Remember when we were kids, all we wanted was to grow up, to take the wheel of our lives, to get there. But only when we sat in the driver’s seat and actually took the wheel that we asked ‘Do I know how to drive?’ ‘Where am I going?’ ‘What’s the direction?’

And that’s what they call my friend ‘growing up’. You’re in charge now, Pandora’s box has been opened. Sláinte

Being a grown up in your love life is no different than growing up. It is the same formula, the numbers just change.

So what’s the formula? How do you have a mature relationship?

For starters, you must know that this the big game and that children aren’t allowed here. The grown ups game is a complicated one, and it would be harder if you insisted on bringing your inner child along. But if you left that child by the playground with their melodrama and brought along only the happy memories of once being that kid, there you go my friend.

Rule #1 Repeat after me: Commitement, Communication and Compromise. Aka the 3 C’s.

It is not going to be easy. You’re jumping into the deep waters, so if you’re not ready to stick around when it gets hard, you better walk away now. Still here? Good, now see that person next to you in the game? That’s you partner. Talk to them about everything, about what you think, how you feel, and keep in mind that blaming is for babies. Now, our third C is here to remind you about the happy medium, where you must let go of your desire to have everything done your way. It’s not healthy anyway. Meet your partner half way.

Rule# 2 There is an end to everything, and the honeymoon phase is no exception.

When the dice rolls and we advance in the game into that square where there is no escaping fighting, many relationships crumble. Fighting is NOT a bad thing, quite the contrary. Just like sunny days, they wouldn’t be special if it wasn’t for rain. Joy wouldn’t feel so good, if it wasn’t for some pain. Avoiding conflict is never the answer; you’re missing a real opportunity to measure how much you and your partner respect each other. As long as you do, fighting would never be a threat, but a step toward a better understanding of each other. So let it rain. No rains, no flowers.

Rule #3 Get better at it.

No one shows up one day without any previous training and runs a marathon. Fail, fall, but get back on your feet if you want this relationship to work. It has to take time and practice. Today there are many tools, books and scientific studies that can enrich our understanding of how relationships work. See what works for you, and target to ace the game.

If you play by these rules, you can tell yourself all along this journey ‘I am a grown up in a mature relationship’.