6 years… how can they possibly feel like an eternity, but also feel like they flew by in just a second at the same time? It’s still a mystery to me. However, what I do know, is that I learned a LOT about being in a relationship with my dearest Alex. Here’s 10 reasons why we are still going strong. Keep reading!
1. Make compromises: when you step in a relationship you have to realize you are not on your own anymore. Individuality? Having your ‘own life’? Of course! However, the art of a good relationship is finding your own place while maintaining a balance in your relationships, which sometimes requires compromising.
2. Listen and understand: what I see all too often in other relationships (and sometimes still in my own) is that we listen to come up with a reply, not to really understand what the other person is saying. When there is miscommunication or a disagreement, me and Alex really sit down together to see where it went wrong and we try to put ourselves in the position of the other.
3. Work as a team: too often in relationships I see there is one ‘dominant’ partner who completely rules over the other and makes all the decisions. Me and Alex made quite clear agreements on this: the person with the most knowledge on a specific topic has the biggest vote, and the other simply trusts that it’s the right decision. Obviously, I have a lot to say in the relationship hehehe;p (sorry hon, love you lol). The point is: realize that both of you have your own strengths and weaknesses and work together as a team to be even better together.
4. Support each others ambitions: me and Alex are both very ambitious about our future, which often leads to workweeks of 80 hours and not a lot of quality time. Yes, it is tough. But we couldn’t be more proud of each other. Alex is patient with me if I don’t have time to see him for more than a month, and I always try to help him in whatever way I can in order to reach his goals. How we deal with this? We don’t look at the negative side (you never have time for me blabla) but instead look at the positive things (one step closer to your goal, you are awesome!). We are in it for the long haul: what do these few years matter compared to a lifetime?
5. Swallow your pride: sometimes you have moments in your relationship when it gets though and too often we are too proud to admit we were wrong, sorry, or simply want a hug and pretend like nothing ever happened (Alex is definitely better at this than me). Sometimes, you would just LOVE to tell the other how stupid/ wrong he is, but you know it would just start a useless discussion. This is the moment to take a deep breath, be patient and simply ‘agree to disagree’ (I’m definitely better at this than Alex). You see, it’s all about balance.
6. Keep it special: in a long-term relationship you always have the danger of becoming ‘boring’. And I’m gonna be honest here: I would totally choose a night of binge-watching my favorite Netflix serie together over going out to party. However, there are more ways to keep a relationship interesting: me and Alex like to make walks, cook, photography, visit new restaurants (okay scrap that, I like to visit restaurants and I drag him along) and we have a mutual love for beer + pizza nights… just find something you both like to do! However, I definitely hate routines so sometimes I need some extra ‘me’ time to work on myself, but after some weeks I only learn to appreciate him more after being without him for a while.
7. Be grateful: when you’re in a relationship for a long time, it becomes very easy to take the other for granted. You are used to everything that the other does for you so you don’t realize how special that actually really is. Just try to remind yourself every now and then that it is in fact NOT normal at all. For me it helps to listen to disastrous stories of friends, or simply check in to Tinder for 1 day to realize how much assholes there are out there and how lucky I am to have such an amazing person who actually really cares for me. Just remember: real connections are rare to find nowadays.
8. Be reasonable and respectful: sometimes when I hear stories of my friends, I’m like girllll you need to take a chill pill. Women (men too btw) can be SO unreasonable at times because emotions mess up their brains, which results in pointless and simply stupid discussions. Sure, me and Alex get into disagreements sometimes, which is okay. The moment that it starts getting mean, is when it’s not okay anymore because you should always respect the other, even when you’re angry. The moment that I realize Alex starts getting mean, I immediately stop him there and say: “Alex, it’s fine we are disagreeing but there’s no need to get bitchy with me right now” then he looks at me, nods, and rephrases his opinion in a respectful tone. This also happens the other way around when I get too carried away.
9. Never be afraid to be the one who loves most: me and Alex are both very giving in our own way. Whenever we find a way to show the other that we love them, we will always do it. It’s petty to think ‘I surprised him with a gift last week, why isn’t he giving something back’, everyone should simply do whatever they can to show their love! Love isn’t about receiving, true love is about giving, and even sacrificing. However, eventually it always comes around. Just like Karma.
10. Communicate: I can’t express how important this is! Bad communication is the reason why so many relationships fail. We all start assuming things in our head and not talking about our insecurities to our partner because we are afraid to be vulnerable. That’s when frustrations build up and misunderstandings/ fights start to happen. Me and Alex literally talk about EVERYTHING that we have in our minds, even if we are scared what the other might think or feel. Actually it’s our #1 rule: honesty first, no secrets. I promise you: this 100% commitment is the most rewarding, relieving feeling in the world which will make you feel connected to your partner like never before.
These are my 10 relationship tips! Here’s a final thing to keep in mind: Relationships are never defined by how well the good times go, but by how well you handle bad situations together.
Lots of Love,
P.s. Did you like this blog? Then you must read my love tribute to Alex!