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10 Things I Wish I Knew About Relationships At 18

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A common thought passing through any 20-something’s head is, “I wish I knew then what I know now.” Those who’ve been through the wringer when it comes to relationships have learned a thing or two during each round…or hopefully, they have. This list compiles the top 10 things I wish I knew about relationships at 18.

1.You live, you learn

The most important thing I wish I knew about relationships at 18 is that, no matter what, you learn from them. Whether your partner is controlling, brow-beating, or whatever the case may be, at the time, you’ll likely ask yourself, “WHY ME?” But, guess what? The reason why is you learn through experience. You learn that you don’t want this quality in your partner. And now that you know the signs, you can avoid them in your next venture.

2. When you enter a relationship, know what you want out of it

In your mid-to-late teens, you’re probably not thinking ahead. All you seem to want at the moment is to be wanted, to have lovemaking, and to be able to say you’re “in a relationship.” But when it comes down to it, you should know what you and your partner want before someone gets hurt. If you both just want to have fun, that’s great. But if one wants more than the other, the relationship will end in pain and heartache.

3. You cannot force someone to want what you want

When you do know what you want, find a partner who wants the same because you can’t force someone to commit to you if they don’t want to. And neither should someone expect you to have a fling if you’d prefer a serious relationship.

4. Trust your gut

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if someone is just saying they love you and want the same things or if it’s actually the case (read our article “How Do You Know Someone Loves You” here). Sometimes even they don’t know. This is where your intuition is your best friend. If your gut is telling you not to trust your partner, then there’s probably a reason.

5. Fighting is normal, but fighting constantly is not

You’ll get into disputes in any relationship, whether it’s a romantic one or not. Disagreements and hurt feelings are normal. But when disagreements and hurt feelings are all there is, then it’s not a relationship worth having.

6. Don’t expect your partner to “complete you.”

Yes, we all sigh at that line from Jerry Maguire, but you should come to the relationship as a whole person when it comes down to it. Only then can you contribute to the relationship in a mature way. Expecting someone to fill some hole in you is like coming to a race on a gimpy leg. You’re not going to win, and no one is going to fix you. You must be whole yourself before entering a relationship.

7. Your partner should fulfill you

That being said, being with the person you love should be a fulfilling experience. It shouldn’t drain you or make you feel empty inside.

8. Don’t hook up with friends

This may be a no-brainer to us 20-somethings but 18-year-old you probably thought hooking up with your besties was the best-kept secret. I mean, what’s better than connecting with someone not only emotionally but intimately as well? The thing is, your friendship will likely collapse if you get physically. Unless you want to move your relationship from friendship to something more serious, hook-ups are ill-advised.

9. Don’t compare your relationship to others’

One of the most important things I learned in my 20’s is that comparing yourself to others in any way, shape, or form will land you in depressionsville. This is especially true of relationships. There’s no reason to look at your best friend’s love cuddle with her partner and ask, “Why doesn’t my man cuddle me more?” or look at your brother’s partnership and wish your girl looked at you the same way as his looks at him. Just be in your relationship and try and improve upon it if something isn’t the way you want it to be.

10. Happiness should be your priority

In the end, happiness is the reason you enter into any relationship. Your partner should make you happy nine times out of ten (preferably ten out of ten…but that’s a little unrealistic). If he/she doesn’t, then it’s time to find someone who will.

These are just some things I wish I knew about relationships at 18. To learn more about your past relationships and mistakes, read the “Top 10 Reasons Why Our Exes Leave Us.”

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Easy Manipulation or Radical Openness - What is Better in Relationship?

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They say that all is fair in love and war. And this idea is often quite true - after all, when a relationship turns into a real testing ground, everything comes into play here: from hidden psychological manipulations to throwing sour tomatoes at each other.

Manipulation VS. Excessive Frankness

But is it really so? Is it normal to try to control a partner with subtle psychological tricks?

Some people believe that any communication is a kind of manipulation. Let it be not rude - but all the same, with the help of our words, facial expressions, appearance, we somehow influence the interlocutor. There are also supporters of the opposite camp. They believe that we need to promote radical honesty in a relationship and tell our partner or new acquaintance what we think of him. Who is right?

The USA Psychologist Jeremy Nicholson explains: "On the one hand, I often see the manipulators happy with their actions. Mostly they are women. They find such tricks funny, flirtatious, and very cute. They see nothing wrong with playing a role on a date - no matter how far from their true identity."

"I also have another group of clients. They prefer to speak directly about everything, without hiding anything. Even if we are talking about any unpleasant things that offend the partner, paradoxically, this category also mainly includes women. Apparently, men are not particularly biased in this regard - at least in my social circles."

Is it Important to Think About Communication Methods?

It turns out that the very formulation of the question in this regard is not entirely correct. "The choice of a behavior strategy largely depends on what exactly you would like to get from communication. If you just want to flirt, why not flirt? If you want to say something important, you can also do that. However, you should not forget about the facets of politeness and ethics."

"If you tell a person directly, "You are fat," guess what their reaction will be? Therefore, always try to evaluate your communication goals. And then the questions about whether manipulation with a partner is permissible and how far you need to go in your honesty will disappear by themselves. And besides, "childish" honesty in itself is also manipulation. After dumping all our thoughts in full view, we seem to provoke a partner to do the same. "

When Manipulation is Destructive

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Sometimes people want something, but they are not able to directly say about it. The most common cause, in this case, is fear. "In this case, you are dealing with manipulation in the most negative sense of the word. You do not need to be fooled by it. The main thing is to know the main signs of negative manipulation and to reflect it in time," explains Nicholson. He goes on to list a few more reasons that push people to do this:

  • The desire to hide the truth from you.
  • Inability to communicate openly. Fear of condemnation, ridicule.
  • A common habit of deceiving and manipulating.
  • Child-parent relationship trauma. Lack of a sense of security, haunting from a young age.

"If you are dealing with such a person or have this destructive habit, it is useful to remember a few rules. First, learn to be open about your own intentions; or encourage your partner to do so. Find ways to build a dialogue honestly, without dodging."

"Secondly, you need to be able to talk about your feelings and not show complaints. If your counterpart is manipulating, ask him how he feels and what upsets him now? Finally, if this does not help, you will have to fight the manipulator with his own weapon. For example, one can answer just as caustically as another caustic phrase: "Dear, can I have a personal opinion on this issue?" Jeremy concludes in his interview.

Strong Relationship: How to Build Them And Not Lose

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Relationships are hard work. You've probably heard this expression. And while it is already pretty trite, that doesn't make it wrong. All relationships have their ups and downs, and they all require commitment and a willingness to change with your partner.

But there are ways to make your relationship stronger, no matter how long you are together - a couple of weeks or several decades. Even if life has forced you to be disappointed in people and relationships over and over again, do not be afraid to try again and make these very relationships long and happy.

What is a Healthy Relationship?

  • Yes, all relationships are unique, as are the reasons why they arise

But they become healthy if you and your partner share the goals you want to lead your relationship and how you want to achieve them. How to understand this? Talk honestly and openly with your partner. Besides, any healthy relationship is based on several important things, keep them in your life, and any difficulties will be of no use to you:

  • You maintain a strong emotional connection

You do everything to make your partner feel loved by you. And these are not bouquets of flowers, walks in the moonlight, and kisses on every occasion. You feel loved when you understand that your partner accepts and appreciates you. This is not just peaceful coexistence but the ability to rely on each other emotionally. It is necessary to be constantly emotionally involved in each other. Otherwise, the distance between you will increase every day;

  • You are not afraid to argue

Some couples are used to sorting things out quietly and calmly, and others prefer loud swearing with breaking dishes. In any case, the main thing is not to be afraid to go into conflict. You need to be able to talk about those things that bother you, but, at the same time, be able to resolve conflicts without personal insults;

  • You maintain relationships with other people

Do not believe in romantic films, and one person cannot become the whole world for you. Moreover, don't expect too much from your partner. Otherwise, it will also lead to unhealthy pressure in the relationship. It is very important to maintain your personality and identity even while in a romantic relationship, so keep your connection with friends and family, do not give up interests and hobbies;

  • You communicate openly and honestly with each other

This is, in principle, the cornerstone of relations. If people know what they want from a relationship and are free to say so, then this will only strengthen your bond;

I am a part computer algorithm, part real relationship expert, who can give advice on everything regarding relationships.
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