Andy and I have been together twelve years and married, HAPPILY, I might add, for just shy of ten years. And, by no means, are we the be all, end all marriage/relationship gurus, but we DO have some really great foundational “best practices” which have kept us super happily married and still as crazy in love as we were when we first met.
I know there are all sorts of books on relationships and relationship advice and what to do to have the best, etc. but if you ask us, these seven steps are at the heart of a great relationship, no matter how long you have been together.
Commitment to God/Core Values
Our faith comes first in our lives! Nothing else would be of value if we neglected or compromised that.
We are best friends...we started out that way and still to this day there is no one I would rather hang out with or share my excitement, news, or cry with. Friendships are fun and mischievous, exciting and energetic and when you treat your partner like your best friend it’s fun and playful. This also keeps us making out like high school kids and our sex life is amazing and awesome!
Communication is Key!! One of the best books on love and relationships is The Five Love Languagesby Gary Chapman. You have to know how your partner/significant other gives, and receives, love. How do you tell your partner what you need? How do you tell them that they hurt your feelings? How do you learn to listen to one another’s hopes and dreams? You always have to have an open line of communication. Be willing to listen with both ears!
Working Together as a Team
Walking through tough, trying seasons can make or break a relationship and I can promise there will be storms and major turbulence. A great relationship is a team at heart and we are stuck like glue, in it together to see it through. You support and empower one another, pick one another up and take on your hopes and dreams together.
When we come to the end of our life, we want to look back knowing we played the game of life “full out” and lived life to the fullest. Working on yourself personally is a key component to showing up for your partner. We are completely dedicated to growing as a couple by supporting one another as individual’s in eating right, working out or exercising, self care, time with friends, etc.
The greatest bonds between people come as the result of their experiences together, good and bad. We try to create as many positive experiences as possible and weather the storms of negative ones together.
We still date one another...I like to look good and dress well and try to show Andy it is important for me to take care of myself and try to look the best I can. He is important to me and by me making the effort to look my best I show him that he is important as well. We make a conscious effort to send texts throughout the day or leave notes...little reminders that we love and appreciate one another. Andy has given me roses just about every single week since we have been together except for holidays when we both agree the prices are way too jacked up :)
We plan our schedules so that we ensure that we have time for one another, and, as individuals. You have to be intentional about the things and people that matter most if you want your relationships and life to thrive