Adam and I just celebrated our 9 year anniversary on the 27th April, and it’s crazy to think that we have been together so long. Next year is the decade, the big 10 years, and while it feels like the time has gone incredibly fast since my timeline is often measured by events, at the same time, mentally I feel like I have known him forever and I can’t even remember my life without him. There’s something so special about that connection when you find it with another person, it feels truly like you found the other half of you.
I just want to put out there firstly that I’m not making this blog post with intention of rubbing my relationship in anyone’s face, neither am I gloating, and neither am I being inconsiderate to others who haven’t found their partner yet. I am making this blog post purely out of what’s in my heart at this current moment and with advice on what’s made mine and Adam’s relationship work so well. Everyone is different, everyone has their own baggage, and everyone thinks differently, but for me, I’ve noticed a lot of things which have contributed positively towards a happy relationship and I want to share that. I’m in no way at a veteran level, but I feel like 9 years is an extremely long time too.
Honesty & Communication
Ever since I was little, I’ve always had the inability to lie. I have too much of a conscience to keep anything from someone or lie about it (I even struggle with surprises) and I’ve found this extremely helpful in a relationship. Honesty is one of the main things you need. You should never, ever bottle up your feelings or upset when the other has caused it, you should always be vocal in a calm and thoughtful way about what you’re feeling, and you should be open about what you’re doing and who you’re seeing – you don’t need to hide anything. When you’re honest with each other, with everything, the support system and connection you have with the other person gets stronger by the day. Adam and I are so open and honest with one another that he will even tell me if something I’m wearing doesn’t look good, if my stomach looks big (I know most people would have a fit over that) and I do the same for him. It’s nothing critical or rude, but it’s looking out for the other so they don’t feel embarrassed. The honesty always comes from a good place.
How you communicate with each other is important too. There’s no need for raging and shouting when something can be said calmly and efficiently. Arguments don’t need to be had when a discussion is perfectly fine instead. Adam and I have luckily never had a blazing row and that’s purely because of how disagreements are handled on both of our parts. You can’t get your point across in heated arguments, so talking in a calm and collected manner will often work if it’s something you both stick to. If you feel you can’t be honest and open in person, you can always try writing a letter instead.
The number one thing you need in a relationship is complete trust. If there is none, it will not work. A lot of the time I feel like others are always suspicious of their partner, not trusting anything they are doing, checking their phones, emails, social media, causing an argument about a work colleague etc because of the place of distrust. I understand where that can come from because of past experiences of my own and I understand why it would happen. I used to have trust issues in a previous relationship, but one thing I quickly learned is that you can’t stop anyone from doing what they want to do.
Trying to prevent someone from cheating on you will not work and will only stress you out even more. They will always do what they want to do and if you honestly have to prevent them from doing it, you shouldn’t be with them as they’re not worthy of your love or time.
In order for things to work, you have to trust the other person unless proven otherwise. Everyone is different and you honestly can’t tarnish everyone with the same brush, so you have to have trust. People can’t feel trapped or encased as it will make them rebel and want freedom, so in a relationship, freedom is also needed in that we shouldn’t treat the other like they have done something wrong and try to prevent them from doing something wrong, it doesn’t work. It causes anger, resentment and eventually a breakup. I’ve seen it happen numerous times and it proves you need trust for it to work. If you can’t trust the other person and you always have worried feelings (which are valid, not made up) then it’s probably not right for you as you’re not feeling secure.
In everyone, a healthy amount of jealousy is fine, but I’ve personally found that there’s no room for excessive jealousy in a relationship. There’s no need for it. If myself or Adam finds someone else good looking, we will say so, and it doesn’t upset either of us. If someone calls Adam hot or flirts with him, it doesn’t worry me and neither does it him if it’s the other way around. I understand where jealousy comes from and obviously if your partner would show more attention to another person and not to you, it will come up, but finding that balance is key. Knowing that Adam loves me and I love him erases any negativity or jealous emotions. I find that jealousy often comes from a place of unhappiness with yourself, if you’re not comfortable with the way that you look or who you are as a person (you have no reason to feel like that, we’re all amazing in our own way) then you often feel like you’re not good enough and it eventually leads to resentment and breakups as well.
Be comfortable with who you are so none of your own insecurities are pushed onto the other. Putting your own problems and worries into your relationship and onto your partner leads to negativity and they wont appreciate it because it’s irrelevant and hurtful.
It’s definitely human nature and animal instinct to find other people attractive, we would be lying to ourselves if we said we didn’t. But I often look at situations from my own point of view first. If Adam finds another girl attractive or she has a great body part, I will think to myself ‘yes she does, she’s very beautiful’ and I can appreciate what I see rather than take it on as an insecurity. I then look to myself and think ‘well I find other people attractive too and will often look and admire, but it never means I love them or want a relationship with them, it’s just an appreciation and that is most likely the same way of thinking for Adam. So learn to love yourself enough to know that nobody else is a threat to you. You’re together for a reason.
Much like honesty, and many of the other points as they all combine into one to make a healthy mix, sharing is extremely important. You need to share your emotions, your feelings, your life, your being, etc in an equal manner to become one strong unit. This also includes sharing burdens, happiness, chores (I’ve found that sharing money doesn’t apply here though, we always keep our own) and thoughts in equal ways creates a very healthy balance in your relationship. There’s no resentment of things being too one sided or hurt stemming from the other not taking any responsibilities or keeping their feelings to themselves. Everything needs to be out in the open and spoken about so sharing is essential. I’ve committed my life to Adam, so 50/50 on everything and being open is extremely important to us.
Second to last, but in no means less important, there’s support. Supporting your partner 100% in all their endeavors and choices is one of the best things you can do. Even if you’re not entirely happy with their new found obsession or hobby, support them. Everyone has their own things that they like and they need their own space and alone time to enjoy things outside of the relationship and away from the world. Whether that’s a hobby of gaming, collecting things, photography, whatever they enjoy (as long as it’s safe and legal, I’m not on about unhealthy addictions) then show that you’re supportive. I always support Adam in all his choices, I help and share my advice and thoughts on them too, in a positive way, just like he does with me. It’s good to have a support network and feel like you can always rely on that person and not feel like you have to hide anything from them at all. You shouldn’t feel like you need to make them give any hobbies up just because they’re in a relationship now. We all need our own time and relationship time, a balance between those two is extremely important to avoid resentment and frustration.
Go At Your Own Pace
Finally, I can’t stress this one enough! Go at your own speed and what’s right for you. Adam and I have been together 9 years like I said, but we only got engaged last year. It took us 8 years to finally be engaged, but that’s because it felt right for us. Of course there were countless comments and remarks from so many people after us being together only 2 years about when we were getting married or having kids etc, which eventually stopped after about 5 years, but it seemed like everyone was always shocked that we weren’t moving in together (we still haven’t) or getting married. Everyone is different, everyone is unique, you can’t define a relationship on a timeline that is meant to suit everyone.
The engagement after 2 years and having children when you’re married isn’t for everyone. For Adam and I it couldn’t have been further from what felt right. We still have no plans to get married at the moment and no date because we want to live together when we do, and financially we are not in the right place for that at the moment, but it will all happen in time. Don’t feel like you need to conform to society when it doesn’t feel right. Don’t rush the other one into marriage and kids if it’s not right for them. What matters is your happiness and staying true to yourself, so disregard the rushed timeline if you feel pressured, only do it if it’s right for you. I feel like you need plenty of time to get to know one another extremely well and decide if you want to spend your life with them, so don’t rush it before knowing everything you need to about them as it often ends in divorce.
– I would absolutely love to know your thoughts on this topic and on how to make a successful relationship. To those of you who are in one, what have you found works for both of you? Or from past experiences, what has failed and caused your relationship to break up? There’s always golden nuggets of knowledge we can take with us after every relationship, it’s always a learning curve. Let me know!
Trust has to be one of the most important things in a relationship. This is a very lovely post Lorna thanks for sharing it x
I’m glad you liked it!
It’s such a beautiful post and I loved the tips! That’s exactly how we should act!
I think trust is hugely important too, I agree with that. Nothing works without it as you can’t be fully happy xx
Thank you for your thoughts on it too!
You’re so right, every relationship is different so it’s nice to read the things that have made yours so strong! I have the complete inability to lie as well – I’m far too honest for my own good haha! And I definitely agree about taking things at your own pace, I’ve been with my boyfriend for 7 years and a lot of people around us seem to be confused that we’re not married yet, but I wish more people would realise that we’re happy as we are and it’s totally OK not to be!
I’m really happy you feel the same way about going at your own pace. I’m glad you’re taking it slow too, no harm can come from it, you get to know the person more every single day, so why not learn all you can in that time before marriage. There’s no rush for anything if you’re happy as you are!
you gave us great realitionship advice. A lot of thanks for that.
It’s really your own matter to decide when you marry and at what time you would like to get children. In my opinion, you are doing right that you don’t rush with your marriage and children. Firstly, you relationship will get more and more strong. Secondly, when other problems, e.g. financial problems, will be solved, then at that point would be right to start with marriage and children. Therefore you are doing right in your relationship.
Wishing you many years of happiness together!
I’m happy you liked my post, thank you!
My longest relationship lasted, um, nine years. I think, though, that you and Adam put a lot more work into yours than ever went into mine. I tend to be suspicious, which probably meant we were doomed from the start.
Yeah, there could have been a reason why you were suspicious though, but you definitely need full trust. Sorry yours didn’t work out, but you learn and you can apply that to the next one can’t you.
Right on point on so many levels. I agree with all of what you said. People are in such a rush to get married that they do it for all the wrong reasons, even if they don’t have Mr. Right. For myself I love being single, I love the freedom, and not having to answer to anyone else. I have learned so much from my past relationships, but right now I’m happiest just raising my son. Cheers to you and your guy!
I’m really glad you liked the post!
Such great tips !
You look so adorable together !
Such great pictures.
Firstly, congratulations to you both upon reaching the considerable milestone of 9 years. That’s truly a great achievement and I’m so happy for you both that you each have your ideal match. 🙂 I wish you both continued happiness together forever. 😀
This was such a heartwarming article to read. The bit about not sharing money amused me – not because I think you’re wrong or anything like that… No, because it reminds me of how my grandparents used to be. They were married for over 64 years (until grandma’s death in 2010 – my grandad is still, happily with us) and they kept their money separate throughout their entire marriage… even to the point of paying each other back the matter of a few pennies on grocery shopping and suchlike… 😀 It worked for them for sure. 🙂
I also like how you don’t let any of the expectations of society pressure you. 🙂 Taking everything at your own pace is surely the only sensible thing – yet it’s astonishing how many people don’t do so.
My longest (and last – maybe in both senses of the word “last”) relationship only lasted for about two and a half years. Like for you and Adam there was a matter of distance involved (about 50 miles and 3 trains each way each weekend… Lincoln to Hull) so I can certainly relate to how challenging it is to sustain a relationship without seeing the other person each day… I guess there’s probably a point at which such relationships either break or become rock solid. Mine broke… but I’m happy that yours thrived. 😀
It’s funny though… a few months after my last break up I was reading an article in my parents’ newspaper which was basically, on some scientific basis or other, claiming that 90% of people feel some degree of stress if they are not in a relationship and the other 10% are more solitary and feel stressed if they are in a relationship… then reading the article in more detail I recognised myself as being naturally part of the 10% who feel stressed if in a relationship. Quite an eye opener… though it shouldn’t have been a surprise as the amount of time I’ve been a relationships across my entire life doesn’t even add up to 4 years. 🙂 LOL
I love this reply, Steven 🙂 Thank you for being so open and honest and writing a thoughtful one back on the subject.
That’s really sweet that your grandparents did that with their money, it sounds like what Adam and I do, even down to the pennies, ha ha. It may seem weird, but I think since we are both very hard working people and happy to make our own money, not having to pay for each others stuff (unless it’s gifted of course or a treat) works well for us as it’s completely equal in every way. It’s never really been something we discussed, it just happened that way. I have seen a lot of people have issues over money because they feel like they’re taken for granted or the other isn’t being respectful of the money etc, so I think having your own is ideal. I’m glad it worked out like that for your grandparents, that’s sweet 😀
I think being single when you’re happy is a really amazing thing. Not many people are happy enough with themselves to be single and feel ok about it, there’s always that worry over their head, so you have definitely achieved something amazing there with liking yourself enough to be completely happy not in a relationship. I commend you there! Hope you’re well 🙂
Thanks Lorna. 🙂 Well such a deep and personal blog entry deserves the respect of a personal response or two, I think. It was a fabulously well written and enjoyable read that you gave us. 🙂
Yes, right from childhood I’ve always been someone who has needed far greater than average an amount of time alone. Coming home from a busy day at work and just being alone is, to my mind, very relaxing… though that’s not to suggest that I’m totally unsociable… LOL 😀
I’m well thanks… I’m just gearing up for turning 43 later on this month. 🙂 LOL Wow… how this has happened to me I’m not so sure… 😉
Thank you Steven 😀 I’m completely unsociable a lot of the time, lol! And in regards to being 43, you’re only as old as you feel and I’m sure you don’t feel it, and you definitely don’t look it 🙂 So there’s no problem there! 😀
Oh some days I feel it! 😉 But mostly not. 😀
Well I’m glad you’re happy!
fabulous couple, i agree with you sweetie
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have an happy day, kisses
Great advice! You are such a cute couple!
Mermaid in Heels
Trust and lack of jealousy are very important in my opinion, and extreme jealousy more often than not comes from personal insecurities. If someone wants to cheat on you, he will, and it usually has nothing to do with you as a person. Just like you I accept that my husband thinks other women attractive, just like I look at other men in that way. We share and it is no threat. Of course that is not always easy if he points out anattractive woman on a day where I feel like a slob, but that does not reduce the way he loves me. If only it reminds me to take care of myself and see that I feel good in my own skin.
Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking
Oh I’m so glad you feel that way too and understand the points I was making. I’m happy that it works for you and you both have the same agreement and understanding of that too, it’s so important. Love is everything and more when you are able to work together with trust. Thanks for commenting!
Great post dear! Thanks for the tips
I think it’s also important to know that relationships take work. You need to spend time and attention, to do things together, not fall into a boring routine. It takes some effort to keep things interesting, especially after the in love period wears off. Of course it’s different from couple to couple and you have to find the right person, but all in all you build the relationship you want.
You are exactly right! It does require effort and time from both sides, which I think comes naturally if you really love each other xx.
This blog post is very well-written Lorna, with lots of sound advice and excellent tips. What you said makes a lot of sense. When there is major jealousy and distrust in a relationship, the real reasons for it need to be addressed and looked at truthfully. It may stem from personal insecurity or past experience. I think we need to trust our own instincts about another person, as there’s usually a basic truth to what out instincts are telling us.
I agree, everyone is different, and a ‘conventional’ approach to relationships and marriage is not right for everyone, so it’s important to do what feels right.
On a positive note, congratulations to you and Adam on your 9 year anniversary! Wishing you lots more happy times ahead.
Lots of love Saba xx
Thank you!! I can’t believe 9 years have gone by so fast, it’s madness! And yep, I usually find you need to fix your own issues before you try and put them on others as it’s completely unfair to them and causes unneeded stress.
Very nice post. You are beautiful together 🙂
Thank you 🙂
Congratulation! Great advice! I hope to one day experience these beautiful moments.
Great post Lorna, found you when searching for the nike roches 2 in oatmeal and your blog popped up! I’m 30 and been with my bf for just under 4 years but we constantly get asked the marriage and kids questions and everyone is always so surprised when they find out we don’t live togther too! Keep up the great posts and all the best with your new chapter with your fiancé
Thank you so much for leaving a lovely comment. It’s so nice to see you found my blog and were interested in other posts too.
Definitely don’t worry about what others have to say about the relationship, it can get really tiring when everyone wants to pass judgement and wonders why you’re not doing what they did or what is considered as ‘socially correct’ etc. As long as you are happy, which you seem to be, that’s what counts! We’re all unique! I wish you the most luck with it too!