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I started out 2016 single, yet a couple months in, I found myself in a relationship.
(Thank you, Bumble and Happn.) When someone asks what I learned from my relationship this past year, I say a lot.
"I don't know any couple that doesn't need a little work when it comes to healthy communication, respect, positive regard for our partners…
Inevitably, we get triggered and we fall into a reactive posture.
Wasn't there a secret relationship code that said we both had to go, as a couple?
When a social friend of mine said she often goes to parties without her boyfriend, a light bulb went off.
And then you have to keep in mind: my new partner is not my ex — we're still dating!
Sure, he may not write 30 handwritten cards for my birthday, but when he didn't have hand towels in his bathroom and then surprises me with monogrammed ones with little "N"s on them, he shows his thoughtfulness in different ways.
I hate to break it to you, but not every partner will do the same thing when your birthday rolls around. But with each new relationship, comparing it to former ones will destroy it.
For instance, if you know you're seeing your significant other on Friday, you're probably looking forward to it more so than if you see them every night.
A guy friend of mine likes to say that you need time between dates and seeing someone to digest and process the last date with them, and time to miss them — and vice-versa.
And appreciating all the good things is key, even if they're different good things.
I'm more of an "if something's wrong, say something and let’s talk" kind of person versus just stewing and walking around with my arms crossed or sitting in silence, obviously upset. Regarding if a relationship needs better communication, "The easy answer is, it can benefit from better communication," Jeffrey Sumber, MA, MTS, LCPC, tells Bustle.
Diplomacy, the practice of international relations, is an area in which RAND has significant research experience.