Celebrating the Milestones
It’s exciting when you get to celebrate smalls wins and the lovely sweet moments in life!
As of writing, I get to celebrate my 22nd Anniversary with my husband, business partner and lifelong best friend. I guess I can say lifelong because I’ve been my lovely guy for over half my life on this planet! And yes! We met and fell in love while training at the same gym…and that my friends are what you use gym mirrors for (wink).
To date, we have been traveling through life and exploring the world together. So far, we have explored 131 places worldwide and spent the last 9 years living abroad in Canada and the USA.
Which brings me to this.
Travel the Ultimate Relationship test
Guys, if your relationship can survive the travel test you have a good one!
From my experience (and failures over the years) I’ve learned that it’s super important to work on your own personal development first – so that you can add value to the most important person in your life.
My Top 12 Tips (spanning 22+ years)
Following are some takeaways that have helped me over the years – I hope that the ideas here serve you and your loved one to. And when I use the generalizing word “never” I really do mean it.
Tip 1. Treat the most important person in your life as exactly that – important. When they speak, be fully present with them, look at them, study their eyes. Put down your cell phone and be with them 100%. If you are unable to say so, don’t attempt to multi-task their importance. But do follow-up with and connect in with them as soon as you can, distraction-free.
Tip 2. Treat your partner as though you may never see them again (do this each day) this changes your perspective on everything. Bad moods, arguments, disagreements seem superficial through this lens.
Plus you never want to have to deal with neurotic-guilt-grief the “If only I…had of…” instead leave each moment as a clean slate. Even during arguments. Don’t let them or (you leave) without telling (screaming …lol) that you love them! Soooo important. Your heart (grief and healing) will thank you for it.
Tip 3. As mentioned traveling together keeps stuff real. When all you have is each other in a foreign country you’ll soon learn what’s valuable and important and what’s not worth stressing or arguing about.
Tip 4. Know your relationship deal breakers (and be prepared to walk away). Have aligned personal values and couple goals. Have these decided upon before marriage and more importantly before having children. It’s not romantic! And, yes you will quickly learn where you stand and to whom you stand with. But! It will save you a lot of heartbreak, sunk costs and more importantly your life and time on this planet.
Tip 5. Personal integrity. In situations – would you conduct yourself in the same manner as though your partner was standing behind you? If not, then don’t do it.
Tip 6. Be prepared for the cycles and seasons of life. Reaping and sowing, highs and lows. Enduring the daily grind all the while finding the fun and joy in it together. That is life baby!
Tip 7. Find a way to make each other laugh (daily).
Tip 8. If you see, hear or feel something in-the-moment that your partner is doing – address it right there and then – and vice-versa. Never leave it hanging in the air, or wonder about their actions trying to read between the lines. Address the concern right there and then. Leaving “things” unchecked can fester leading to mistrust, insecurities or unnecessary worry.
Tip 9. No one is a mind reader. It’s unrealistic and immature to think that others can read your mind or attend to your needs if you don’t communicate them.
Tip 10. Don’t ever try to change the other person. Let them be who they are. If their behavior is damaging to themselves or others, speak your mind and how it makes you feel so they know exactly where you stand. Whether they choose to change is up to them. Hounding or nagging the other person only causes resentment. It’s not your role to play parent to your partner its the quickest way to destroy intimacy and respect.
Tip 11. Never issue threats or ultimatums. It only causes resentment and unhappiness and will tend to backfire in long run.
Tip 12. During arguments, your partner is not the enemy – you are both on the same side. Take the big picture view and ask yourself in a years time will this really matter? You can be kind or you can be right. Do your best to choose kindness – it’s also a great way to work at harnessing the ego (simple but not easy) and avoid “sleeping” on an argument. Walk away, take time out but get it sorted – go to bed as friends (hopefully lovers) but not enemies. Keep point 2 in mind.
Like a beautiful, flourishing, hardy, healthy garden relationships require continual work and maintenance. They need to be protected and nurtured with constant weeding and pruning.
Occasionally they might require a burn-off to enable new growth.
Happy days and long life adventures!