also learned how important it is to understand that people show their love in their own unique ways, and to always expect them to cater to your specific definition of what love, could quickly make things draining and stessful.
And lastly, I've found that, fights are not necessarily bad as long as they aren't happening every week. It's usually healthy if it happens once in a while, it's a good indicator that there is still passion in the relationship!

As always, don't be shy to tell your own experiences, whether they be exes or current partners. Do it in the spirit of Valentines day! Or not, up to you!

I am a success story. <heart races as he might attract some jealousy with this>

I have been with my current soulmate for almost 30 years (yes, very comfortable saying "soulmate"), having been high school lovers who bonded deeply right away growing up together, and we love each other more every single day! We cherish and adore each other to the core of our beings, and support each other when we need it too. We fully support each other's kinks and hobbies even when different...such as my furry life for example (she's supportive but not one herself). But most importantly, we're happier together than apart in almost anything, but still value our private lives as well because we're trusting and understanding too.

I could gush for paragraphs but that would be boring. <laugh> Let's just say she taught me the value of communication, patience, and especially honesty and trust, as without THAT you have nothing, and we have it in spades. My heart is hers forever, as hers is mine, and we love being with each other, sharing our adventures in the world exploring and playing...naughty and nice. <wicked grin> Trust me, despite the cliche's marriage does NOT destroy passions and the sense of play and adventuresome spirit...if anything it only strengthened ours.

Did we fight? Occasionally, but we did it constructively...working through things rather than just trying to "win the fight". Compromises with necessary, full stops on some things when needed as well, but usually we simply worked through the issue at hand and then moved on. Healthier. So what did it teach me? It taught me that with the right lover, anything is possible and the perfect person is out there for anyone...even freaky feline weirdos like me. <giggle>

<bushes deeply>
Please don't hurt me, I just got really lucky...<the cat sheepishly looks around hoping not to have to dodge any thrown objects...>
 
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Kinare

RAWR
Not currently in a relationship, but I've learned a lot from the failed ones:
1. Never ever ever ever ever ignore a red flag. Sure, red's a nice color and all, but it also means a bad thing just happened and needs to be addressed, not overlooked. If the other person insists on brushing it off or tries to shift blame, get the fuck outta there.
2. Don't try to pretend to be something you're not. Make improvements where you have flaws if possible, but otherwise be true to yourself, flaws included. No one is perfect. Even if it means you push someone away, that ultimately means they weren't for you.
3. Loneliness is a lot less anxiety inducing than being in an abusive (emotionally or physically) or otherwise miserable relationship. Been single for a good while now, but I'm relatively content in that. I refuse to settle for less than a soulmate because I know I won't be happy with someone I have to be fake around or someone who has to be miserable themselves and just pretends to be happy.
4. Proper communication is everything and differs from person to person. Gotta find someone who communicates well with you. If there's constant communication issues leading to fights, the long term outlook is going to be misery for both people. This one has been tricky for me because a lot of communication is done via hints or body language and I don't understand those things so well, I need to be told things directly and I myself am direct because of it, and people tend to be put off by directness.
5. Then there's lots of little preference things I've learned that I can or can't stand, but I think it's important people figure those things out so they can either learn to get over them or be honest about them.
 

Yakamaru

Mr Tophat
My ex girlfriend taught me to avoid the lunatics like the plague that they are, and that some people actually deserve to be lonely.
 

Punk_M0nitor

Resident Edgelord
That miserable isn't the only way to be and that I really am capable of caring about other people.
That I don't have to settle for less just because I'm bored.
Conversely, that I don't have to be alone and scared all the time.
That I don't have to hide my true colors.
That it's okay not to have control all the time.
That I don't have to be so tense and defensive about everything.
That I can become a better person.

Seriously, my fiance taught me more about myself than I would have ever learned without her. She turned my damn world around
 

Jackpot Raccuki

Fucking Racon
That long distance relationships are stressful for someone like me when I don’t get regular conversations with my lover.

And that even if in silence, just knowing I’m in voice reach with him he very relaxing, and when I think he or I can’t hear each other I get agitated because I could be missing him saying something!
 

MrSpookyBoots

Disgusted...
If someone truly loves you, they will never keep devastating secrets from you or constantly look for ways to hurt you.

It's better to be single than to go through either of those things.
 
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