Hey guys! I’m Carly from Snack Therapy and I’m so happy to be guest blogging for Jessie while she’s enjoying her time with family and friends. She’s such a sweetie (and totally hilarious, by the way) so she definitely deserves a little vacay.
Jessie and I email back and forth and we often talk about our wonderful significant others: her husband Joshua and my boyfriend Jake! So I thought that for this guest post I’d veer away from my normal ramblings about all things food and talk about relationships. Specifically, what to look for in a good one.
Okay, so I’m no expert. In fact, I’m sure many of you guys are celebrating double-digit marriage anniversaries and dealing with real life problems like finances and PTA meetings. So sue me. No, actually, please don’t sue me. We can settle this over coffee and cookies, on me. Okay? Okay.
Moving on. As I said before, I’m no expert. However, I have been in a loving, fulfilling, and happy relationship for just over four years now, so I do have a little sumthin’ sumthin’ to share!
Okay, so here ya go. My five tips and tricks for finding and sustaining a fabulous relationship.
1. Throw away that checklist!
You know, your relationship checklist? Don’t lie to me. I know you have one. We all do. They often include words or phrases such as, “rich”, “6’3””, “possible NFL player”, “loves babies”, “owns a yellow lab.” You get it. But those typical checklist items aren’t the reasons you fall in love with someone. They’re just bonuses! So throw ‘em out and look for the person who makes you happy.
If you don’t believe me, just look at Charlotte from Sex and the City. She married the rich and handsome doctor and ended up with a deflated balloon situation, if ya know what I mean. She found her true happiness with Harry, the short and bald yet lovable divorce lawyer. (Say it with me now: Awww.)
And yes. I used just a fictional character to prove my point. Boom.
2. Compromise when you need to, but don’t be passive.
There are certain things that we should always try compromise on: what pizza toppings to order, what channel to watch, whose car to drive… The little things! With life’s bigger decisions, your compromises should be more cautious. For example, don’t agree to move to Houston just to placate your significant other, especially if you’re going to turn into a raving, resentful beeotch once you’re there! When you have concerns, don’t compromise blindly simply because you think you should. Rather, discuss your thoughts and concerns with your man or woman. Trust me. You’ll both be MUCH happier in the long run.
3. Retain some independence.
I love spending time with Jake. Seriously, we have a fantastic time together. However, I also have a fantastic time with my friends, with my family, even by myself. Of course, these things aren’t mutually exclusive; you can spend time with your friends/family and your significant other at the same time. However, there is nothing that compares with some solid girl time. How else would we have sexy lingerie pillow fights while drinking martinis (read: watch How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days in PJs while eating rolls of cookie dough). I also love the fact that Jake and I have our own hobbies. It gives us something to share and discuss at the end of the day! Plus, having experiences separate from him helps me retain my individualism, which is something that I find incredibly important.
4. Learn how to fight.
I always tell people that Jake and I are good fighters. That is, we know how disagree and argue respectfully and kindly, even if we’re both pissed. I have a few rules of thumb for good fighting.
- First, never make generalized statements.
Don’t say: “You’re the world’s biggest d-bag and you always eat the last cookie and I hate you!”
Do say: “You’re being a huge d-bag today because you ate the last cookie, which I hate!”
- Second, try not to focus on his or her actions. Focus on your own emotions.
Don’t say: “Do the dishes! NOW!”
Do say: “Babe, I feel really overwhelmed right now. It’d really help me out of you could do the dishes.”
- Third, listen. Seriously. Listen.
Don’t: Interrupt or disregard his/her feelings
Do: Have empathy and engage yourself in the other person’s thoughts or feelings
5. Say, “I Love You” in your own way.
This doesn’t just mean saying the words, “I love you.” It means showing your love through little acts. I tell Jake, “I love you” by cooking for him, letting him snuggle me even though I get claustrophobic, and telling him how much I appreciate his support. He shows his love for me by helping out around the house, running errands for me when I get stressed, and telling me how proud I make him.
Figure out your partner’s favorite way to receive love, and do that! Pretty simple, right?
Well guys, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you come visit me at Snack Therapy sometime soon! Either way, have a fabulous day.
Question: What is your favorite relationship tip/piece of advice?