The One Relationship Rule You Must Follow

When you think about dating, either your own exploits or the stories your friends tell, how much energy and time is spent discussing what the other person is thinking? A lot, right? It fills up countless dinner dates, coffee meet ups, and phone conversations.

What did he mean when he said he’ll see me tomorrow? When will he call?

You always want to know what the other person is thinking. Well, if you believe the movie/book He’s Just Not That Into You, then it’s actually pretty simple to figure out how the other person feels. If you’re not sure, then just check your call log. If your log is full of outgoing calls and texts to that person with only a few calls coming your way, it’s pretty clear that your efforts aren’t being reciprocated. While the other person may have some level of interest, for whatever reason they’re not putting in as much work as you are.

The bottom line is this: if you want a strong, healthy relationship, you need to spend your time on someone who is equally as interested and enthusiastic about the relationship.

This idea of reciprocating sounds so obvious, but it’s easy to overlook it when you’re caught up in the excitement that goes along with a new relationship. You want so badly for it to work out that you forget to figure out what’s actually going on. You’ll come up with 101 excuses about why the other person didn’t call, as long as it means that you don’t have to face the reality that the relationship may not unfold the way you’d hoped. However, when you actually take an objective look at the situation (maybe with friends’ help) you may see that the object of your affection is just not putting forth as much effort as you are. Though you wish you could change it, it’s better to see the situation for what it is instead of getting hung up on something that won’t pan out.

Sometimes I look back on “relationships” that I thought would happen during my early college years. I was convinced the other person and I were a perfect match. I felt certain that we would be together. I always had an excuse when he couldn’t meet me out, or wouldn’t take me anywhere except the dining hall for dinner. Finally when he stopped calling or returning my texts, I would look back and think “Oh. It makes sense now.” Instead of waiting for this to happen, it’s important to approach a new relationship with hesitation and an analytical mind. You don’t need to be skeptical, but you should be realistic before diving in headfirst. When I finally met my boyfriend, I was struck by how he would always make an effort to call or text me. I never had to feel like I was stalking him; he wanted to contact me too. That’s a major sign of a well-balanced, real relationship.

This applies to friendships too. You can be friends with someone who never makes the effort to call, text, or visit, but eventually you’ll get worn out from doing all of the work. The best friendships are those where you’re contacting each other an equal amount. Sure, things ebb and flow based on your schedules, but the friendship should never be a one-way street.

As I’ve dated in college and spent time watching my friendships change after graduation, I’ve realized one thing: you should never chase friendships or relationships. It gets exhausting. And in reality, the bonds that last for a long time are those where each person is equally involved. Invest your effort where it’s appreciated and reciprocated and you’ll have more fulfilling friendships and relationships.

Do you struggle to find this balance in friendships or relationships? Tweet me @lifewithlauren1 or find me at Life with Lauren.

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About the Author,

Proud Syracuse University alum. I work in radio by day, but at night I run my blog "Life with Lauren"( I'm also a freelance writer and contribute to other terrific blogs (such as the one you're reading right now). I've been dating a great guy for three years. Our relationship started right as I was leaving to study abroad in London for a semester, so I write a lot about long-distance relationships. Find me on Twitter: @lifewithlauren1. Thanks for reading!