Last night, I was strolling down memory lane by looking at photos my boyfriend and I had taken in the early stages of our dating relationship. Then I compared them with the ones we took while he was here for Easter weekend. They were different and in a good way!
That made me smile and think about how accurate of a reflection those photos were of our relationship. The way that we posed or even just how we took the photo, showed more intimacy and love in contrast to the selfies we took over a year and a half ago.
It’s kind of surreal that my boyfriend and I will have been together for two years when August comes around, because a majority of our relationship has been and still is long distance. The love we have for each other has only grown through the joys and the conflicts.
But we weren’t passive and it took action and effort from both of us for it to grow. Here are some things that are necessary for a relationship to get better over time.
1. Complete transparency in communication.
Communication is key. It’s true because it is what holds a relationship together. If you cannot be completely see-through when you’re communicating with your S.O., it’s going to be a hindrance.
It’s taken my boyfriend and I practice and time in order to be completely see-through with each other when we’re talking or expressing our feelings. We work on it every day, but it’s really contributed to the growth we’ve undergone individually and together.
If you, your S.O. or both, are struggling with being completely open when communicating, don’t fret! Start being open and honest with the small things and then gradually go onto bigger and more important things.
2. Investing your time, energy, money and self.
Without effort, the relationship will not be able to thrive or bloom, because nothing is being done. You don’t stop pursuing your S.O. just because you “have” them now. It’s a continuous effort and it’s an important part of cultivating any relationship, but particularly a romantic one.
Being long-distance, it’s tough for us to see each other daily, but we’ve gotten creative with ways we can invest in the relationship. At the end of the day, especially during the week, my boyfriend and I are tired, but we love talking with each other and despite our fatigue, we do it!
If you or your S.O. are having a hard time investing time, energy, self and money into the relationship, have a discussion about small things both of you can do to connect daily. Even talking for half an hour or sporadically can make a difference.
3. Enthuse and learn about your S.O.’s interests and passions.
It’s great to have some things in common with your S.O. but it’s also awesome to have different interests! It’s eye-opening and can really broaden your horizon, because you’ll be exposed to new hobbies, subjects and rituals, and that’s a lot of fun.
I’m really aesthetic and my boyfriend is really into science and tech. I’ve gone to more air and space museums than I can count, and he’s been supporting me while I’m writing my debut novel by reading chapters and giving me feedback. It’s incredible to see how much joy we have while we enthuse and support each other’s passions and interests!
Ask questions and try to learn about what your S.O. is passionate and interested in. If their passions are really deep and informative, have them explain it to you. Hopefully, they’ll appreciate your curiosity and give you as much details as they can provide.
4. Spend time with family and friends.
A big sign that your S.O. is serious about you is when they invite you into their world and social circle, because they want you to be a part of their life! That’s why doing things with either or both of your family and friends can help your relationship grow and thrive.
When my boyfriend came to New York for Easter weekend, we were able to spend time alone but we were also able to spend time with my family, and it was a great time of bonding!
If your family or friends don’t approve of your relationship or your S.O., this is crucial, because it’ll help them get to know your S.O. in a fairly casual setting. But if you have a stamp of approval or at least, a like from them, it will only help to make the friendship stronger.
5. Have fun!
Yes, it’s important to focus on relationship essentials. But it’s vital to have fun with your S.O. too! I had a hard time enjoying the relationship because I wanted to get the essentials right. But I’ve been learning to let go and it’s made our relationship better!
My boyfriend and I have recently been on The Office binge, and our laughter doesn’t come with just joking around with each other, but also reenacting our favorite scenes from the show. It’s an awesome way for us to bond. It may not be so unique, but it’s our thing and we love it!
Life will have a lot of serious moments so remember to focus on having fun and relaxing with your S.O. because even the mundane moments should be enjoyable when you’re doing it with your special someone.
Featured Image: iStock