Today marks my official one year anniversary with my boyfriend, Matt (!) so to celebrate this occasion on my blog, I thought I would share a few of the relationship lessons that have kept our bond strong.
I’ve always been a little shy to introduce the fact that I have a blog to any man I have seriously dated, because I would never want to disrespect their privacy, but Matt has always been encouraging of my pursuits and I’m happy to share our milestones with my readers.
Trust me, not everything will end up on my blog, and nothing is every perfect, but I know Matt would agree with the below lessons:
- Ultimately, the keys to a success relationship are trust and respect. Without these two characteristics, it’s hard to build up a genuine and honest relationship that will move forward.
- Do not underestimate the power of communication. If you want to make a relationship last, you need to be able to talk about “tough” subjects that might usually make you uncomfortable. However, as you begin to trust one another more and more, it does become easier. Looking back at Matt and I’s first handful of dates, I cannot imagine the level of intimacy we now have that enables us to talk about anything and everything.
- No one is perfect – especially me. Before meeting Matt, I made a list of five characteristics I wanted in a boyfriend. Key word: characteristics. I didn’t list eye color or a height range (but I did get lucky on both accounts!). For instance, I wanted to find a guy who was great at communicating. Since I’ve dated Matt, we’ve never had an issue that we couldn’t discuss honestly – not because we have parallel personalities/interests, but because we are able to talk through things. If you are aligned on those five characteristics, such as a preference on communicating, you have a better chance of making a relationship work.
- Don’t forget to take care of yourself. When a relationship is new, it’s easy to forgo your exercise routine, friends and even your family, but you still need to maintain your interests outside of your relationship for your own wellness and additional happiness.
- On that note, remember to be empathetic to your partner as well. It’s easy to keep things light-hearted and fun, but when you or your partner are faced with hardships, such as a death in the family or being laid off from a job, you need to be there to listen, give advice and be supportive. Even just a little call or text to check on them, in addition to making yourself available for deep conversations and/or a hug, makes a huge difference.
- Every relationship is different and special. Cherish it while making the best decisions for you and your partner.
- Resolve conflict as early and efficiently as possible. I don’t mean sweep any problems under the rug – I truly mean that any issue that bothers you or occurs should be brought up and addressed. Nothing is worse than oppressing any feelings that could lead to saying things you do not mean later on or going to bed upset. Resolution and forgiveness from both parties is always important in the end.
- Remember at the end of the day, you love each other. And that is the beginning and the end of everything.