10 Things I’ve Learned In My First Year Of Marriage

1. Say “I love you” every day (and truly mean it).

This one should be a no brainer, but with busy lives I think it often gets forgotten. There are even couples who are dating who rarely say it. Letting your partner know they are loved and appreciated is so important, but this shouldn’t be a throwaway phrase. When you say it, look them in the eye and let the weight of those words fall on them.

2. Fights will happen. But, when they do they should make you stronger as a couple.

Yell, scream, cry, but always come to a conclusion. Talk it out. Talk so much that you both want to tear your hair out. Talk so much that you forget why the fight started. Talk so much that you actually learn something new about your partner. When it’s all done, hug each other, apologize and forgive, and refer to number one.

3. Date. I know this one is cliché but it is so true.

Make the time to date your spouse. Go out to your favorite restaurant, put your phones away, and just simply enjoy the company of the person you chose to spend your life with. Make these moments count, this is what life and love is really about. Connecting with another person and enjoying what the world has to offer, together.

4. Dress to Impress.

I know your spouse should (and probably does) love you with no makeup on and dirty hair, but they shouldn’t have to all the time. Once in a while put on a pretty dress, curl your hair, use some blush (or the male equivalent to these things), and do it just for them. This will not only be a reminder of how lucky they are, but will also boost your confidence, which we all know is the sexiest thing of all.

5. Grow Individually.

‘Read, write, exercise, start new hobbies. Whatever you do, just keep growing as a person. Keep getting excited about things, keep finding passion in new places, keep surprising yourself and your spouse. You fell in love when you were both dynamic individuals, don’t stop being those people.

6. Grow Together.

Lasting relationships are always changing. Don’t expect to be the same couple that you were 10, 5 or even 1 year ago. As you find new strengths and weaknesses in yourselves, you will find them in each other. There will be highs, and there will be lows and you will learn how to adapt together. You will become a team, taking on new challenges and coming out the other end as something different, something stronger.

7. Play. Don’t take yourself or your partner too seriously.

Be a goofball, get into tickle fights, and chase each other around the house. Cultivate your sense of humor and practice it on them. I remember being a little kid and thinking marriage was going to be awesome because I would have someone to play with ALL the time, keep that childish dream alive and have some damn fun!

8. Love something together.

Watching your partner dote on something you love is one of the purest pleasures there is. We don’t have children yet (but dammit if we don’t think our cats are family), yet I can imagine that this is one of the things that defines parenthood. Even if it isn’t a pet or a child, find something that you both love fully and then watch each other express that love. If that doesn’t give you the biggest “warm and fuzzies” you’ve ever had, then I don’t know what will.

9. Touch each other.

Intimacy is a human need, and is one that is often not met. We long for closeness and the feeling of skin on skin. Hold hands, cuddle, scratch each other’s backs, just keep that contact going. A lot of studies say that the first way to tell if a person is “into you” is to see if they make an effort to touch you on a regular basis, this should continue past flirtation. While we are the subject, touch each other in bed too (besides the sex stuff, which is super important but is a subject unto itself) even if it’s just putting your head in the crook of his arm while watching t.v., use that moment to connect.

10. Kiss goodnight and say good morning.

No matter what, always kiss each other before rolling over to sleep, you are closing your day together with a moment of pleasure, love and celebration of your union. On that same note, always start your day with a greeting to the most important person in your life. These are simple ways to tell each other, and the universe that you are taking on the world together, as a team, as husband and wife. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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