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If you think that finding the right person for you is the hard part, just wait until you actually do it! That’s right. Maintaining a healthy relationship takes a great deal of effort and can be difficult at times. That’s why it’s important to be armed with the right mindset and tools for a successful relationship. Here is a short list of some of the best advice anyone can take in order to head in the right path to relationship success.

First comes love. Self-love. You teach others how to treat you and the best way to do that is to love yourself first. Self-love, believe it or not, takes the growth and maturity to appreciate who you are, flaws and all. The important thing to know is that it is impossible to love someone else without first loving yourself.  Think about it. How are you supposed to love, honor, or respect someone else without first knowing how to do that for yourself? This means taking care of your well-being at all levels – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Once you master that, you will be on the right track to letting the right person in and keeping him around.

You are responsible for your own happiness. Not only is it unfair to put that responsibility on someone else, but it is also unrealistic. There is no way to guarantee that your beau will always be in a good or giving mood, so there is no way to guarantee that he will be able to give you everything you want. He’s human just like you are and if you have bad days, believe that he will too. Looking for someone to complete you or make you happy is not sustainable for a long-term relationship and will ultimately lead to unfulfillment. The bottom line: your man cannot complete you. Don’t ever think he can.

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Your man cannot complete you.

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It’s okay to argue. Actually, it’s quite healthy. Listen, every relationship will experience differences. No doubt about that. It’s how you handle them that proves your readiness and willingness to be in the relationship. The occasional argument with your man (or anyone, for that matter) proves two important things – (1) you have an opinion and (2) you are comfortable with sharing it. But arguments can take a turn for the worse when they are constant or when they become screaming matches. Don’t let your arguments become destructive. You don’t want to say anything that you will regret later.

 (which brings me to my next point…)

Be careful about sharing your relationship woes with your friends. Quite frankly, your friends are not relationship experts. (Unless, of course, that friend is me. #imjustsaying #sorrynotsorry) This advice also applies to your family members (ESPECIALLY mothers and sisters!). If you complain to your family and friends about every little infraction that your man makes, you begin to skew their perception of him, potentially tarnishing the relationship that they have. And once you forgive, your family and friends may still carry the burden of the problem you presented to them. Keep in mind that there is nothing inherently wrong with seeking counsel from your loved ones. But if you do choose to discuss your relationship challenges with them, be sure to do it in a way that won’t cause more harm to your relationship. Your family and friends will likely always ride for you so don’t say anything that will wreck the relationship between your man and your loved ones.

(speaking of friends)

Do keep your friendships intact. It is so easy to lose yourself in a romantic relationship, especially when it’s brand new. You start spending a lot of time together and you become reliant on one another for intimacy, for entertainment, and for venting. That’s a great place to be, however it is very important to maintain your friendships in addition to working on your relationship. Having regular conversations and outings with your girlfriends create balance and gives your romantic relationship the opportunity to breathe. You don’t want to place unnecessary emotional strain on your relationship by always relying on your man (especially for girly banter) so do yourself a favor and don’t lose yourself or your girlfriends.

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