“Love the one you’re with.” Most of us have heard this famous quote before, but shouldn’t it be more like, “Love each other and the choice that you’ve made to spend an amazing, fulfilling lifetime together”? Guess that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easy, hey?
I have had my share of frogs, believe me. I then found the one person who loves me without reason, when I’m not wearing makeup, at my worst and at my absolute best. Throughout the seven years we have spent together, I have realized one thing: I’m at my best when I am with him. This simple fact is the reason we keep at it day after day.
Relationships are one of the most important things to have in a lifetime, and choosing to be with another person, for the duration of your life, can feel like a pretty heavy decision. I am no expert, but I have seen both in my own life and in those that I love, the difference between struggle and ease within a romantic relationship. It has taken some time, along with a little frustration and much happiness, but I have realized a few things about love and all the excitement that comes along with it:
Here’s what I’ve Learned
1. Choose a person that makes you better. This may be one of the most important realizations I have had. I am becoming the person I want to be and a lot of it has to do with those I surround myself with. My boyfriend has been put through the ringer and back again, and has challenged me every step of the way. He is hard on me, critical of my decisions and radically honest, which clearly infuriates me in that moment. After I take a minute to breathe and cool down, I can see exactly where his opinions are coming from. I couldn’t appreciate him any more in those moments than I already do, because the challenges allow me to grow more and adapt into the role that I want for myself in life.
2. Be authentic with each other. Everyone goes through the “honeymoon” phase at the start of a relationship, and then you get a clearer image of the person you are with. This is the perfect time to regroup and start noticing those little things that may or may not be worth it to you in the end. Fake is not an option in a genuinely authentic relationship. You must love the other person for just what they are and just what they aren’t. Knowing the difference between the two is magic.
3. Do things that make you stronger, together. Strong can mean anything. I am a health, food and fitness fanatic and I have been lucky enough to be dealt another person with the same passions as my own. A typical day spent with my boyfriend can be anything from a grocery store run and cooking dinner, to a glass of wine and amazing conversation, to sprints in the park or a 10 mile hike in the closest national park. All of these things that we can do together make us that much closer and they continue to keep our relationship fresh, new and strong.
4. Appreciate alone time. There is nothing better than snuggling up with your significant other… except if you have the option to snuggle up alone! This is something to be cherished in so many ways. You must learn to coexist, yes, but you must, must, always find time to do the things you love to do on your own time. Becoming too intertwined with another can quickly turn something great into something mediocre at best. There is such a thing as too much quality time. Seeing each other every day may be inevitable, yet finding moments to appreciate yourself, and do things that you want to do, is beautiful and will only help your relationship to flourish.
5. You gotta learn the art of ‘give and take’. It’s true… you just have to bend sometimes. If you find yourself arguing over spilled milk, almond milk or green smoothies, take a quick step back and think if it’s really worth it or not. This is the thing that I stubbornly struggle with most. I like to be right… a lot. Sometimes though, I know in the depths of my soul that I have to let it go, and on very rare occasion, understand that I am wrong, accept it, apologize if need be and move on.
My boyfriend and I once had an argument over a sandwich, (oh yes, this is very true ladies and gents and I am none too proud of it) and it is something that we joke about to this day because it was so nonsensical and we were just trying to pick on one another. Do yourself and your lover a favor and don’t sweat the small stuff; just keep it moving! (You’ll thank yourselves when you both get to enjoy the sandwich…)
Just taking the time to open your eyes and appreciate what you may or may not have is all it takes. At the end of the day, you want to go home to someone who excites you and that you know is your best friend. Someone that will make you feel pretty, worth all the love, fights and sandwiches the world has to offer, and be everything that you need them to be. If that is what you have already, congratulations! Knowing is half the battle! But for those still on the prowl, keep an open mind and remember that the best things happen when we least expect them.
Continue to let your inner rawkstar shine and Peace & Love to you all!