R's Top Tips for living happily ever after.
It'll be five years of knowing and loving my Favourite in June 2016; the year that'll see us get married and start our new lives together as husband and wife - I can't wait! This has got me thinking about what it is that really helps us stay happy and joyful together. I'm sure you all know that when you're in a relationship with someone you can't help but compare your own to others, and I find myself feeling really rather smug with my lot!
Above you can see us doing what we do best, dancing with abandon, adventuring on holiday and in life and enjoying time with family and friends. If you will allow me, I have a few tips to share for living happily ever after.
1) Do things together
I'm not saying loose your independence, but prioritise doing things together and spend more time with each other than without. It's important.
2) Talk to each other
In the morning over breakfast, on the phone at lunch or while cooking dinner. Wherever you can fit it in, and if you can't; make time. When was the last time you just sat and talked about the future?
3) Apologise, always
Never let the sun set on an argument, no matter how bad. Whatever it is you're facing, find a way to unite and face it together.
4) Put each other first
Before work, before friends, before all. This sounds extreme, but if it works both ways then you'll never be asked to do something you don't want to, or isn't right for both of you.
5) Create new traditions
No matter how much you love your family, remember that you and your other half are a new one. Start creating new traditions, a new identity for you - whether you're a family of 2 or 12, it's important to feel like a team.
6) Have fun together
Whether it's on the dance floor, in a coffee shop or while wandering around a park. Do things that make you laugh together.
7) Give thoughtful gifts
Don't just ask each other what you want for Christmas and birthdays, set a budget and buy it. Spend time thinking about what they would really like, agonise over it and spend more than you should on it.
8) Compliment each other
Their hair, their tie, their smile that day. Whatever it is, when you notice something lovely, say so.
9) Hold hands
Being tactile with each other in even the very small ways counts for a lot. Hold hands on the tube, walk with your arms round each other, sit next to each other on the sofa and hug at nearly every opportunity. It may sound small and silly but it's so very important.
10) Choose to love each other
Because it doesn't come naturally every day, some days you have to decide to more than others. Work stress, exhaustion and plenty more things can make loving someone generously feel like hard work - so choose to, every single day.
We have so much of life left to journey and so much to overcome, just in 2016 alone! I'm hoping that by following my own tips and taking an attitude of grace, we can spend life side by side, loving each other through each and every day.