It’s Tip Day again! How I loveeee Tuesdays!
I do not talk much about my relationship because I like to keep that aspect of my life private. However, I have to say I do have a pretty fine boyfriend who is kind, strong, and amazing to me. I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt enough. He truly is my soul mate.
About five years ago, I went to a youth conference where author and minister Jeanne Mayo spoke about relationships. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember much, but there’s one statistic from that conference that has resonated with me.
“99.9% of high school relationships do not last past graduation.” – Uncensored: Dating, Friendship, and Sex by Jeanne Mayo
You’re looking at that 0.01%. Jimmy and I have been actively in a relationship for over six years now. As it was put on Grey’s Anatomy, he’s my person. We met when we were fifteen, stupid, and immature. Luckily, time was very good to us and we grew into self-determined and aspiring adults – and our looks got a little better too! We’ve been through some dumb fights a time or two, just like everyone else, but I think we’ve mastered how to treat one another, get along, and go through life happy together.
By far, I am not the one to be giving advice because I have messed up plenty in my time and will continue to do so. BUT with that being said, if I had to give anyone advice on how to keep a healthy relationship it would be the accumulation of these ten things.
1. Listen without interrupting. This one is huge and one I
had still have the most fault with. I like to get excited and chip in my opinions during conversation without letting the other person finish their own thought. It’s really bad, but my mind is a hamster wheel. I would like to say I’ve gotten better. I know now that it really shows how much you care about what the other person has to say when you simply shut up and listen to them.
2. Apologize/Forgive and then let it go. I have to say this is one element that we both have in common. Through the past six years, there’s been countless of mess ups and screw ups, but we always forgave one another and then let it go. There’s no use in holding a grudge for something that doesn’t actually matter in the long run. You can’t move on when you’re constantly thinking about how the other person hurt you. If the relationship is worth it to you, you must let it go. And then don’t bring it back up somewhere later down the road. That’s not truly letting it go. I love this quote.
3. Look after your health. Stay fab. I might be biased, but my beau is pretty hot. Thankfully he has taught me a thing or two about fitness and health. We may not be Iron Tribe addicts or gluten-free wannabes, but
we’re pretty good about keeping fit and watching our eating habits. Whether you want to admit it or not, your significant other does care about the way you look. It’s important to look after your heath because if you don’t feel good about yourself you can’t expect them to. This goes for post-I do, too.
4. Have your own interests and goals. Jimmy got me into enjoying sports a few years ago, but I’m not going to dedicate an hour of my life to setting my Fantasy line-up or betting on whether my favorite NCAA team is going to the Elite Eight. I honestly do not care one way or another. We merge our interests from time to time, i.e. going to football games or watching an NBA game, but it’s good to enjoy your own interests without each other. I know that sounds weird, but trust me. You can’t make your person love the same things you do; it simply will not work. No matter how many times I try, he’s never going to go antique shopping with me. And that’s okay. I have my interests and he has his. Same goes for our goals.
5. Communicate like an adult. No sulking. If I had a dollar for every time I wish I would have acted like an adult instead of freaking out, yelling, or rolling my eyes I would be rich. Those teenage tantrums are bad, let me tell you. Hormones are flying and words are being thrown out there that you don’t mean. And once they are out there is hard to get them back. It’s sooooo important to communicate like an adult. I’ve always preached to my friends: A relationship is like a house that is built on two columns (See Figure 1). One is communication and the other is trust. Without this foundation, your house (i.e. your relationship) cannot stand. You must communicate with your person. Let them know how you feel, why they hurt you, and how you can move forward like a grown-up adult. And stop playing the blame game. That doesn’t help anything.
6. Don’t nag. Ask nicely or do it yourself. This is pretty self-explanatory. There’s just no sense in being mean if you’re trying to get something accomplished. Ask for help, nicely, and if you don’t get a good response – just do it yourself, but don’t be rude about it.
7. Keep up the compliments. No put downs. Every day make it an effort to say one nice thing about your person. Even if it’s just a thank you for something they did. There are days where I feel awful for whatever reason, and he always knows how to make me smile. Like telling me I look good or “I like that shirt, is it new?” or “Thanks for buying me that cologne.” Things that this make girls swoon, guys. It’s a simple gesture that goes a long way.
8. Don’t be jealous. It’s selfish and uncool. I used to be so jealous of other girls talking or even being around my person. When we got to college, he joined a fraternity and with that came girls. Then he became the president and more girls showed up. Old girls from highschool showed up. I was furious all the time because they were texting him, wanting to meet up with him, hugging him at parties, and so on. He told me over and over that none of them mattered and he only had eyes for me, but it wasn’t enough. Sadly, I pushed him away and I had to realize the hard way that he was right. I had to trust him (See Figure 1). Luckily, I got him back and I have never doubted it since. I know he loves me. There was no need to be jealous. Jealousy is a cruel drug that you have to keep out of your relationship.
9. Thank each other for the little things. This goes back to complimenting each other, but to another level. Jimmy isn’t the best at being romantic, but he does things in other ways that make up for it. Whether it be paying for my meals or picking me up for an event to even picking me up soup when I’m sick. I have always been an independent person and I could care less about chivalry. I don’t mind paying for my guy’s food every now and then, even though I have to fight him over it! There are a lot of ways to thank each other, but the idea is to never stop. Thank each other often.
10. Don’t be a lazy lover. Keep it fresh. I love coming up with new date ideas or weekend plans. I’m not use to seeing my beau on the weekends and now that I have Get creative and do things with one another. Get out of house, go to the zoo, go hiking, take a day trip, or something else that you have in common. No one wants to date someone who is boring and never wants to have fun!
We’ve made it this far, so there must be a reason why. I’m anxiously anticipating what our future holds, but until then I’m enjoying every moment of the present.
What’s your best relationship advice?