Hello from Paris, the city of love! I thought I would take this opportunity to blog about love, or relationships, since I have been in one for almost nine years. I must have picked up something in all this time right? Here are five things I’ve learned from my relationship.
1. You need to make time for each other
Before I had a relationship I was the first to say that relationships should be ‘easy’. They should be smooth sailing, with no effort at all to be happy together. How wrong was I! I have come to find that relationships really do take work, especially after you’ve been together for a while. It’s important to make time for each other: go out to dinner together, have a movie night, watch three seasons of whatever series you like in one weekend or go to a spa together (I love doing that). Even if you don’t feel like it. It’s so easy to get caught up in your busy life and work routine and just exist next to each other as opposed to really be spending time together. Never take your relationship for granted. You never know what might happen tomorrow.
2. Fight hard, laugh harder
I come from two parents who never fought when I was little. So that was my idea of the perfect relationship. This got me in a lot of trouble when mine started getting serious. Why? Because we did fight – a lot and quite intense. I kept thinking: this isn’t right, fighting is bad, we must be so wrong for each other. Luckily I stayed and discovered that fighting is part of (some) relationships. I am by nature quite a stubborn and heated person – I am going to fight with people. My boyfriend just happens to be one of them. By the way: he’s much worse than me (it’s all his fault really;-) ). My point is: it’s fine to fight – MUCH better than holding everything in. As long as after the fighting’s over you can laugh together (and much harder than you fought). Laughing together is SO important. If I wasn’t able to laugh with my boyfriend, I don’t think we would have lasted this long (fights or no fights).
3. Don’t worry about the hard times
Couples go through hard times, that’s just a fact. Stuff happens, and as a couple you have to withstand it – together. My advice is: don’t worry when you’re going through a hard time. It passes. You will get back into the ‘bubble’ (as we call it) where everything is great, blissful and lovey-dovey. You will experience many highs, but there will also be lows. Sometimes those seem like the end, but most often they’re not. They only make you stronger as a couple. Accept that it’s a little less fun than usual and move on. It will get better.
4. Spend some time apart
This is something we’re experimenting a bit with recently. We’re one of those couples who do everything together and I kind of love that. But I also think it’s good to do some stuff separately. Ever since I started this blog I’ve had many events and outings without my boyfriend and it’s totally fine. I also took a solo trip to Rotterdam last week. Your relationship with your significant other is important, but the relationship you have with yourself is much more important. Spend some time by yourself, it will only help your relationship. The happier you are, the stronger your relationship will be.
5. Don’t compare yourself to other couples
This is by far the most important thing I’ve learned. Some couples fight, others don’t. Some couples have no trouble moving in together, other’s need more time. Some couples love going backpacking together, while others prefer 5 star hotels with infinity pools (YESSSS). Do. Not. Compare. EVER. It’s not fun and it makes no sense. Everyone’s different. What matters most is whether or not you’re happy. If the love you have is strong and you have fun together you have a very solid foundation. If that comes with lots of drama, fighting, disagreements, disappointment and frustration: who cares? At least you won’t be bored. I can’t think of anything worse!
Note: If there are any relationship facts you would like to share with me, please do! I would love to hear them.