Today marks three years of being with my best friend — how time flies! For the past three years, it has been an adventures to say the least and there’s no better feeling than having your own person besides you. For our two-year anniversary, I took you all down memory lane to get a glimpse of our relationship and our trips together. So for our 3-year anniversary post, I wanted to write a joint post with Alex on our thoughts to what makes our relationship work and advice for other couples out there.
Jenny: I used to be the person who stays bottled up and not say anything when something is bothering me. And I still have this nasty habit right now — it’s a continuing effort to change. But being with Alex has helped me so much in opening up to communicating my feelings and to stop letting all things suffocate me to death. Right from the beginning of our friendship (because we became friends first), he has taught me to how to open up and to be more confrontational on how I feel. And it is SO VERY important to communicate with your partner. Being able to speak up on whats bothering you — regardless of when you actually do it — will help you both in the long run. It’s the best way for you both to understand each other and to continuously improve and build upon your relationship.
Alex: Communication, to me, is definitely one of the most important part of any relationship. I feel above all else, communication will make your bond stronger, as you are able to be at a comfort level where you can express how you feel and your opinions on things. Even if something little is bothering you, sharing it will make you feel better.
Jenny: On the contrary of communicating with your partner, I think it’s also important to just listen at times. I admit that out of the two of us, I am the chatter-box and sometimes he can’t get a word in. But when he does, I make sure to listen to him and absorb it all! To me, listening means not just simply hearing what they are saying to you but also being able to process that information and to interact. Not going to lie, sometimes it drives me crazy when Alex just zones out in the middle of our conversation. It’s so important to stay engaged in these talks.
Alex: Listening is complementary to communicating, because it shows that you are invested in your partner’s life. Make a effort to listen to what your partner has to say, ask him/her how her day is doing, or even ask him/her what is bothering them. It will definitely go a long way, and along the process, will help you be a more sympathetic and compassionate person.
Living Together & Space
Jenny: Alex and I have lived together for the past two years and even though it looks easy, sometimes it hasn’t been. My favorite part is coming home to someone every single day and having your best friend there to do everything with you from eating to cuddling on the couch and watching dumb videos. The biggest lesson I had to learn about living together was figuring how to balance responsibilities. We both have work, school and other responsibilities, so when it comes to housework, it has to be divided up. Living with someone means seeing EVERY side of them: the good, the bad and the ugly. So it’s definitely an area of our relationship where we are learning to give and take. And because we live in a studio apartment, space is very limited and we had to learn the ideal amount of space we need. Sometimes we both have our own things to do and sometimes one of us want to spend time together or vice versa. I think figuring out how much space is so important to a healthy relationship. No matter how much Alex and I adore each other, we need our alone times.
Alex: I feel as if this is what most couples/ future couples fear. It is a big commitment for any one I would definitely say. However, I feel like its key to bringing your relationship to the next level. You will have to deal with your partner’s habits and constantly be around them, but it is definitely not a bad thing. Take advantage of this and do things that you usually would not do: try your partner’s hobby, do more group activities (cooking, watching tv, playing games, etc.). However, do not feel pressured to constantly be doing something all the time. One of the most important part for people is keep space, and do not be afraid to have that conversation. Again, communicating is key, and your partner will appreciate that you are being honest with them.
Balance of Time
Jenny: Since we live together, we have the luxury of being able to see each other every day. But because we have such different schedules, we don’t see each other on weekdays and get home late due to classes and work. We are luckier than most couples in that we get to see each other so often, but balancing our time is still important. While I always want to spend time with him, we both have homework, other friends and work so it’s all a juggling act of making sure to fit in alone time with your other. We always make sure to eat dinner together, no matter how busy we are and to try to go to bed together at night.
Alex: Always make an effort to activities together, even if its little. Make sure to eat together, go to bed at a reasonable time together (I’m not the best at this though haha), and in general just being sportful for them. Also, make sure to find hobbies you guys have in common, like going to the gym, its like killing two birds with one stone.
Jenny: This one should be a no brainer, right? Being in a relationship should mean you get your own personal cheerleader! No matter how impossible a project/dream/goal is for him, I know that I want to make it possible for him. It’s so important to give 110% of support towards your significant other, no matter what it is he/she is doing. Being able to confide in each other and to offer advice or mere company is the best feeling in the world. I think it’s very important not doubt the capabilities of your other and to extend any helping hand he/she needs!
Alex: Support for one another is definitely one of the strongest defining moments and benefits of being in a relationship. Just having someone there constantly that recognizes everything you are doing and can push you to do stuff that you would not think are capable of is invaluable. Make sure to be as good of a support as your partner is to you, because he/she will definitely appreciate it.
Jenny: Three years with someone is a long time..even though it doesn’t seem like it. And there has definitely been kinks in our relationship. One other advice I would give is that you have to have fun with each other. No matter how supportive or how well they listen, if you can’t be yourself and have an amazing time, then is it a good/healthy relationship? Being in a relationship means tapping into our feelings and to not be afraid to convey those feelings. And gestures are also nice; sometimes doing little things for the other person just to remind them you love them or you are thinking of them (like one day Alex got me my favorite muffin just because). Lastly, learning from my parents and as my mom would say. always give more than you take.
Alex: I would say to always remember your roots and why you two first started dating. Often you might feel that things might be more mundane as your relationship goes one, but only you are there to make sure it is special! Being in a relationship is a two-sided road, and requires cooperation and effort from both parts. Realize that you should never take your partner for granted and always be evolving your relationship.
A million and one thanks for reading — until my next lil’ thought then!