Relationships are confusing. There's no denying that they can be rocky, exhilarating, romantic, and frustrating all at the same time... And sometimes even all at once.
Both men and women are biologically designed to feel different things and react to situations in different ways, making for an interesting journey when two people decide to be together. Each person brings to the table their own opinions, thoughts, dreams, hopes, and expectations. Additionally, each person will have their own pet peeves which sometimes go unnoticed by their partner. Not to point any fingers, but many times, these go unnoticed by men rather than women.
When it comes to being in a serious relationship, men can sometimes be a bit slow on the uptake. Additionally, they can change in an instant and many have been known to become the perfect partner almost overnight.
Regardless of which type of partner a woman is with, there will always be things that change and some that simply don't. Many of these are common and universal in all relationships today, which is why it's good to know about them. Therefore, they'll hopefully help bring to light some of the things that go through a guy's head as well as what goes through a woman's.
29 A Change: They Quickly Learn To Be Attentive
Why not start off with a good aspect of a change a man goes through when entering a relationship? For starters, he'll learn very quickly to be attentive.
If you happen to be a bit more high-maintenance in a relationship (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with!) a guy should be able to pick up on that and act accordingly.
Whether it means holding hands a bit more, random hugs, or just surprising his partner with something small and sweet, becoming attentive is something to look forward to.
28 Wishful Thinking: Paying Attention Leaves Something To Be Desired
Serious relationships can sometimes take on too much of a serious atmosphere, which could mean that your guy tends to space out a bit. It happens and we're all human but it's frustrating, to say the least. This can become a prominent problem when it comes to his lack of attention during conversations or outings, and could be a sign of another issue. More often than not, you've likely both just reached a comfort level in your relationship where paying attention doesn't always mean eye contact and hand-holding.
27 A Change: Women Have Preference Over Restaurant Choices
If he doesn't let you choose the restaurant, then give him the boot... Just kidding.
More often than not, a man who allows a relationship to change him will give his partner the choice of restaurant for the day or night.
This is where all the memes and jokes come from about women not being able to make a decision and while it's funny to an extent, it's a serious deal. If someone goes out of their way to allow you to decide where to get a meal, act on it! This is a thoughtful and kind gesture.
26 Wishful Thinking: Priorities Will Still Be Skewed
Going shopping for the holidays before the rush sets in might not be a priority with him. Men don't usually think in terms of the future, at least not to the extent that women often do. Many guys are known for being laid-back and "go with the flow" which can definitely prove to be challenging. While not every woman is known for being ahead of the game, the ones who are will definitely find a ho-hum behavior to be frustrating. A sense of urgency doesn't always come with the territory of a relationship.
25 A Change: Personal Hygiene Becomes A Bit Better
This goes for us too, girls! Hygiene is something that most people have a pretty firm handle on by the time they reach adulthood.
However, sometimes men don't realize that washing their sweatpants more often than twice a month will make them smell even better by the third week of wear.
Whereas women can sometimes obsessively clean clothes, take showers, and ensure that they constantly have an extra deodorant on-hand, men can be a bit lacking in this area. Being in a serious relationship changes everything, including your personal habits. Yay!
24 Wishful Thinking: Moving In Together Signifies The End Of Honeymooning
Don't stress it—everyone experiences a drop-off in that "new relationship phase" that all of us love so much. Even if they don't admit it, a couple will inevitably reach a point where the seriousness of commitment hits them and this is likely to happy after several months of moving in together. Sometimes it doesn't happen until years down the line, but it's completely normal—it just means that a couple needs to find new ways to bring excitement into their lives... And convince the other to pick up their soiled towels off the floor after they shower.
23 A Change: Romance Over Bromance
Hopefully, men will eventually begin choosing hanging out with their partners over their friends when it comes to moving forward in a relationship. This doesn't, by any means, mean that they need to leave their guy friends hanging on a Friday night.
It just means that they're learning a balance between devoting time to their relationship and spending time keeping up with their friends.
If he has good friends, they'll be happy for him and supportive of the relationship.
22 Wishful Thinking: He Still Won't Hold Your Bags While Shopping
Sorry, ladies... This is definitely wishful thinking. Some of us are extremely lucky to have partners who will willingly hold our bags and whatever else while we gallivant between stores, but that's not always the case. Realistically, no one is perfect and men aren't there to do a woman's every bidding. While it's nice occasionally to see a nice gesture, we can't expect anyone to be at our every beck and call unless we're there for theirs. While it would be fun, it's just not realistic or healthy.
21 A Change: Unexpected Surprises
One super fun thing about entering into a relationship is discovering how your partner will surprise you. It could be something classic such as flowers on the table when you get home from work, or something adventurous like a surprise road trip to a mystery destination.
Regardless of how a man thinks up ways to appreciate his partner, it's this aspect of a relationship that strengthens bonds and creates memories.
These are the little things to look forward to that remind us that it's all worth it.
20 Wishful Thinking: The Dreamy Romance Won't Always Be There
Real life is not a romance novel, as men are not fighting for their partner's honor (it's not likely, anyway) or going to battle for their lifetime of love. Therefore, there will always inevitably be a dropoff in romance that we refer to as a "slump." These slumps are temporary moments of boredom in a relationship when things can become slightly dull and feel conventional, and it's normal. While we all wish that relationships could be fun and exciting forever, as we grow up and mature, so does our love for one another.
19 A Change: Bragging About A Relationship Is No Longer Needed
Bragging is simply just part of human nature. We all feel those moments where the pride wells up within us and before we know it, we're spitting out the braggiest of brags about our partners. Women are famous for doing this, but guys can do it, too.
Once a relationship becomes serious, many men will cease their bragging solely because of the fact that they're finally comfortable.
Once they know their partner isn't going anywhere, there's no need to talk up a relationship that's not between him and his friends.
18 Wishful Thinking: Sometimes, Video Games And Sports Come First
Unfortunately, men have needs just as women do. It's no surprise that women mature (most of the time) at a slightly quicker rate than men do, which can result in a bit of a maturity lapse. While men are still picking up those game controllers to park themselves in front of the TV for eight hours straight, women go throughout the day wondering which outfit is most likely to snag his attention. It's just a common understanding that eventually, the two will find a middle ground. If not, then maybe it's time to learn how to understand football.
17 A Change: They'll No Longer Wear A Facade
For some reason, men have a tendency to put on a macho act in order to impress their target. While women can do this too, men are known for being slightly cocky about it in an attempt to come off as charismatic.
As they get more comfortable in a relationship, this behavior will slowly fade away.
All it takes is a bit of reassurance and being secure with someone to bring out the best in them and many times we forget that guys need this just as much as we do.
16 Wishful Thinking: Sometimes, They Don't Always Notice Their Partner's Feelings
Insensitivity is a common problem in relationships. Both parties are often guilty of it, but sometimes men need a bit of a jolt to remind them to pay attention. It shouldn't always be taken personally when a man doesn't always put 100% into how you're feeling, because it could be that he's feeling a certain way, too. Before jumping ship, a conversation should definitely be had about how you're both feeling about this. Communication is tough, and sometimes it's more challenging for others to commit to.
15 A Change: Meeting Family And Friends Is Fun
This isn't to say that it won't still be nerve-wracking to meet your partner's family and friends but if you're in a healthy, happy relationship, then it really shouldn't be.
Rather than acting hesitant and unsure, a guy who is 100% confident and happy in his relationship will likely be excited to meet his partner's family.
He'll be apt to make a good impression and find it intriguing to learn about where his partner comes from and the family who helped shape her.
14 Wishful Thinking: No One Is Confident 24/7
Insecurities will always seep into a relationship and there's literally no way to prevent that from happening. At times, men can be just as down on themselves as women. While we want them to always be confident and make us feel as though we're taken care of, this isn't always realistic. Sometimes, it's our job to step up and remind them that they're doing just fine and have nothing to worry about. It's not the most romantic thing in the world but it can be if you truly love someone enough to lift them up.
13 A Change: Someone Is Always There To Have Our Back, As A Friend And More
The great thing about serious relationships is commitment. Commitment doesn't just mean to your partner—it means to vow to always be there, to be a shoulder to lean on, to be a best friend when needed and a romantic partner when desired.
This is a change that we love to watch happen in a guy because it means, in a subtle way, that he's growing up.
This is the beautiful part about finding a soul mate; watching someone go from what they once were to who they can be.
12 Wishful Thinking: There's No Way To Stave Off Boredom
As much as we wish this would change, it's just something we all need to deal with. This has been known to make or break a relationship and sadly, many find it a roadblock that's simply unpassable. Boredom is a powerful motivator but it's also a powerful deterrent, leading people to believe that there's something wrong with their relationship. In reality, it's the inevitable plateau that happens when you've spent so much time with someone. It'll either encourage you to get creative or encourage you to find love elsewhere.
11 A Change: Talking Comes Before Fighting
More often than not, this is a step that happens in mature relationships but it's not uncommon for people in new relationships to go through this. Bickering is all part of the leveling-off that happens in a long-term relationship and sometimes, that comes before talking.
Something beautiful happens when you both accept that you're fully committed to each other, though: the simple act of talking.
This is a sign of adulthood and maturity and is a change that many men will experience when they realize it's up to them to step up and take responsibility.
10 Wishful Thinking: They Aren't Mind-Readers
Ah, a common complaint from many women. Contrary to popular belief, men are not created with the ability to read our minds. They don't know exactly what we want when we want it, and they certainly can't always anticipate our needs. The sooner this is accepted, the sooner we'll all be off to having healthier, wholesome relationships. As much as communication is disliked sometimes, it's not the worst thing in the world to stop and say, "Hey, I would really like to see this from you, let's talk about it."
9 A Change: It's Easier To Communicate
Being in a relationship, like anything else, requires time, effort, and commitment. It takes practice just like anything else and, unfortunately, not everyone is good at it immediately.
This requires patience, of course, but believe it or not, men are fully capable of learning how to be a great partner.
Everyone is different and we all need a little time to get used to the idea of spending our lives with—and taking care of—another person. Be patient, give him time, and help him when it's needed.
8 Wishful Thinking: Just Like A Flame Would, Closeness Can Sometimes Fizzle Out
If the physical part of the relationship never lost its spark, we'd all be walking around with smiles on our faces at the start of every day. Unfortunately, this is so far from realistic. Closeness depends on the couple, their needs, and their comfort level, and it is possible for things to get a bit boring. With life comes life changes, all of which can affect and control what happens behind closed doors. The only way to remedy this is to find time to devote to only your partner, whether it be an hour or a night, so the two of you can reconnect in new ways. Hint: try candles, fun music, and an outfit of choice.
7 A Change: All Friends Become Mutual Friends
If you happen to be an introverted girl dating an extroverted guy, then you're in luck! Once you're in a serious relationship, both you and your partners' friends become mutual friends.
When two people spend so much time together, it's inevitable that they'll spend time with the same people, too.
While this can sometimes result in volatile friendships, more often than not, it's a fun and exciting experience. Not to mention, you'll always have a support system who truly cares about, and respects, your relationship.
6 Wishful Thinking: Babies Will Be Babies, And Sometimes Men Will Be Babies, Too
We can't all be born with the notion of being mature. When women get a cold, they pop some DayQuil and keep going. When men get a cold, it's lights out and 15 naps a day. This is obviously an overdramatization, but many times it's true—men have a tendency to overreact sometimes. This should just be taken with a grain of salt and expected because chances are, somewhere along the way, we'll be overreacting just as much over something else. It's a constant give and take.
5 A Change: Personal Interests Will Become A Mutual Learning Experience
Something exciting that many of us will experience in a serious relationship is shared interests. If one person is interested in indie films and another is interested in extreme snow sports, this can be a great opportunity to swap interests and learn about the other person.
The best thing about this is that there's no pressure; if you love someone, then you love their interests, too, even if you don't share them personally.
This is a great chance to allow someone to teach you something new and expand your horizons with someone you love.
4 Wishful Thinking: Less Bickering, More Talking
Not every fight will be resolved with a nice, calm talk. In fact, most of the time, this simply won't be the case. As human beings, we all need to get out our pent-up emotions and sometimes these come out in the form of yelling or anger. This is perfectly okay and normal (to a reasonable extent). The important thing is that by the end of it, two people can come together and finally talk about what happened. Bickering has been around since the dawn of time and it's not likely to vanish from our genetics anytime soon.
3 A Change: Adventures Become Memories
Suddenly, you'll find that you have a partner to go with you on all the adventures you were too intimidated to try on your own.
The great thing about men changing in a relationship is that they're often protective and nurturing (hopefully), which will result in constant reassurance for their partner.
That comfortable feeling of safety is something that's so important in any relationship, and any guy who truly cares will make sure that you feel it. A relationship truly can change people, even those who have never truly loved someone before.
2 Wishful Thinking: No One's Family And Friends Are Perfect
Yikes! There's no guarantee that you'll get along with your partner's family or even their friends and while this is definitely a source of tension, it's not the end of the world. As much as we wish things could be different, sometimes certain personalities just tend to clash. This isn't something to be blamed on anyone and can just be accepted as "it happens." What matters is the love and emotion between two people—not whether or not their family or friends love every single facet of you.
1 A Change: Gross Things Are No Longer So Gross
Woot! Finally, women can openly discuss aunt Flo in front of their partners without fear of being called "gross."
While this is something that really should have ended after middle school, bodily functions can still be a bit uncomfortable around someone who doesn't spend every waking moment with you.
Serious relationships are great, because not only do these things become commonplace, but many guys will learn to not only deal with but care about their partner's "gross" things. And if he hasn't? Tell him to get over it and buy you some tampons.