10 Things no one tells you about being in a relationship

Back when I was single, I found myself looking at the guys I knew who were in relationships and thinking to myself how when I have a girlfriend I'd treat her better, or think of the mistakes they made that I would avoid. After all, when your friends vent about their relationship issues it can be easy from the outside to look in and see what you would do differently.

But the reality of the situation is that when you are actually in a fully-fledged relationship with someone, everything changes. Early on it might seem easy enough, but soon enough you'll be more like those aforementioned couples than you would care to admit. The truth is, there's a lot of things about relationships that no one really talks about, and you end up not knowing until you're right in the middle of one.

1. Your partner isn't a mind-reader

It sounds like a pretty obvious point to make, but you'll be surprised at how many times you think your partner has understood when they haven't. It doesn't matter if they know you better than anyone else does, they won't always know the intentions or reasoning behind your actions. So even when you know there's no issue, you have to be clear in how you communicate.

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2. You have to be sensitive to their insecurities

Even the most strong-willed and confident of people have their insecurities. You might not notice straight away, but this will come up in your relationship at some point, and you'll have to be sensitive to whatever upsets them, even if you don't feel the same way. These issues won't change overnight, so you will have to learn how to accept them.

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3. Opening up can still be difficult

Even if you go into a relationship planning to be open and honest about your thoughts and feelings, you will find that there are some things that you have never talked about with anyone, and don't feel too enthused about sharing even with your significant other. It's always worth opening up, but it's rarely easy.

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4. It's easy to get in a rut

You've seen it before - the people that used to hang out with you all the time, but now all they want to do is stay in and watch Netflix with their partner. The same temptation will show itself to you, whether you like it or not. While there's nothing wrong with staying in with your partner a lot, you'll both be happier, more productive people if you take an active interest in the outside world, together and apart.

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5. Your moods won't always match

If you've had a tough day at work, it can be amazing to have someone to cheer you up when you get home. Yet you can't depend on your other half always being in a good mood when you need them to, as they have their own lives that can affect their mental state just like you.

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6. Arguments are necessary

I don't think anyone likes arguments, but there are some who shy away from them as much as they can (like me). Sometimes you might have an issue with your other half and want to bring it up, but also don't want to get into a heated debate about it. The thing is, however frustrating the argument will be, sometimes these things need to be said for you both to improve as individuals and a couple.

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7. You will struggle to find time for each other

Fitting in seeing your other half around your work, family and other social events can be a difficult task in itself. Things get even harder when you want a little time to yourself in your week too. Despite the fact your relationship is a positive, fun part of your life, sometimes you have to work it around your schedule.

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8. You have to manage your thoughts and emotions

No one has more power over your emotional state than your partner. That means even an innocuous statement can lead you to scattered thoughts of jealousy or frustration. Clearing your head and reading the situation properly requires patience and open-mindedness, and if you fail to do this you can end up creating a worse situation.

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9. Forgiveness is crucial

No matter how great you are at this, you're going to make a few mistakes at some point. Mistakes can often hurt feelings, but there's no use holding grudges or trying to ignore something a partner has done. You shouldn't just forgive them in words, but in your head too, otherwise you'll still be feeling bad about it further down the line.

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10. You can't always be right

I don't meant this in the obvious way that everyone is wrong sometimes. Even when you are certain that you're right, sometimes it is worth letting go of "winning" an argument in favour of something far more important: being happy. It always depends on the situation, but if there is no real consequence to giving up the competition over who is right, then it might just be worth moving on rather than fighting for the sake of your ego.

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While this list is by no means all-encompassing, hopefully you were at least reminded of something you've neglected in your relationship, or something you'll make use of next time the opportunity comes around. Is there anything else missing from this list, something that you think is essential to your relationship that you had to learn for yourself?