Spoiler alert: relationships take work. Anyone that says it’s supposed to be easy…well, they’re lying. No single person is perfect so why would a relationship be?
I say this but then also think I’ve got it pretty good with Brandon. Now don’t get me wrong, he isn’t perfect and we all know I definitely am the farthest from it. But, the relationship we have is what I know it should be. He’s made mistakes. I’ve made mistakes. We argue and we complain and we hit roadblocks but something we also do is work through it and grow together from it.
Being in a healthy relationship with a pretty amazing man has been a remarkable experience, but it’s also taught me A LOT about who I am as a woman…and as the other half of a relationship. We’ve had so much fun and have made so many awesome memories over the past two/almost three years but what I’ve learned along the way has by far been the most rewarding.
So, after giving it some thought, I decided to share some of these lessons with you guys. Not to preach or lecture or tell you what you should be learning or feeling. But to just show you where I’m at as I head into a new year of life in terms of my relationship. I also just think it’s fun every now and then to jot down some of the things on your mind, diary-style, and then take a look back in a year and see how far you’ve come. So without further ado…
Five Things I’ve Learned from My Relationship
one | I AM NEEDY AF: Not only has Brandon informed me of this (in a totally nice way-ish), but I realized this almost immediately about myself once we started dating. I would like to blame it on my last relationship but what I’ve actually learned is that it stems from this strange combination of insecurity and being an extrovert. I 100% strive when I’m surrounded by others and if I never had to be alone for the rest of my life, I’d be happy. I’m also an only child and love the attention – what can I say. BUT, being this way can be a challenge for the other person in the relationship for obvious reasons.
The lesson: break away from the need for “attention” and find other ways to fuel what makes you happy. It shouldn’t be surrounding yourself with one person 24/7. It also shouldn’t be “checking up” on that person to ease your own insecurities. In full disclosure, this one is a struggle for me but I am trying!
two | THE ART OF “LETTING IT GO”: My mom could quite literally write a book on this topic. I’m not exaggerating – her motto in life is “no drama” and she is the calmest person I know. She is so good at taking whatever craziness my dad or her job throws her way and just shrugging the stress of it away and dealing with the issue in a calm manner. What I’ve learned from my mom when it comes to relationships is sometimes you truly have to let it go and try to be as calm as you can. And, not just say you’ll let it go – but to actually shake that ish from your mind and move on. This doesn’t mean be a push over and let whatever happens just kill your vibe, but you gotta pick and choose the things that truly matter and go from there.
The lesson: handle the issue or the conflict for what it is rather than making it all about the emotion. This is hard for me because I am extremely emotional and sensitive. It’s hard for me to let things go because I attach these hard feelings but I’m learning more and more that some things should not impact my spirit.
three | MY LOVE LANGUAGE = ACTS OF KINDNESS: so, I convinced Brandon to do the 5 Love Languages quiz and I honestly can’t remember what his results were but mine, with no surprise, was acts of kindness. This basically means that I show love and like to be shown someone else’s love through action. Not gifts or words, but in what we do and how we do it. I am so quick to plan little surprises and do fun things to make Brandon feel the love I have for him. Let me just tell you, this isn’t how Brandon shows his love. He’s more about words and to his credit, always tells me how much he loves me, how beautiful I am, etc. And that doesn’t suck – I’m not complaining. BUT, I’ve learned that the way I feel the love the most is when it’s being displayed through actions.
The lesson: first of all, get to know how you and your partner show love and how you like to be shown love. Then talk about it. Brandon and I literally had this conversation three days ago and I already feel so much better and on the same page. This isn’t about changing the other person and is instead about tailoring actions or words to meet the other person halfway. Brandon, as much as loves a surprise trip to Miami, would rather me focus more on smaller actions like not being so damn needy (jk, sort of) and I would be pretty excited about a surprise date night on top of the sweet comments. We’re both working on this and that’s all I could ask for.
four | I FEEL LIKE MYSELF, FINALLY: I won’t get into it, but in my previous relationship I just didn’t feel like myself. Friends always told me my spirit wasn’t the same and they never saw me, etc. With Brandon, I can’t believe I ever acted any differently. I am goofy AF and have never felt more comfortable with anyone EVER. That, to me, is #relationshipgoals. He brings this energy out of me, and really anyone he interacts with, and it’s such a special thing.
The lesson: dude, if you’re not with someone who brings out the best parts of you while also making you comfortable enough to embrace the worst, it’s time to make a change. It’s not always butterflies – we sit around sometimes being super lazy and binging on gross food, but then we turn it around and do something awesome the next moment and I love that we can do both and feel comfortable enough to do both, together.
five | I NEED TO INSPIRE: if you’ve ever met Brandon and I together, there’s a good chance you’d heard him tell you about my blog before I did. He is quite possibly my biggest cheerleader (sorry mom). He is the first one to throw me a compliment and promote my business and keep my motivated to totally crush it. And, don’t get me wrong, I do it too for him but I know without a doubt that I could be better. He does so many amazing things from his job to his involvement with the community to his love and passion for family — I want to be his cheerleader more and more every day.
The lesson: don’t forget about the words. I already told you guys I’m all about showing love through action. This is where it can be a downfall. Sometimes I forget to use my words to inspire and motivate. I’m learning to do more of this and cheer on my man and hype him up whenever I can…to the point where you might get annoyed. But I think it’s part of this cool dynamic we’re building together and I don’t hate it.
Love this post! These are really great tips for anyone in all stages of life. I think it’s important before entering into any relationship to be able to answer those type of questions about yourself and what you can give and expect from the relationship.
GREAT blog. Love this. Married 14 years and could easily use all these tips.
I enjoyed reading this post Lo! Believe it or not, you are so much like your dad when it comes to a loving relationship!!
What a great post Lauren! I completely relate to this! My husband is my biggest cheerleader and if anything he is the reason why I blog started!
You guys are *the* cutest — I totally agree with your #1 point as well — I had no idea how needy I was until I started dating my BF too. Only child syndrome is a real thing!!
xo, Alicia | AliciaTenise.com
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