Just this past month, my boyfriend Jesse and I celebrated 10 years of dating. Jesse is a very private person, so out of respect for him, I don’t share a ton of him on the blog or my social media. He’s definitely getting more comfortable with social media as time goes on! I recently posted a vlog of our anniversary celebrations in Santa Barbara, and many of you seemed to take interest in him and our relationship, so I thought I’d share a little bit more.
Those who know Jesse in real life will tell you how funny, friendly, and hardworking he is. We started dating when we were really young so we’ve experienced a lot of life and growing up together. It presented a lot of challenges but I also think it brought us closer together. We know if we can get through the last ten years, we can get through anything together. I would say our relationship now is the strongest it’s ever been, and I’m extremely proud of that. It takes a lot of effort from both parties to make a relationship work!
I would say 10 years of dating has given me a little bit of expertise on how to make a relationship work, so I thought I would share my top 10 tips/what I’ve learned on relationships. I hope you enjoy!
10 RELATIONSHIP TIPS:
1. Respect Is The Most Important Element
You can NOT have a relationship without respect (this goes for any kind of relationship, really). I’ve found that the longer you are with someone, the more both of you test the boundaries of respect. I think it’s a human nature thing really, but it’s so important to always maintain respect for one another. Name calling in fights, using “low blow” insults, and disregarding the other person’s feelings are a recipe for a disaster. It’s just not worth it. Even if your significant other is using fighting words, try not to use them back. It never helps the situation. This is something we’ve had to learn after trial and error, but our genuine respect for each other is always what wins.
2. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
It’s important to lay out your feelings right when you feel them, rather than bottling them up. If you get in the habit of having a constant open stream of communication, even if it’s a difficult topic, it will prevent things from being bottled up. I’ve found that being able to always communicate what’s on our minds, good or bad, has made for a really strong foundation and a solid partnership.
3. Put Each Other First
Don’t forget that you are a team. There is no I in team and that applies to relationships. When one person is having a bad day, it’s up to the other person to pick up the slack. I can be selfish at times but I know that if I am there when Jesse needs me to help, that he will be there when I need him as well.
4. Make Time for REAL Dates
This is a tricky one, especially if you’re both self-employed, or you have children, or your schedules are completely different… but it’s SO important. We like to have at least a few date nights a month where it’s no cell phones, and simply quality chatting time. It really does set the refresh button on not only our relationship but the stressful week as well. Make sure you take time to get away from the stress and chaos together.
5. Pick Your Battles
Relationships are all about compromise. I don’t love watching football on Sundays, and he doesn’t love watching Real Housewives when he gets off work, but we compromise. Obviously, we compromise on bigger things as well, but this is a pretty frequent one 😉 There will DEFINITELY be things about your partner that bother you, but it’s important to look at the big picture and ask yourself “Is this battle really worth it?” If you’re constantly nit-picking your partner about little things that bother you, you’re both going to get tired of it and hostility will arise. If there’s something you really need to address, make sure you do so in a respectful manner when the time is right.
6. Experience New Things Together
My FAVORITE memories with Jesse are when we’ve experienced new things together. We both tend to get in a grind of work, sleep, repeat so it’s important for us to take the time to experience things. I think the BEST gift to give your significant other is an experience. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Make sure you take the time to plan a trip, try a new activity, or even just go on an adventure to try a new restaurant in a nearby city.
7. Trust Each Other
I’ve had my share of relationships in the past where there was no trust so when I met Jesse and we established trust immediately, I knew he was a winner. You have to be able to trust each other. If you don’t trust the person you’re with… honestly I have no advice except to kick them to the curb. People don’t change and if you think they’re up to no good, there’s probably a good reason you’re thinking that.
8. Support Each Other’s Goals and Dreams
It’s so important that you and your partner support each other in every aspect of life, including your long term goals and dreams. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today if it weren’t for Jesse whole heartedly believing in me and my dreams, and I hope to do the same for him.
9. Reflect on Your Favorite Moments Often
Don’t forget why you started dating each other and the things you liked about each other when you first met. I love taking walks down memory lane. It really puts things into perspective about how far you’ve come as a couple. I keep every card Jesse’s ever written me and it’s so fun to reread them from time to time. We have been to a few events where we wore matching gear which was really cute, it’s just the little things we like to look back on.
10. Compliment Each Other
Jesse and I are both pretty sarcastic and tease each other a lot, but we also give each other genuine compliments pretty frequently. Compliments are a must, and don’t just compliment each other on your appearance! Compliments on qualities you like about the other person are even more special and meaningful.