Busy weeks are overwhelming. You’ve been running at top speed for days and you’re ready to crash. In spite of being productive, it’s easy to feel discouraged, knowing you’re not really finished—after all, there’s always more homework to do, or more content to produce. Taking time off feels indulgent.
But the truth is, sometimes you need to indulge a little. All that hustle is suffocating your spirit, causing your soul to gasp for breath—and you feel it. It’s time for a break, and what better time to schedule it than Friday night?
To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of romance stories—especially YA. Even as a teenager, I rarely took pleasure in excessive shipping and romantic subplots. Sure, thoughts of cute boys and relationships were attractive and all, but I couldn’t help feeling something was missing.
As I grew up, watched friends start dating, and eventually met my own boyfriend, I realized what it was—that void: truth; realism. Almost every YA novel I’d read had set me up with completely false expectations for what a relationship was really like.
We live in a world where everybody has a microphone. On a daily basis, we find ourselves under a deluge of information and perspectives; voices screaming over one another to be heard in a culture of constant noise.
We live in a world where we’re used to vying for attention, and the habit of competing for the last word or the winning opinion seeps in and erodes at our relationships until we no longer feel safe or valued. Perhaps it’s time we re-learned what it means to be a good listener.
Sam and I were long-distance for the first nine months of our relationship, and let me be the first to say, long-distance relationships are a struggle. It’s hard to go weeks or even months without seeing each other—especially if there’s no end in sight. Miles can wear on your relationship, so it’s important to be intentional about cultivating connection in spite of distance.
Despite the hardships of being separated physically, we learned a great deal from our period of distance—most notably, the importance of communication. To put it another way: when talking is all you have, you get really good at it. Couples who have learned to communicate well will be much more likely to develop strong, lasting relationships, so today I want to share a few tips to help you navigate what can be a bit of a rocky road.
When you hear the word “honor”, what comes to mind? Stories, perhaps: great heroes. The privilege given to people of status? Or maybe just a medieval idea that belongs with knights and creeds and princesses and all that.
The more I look around at our society today, the more I see what honor has become: a lost art. So many of our generation have so little regard for others outside of casual interactions, and this lack of respect—of honor—is blowing holes in our ability to form strong relationships, whether with our partners, friends, or family members.
Life is full of busy seasons—some worse than others. And as soon as one’s over, it seems, another is ready to begin. Unfortunately, this continual rush of busyness can really take its toll on your relationship.
Sometimes it feels like you’re living separate lives. You remember falling in love; having a deep connection, and it’s foggy how you got to this—this place of disconnect, feeling like your lives are hurdling along parallel, but separate trajectories. How can you rebuild that connection in the midst of life’s chaos?
Relationships are an investment: the more you put into them, the stronger and more valuable they become. This is why it’s important to invest consistently and purposefully. If you don’t, your connection will suffer.
Our generation’s mentality towards dating requires very little investment, and it’s no wonder we don’t value our relationships the way we should. Generosity isn’t a popular mindset, but perhaps it’s time we started cultivating it better. This Valentine’s Day, I want to challenge you to invest in three specific areas of your relationship.