The LTR Manual

Hey there 20 somethings!

Today, I would like to share with you the best relationship advice that I have ever received, and of all people, I received this advice from my Dad. As I mentioned in earlier posts, I recently moved in with my boyfriend, which has it’s own ups and downs. While my parents became supportive, I know it was somewhat uncomfortable for them. Times are different today, and my currently living situation is far from what they would have expected. My mom once said she expected that I would at least be engaged before moving in with someone while using her favorite cover-up “once we were married, your father was stuck with all my bad habits!” (Note: This is a classic mom card, designed to imply a passive aggressive sentiment about her criticism.)

My Dad and I don’t usually get time just the two of us since I come from a larger than average family. But he made it a point to suggest that I borrow their copy of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” I appreciated this advice, especially knowing that it means so much more to come from my Dad. Moreso, I am very introspective, and I look for any help or advice I can get.

I ordered my own copy, with the hope that my boyfriend will take the time to read it to (I no longer expect of him that after reading the book). Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I found myself reacting to every chapter with “Hmm… I totally do that!!” or “Oh god, so that’s what he is thinking. Ugh, I can’t believe I made him feel like that. Never saying that again.” At times, this book was relatively repetitive or redundant, but I understand the purpose of that. Each concept is explained to the full extent, even clarifying both perspectives in many cases (man vs. woman).

Here are my big takeaways:

  • We both have very different methods for finding solutions to our problems
  • I need to do my best to avoid telling him what to do
  • Find the RIGHT time to approach him with something serious

These aren’t the only lessons to be learned in this book, but they are definitely my biggest takeaways based on where we are in our relationship. We are very happy together, but there are definitely places where our relationship seems less than perfect. Relationships start out so easy and fun, but with time, its easy to weigh each other down or take each other for granted.

With living together in a small one bedroom apartment, I have found it to be difficult to spend so much “regular” time together. It’s those silent moments that make you worried something is wrong when things are just “fine.” Living together is a lot to get used to, and I think this book really provided meaningful insights into what he is really thinking or feeling (without having to ask him). I think it will definitely take some time to get used to putting these learnings into practice, but this book will stay on our bookshelf for future reference as well.

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