relationshipsRomantic relationships are fun of course, but they are not easy. From personal experience, it takes a lot of work and dedication but is completely worth it! The best way to describe it for me is: when things are less than ideal, and it feels like everything is against you there is one person that will want to see you, talk to you or help you. This goes for both sides as well. With a little help from my sweet boyfriend we have compiled a list of what helps keep us strong, and hopefully it will work for you too!

Don’t settle– There is absolutely nothing wrong with waiting to find someone that respects you as much as you need to be and has the qualities you want. There is no time limit on how long it takes to find someone or how long it takes to fall in love.

Communication and trust– These are things everyone talks about, but what does it actually mean? I think it’s whatever works for you. An argument can effectively be avoided by conversationally saying, “this really bothered me, this is why, and please don’t do it again.” Telling yourself you want a relationship without fighting is also important and if a situation like that happens often you know to leave it. Disagreements are going to happen but it is how you deal with them that matters. This
also builds trust because you’ll each know when there’s a problem. Everything will be addressed instead of aggravated.

Being friends – Possibly the most important part. You can love someone easily but liking them is a different story. Building a friendship is what gets two people through really difficult times, however,separating romance from companionship doesn’t happen overnight. Start setting aside time specifically for the two of you. Create traditions and rituals that center on spending time together talking. Sit on the patio, drink some tea and talk about life or pick one day a week to drive around the town looking for yard-sales… anything really will do, as long as you are spending one-on-one time together.

couple walking through snowPicking battles -Not everything is worth an argument and it takes a big person to swallow their pride. You must recognize that sometimes your relationship is more important than the fact that he always takes over the radio in the car, every time. A part of this also includes compromise which can make the argument completely avoidable or not even a potential problem at all. In the case of the radio always being taken over, compromise on the station; he doesn’t like show tunes, you don’t like hard rock, but you both like reggae so pick that.

Be interested in each other– This can be the hobbies each of you has separately or the futures you are planning. There is nothing worse than talking about something you are passionate about with someone who has zero response or care for it. Not everyone is going to be interested the 4 hours you spent in a fabric store, or how you put together a robot from scratch, but there should be passion for the other person which then leads to support and interest.

i love you on paperThis is definitely not foolproof advice by any means. Every romantic relationship is different and everyone has things they like. I don’t like stress or arguments and my goal has always been to create a crazy, fun love story and after four years these are the things that have kept it going. Be friends and support each other, then everything will fall into place. And in the case that things start to get rough, a wise man once told me to think of the time when everything was great and try and get back to that before giving up.