Our BEST Relationship Advice | 5 Biggest Lessons Learned in 15 Years
In this post, we share our best relationship advice for how to build a loving relationship for a lifetime, communicate honestly, and live joyfully.
Patrick’s Top 5:
1. Have Pets (:47 mark)
Not only are pets (especially cats and dogs) great for preparing you for little humans running around your house, it also gives you the chance to develop your patience, understanding, and forgiveness muscles.
Turns out having responsibility for something outside of yourself is great for building character (especially if you don’t plan on having children).
2. Create an Open Channel of Communication (3:12)
To prevent hurt feelings from boiling up, and to ensure everyone is one the same page, create a safe space for honesty in your relationship.
As we discuss in the video, this isn’t always easy to establish, but it’s worth every effort to “speak your truth” to your partner.
No matter how you slice it, any problem in your relationship is easier to handle while it’s a kitten, instead of waiting until it grows into a lion.
3. Hug and Kiss Every Day (5:51)
If you’re reading this while you’re young and in love, it may be a strange thought to you that you could ever NOT be attached by the hip to the person you’re in love with.
But as you grow older, take on 5x more responsibilities than you have now, and get caught in the streams of the busyness of life, it can be very easy to forget to even hug the one you love each and every day.
So building a ritual around connection times ensures you have literal touch points throughout the day. (this is not in replacement of spontaneous flirtations 😁).
4. Intentionally Create Memories Together (7:56)
This one builds off the previous one, but extends to vacation time, alone time, time away from the kids, date nights, and all the rest.
This one comes with a warning: Life is made of memories. If you procrastinate on creating those memories, waiting for the perfect time or perfect opportunity, then that day may never come.
Be intentional with creating memories. Your future self thanks you in advance.
5. Stick to Your Strengths (12:25)
It can be very tempting to try and have each person contribute equally to this or that.
(I wish I could have saved myself years of frustration by learning this lesson earlier. So I’m glad I get to pass it onto you now.)
Whether you’re talking about simple things like dishes, dinner, mowing the lawn, OR more complicated things like organization skills, decorating skills, etc, the message is the same:
Stick to your strengths, and don’t expect your partner to excel at the things you do.
When you need help, ask for it (see tip #2 above), and stay focused on contributing in the way you do best.
Now onto what is probably an even stronger list, relationship insights from my lovely wife:
Katie’s Top 5:
1. Give Without Conditions (1:44)
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “relationship is a give and take.” The danger Katie points out here is that you should be very careful not to get into a “you owe me” situation.
The moment you start keeping track or keeping score, that’s when your relationship turns a corner into a risky space.
So don’t give with the expectation of return. Instead, give without conditions.
2. Don’t Imagine the Worst (4:38)
I can’t say what percentage of relationships is communication, but I’d venture a guess that it’s 85 percent or more.
Given that, there is a LOT of room for miscommunications, assumptions, and thinking your partner meant X, when they really meant Y.
So don’t play out stories in your head about what they meant. Instead, develop the habit of asking them directly.
Otherwise you run the risk of a lot of hurt feelings, from imagining the worst.
**There is so much more that can be said here, and examples to be given, but for brevity sake, we will leave it at that.
3. Speak with Kindness. (6:52)
One of the family values in our house is “speak with kindness.”
Katie calls out this value directly and mentions that IF you love someone, then you will treat them the way you wish to be treated (golden rule).
No one wants to be yelled at. No one wants mean words directed at them. Everyone appreciates kindness, manners, and acknowledgment when they’ve done something nice.
We often forget this and end up treating strangers and friends much nicer than we do our closest family.
Katie’s reminder to “speak with kindness” is very powerful.
4. Love Yourself At Every Stage (9:45)
The thing with a long-term relationship is, you get to know each other through many seasons of life.
I’m certainly not the same person I was when I was 20, and neither is my body. Heck, I’ve probably thrown out my back more times than I care to mention, and there are grey hairs in places there never was before (this is Patrick speaking. Katie has not a single grey hair on her perfect head, and even if she did, I would deny it.) 😏
Katie’s message to love yourself at every stage, is highlighted by her journey into motherhood, and that loving yourself is key to loving another.
5. Find Someone to be in the Foxhole With (14:16)
There is too much juicy stories and conversation in the video to give it any credit, but as a statement of fact:
Life is tough. You won’t get through this journey without some scrapes and scars. From the death of loved ones, to the loss of income, and illness.
In marriage vows we say, “in good times and bad.” This is why you need to find someone to be in the foxhole with.
Someone who brings additional sunshine to the already bright days, and is your lantern in the dark when the nights last extra long
I hope you gained something from this list, and it gave you that little nudge you needed at the right time.
See you on the path,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
TYPER OF THE WORDS. MAKER OF THE THINGS.
Patrick believes that each of us, without exception, has the power to shape our minds, bodies, and lives in any direction we choose. His mission is to help you get the insights, tools, and strategies you need to live an extraordinary life.
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