Yesterday Nick and I quietly celebrated our 10 year anniversary! 10 YEARS!
It’s no secret among our friends that Nick and I hated each other when we first met. Like haaaaated. But after hanging out with mutual friends for a while something changed; we got to know one another and fell in love.
I’ll be turning 27 later this month, which means we started dating right before I turned 17. Even though we were young, I have no doubt that Nick is the guy for me, forever. We’re best friends, we work well together, we’re excited to see each other (almost) every day and we’re still madly in love 😉
That doesn’t mean we haven’t had our doubts, arguments and fights, or had moments when we didn’t even want to be in the same room. We have. We’re only human, y’know, but when you love someone you learn a thing or two about how to live with them day-to-day and get through those rough times.
And here are the things I’ve learned after 10 years with my hubby.
One of the most difficult things for me to learn was how to compromise. I’m stubborn and hardheaded and quite persistent – or as I like to think of it, strong-willed and determined. But even though I am a very open-minded person, I used to have a hard time compromising.
In any relationship though, whether it’s between two besties or even co-workers, you have to learn how to compromise. ‘Cause you can’t always have it your way, babe, and that’s just life. Get over it. Move on. In all seriousness though, I have learned how to compromise, mostly thanks to Nick. Of course it’s a two-way street and he has to compromise from time-to-time, too, and we’re better for it.
One thing I can’t stand is when someone tries to change who they are to please their spouse. Like, if you have to change who you are to appease them, then what the fuck is the point of that bullshit relationship? Because compromising on what to watch or where to eat out is one thing, but giving up an integral part of who you are is another. You don’t have to agree on everything, but you have to be comfortable enough to be yourself. I mean, being in a relationship with someone you live with kind of puts it all out there for them to see, at least, eventually.
All of our biggest fights have basically stemmed from not communicating properly. Like when I wanted to get a dog, and just showed up one day with one. Or when I decided to go back to school full-time. Or when I come home with big pieces of furniture. Nick has been very understanding and patient with my on-the-fly decisions (I’m kind of a jump-right-in-worry-about-shit-when-or-if-it-comes-up-later kinda person, when it’s not something serious), but sometimes he isn’t so happy about the things I do. So, I’m learning to talk to him more about my crazy ideas before I act on them. And I’m sure he appreciates it because all them relationship experts were right about this one: communication is key!
Nick and I bonded over punk music and whiskey when we finally started getting along. We introduced each other to new bands and movies, I dragged him into a thrift store and he became vintage obsessed, he taught me how to garden and not kill everything. Over the years we’ve grown to share a lot of interests outside of entertainment, and we have a lot of fun hanging out. When you’re in a relationship it sure helps to have things to do together and to talk about. I can’t imagine having nothing in common because how would we spend our time? I picture those vultures from The Jungle Book: “Iunno know, what do you want to do?”
As a side note, it also helps to have similar life goals. For example, Nick and I both want the same style of house in the same city, with a big backyard. We agree that one kiddo is perfect for us and we want the same things in life. It’s a lot easier when you are working towards the same things.
Your Own Interests
It’s equally important to have interests outside of your relationship. I know a lot of people who let their relationship consume them! And I can’t help but wonder whyyyy. Nick and I have a lot of our own interests. One of mine is blogging, but I also enjoy art and crafts, bootcamp, writing, baking and photography, all things Nick doesn’t care to do. Whereas Nick collects records, enjoys (boring) documentaries and playing darts. These are things we do on our own or with friends, but every so often I’ll play a game of darts with Nick and he’ll help me bake cookies (especially when he wants some).
You can’t really talk about romantic relationships without touching base on intimacy. I’ll be honest, though, I’m pretty private and don’t like talking about it. So I will just that it is important, and sometimes you have to make the effort, and other times you don’t. Either way, remember to be intimate with your spouse.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that having my hubby’s support is super important to me. No matter what I choose to do, whether it’s freelance writing, starting a new job or choosing to go back to school, I want to know that Nick supports my decision and will be there for me. And I usually support him, too! For example, Nick went to a beard competition last year and won second place, and this year he’s already signed up for two more. I love that he’s excited about it, and even though I miss his smooth chin I’ll support that hairy face all the way!
What are some lessons you’ve learned from being in a long-term relationship? Would you say that any of these are similar?