Today marks my 5 year anniversary with Andrew, so I figured why not share some tips I learned while being a healthy relationship. I’m not claiming that I’ve gotten everything nailed down. I’m still learning every day. I get in arguments and disagreements with Andrew all the time. By no means am I in the perfect relationship, but I’m definitely in a happy and healthy one.
So for every year I’ve been with Andrew, there is a tip I’ve learned while being in a healthy relationship! Buckle in, this is a long one.
1. Communicate! No one is a mind reader.
When any of my friends ask me how I stayed in a healthy relationship for so long, I always tell them that communication is key. That’s always my number one advice.
You can’t expect the other to read your mind and get you what you want. You have to speak up and say what’s working and what’s not working.
Example: My friend Michele was having an extremely emotional day and wanted her boyfriend Roger to come over to comfort her. Roger asked her multiple times if she wanted him to come over and Michele kept saying no because she didn’t want to bother him. She messaged me saying that she wished he would come despite her saying not to. She wanted him to come and surprise her.
Guess what happened? He didn’t come. And Michele got more upset because her boyfriend wasn’t there for her. I immediately called her out and asked her how she expected Roger to figure that out when she kept telling him not to come. In his perspective, she didn’t want him there to bother her and that she probably wanted personal time.
Yes, it would have been great for him to surprise her, but she should not have gotten mad at him for actually doing what she asked for. It’s not fair.
Names have been changed to respect the actual people’s privacy.
For us, we keep the mentality of nothing is too small to tell the other. I tell him that I’m sweaty, my car is making a weird sound, and I found an ant in my room. He tells me that his arm is itchy, how his commute to work went, and that he farted. If we feel that the other is being mean, it’s easy to call that out because we keep everything out on the table.
Obviously, there are many different forms of communication. But the main point is, keep it open and consistent. Ask yourself, would you want your significant other to tell you if they were the ones holding onto that piece of information?
2. It’s okay to ask for space.
You’ve heard how people eventually blow up because they let tiny things build up throughout the day, right? When you feel like that’s going to happen, you should take a step back and take some personal time. It’s okay!
I feel like sometimes people think that the perfect relationship is when the couple is always together all the time being happy-go-lucky. Do you know how annoying that could get?
There were times when I came home from work super stressed out and exhausted that I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I asked Andrew for the rest of the evening or the next day to myself because I didn’t want anything to set me off. He respected my space and enjoyed some time for himself.
It’s better to calm down and do things with a level head rather than being antsy and annoyed. This helps avoid arguments that don’t need to happen and everyone will remain happy and well-rested.
3. Keep fights clean and to the point.
You’re going to fight. And it’s completely healthy that you fight. But it needs to be fair so that no one’s feelings get more hurt than it already is.
Fights can sometimes lead to past arguments and other fights, but it’s important to keep the past in the past and other low, cheap jabs out of it.
I’m not going to say I always fought fair because I didn’t. I would fight with Andrew about how he spoke to me and then I would throw something in about his mother to hurt his feelings even more. NOT FAIR or nice.
I quickly realized that fighting dirty is only going to hurt yourself. You jeopardize trust and respect. It’s not worth it. So keep it simple and to the point.
4. Respect each other.
This seems like a super obvious one, but it’s easy to disrespect each other unintentionally. Respect each other’s privacy, whether it’s looking at their phone or trusting them when they tell you something. (But vise versa, you shouldn’t give the other a reason to think you’re being distrustful.)
It’s easy to put down each other’s interests too. I’m guilty of this. But it’s important to realize that it’s a form of disrespect. I’m not saying that you have to like each other’s interests. But you shouldn’t constantly put the other down for liking something you don’t. (I need to be a nicer person to Andrew, hehe.) But you shouldn’t force the other to like what you like either. Everything goes both ways.
Just in general, respect one another and be a nice human. Treat the other how you would like to be treated. Simple as that.
5. Keep going on dates.
It’s easy to stop going on dates once you’ve been dating for a while, but I think it’s important to keep the fun and romance going. Don’t get me wrong, Andrew and I have gotten into the whole Netflix at home rut.
It was fun at first to enjoy each other’s company and watch a show, but it eventually led to fights and frustrations because we never did anything “fun” anymore.
Now we go to the beach every once in a while, amusement parks, mini golfing, arcades and ice cream dates. We enjoy each other’s company outside the house with dessert or fun competition.
Relationships are all different so just take my advice lightly and apply it where you can. You just need to remember that there are two people in a relationship so you have to think of the other. But to sum up how to be in a healthy relationship, be a mindful nice human. 🙂
Thanks for sticking around and reading! What are some things you have learned while being in a relationship? Let me know in the comments!