Being in a relationship for 12 years and counting didn’t seem big deal to me.
What led me to write this post was because friends, acquaintances and strangers started mentioning that we were such a sweet, strong and #couplegoals, type of couple.
Even a Grab driver started chatting with us and commented that we seemed to be on our honeymoon. At that time, we were 11 years together.
No expert, but I’ve been asked for relationship advice (Sidenote: /facepalm). Over the years, the advice has became simpler.
Believing in the relationship and saying yes to it everyday, not just the wedding day. Saying yes, when the other party says no; saying yes, through all difficulties. That commitment will help both parties be open to the next points.
Such a cliche, but so true. Communicate as much as possible. We almost overshare. It has helped us to build processes, structures and trust with each other. From shared calendars (dutifully updated) to finances, goals, especially unhappiness with each other.
This has definitely been a struggle for me, maybe not so much that Other Half, due to our different personalities. When I catch myself saying or thinking “can’t you do xxx”, I try to take a step back and appreciate the other things that he does. Definitely a work in progress!
We work at this relationship every single day. We’re almost exact opposites, so disagreements are a given.
With practice, it gets easier, and what you see is the fruits of that labour!
PS: Lessons from our personal relationship has helped me to translate to making friend and work relationships work.