This is going to be another personal post, so please bear with me. I hope that I can impart some of the things I learnt as a nonbinary person in a relationship with a cis female.
1. Be honest, not afraid
Ok yes this is a cliche. But it’s a true one. Don’t hide your true self because you’re afraid your other half won’t understand or accept you, if they really care about you (and love you) then they’ll do their utmost to understand and accept you as you are. After all, they fell in love with you already, the least you can do is be honest about your feelings and about who you are.
2. Solve fights
Everyone fights. Frankly, I’m pretty sure you fought with your pet once or twice, so why should a relationship be any different? When you love someone fighting will end up coming naturally. You’ll disagree on whose turn it was to wash the dishes or fold the laundry, you’ll fight because you forgot that they had a really important date planned and you were late.. again.
The trick to a healthy relationship is what happens after the fight … how well do you solve it? Communication is key. Talk it out with each other, have a good cry, kiss and move on (but make an effort to not make the same mistake twice). If you’re just going to mope about and remain angry with your partner then you’re not really going to achieve anything (except maybe a break up).
Laughter makes the world go round, it unites people in ways nothing else can. Make your partner laugh as much as possible and they’ll be fooled into thinking that you’re the best thing on this planet. So be silly, dance in the rain, sing at the top of your lungs in the middle of an empty street. These are the memories you want them to cherish.
4. Touch each other as much as possible
Not (just) in the sexual way. Hold hands, hug, kiss, touch their face often. Hugging for long periods of time will release hormones which build the feeling of trust and safety in people. So make use of this trick and get hugging!
Besides, sometimes, words will never be enough, and a touch will be what your partner really needs from you to know you’re there.
5. Family is important, but don’t dwell on it
As most people in queer relationships know, acceptance isn’t easy to come by. While our straight and cisgender counterparts rarely have an issue in the parental/familial department, it is an all-too-often issue in ours. But the thing is, family isn’t everything. Normally your family will want what’s best for you. But the thing is, what they think is best for you is just their opinion. They will see your ‘lifestyle’ as too difficult, and wonder why you can’t just be ‘normal’ and have an easier life. Thing is, life is never easy, so at least you can go through this difficult life with the person you love.
So respect your family, but don’t let it come between you and the person you love. At the end of the day, you know what’s best for you as well.
6. Take some alone time
Ah new relationships… when you just want to spend every moment together. It’s one of the most amazing things of a new relationship. Just don’t forget yourself. You may be in a relationship, but you’re also an individual. And to be an individual you need time to reflect on yourself and grow. In other words, do your own thing.
From a relationship point of view – one of the best ways to keep a relationship from becoming stagnant is to have exciting things to talk about. If you’re both spending every second of every day together, there isn’t much you can talk about is there?
7. Do stuff together
Ok yes I just said to do stuff alone… but do stuff together as well! The best way to get to know someone is to do things with them. Do they get frustrated or bored in queues ? Do they get road rage when driving? Do they laugh at the most inappropriate moments in a play?
Knowing someone’s past is extremely important, but knowing who they are as a person is possibly the most important thing of all.
8. Meet friends and have dates
A balance between a social life and a relationship is essential. Of course it depends on the two people involved in the relationship to determine how much weight to give the social circle and how much weight to give to date time. From experience, meeting friends is a good distraction for those bad phases and it’s also a good way for you guys to laugh together. But dates are important to just be romantic and sweet and are useful to reconnect with your partner.
9. Be Romantic
Sometimes a look in your eyes is enough to tell your special someone how much you care, but other times, an over the top romantic gesture is what you truly need. Plan a surprise for your loved one, whisk them away to another city/island/whatever for a romantic day just with each other. And when you’re on a tight budget, switch off your phone and just cuddle with each other on a sofa. Quality time without the distractions of modern day technology can really tell someone that you care about them more than checking your facebook or tumblr for the millionth time.
10. Fall in love again, day after day.
This may come as a shock to those who probably haven’t been in a relationship for long, but you will fall out of love. Sometimes the routine and daily life will grind you down and you stop appreciating the wonderful person you have with you. Pause yourself for a second, and take the time to realise what a great partner you have, make sure to appreciate them and every little thing they do for you. Like give you the last bite of cake, or take you to your favourite restaurant even though they may not have felt like Chinese food that night.
When a relationship lasts long, it means that the people involved manage to keep falling in love with each other, most of the time, they end up falling deeper and deeper in love every single day.
And this brings a close to this overly-mushy article/advice post! It’s obviously dedicated to the love of my life, who also happens to be my fiancee.