Here’s a situation most people in long-term relationships have experienced at one time or another:
You really want to do something. Say, a challenging hike that ends at an idyllic waterfall. And you really want your partner to do it with you, because you love spending time with them, don’t want to do it alone, and, hello, idyllic waterfalls are fucking romantic.
But your partner doesn’t want to do it. Their reason could be anything: they’re busy, they’re tired, they hate hiking, they have a phobia of romantic waterfalls — the fact is, they don’t want to do it, and they’re not budging.
I’ve been on both sides of this equation many times. It’s never easy, and whenever nagging enters into the equation (guilty!), it creates a perfect storm for conflict — not to mention resentment on both sides. Finding a balance between quality couple time and independence can be tough, but in this case, I’ve found that there is nothing more empowering and ultimately better for your relationship than learning to do your own thing. Keep reading »
Yesterday evening, Nick and I were trying to hang up some pictures on a blank wall in the living room, and things were getting tense.
“I think that blue frame should go about a quarter inch to the right.”
“I think it’s fine where it is.”
“But the bottom edge lines up too perfectly with that black frame, and it’s giving me an eye tic.”
“Why don’t we move the pink frame down to where the silver frame was?”
“Over my dead body.” Keep reading »
Over the weekend, a friend of mine was telling me that she was headed out to run some errands recently when her husband chimed in, “Hey, I think I’ll come with you.” Normally very open to any help she can get while grocery shopping, my friend was shocked when instead of replying, “Sure!”, she found herself giving her husband a long list of logical reasons why he should stay home. “And then it hit me,” she said, “I was really looking forward to being by myself that day — listening to my music in the car, zoning out at the store, taking my time. I just didn’t know how to say, ‘I really want to be alone right now’ so I made up all these excuses instead.”
As weird as it might sound, I knew exactly how she felt. When you’re in a serious relationship, spending time together and getting enough quality alone time is a constant balancing act. It can be tough to ask for alone time when you need it, but sometimes it’s even tougher to figure out when you need alone time, period. Here are a few signs that you might need to schedule a solo day, ASAP… Keep reading »
Today is Nick and my 10-year anniversary. TEN YEARS. A decade. One-twentieth of a lifetime if we both live to be 200, which we plan to. I’m not usually super sentimental about anniversaries, if only because I’m like a doofy sitcom husband when it comes to remembering exact dates, but I couldn’t help but get a little reflective and nostalgic last night when I was thinking back on all we’ve been through and all the fun we’ve had. Here are 10 things I’ve learned — about relationships, life, and myself — in the past 10 years. Keep reading »
So you’ve finally found The One (or at least The One For The Foreseeable Future) and you’ve committed to a serious relationship. Now what? In our new weekly column, Life After Dating, we’ll discuss the unique joys and challenges of coupledom.
A few weeks after Nick and I started dating, he got his wisdom teeth out (alas, oral surgery is another pitfall of the high school sweetheart relationship). I was secretly really excited about the idea of taking care of my new boyfriend as he recovered, so I put on my cutest “casual caretaker” outfit and headed over to his house to spend the day nursing him back to health. When I got there, Nick was lying on the couch moaning in pain. The painkillers had upset his stomach and, unable to chew solid food, he’d been sipping canned chocolate protein shakes all day. It was pretty clear he was miserable and there was nothing I could do. I sat next to him and stroked his hair, wishing I could do more to make him feel better. And then, very suddenly, he clutched his stomach, whispered, “Oh noooo,” and projectile-vomited chocolate Slim Fast all over me.
As I was cleaning myself up, I did the math. This was technically our third date.
We joke now that reaching the “vomiting on each other” milestone so early in our relationship might have fast-forwarded our level of intimacy and helped us stay together for going on 10 years now. Because the painful, beautiful truth of being in a serious relationship is letting someone else see you exactly as you are, bodily functions and weird insecurities and crappy moods and all. When people talk about relationship “firsts,” they’re usually talking about sweet things like first kisses, first “I love you”‘s, and first dances. I think it’s time to give a shoutout to the not-so-pleasant firsts, the ones that, in their own way, might actually be more meaningful. Here are some examples, culled from my own experiences and red-faced confessions from friends in LTRs…
Keep reading »
As I mentioned earlier this week, I think fall is the most romantic time of year. Nights are long, the scenery is gorgeous, the drinks are hot, and the weather is perfect for cuddling. Fall is the perfect time to fall in love, but what if you’re already in a long term relationship? Don’t worry! You don’t have to miss out on the fun. Here are 3 easy tips to help you fall in love with your partner all over again, no matter how long you’ve been together… Keep reading »
If you want to find lasting love in your adult life, you have to avoid puppy love altogether, according to a claim in Changing Relationships, a collection of new research papers by Britain’s leading sociologists, edited by Dr. Malcolm Brynin, principal research officer at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex. Keep reading »