1. Love is only one ingredient.
This is something that I am still learning. It is important to realize that love is there but that you have to be so much more. Being friends, roommates, lovers, business partners, parents, but most importantly – team members. Don’t forget that love is not the only play in the book.
2. Be positive.
This may not seem like a big deal but it really is. Being positive keeps you both looking forward and focused on the good. Keeping a good outlook will make the journey easier, not only for your partner but for you too.
3. Make your own traditions.
There is something refreshing about doing things your way because that’s what works for you. Maybe it’s staying home on Christmas Day and seeing relatives on Christmas Eve or it could even be that every Friday night is Date Night. I have gotten caught up in “because it’s tradition” but making our own traditions is much more fun. Incorporating the old with the new could be fun too!
4. Don’t be gross.
There is no quicker way to seem attractive to your partner than by using your body to make gross sounds and smells, insert sarcasm here. This goes for the girls and the guys. Sometimes a little bit of mystery isn’t such a bad thing.
5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Whether you’re in different rooms or on different continents, it’s true what they say. When I had started my job, I knew there would be traveling to other countries. I was excited and sad at the same time thinking “I don’t know if I can leave my fiancé for a week.” Well, I did it and it wasn’t that bad. I did get homesick, but that’s normal. My fiancé and I spend a lot of time together, a long commute to work, working out and other time as well. Sometimes being away is like meeting your partner all over again. Sometimes it’s just about having a few hours in the same house doing your own things.
6. Debate club.
I love to debate and so does my fiancé. We have conversations about everything and we are not afraid to disagree. This is so important, I think that through these debates we have a better view of where the other person is coming from. I didn’t realize that debating can look a lot like arguing, especially to my future step-daughter who is ten. I explained to her the difference between debating and arguing and how debating is not the same as arguing about chores and what not. Debating is healthy whereas arguing should be kept at a minimum.
7. What do we have in common?
This is one of my favorites. My fiancé and I have somethings in common but we definitely have different interests and that’s okay, well that’s better than okay. Like debating, different interests can lead to different ideas and a larger view of the world. It is important to have “core” beliefs in common, but if I want to plan our wedding and my fiancé wants to code then we go for it. If you and your partner are exactly the same, then what is the point?
8. Push each other.
Pushing each other helps because sometimes you need that. The worst thing you can do for your partner is enable them getting stagnant in their lives. That workout that you don’t want to do? Do it because it’s something you do together.
9. Location is to real state, as compromise is to marriage.
Location, location, location can be replaced with compromise, compromise, compromise. Remember that your spouse is the only person in your family that you get to pick. That’s it, you don’t get to choose your kids, your parents, siblings and everyone in between. It’s never going to be your way all the time and it shouldn’t, you’re a team. Compromise is healthy for your relationship and is another one of those things that will broaden your world view.
10. Be accountable & be honest.
It’s not always rainbows and butterflies so don’t add fuel to the fire by sticking to your ground when you know you’re wrong. This is your teammate, remember? We are all imperfect, so put on your grownup boots be accountable and be honest. Compromise, accountability, honesty and relationships are what makes it work.