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(C) Love Matters | Rita Lino

Being in a relationship

The two of you flirted. You started dating. And then things got more serious: you agreed to be in a relationship.

What does this mean?

Being in a relationship can mean different things to different couples. It’s up to the two of you to decide which rules you are going to stick to. This is important because the honeymoon phase will eventually end, and all relationships will face issues at some point.

But even if things get difficult, remember that relationships are about love. And love is all about acceptance. Do keep this in mind whenever your relationship isn’t going so well: the reason you are with this person is love.

What’s important is to have a talk about your expectations. Because only if your partner understands what you expect from a relationship can your needs be met.


Even though you might not even give it much thought, communication is the number one thing when it comes to relationships.

We think we know how to communicate. But in relationships, especially when it comes to intimate issues, things can get very difficult very quickly.

In the beginning, you might even avoid voicing your thoughts for the fear of not being accepted. But such an approach will eventually backlash on you. Be yourself: if the other person doesn’t like you like this, you can’t fix it by pretending to be someone you’re not.

So establish how you would like to communicate early on; it will make things a lot easier in the long run.

Being faithful

To most people, being in a relationship means that you are ‘exclusive’ and faithful to each other.  

That can mean very different things to different couples. You will need to discuss what this means for you. For example, does it mean you can’t hang out with people you might be attracted to? Can’t you hug others anymore? Or is flirting okay – why eat chicken outside when you can have steak at home?

There are no firm rules. What’s important is that whatever you decide upon works for both of you – and that you’re being honest.

Read also: 8 signs you're with the right partner

Trust and honesty

If you’re in a relationship, you should have a certain level of trust for each other. If you don’t think your partner is being honest with you, or you are not being honest with your partner, you need to decide whether you really want to be in a relationship.
A lack of trust will only lead to nagging and arguments. Which might eventually mean an end to your relationship.

Bring up any concerns you have as soon as they arise – the earlier you can resolve them, the better for your relationship.


Relationships are all about give-and-take. Or, in other words: compromise. No relationship is ever without conflict or irritants. And if those arise, you need to talk to your partner and find a way that works for both of you.

Compromising can be difficult, or even painful. But if you want things to work out, sometimes giving in and being patient is the best thing to do.

Talking about the future

At some point in your relationship, you’ll need to discuss your views of the future. Do you see yourself getting married and having children? Perhaps your partner doesn’t. To avoid getting hurt and feeling like you’ve wasted your time, make sure you have this conversation.

Once again, being in a happy, satisfying and equal relationship all comes down to good communication. The more honest you are with each other, the better your chances of having a great relationship.

So let’s talk…


Did you learn something new?


Hello Faith, thank you for getting in touch and asking a great question. Following the points listed above are a great way to help keep your relationship alive and long-lasting. Click here to find out more on how to make your relationship stronger: All the best, have a wonderful weekend and stay safe! 

Hello Zainab, thank you so much for reaching out to us. We are so sorry to hear that you are having issues communicating. It is possible that you have different modes of communicating and if that is the case you need to sit down and decide on better ways of communication.

This article should help you find ways to better communicate

Hey Rahma, You could ask him how he feels about you. Also, how does he treat you when you spend time together? Does he show genuine concern toward you? If you feel his actions are confusing, find a good time and talk to your boyfriend. Share with him the concerns you may have so he can clarify what's not clear to you.

Hi Precious, 

So sorry for this. I know just how this feels! the suspicion and disappointment! First, ensure you are not overreacting especially if the nature of the text was not sexual at all or suggesting that something is going on. Find out if the girl he was texting is a colleague, cousin, or just a friend. 

Second, the best things to do is to have an honest conversation with him and tell him that you consider texting other women as cheating. There are different forms of cheating and it is up to you and your partner to define what cheating is. While he may not have been involved in any sexual activity with that girl, if the texting makes you uncomfortable, make it known to him. Read this article to learn more about signs that he may be cheating: Signs of a cheating boyfriend. 


Hello Chukwumu, Sorry to say, we are not a dating service and cannot assist you in finding a partner but do not despair, here is a guide to how to meet people online:

Hi Denis, Love is an intense feeling of deep affection towards another person. Love is warm, it is kind and patient. Love is forgiving. Love is a feel of a deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone. Check this article for more information on what love is including how to tell if you are in-love;-
Hi Banks, If you are into the person, when you have not said to them you love them for a long time, when you are constantly arguing and fighting, when you no longer have sex and the relationship just doesn't give that feeling it gave you before. Check out the following article with more information on when you should consider a break up. 17 i worry about dating because i thnk am young am a dayscolar bt a well bhaved gal i've got some admirers bt am only friends with them bt it obvious at our age there are those lovematters do u thnk it right for me to be in a relationship????
Hi Vikki, It is important for you to prioritize what you want to do in life. Relationships can be a challenge to manage especially when you also have school to think about. Take time and think about what is important for you now and focus your energies there. All the best.
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