My husband, Paul, and I are going on 8 years of being together. We have quite the unusual story, which you can hear all about in this video, but let me share some important details about us as a couple that you won’t hear in the video. I’m married to the world’s most stubborn, genuine, loving, caring, honest, obnoxious, supportive man I’ve ever met. Recently he has allowed me to share more of our life together (aka me annoying him on the daily) via social media and many of you have taken an interest in him. Many of you probably know him as “Richard” at this point, too. Yeah, he takes a lot of shit from me. But that’s the kind of guy he is–he is willing to do anything as long as it ultimately makes me happy.
I, on the other hand, am not nearly as selfless as Paul. I’m kind of grumpy / irritable in the mornings, useless when tired, easily hangry, and overall kind of a needy human being. Luckily, Paul is a morning person so he takes care of us (him, myself, and the dogs) up until he goes to work in the morning. At night it’s my turn to take care of us, but Paul will still step in and do the dishes after I’ve cooked dinner. I guess you could call this balance.
I’ve shared these examples so you can get a sense of the type of relationship I have with Paul. We value trust above anything and love and respect each other deeply. Paul is my best friend–there is no one I’d rather spend time with than him, which makes being life partners easier. We all know relationships are hard work, so actually liking your spouse (not just loving them) makes it a bit easier. Below you will find some of our best relationship advice. We are obviously not experts in the matter but our “tips” definitely factor into our relationship.
10 RELATIONSHIP TIPS:
1. Paul: Never Settle. People often forget that the most important thing for a relationship to work is for YOU to be happy. The world is too big and life is too short for you to settle for anyone who doesn’t make you happy and fulfill your needs. It took me years to get Sivan but it was completely worth it.
2. Sivan: No computer in the bedroom. I used to have a strict no TV in the bedroom philosophy also, but then I was finding myself falling asleep on the couch watching my shows and Paul would have to carry me to bed. Once I fall asleep it physically pains me to be woken up so I decided we could put a TV in the bedroom in order for me to fall asleep in my final destination. BUT, the no-computer rule is just to keep the bedroom purely for relaxation. There needs to be some separation, mentally, between work and your most sacred space.
3. Paul: Do not hide things, including passwords. The next most important thing in any relationship is TRUST. If you find yourself hiding things from your bf/gf, you are either doing something you shouldn’t or you are not with the right person. You should be comfortable sharing every part of your life with the one you are choosing to live the rest of your life with.
4. Sivan: Don’t get lazy with yourself. I’ve always felt this way. Work to be your best self–physically, mentally, & emotionally–while in a relationship. If you’re with the right person these things should come naturally, as they will bring out your best qualities. While I definitely have my sweat-pant days, and working from home makes that something that can easily happen daily, I make a point of getting dressed and putting on some makeup to look presentable for dinner with Paul. If you were to ask him, he would blab about loving me without makeup blah blah blah but I know he appreciates the effort I make to keep his eyes on me only 😉
5. Paul: Your bf/gf is also your partner. And you guys need to work together to make life easier. Be aware of what is going on in your bf/gf’s life and be there for them when they need it. Everybody hears about the big gestures and that is great for special moments but what really makes a relationship last are the little things. If your bf/gf has a big test coming up or a presentation at work that has them stressed out, go out of your way to handle the little inconveniences of life they usually handle like making dinner, doing laundry, or walking the dogs.
6: Sivan: Remember how things were in the beginning. During fights especially. I know what it’s like to go through a shitty phase when things just seems to be down, but it is important to remember why you began dating in the first place. When I do this it brings out those buried emotions that instantly helps me move onward from a petty fight or shitty phase. I kept a journal when Paul and I first started dating and sometimes reading through that really gives me some perspective.
7. Paul: Do not say things you cannot take back. In any relationship there are going to be fights and arguments, however, it is important to stay in control and never say anything unnecessarily hurtful that you will never be able to take back. Saying something too personal could cause the other person to become insecure or grow to resent you. If you absolutely must curse the other person, keep it generic (e.g. “asshole”).
8. Sivan: Communicate openly & often. I’m guilty of over-sharing with Paul. He gets a play-by-play of my every move because he often helps me make decisions or see new perspectives. We are both equally invested in each others lives–professionally and personally–so open communication is crucial.
9. Paul: Communicate directly. If something is bothering you or if you are feeling a certain way, do not assume or expect your bf/gf to figure it out on their own. Address the issue straight on and explain why you feel that way. This avoids small irritants building up to cause a huge argument which your bf/gf won’t understand and will think you are cray for over exaggerating a minor issue.
10: Sivan: Go on dates. Every Friday night Paul and I meet for sushi. We look forward to it every week, as it signifies the start of the weekend and we obviously get to eat and drink a delicious meal. Someone recently asked me if Paul and I run out of things to talk about, and I’m bringing this up since we often notice couples sitting in silence, and the answer is no. I don’t know how that is even possible, unless you don’t over-share like I do (see #8). Dinner with Paul is no different than dinner with one of my girlfriends–we will talk from the beginning to end about everything and anything. I guess that has to do with him being my best friend, I’m always excited to share something with him, doesn’t matter how little or big.
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