What it takes to make a relationship last - my anniversary thoughts

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What it takes to make a relationship last

Today is my four year anniversary since my fiance and I decided to become “boyfriend & girlfriend.” Today I am reminded of all the little things that happened during those days leading up to that moment and the years since we decided to become committed to one another. It feels like yesterday that it all began and I guess when you love someone so much it’s so easy to remember things like what you were wearing on your first date, where you ate, what he said, our first kiss, etc. It is a great reminder of what it really takes to make a relationship last and what it takes to make it work. We are surely not perfect, but we love each other beyond words and we both know that if we ever needed anything the other would be there in a heart beat. Being able to rely on someone with your deepest thoughts, your dreams and the day to day things is so rare – so when you’ve got someone good make sure you hold on to them tight.

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Anniversaries for me are not a time to buy gifts and get flowers. If anything we really have never done much of that. While I love to get flowers I usually want them on days that aren’t marking something special, I want them out of the blue. When you look back on the good and bad times, the hiccups and trivial fights, or the moments when your relationship was tested you think to yourself…there’s a reason we made it this far. There is a reason that we didn’t give up or decided to call it quits.

We all have fights and arguments but what I have learned is that every relationship takes equal parts speaking/communicating and equal parts listening/understanding. When I look back at the person I was in my relationship four years ago it’s a very different woman than I am today. Same goes for my fiance, he is very different today than he was back then. The most important thing about a successful relationship is that you can both grow and change but that you both grow and change at a similar rate with the same core feelings for one another.

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1. Give each other space and enjoy your alone time. Sure in the beginning you want to spend every waking moment together. There would be weeks upon weeks that we saw one another every single day. But as you get older you realize that you need alone time. Time with friends or loved ones or time to just go do something for YOU. When you give each other a break you appreciate that person so much more when you are back together again.

2. Don’t lose yourself. One thing that people do in relationships, especially in the beginning, is change who they are for that person. For example, you used to like doing something and the person you are dating always says how much they hate it, so you stop doing it. Why? There is compromise, yes, but don’t change who you are just to appease someone else. In the end you will be resentful of that.

3. Make sure that person knows how you feel about them. So many times you will argue and then the other person will say “Oh come on, you know I love you.” Many times your response will be “Well I don’t know sometimes.” Never let a day go by without letting the person know how much they mean to you. Whether its a little note in their gym bag, text message on the way to work, make a dinner they like etc. Do something everyday that let’s that person know they mean the world to you.

4. Go out with other couples. Sometimes the best way to spice back up your own relationship is to be around other couples. For me it always reminds me that I have a great man, that I love, and we are happy and we should be thankful. Sometimes double dates or group gatherings help to bring you closer because you see that in a crowded room that person is your everything and is your partner in crime in life.

5. Agree to disagree. Sometime my fiance and I will have an argument and I can tell he’s just stressed from life, work, etc. In order to get that out he’ll pick a fight and the best thing I’ve learned to do it just be quiet, lol. I will just agree to disagree and let it cool down. Many times fights and arguments have nothing to do with your relationship so make sure you know the difference and don’t add fuel to the fire. Just let them vent and let it pass.

6. Don’t let things get boring. That is easier said than done especially if you both work full time and are in a routine day in and day out. Make it a point to throw each other for a curve ball sometimes. Suggest randomly to go somewhere, or do something completely unplanned and be spontaneous. We love to just plan a weekend getaway or go to a place we’ve never been for dinner. Since we both work and are tired we have to sometimes push each other to make plans and actually stick to them, but it is so worth it when we do.

7. Pick your battles. Sure something the other person does may irritate you once in a while. Maybe they say something insensitive or just something they do gets under your skin…pick your battles. Is it really worth getting into an argument over the small stuff? Don’t nag eachother or pick on one another. Calling out someone’s faults isn’t going to change things for the better, if anything it may make them worse. We can all use some constructive criticism sometimes but honestly learn to love the person for who they are and let the little things roll off your back.

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