Ahh, a relationship. You either love them or hate them…. Or maybe a little bit of both. They are so incredibly hard and are probably the hardest work you’ll ever do… but when you do, it feels so good.
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I am writing this one with my boo, my fluffernutter, my baby-cakes… also known as Joseph Lee in my phone. We talk about our relationship all the time. We need to and we want to. We love making sure that we both feel heard and loved in this relationship completely and fully.
We were sitting drinking coffee together, listening to the chaos that we call home, and I asked him what he thinks are the keys to a successful and happy relationship and that is how we came up with our seven most important factors to a healthy relationship. Now, don’t get us wrong, we have our arguments and moments where it feels like everything is going wrong, but we always remember these seven keys and end up being even stronger.
*These are not in any specific order. We think that these are all equally important*
Having open communication with each other is so important. No matter what it is about, and we are not just talking about being honest about everything but also being able to share how you are feeling, why you are feeling that way, and everything in between. “Don’t be afraid to keep it real” as Joe puts it.
Being open within your relationship can be scary however you need to be able to be vulnerable and open about your needs, wants, insecurities and desires knowing that your partner respects you and what you say. Make a list of what you have been holding inside and every day – read them one off that list. You will feel so much better if you do. Trust me.
Every day one of us or both of us always shows appreciation towards each other. Even if it for something small or simple. It is a natural need to want to feel appreciated for what you do for others which is why we thought it was especially important for our list. Every day Joe comes home from work and thanks me for having the house clean and tells me every day how much he appreciates everything I do at home and for the kids.
Those moments mean so much to me. Even if you don’t say it, you can show it, a simple kiss when someone does something says how much you appreciate them.
Every day before we eat dinner, he will give me a nice kiss and I know it is because he appreciates me making dinner for our family. Every day I give him a kiss before he leaves for work and he knows that is my way of appreciating him working hard for his family. Just remember, it is the little things that make the biggest impact.
Spend time with each other (alone)
This one right here – so important! Whether you have been together a year, 12 years or almost your whole lifetime… make time for each other alone. Sure, you spend time together as a family and with friends which is great but try spending an hour alone together each night or day. No, we are not talking about sex (that is coming though!).
We are talking just you and your partner alone and together. Joe and I every night when the kids go to bed, we take some time to just sit together. Whether it is watching a TV show together or just sitting with wine and talking about our days. We don’t immediately go off to separate rooms or off to do our own things. I mean, why are we in this relationship if we don’t want to spend time together alone? Need a list of things to do with your partner while the kids are sleeping? Check out mine here.
Check in throughout the day
Now, Joe and I talk throughout the day on most days however when he does have those really busy days at work, it gets hard. Which I know for most people downtime at work just doesn’t happen very often. Just take 30 seconds throughout your day and send a “I really miss you” text or “I can’t wait to come home and see you” message. Ask your partner how their day is going and make sure they know that they are missed. So simple but has such an impact.
Who doesn’t love to have their hand held or get a kiss on the cheek? Practically everyone loves to get affection. We found this to be so important in our relationship because we both are very affectionate people. We hold hand every time we are in the car or walking. We always touch each other in some way whether it be a quick arm touch, or hug, a kiss on the cheek, laying our head on each other’s shoulder, or completely wrapping our arms around each other.
Almost always when I make dinner, Joe has his arms around my waist. Every morning we share in a long passionate kiss before he leaves for work. The kiss is one thing we both pointed out at the same time. Kiss your partner before they leave, not just a small “see you later” peck but a deep kiss. Let them know how much you love them and will miss them. Just try it and feel the difference.
Support each other’s aspirations
This one seems obvious, right? Of course, you support your partner’s dreams, but do you even know them? Have you asked recently? Dreams and wants can change every day. Joe and I share a dream that we are working at making true, but we also have individual wants and dreams and we both know that we can count on our partner to support us 100%. T
o give us whatever we need to accomplish them, even if it is just a hand to hold or an ear to listen. Supporting and making sure that your partner knows that you support them is huge in a happy and successful relationship.
Fun in the bedroom (but not just in the bedroom…)
SEX. It is either something you love to talk about or something you find awkward to talk about but either way, you need to be able to talk about it with your partner. Sex is huge in a relationship. Being able to know your partners needs and wants in the bedroom and letting them know your needs and wants can only make you stronger.
Sex should be something fun, spontaneous, and good that you share with your partner. Don’t be a couple who schedules sex in, what is the fun in that? Where is the romance? Where is the adventure and excitement?
We get it, life is busy, and kids are always around but you need to make time for that intimacy. Life is not a life worth living if you can’t even enjoy something so powerful as being intimate with the person you love. Wake up in the early mornings, stay up an extra hour later, sneak upstairs during TV time, step into the shower while your partner is in there during your morning routine, whatever you need to do.
Who makes the rule that sex is only a bedroom activity? Come on, it’s not and shouldn’t be. Find new fun and exciting ways to keep that fire lit. Joe and I have four kids and always busy but believe me, we find the time almost all the time. Get it into your week, multiple times a week (or even a day if you’re feeling really adventurous), just do it! Do the dirty little deed!
There you have it! Our personal top keys to keeping our relationship fun, healthy, happy and exciting. We both feel so incredibly loved and you can do! Let me know which (or all) you implement and how you feel now!