A Decade in Love: 10 Things I've Learned About Relationships

by - January 29, 2020

This year, my husband and I reached a milestone in our relationship. As of January 26, 2020, we have been together for 10 years. It all started with an online dating profile and a first date that included a very messy sandwich that ended up all over my dress. What followed was two years of dating, a little less than a year engaged, going on eight years of marriage, the birth of our daughter, becoming homeowners, changing jobs, and so much more. We've had our fair share of ups and downs and learned a lot along the way. So in honor of a decade in love, here are the 10 biggest pieces of advice I would give to couples.

1. I love reading about and watching love stories. I especially love segments that ask couples who've been together for 50-plus years about the secret to a successful long-term relationship. The details vary from couple to couple but the lesson is always the same: if you want your relationship to stand the test of time, you've got to put in the work.

2. Don't go to bed angry. Trust me. Things won't look better in the morning if they're still unresolved.

3. Do not make big spending decisions on your own. Even if you choose to keep your bank accounts separate, (we do) and it's spending the money you earned.

4. If you can't learn to live with the little annoyances, it probably won't work out. Because pretty soon that small thing will start to grow at an irrational rate and become all that you see.

5. Be willing to compromise. On everything.

6. Keep your own interests and hobbies.

7. Keep dating each other! This one is so important, especially for those of you planning on having kids. Don't let the romance between you fizzle. Set aside time every week or month for just the two of you.

8. Talk it out. Don't just assume that your partner understands or even knows how you're feeling, even if it should be obvious. And don't limit this to just things that make you sad or angry. Talk about the good things, too!

9. If you see something that needs doing around the house, don't wait for your partner to ask you to pitch in. Just do it. And don't make a big deal out of it. Relationships are a partnership. You should be helping each other out with everyday tasks without being prompted.

10. Always kiss each other goodnight and goodbye. You never know when it could be your last.

My marriage is far from perfect, and that's OK. But here's what I know: we made a promise to each other and every day we work to keep that promise. Ten years after our first date, Chris still finds a way to make me smile (even when I really don’t want to), and we’ve yet to go to bed angry. He is my biggest supporter and my best friend, and I couldn’t imagine going through life without him by my side.

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