Strong, lasting relationships are underrated in our society. It’s not uncommon to see young people who like the idea of dating more than they actually like being in a relationship. Why? Because relationships take work. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices—and that’s one aspect of love we don’t like to face.
We like things to be comfortable. Easy. Predictable. All of which relationships aren’t. The minute a challenge arises, or the other person does something to hurt your feelings and you realize they are imperfect, the solution our culture presents is to run away. And that solution works great—if you don’t want anything to last, ever.
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. I want to challenge you to invest in three specific areas of your relationship.
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.
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?
As hard-working creative people, it’s easy to get caught up in our own minds and our own pursuits; our own lives. We succumb easily to the pressure that tells us to push ourselves to work harder and hustle more, because that’s what it takes to succeed, right?
Sometimes this pressure becomes so much that we actually feel guilty for needing a break. We tell ourselves we’re getting behind if we aren’t constantly working, and we push ourselves almost to the breaking point. And without even realizing it, we push out the people who matter the most.
Our culture is obsessed with love. Romances, dramas, and the love lives of celebrities are all the rage constantly. We consume love in books, movies, and our own imaginations: always creating that wonderful fairytale ending where everyone lives happily forever.
There’s only one problem with our culture’s romanticized view of romance: it’s not quite true. As a newly engaged woman preparing to marry the love of my life, I can say that love is wonderful—the best thing ever, actually. But it’s not what we see on the screen.
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?