How To Get The Relationship You Want

To get what you want out of a relationship, you have to know what you want in the first place. I think it's really easy to think life happens to us. And to an extent, of course, it does — we can't control lots of aspects of our circumstances. But the choices one makes about a partner in the beginning are important: If you let little things go in the beginning, it's likely those "little things" will return as bigger problems later. The same goes for LTRs: It's not like this is a movie of your life and you're just watching it. You get to participate.

Maybe you're ready to take your relationship to the next level, but you're not sure how to talk about the future. Maybe you want to go on a good first date and take it from there. Or, hell, maybe you just want to stop having one-night stands. Whatever it is that you want, though, once you find it, you're a big leap closer to being able to wrest it from the hands of an unknown relationship deity. Or whatever. Here are six things to consider to become one step (or leap) closer to getting exactly what you want out of a relationship.

1. Figure Out What You Want

If you're single, I highly recommend taking the time to literally sit down and write a list of things you'd like in your next relationship. This isn't a list of demands; rather, it's a list of dreams. As you date, you can keep that mental checklist in the back of your mind. It's unlikely that someone will have every single quality on that list, but that's not the point. The point is to know what you want. From there, it'll be a whole lot easier to figure out if someone is right for you — and to keep looking until you find a great match.

2. Be Focused

If you're in a relationship, you can still try this exercise. This is not a chance to be negative — for example, if your partner is super grumpy in the mornings, writing, "Someone who is not in a bad mood in the morning" probably won't get you very far. But it is worth jotting down what you want. If you are hoping for more harmony in general, put it on the list. Then you know what you're working toward — and you'll be closer to knowing what you're working with.

3. Be Honest

If you're single, the honesty here is with yourself: Once you figure out what you want out of a relationship, it's best to be real about the people you're spending time with, and proceed accordingly. If you are with a person who is totally not your type but just in the mood to have fun, by all means. But trying to mold someone who, in your gut, is not out for your best interests will lead nowhere. Honesty is key if you're trying to find a relationship that you really want.

4. Communicate With Your Partner

If you're in a relationship, talk to your partner about what you want and need. Really, this is the quickest route to getting exactly what you want, every time. Whether you want to spend more time or less with your partner, want a specific or general thing, or just want to check in about something that's on your mind, open your mouth. If it's possible to achieve and you're with a supportive partner, the two of you will figure out a way to make it happen — together.

5. Remember It's A Two-Way Street

You want to get certain things out of a relationship, and that's cool — but don't forget that it's not all about you. Remember to ask your partner what they need, and be quick to see how you can help them get what they want too. Bonus: If your partner is getting what they need, you'll probably find that your needs have a higher chance of being met too. Everyone wins.

6. You're A Team

To get what you really want out of a relationship, it is so important to remember that the two of you are a team. Once you're in a relationship with someone, it's wise to try to just have fun with them. So often, conflict occurs when one person sees their partner as the opposition, instead of looking at things the way they are. If you're with someone you really love and you're happy, you're already technically getting the relationship you want. Sure, it can be tweaked a little here and there, but in the grand scheme, you're ahead of the game.

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