Relationships aren’t easy. It’s not girl meet Prince Charming and they get happily married the next day, although we wish it would be sometimes! Relationships take a lot of hard work and dedication, it’s not for the faint hearted! It’s all about finding the right balance between you and your loved one, as well as other people around you.
Me and Andy have known each other for almost 3 years now, officially together for almost 2.5 years. We recently filmed a video over on my YouTube Channel answering some questions on our relationship, with the most common question being; how do you make it last?!
Growing up I used to watch Matthew Hussey on YouTube, and I still encourage all young girls/boys and adults to go watch him too. His advice is second to none. Having been in rocky relationships and then having to find that ‘something’ to make a stable relationship work is something I’m sure most of us can relate to.
So this is my personal advice on what me and Andy do to essentially stop us killing each other.
- Travel together – now I’m not saying book a week holiday as soon as you meet someone, but to travel with someone is to completely be put out of both your comfort zones. You are without your longstanding support group (friends, family etc.) and you solely depend on each other. Personally, travelling will either make or break a relationship. Me and Andy had a motorbike accident 6 months into us dating in a foreign country, an experience that should have broke us, but we still managed to stay intact. If you want to know what travelling as a couple is really like, head over to my travel blog
- Give and take is unbelievably important. I’m not saying you need to give 80% while your other half is only giving 20% all the time, but you need to be willing to sacrifice. Andy does downhill mountain biking and often goes on weekends away with mates, sure, I’d love him to stay with me for the weekend but I understand how important it is for him to do his own thing. And as he allows me to do my own thing. So one weekend he’ll be off for a weekend, then another it’ll be my turn. Give and take.
- Have your own life away from each other. Of course you love them and want to spend endless amount of time with them, but sometimes you can over do it. It’s very common to have disagreements when you spend every waking moment with someone, and disagreements can sometimes lead to arguments – which isn’t healthy for any relationship. I always make sure I have time for my girls whenever possible and Andy does too
- Trust them with your whole heart, unless they’ve given a reason otherwise. Trust issues is the number 1 thing that ruins relationships. If they’ve told you where they’re going and with who, why doubt it? If they then want to meet up with a female friend/male friend and you act as though it’s some mortal sin they are more likely to keep it from you and cause the trust issues to begin with. That being said, if you have genuine reason to doubt then that is completely different, just don’t cause an argument that never needed to be caused in the first place. Andy has plenty of girls as friends and always has done, why do I not get jealous? Because when he meets up with them or chats, he always lets me know. He doesn’t tell me every single word or conversation he has with people, as I don’t need to tell him mine. But it is the mutual trust and understanding that, if he’s told me what he’s doing, I have no reason to doubt him. Jealousy can be a big emotion for most girls and teens, keep it at bay and keep that communication open, if you really feel uneasy put it across in a nice way by saying “I don’t want to pry or make you feel like I’m being invasive, but this situation is making me feel uncomfortable…” and explain your reasons why. If it’s simply because you don’t want to ‘share’ him with other people, then the problem doesn’t lie with him, it lies with your insecurities.
- Communication is key. If you’re like me, and tend to keep emotions bottled up until you spill out in one big, blubbing anxiety mess – it’s super important to communicate with your partner. Me and Andy try to make sure at least one night a week (it normally occurs around 1am when we can’t sleep and we end up pouring out all kinds of random blubber to each other!) to communicate the little things that made us unhappy. It could be as simple as “I didn’t like that you didn’t hold that door open for me today”. When we let emotions and resentment towards things build up in our minds, it’s a ticking time bomb before it blows up. In almost 3 years me and Andy have never had a full blown argument, sure, we’ve bickered when we’re tired. But never a screaming match, and I don’t think I ever will (mainly because he’s a big child and when I start to lose my temper he pulls some silly 5 year old face to make me laugh and forget what I was even mad about in the first place)
- Expectations ruin relationships. Sure, it’s lovely that YouTube couple surprised their boyfriend/girlfriend with an all inclusive holiday complete with roses and chocolates because they ‘felt like treating them’. But let’s be honest, how many of us can afford that?! Even simple things like wanting flowers, or even a chocolate bar from the corner shop are a no go. Sure you can want them, but don’t expect them. Your other half will end up resenting showering you with love and gifts if you expect it of them. Why not just expect them to give you a bit of their time? Live for the extra 5 minute kiss before you walk out the door when you’re rushing around, not the flowers and chocolates he got you last Friday and you’ve been sat wondering whether he’ll do it again this Friday. Your other half will buy you gifts when they want to, if that’s never then that’s never. If it’s every Friday, it’s every Friday. Your relationship has it’s own timeline. I probably get one bouquet of flowers a year if I’m lucky from Andy, I never expect or want them – just one day he’ll feel like buying me some. It’s the greatest surprise ever when you’re not expecting it.
- Live for the little moments, you got caught in the rain – but it sure as hell was funny. That 5 minute snooze cuddle in the morning before work. When you catch them staring at you at the corner of your eye and ask what they’re doing and they reply “nothing”. Life has so many big moments to get caught up in, instead why don’t you look around at what you already have and relish in it.
Remember “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning how to dance in the rain”
As always, this is my own personal advice, please do not take it as gospel and your relationship will always be on your terms.