Day 1 – Your current relationship. If single, discuss being single. If married, discuss being married.
My current relationship: Newlywed. We were married on September 8, 2012 so we’ve been married almost 5 months (as of this post). I think that qualifies as still being in newlywed status. At least, we consider ourselves to be newlyweds, and that’s what counts.
We’ve both been married before, and we’ve both had some bad experiences with relationships prior to each other, so we walked into our relationship with open minds and open hearts but trying not to let prior baggage into our relationship with each other. It was difficult at times, still is on occasion.
As far as we’re concerned, we married our best friend. And we are best friends. Don’t get me wrong, we have other friends, other best friends, but we’re each other’s best friend. I don’t think a happy, healthy, long-term relationship will work if you don’t like each other, and aren’t friends with each other. Our friendship is important to us and we try to nourish it, as well as the romantic part of our relationship. If we disagree on something we talk about it. And there are times when we have to agree to disagree.
I think one of the things that makes a marriage work is spending quality time together. Whether you have children or not, you need to take time out from all the day-to-day stuff that is a part of life and enjoy time with just each other. Whether you go to dinner, a movie, a park, out to listen to music, or just out for a ride together–spend time with just each other., which nourishes not only your friendship but the romantic part of your relationship as well. Not too long ago, we went to a local park here. We sat in the park for about an hour and just talked, enjoyed the view, caught up on stuff, and there were moments in the conversation where we simply talked about how much we enjoyed the moment–getting away from the day-to-day stuff–we took the time to just enjoy each other’s company.
My view on marriage is different now that I’ve married someone who is genuinely my best friend than it was when I got married before. I was 22 years old then and believed that marriage wouldn’t require HARD WORK, nor did I think your spouse needed to be your best friend. Now more than 2 decades later, I know that marriage takes hard work, but the relationship itself shouldn’t be work. You should respect each other, love each other, like each other, show each other affection and appreciation, and you should be willing to compromise and negotiate, without those things your marriage won’t last, not happily.
But the most important thing I’ve learned about relationships in general over the years is that you will not have a good relationship with anyone else until you have a good relationship with yourself. You have to love yourself, do alone well, and be happy by yourself first.