Wednesday, September 7, 2016

9 Secrets for a Happy, Healthy Relationship.

I'm about to get real cheesy (just for a second!) to say just how happy this weirdo makes me. Seriously, it's crazy for me to think that we are just about to close in on three years. I've dated a lot of guys, so I think it's finally safe for me to say that I've zeroed in on the formula for the happy, healthy relationship I always dreamed of having. 

What makes me qualified to give relationship advice? Not much. Having said that, we rarely fight, we laugh a whole lot, and something must be working to last this long, right? Thus:

  1. Communication. When he's pissing me off for one reason or another (doesn't happen often but it certainly does happen), I don't beat around the bush, and I expect him to do the same. Same goes for when he makes me happy - I always make it known.
  2. Respect. A little respect for each other's long term goals, short term decisions, and even friendships goes a long way.
  3. Personal space. Living together means not a whole lot of "alone" time...especially when you're living in an 815 square foot one bedroom apartment. Sometimes when Ryan comes home from a tough day at work, he needs his time to zone out and play video games. When I need my quiet time to study, I plug in headphones or go to Starbucks. Sufficient time apart means more happy time together.
  4. Planned date nights. We've actually gotten much better about these, because we fell off for awhile (broke girl problems). We'll pick one or two nights throughout the month and actually go out and do something together; I've even picked a day two weeks in advance and said "let's go out for pizza on this night." This past weekend we went to the USF football game without a group - just each other. It's definitely important for us to switch up the ol' dinner and frozen yogurt date routine...mostly because Ryan only eats frozen yogurt 1 out of every 10 times I ask him to go with me.
  5. Quality time. Date nights out are key, but like they say, "it's the little things that matter most." We always have at least one television show to keep up with (or binge watch) together, one of us makes breakfast for the other at least once a weekend, and sometimes I just tell him to shut up and snuggle with me (no matter how much he hates it, because IDGAF. Princess probs.).
  6. Validation. This is something we struggled with in the first year of our relationship. I'm the kind of person who needs verbal and physical validation...and he's the exact opposite. Taking the time to communicate what we want/need from each other to feel secure has changed our relationship in the very best way, which has led to quite literally zero trust issues. Yes and yes.
  7. Patience. Sometimes I want to punch him in the face, but I fight the urge. Sometimes he wants to put duct tape over my mouth (I assume...). Deep breaths, time out. It's in these dark times of growing impatience that I remind myself to "be patient, be sweet, be kind." We all have our trying moments...we just try not to take them out on each other.
  8. Friends. Having mutual friends is great, but I love being able to plan a night out with just my girlfriends, and I don't mind when he goes out to play golf on a Saturday morning with his. He might be my best friend, but there's something to be said for a little girl (or bro) time.
  9. Mutual understanding that relationships are not fairy tales all the time. I'm rarely swept off my feet by grand gestures. We don't fawn over each other 16 hours a day. He doesn't count the ways he loves me on the regular, and I don't massage his feet nearly as often as he'd like. But when I'm upset and can't find the words, he's there. When he needs to talk, I'm the person he can always turn to. And I think that's far more important than perpetual doting and gift giving. 

What keeps your relationship going strong? Any tips?


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