This blog was meant to go out for Valentine’s Day, which is over a week ago now, but I still liked the content so I am going with the, “better late than never!” mindset. 😉
Since Valentine’s Day is all about love and my love’s (Dan) birthday was February 13th I wanted to talk about relationships.
As a disclaimer, Dan and my relationship is nowhere near perfect. We bicker when we are tired or overwhelmed, but for the most part, we get along really well. And most importantly we have a deep love, respect, and appreciation for one another. We haven’t always been here, but we get a little better every day.
Since we aren’t perfect and it took a road to get here, I thought I would share with you my own journey, realizations and changes we both had to make to get here. What I am about to talk about has helped change not only our relationship but my whole perspective and outlook on a relationship in general.
Fully accept them for who they are, as they are today.
Fun facts about my husband. He can quote, verbatim, every single movie, show, major sports star that he has ever listened to and 99% of the time I have no idea what he is talking about. When we first started dating this would drive me a little crazy and I would get embarrassed.
For example, one time we were in a very crowded part of NYC visiting friends when he decided it would be a good idea to quote The Office’s Dwight Schrute VERY loudly and said, “There are too many people on this earth. We need a new plague.”
At that moment I was horrified, but looking back it was actually hilarious. But right then, I was annoyed and wondered why he had to do things like that and BE like that. But his stupid quotes and constant desire to make a situation light or make me laugh is one of my favorite things about him. That is one of the parts of Dan that is uniquely Dan and I love Dan. I don’t want to change my Dan.
Once I started embracing that and laughing along and having fun, I could see how much happier he was that I was laughing too. Proud of his terrible movie quotes and the perfect placement of them in conversation.
For each of us, all we ever want in this life and in any relationship is to be loved and accepted for who we are. In close relationships that is the first place that acceptance starts to fade and judgment takes hold. Try to not let that happen. Embrace and encourage their unique-ness and they will in turn appreciate you even more for it.
Swap Expectation for Appreciation.
I blame romantic comedies, Disney movies, The Hallmark Channel, and social media for this unrealistic expectation so many of us have on what a “relationship” SHOULD look like. We were taught at a young age that if you are in a relationship then that person instantly falls madly in love with you, are super romantic, profess their love for you to the world and you live happily ever after. This rarely is the case.
Still, this very often can be the expectation many of us have when entering the adult world. And with many of us having such high, unrealistic expectations for what we think relationships should look we get into problems. When our partner does not meet said standard we get upset and think they don’t love us and that we have a bad relationship, which is totally wrong.
We all give our love away and show our love in different forms, so just because it’s not Hallmark Channel perfect doesn’t mean it’s still not perfect or what it should be. It’s perfect in its own unique way.
Just think about how much different would you feel on a daily basis and in every relationship you have if you just appreciated your person for all they are and all they do for you every day, instead of expecting or being upset they didn’t act a certain way. That feeling of appreciation is like a feeling of gratitude. It fills you up inside and makes you feel so good, light and happy. And it makes your partner feel good. When you feel appreciated, you feel loved, and that’s how we want them to feel.
Compromise, or Agree to Disagree.
“Agree to Disagree” is my husband’s favorite saying of all time. It’s like the ultimate peace flag in an argument without totally giving up your stance or belief.
Being type A and at times a control freak, I like to have and do certain things in a certain way and I get ogeda if it doesn’t work out the way its planned. That can get difficult when you live life with another human who doesn’t have the same wants and needs.
One time we were going back and forth about something totally insignificant and unimportant and then Dan dropped this on me, “You know what Em, why don’t we just agree to disagree”. At first I was like absolutely not! There must be a final say, a right and a wrong, but he kept saying it over and over again, like a mantra. And I felt myself slowly starting to calm down, and realizing we could just agree to disagree and then this fight would be over.
Learning to let go of control and stopping thinking that there is a right or wrong way of doing things, gives you so much space to just enjoy and love one another’s presence.
“Sharing” is one of the first things we learn to kids when we go to school or start playing with siblings or friends. Compromising is like sharing, but as an adult. Finding a middle ground, where you can both be happy and you are not giving yourself up completely to the other person is a step forward for many relationships. A place where it’s okay to agree to disagree.
In general, I take life way too seriously. I take everything way too seriously. I have goals
and dreams and am always on some mission to get to that next marker. Dan is also motivated and accomplished, but he is also super fun. He cracks stupid jokes, quotes movies, sings at kareoke, dances at weddings and bars, makes me watch videos about dogs and babies. My favorite part is whenever we try something new, he goes all in and holds nothing back. He doesn’t play it cool or care about what others think, but dives right in. He truly is just so FUN to be with and to be around. He inspires me to let my hair down and is constantly reminding me not to take life too seriously.
Having fun together, laughing together, and trying something new together is just so fun. You create new memories, you learn something new, and you feel like you are just fully living and enjoying this beautiful life together.
Life is tough, work gets hard, and family/friend situations can get dramatic and weird. All the more reason to make sure you make time to have fun. Whether that looks like trying something new, going out on a date night, getting dressed up and going to a karaoke bar or dive bar with an awesome band. That spark of happiness, and light will always be in your memory bank as a reminder, for when times get tough, of how much you love each other and how much fun you have together.
Love them with all you got.
Finding someone who truly accepts you as you are, appreciates all that you do, that you have so much fun with, deserves nothing but all of your love. Life is too short to let the small things get to us. Life is too short for fighting and grudges. Life is too short for comparison and judgement. Life is meant to be lived fully. Life is about having fun. Life is meant to be loved and cherished. Life is about giving it all you got while you are here.
Giving yourself to someone completely, not letting them have any reason of doubt for you not loving them is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Who better to give that too than the one person who feels the same way about you.
Tell them you love them all the time every day. Tell them how much you appreciate them or what the specific things that you love about them. Tell them they are beautiful or handsome. Put it all out there on the line, because you don’t know when the time will come when you can’t. When they won’t be there anymore. It’s morbid, but true. Don’t hold back, live, laugh, love and appreciate one another fully and the relationship ship you have will be extraordinarily miraculous. I promise you that. =]
Happy Birthday Bud. You are my greatest blessing.