Tuesday, June 17

Marry Your Best Friend (And Other Cliches)

Last year I was sharing a bit about how Johnny and I were making more of an effort to go on dates, spend more one-on-one time hanging out (even at home), and basically just trying to do a better job of making time for each other in general.  As we got busier, we seemed to go on less dates and let life take over again.  Don't get me wrong, we work together and we are around each other constantly, so it's not as if we don't see each other, but it is important to set aside time for fun.  And we're bad at that.  Here, let me back up.

When Hope was a baby/growing up, we didn't know to nurture our relationship the way it needed.  We were so wrapped up in our amazing daughter, being a family, and making ends meet, that we didn't go on dates or trips or make time for each other.  It somehow felt like a selfish thing to leave our daughter with someone else and go goof off or whatever.  Trips were out of the question for us.  We once went to Chicago and back (around a 17 hour round trip) in a day to see a concert because we couldn't/wouldn't leave Hope overnight.  Yikes.  As you would expect, Hope got older and doing things together became a little easier.  We still weren't making time for each other like we should.

As we've gotten older and stayed married for more and more years, we've realized that being friends is, like, really important.  You don't want to make a life with a co-worker, you want to live your moments with your love and your best friend.  We get that a little better now.  I'm usually one to shy away from giving advice on topics that are so broad and couple/personality specific, but I thought I'd share some things that have worked for us over the years.

1. Marry Your Best Friend.  I mean, people say this all the time, but seriously.  Marry someone you like to hang out with.  Someone who makes your life better.

2. Pretend To Like Baseball Sometimes.  Okay, not specifically baseball, but whatever your significant other is into, be into it sometimes.  Do I want to hear about who's getting traded and who got injured in today's game ALL THE TIME?  No way.  But I make it a point to see a couple of games with Johnny each baseball season because I know he likes it.  Does he really care how many snap peas are on my plants today?  Possibly not, but indulging each other shows you care.

3. Hang Out Together In Groups.  It's great to have your couple time, but don't forget to have friends!  Some of our best times together are spent laughing with our friends over drinks or games.  It's important to have common friends.

4. Hang Out With Other People.  Go on dates.  Do that.  Hang out with your friends together.  Do that.  But don't forget to be a friend to your friends and let your significant other do the same.  Johnny and I are getting pretty good at setting aside time for our other friends.  It's important and healthy to have good friends outside of your marriage, too.

5. Do Fun Things Together.  Duh, right?  Really, though.  Go bowling together if you think that is fun.  Have some swim time or visit a brewery.  Whatever you guys like to do, do that.  Make time for the happy moments!

6. Don't Bicker.  Especially in front of people.  If you find this happening, try zipping it, saving it for later, and deciding whether it is worthy of a real conversation or whether you were just irritated or edgy at the time.  This has helped us a lot over the years.

7. View Personality Differences As Complimentary Character Traits.  I'm spendier and Johnny is more frugal.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve and Johnny is more like a sealed envelope.  I squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom and he still squeezes from the middle.  Things like this could be points of conflict (and still sometimes are), but we try to view our character differences as balancers.  Ways of helping bring each other back to the center.

8. Don't Forget That You Are Young.  Now you're older and you have a job and a family and so you're a real grown up, right?  SO WHAT.  You can still be silly and stupid and jump off balconies into pools (well, not me EVER) or play with weird Japanese dolls or thoroughly enjoy adult cartoons.  You are young until you aren't (Which I believe is never.  You are never not young.  Get that?)  Be fun, have fun.  Life is fun, guys.

We aren't perfect poster children for marriage-- we still struggle like everyone else, but somehow we will be celebrating 14 years of marriage this December and we still kinda like each other.  I guess that means we're doing okay.  :)


79 comments:

  1. First off, congratulations! Second... 14 years?! You guys look so young! Did you get married at 12 or something?! hahaaa Thanks for the advice. The hubby and I have a 1year old and are going thru the same thing. Date nights are hard for me because I dont want to be away from my baby!

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  2. Congrats on 14 years of marriage! You both look so young--were you 10 when you married?!

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  3. Wow, neither of you look nearly old enough to have been married 14 years, that's incredible! The photo's of you both are so beautiful, have you written any posts on your wedding or wedding prep in the past? I've only been following your blog a couple of months and feel like I am playing catch up! Hope that's not too invasive a question...
    Love to both you beautiful people,
    Charlotte x

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    1. I would also love to see wedding photos!

      Great tips, Katie!

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  4. wow-- 14 years! that's amazing. congrats! i love these little tips!

    xxoo,
    nikki

    www.dreaminneon.blogspot.com

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  5. As someone who is about to head down the aisle in the next year, this was such a fun, encouraging, and affirming read. I hardcore agree with the idea of marrying your best friend. It creates such a solid foundation for a lifelong relationship. Thanks so much Katie!

    xo, Em
    www.theromanticrealist.net

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  6. Beautiful. :)

    xo

    MacKensie
    www.onetonothin.com

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  7. We celebrate our 14th this July, and I can attest that all of these things are very important! :-)

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  8. Wow, 14 years! I'm getting married next year, lovely advice to keep in mind! Thanks for sharing
    Meabh. www.peachparade.com

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  9. A beautiful article, Katie, thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts! I love you two!

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  10. 14 years? Were you 10 when you got married orr....can you tell me where the fountain of youth is? Hehe. These tips are excellent. I like #3 & #4; I find that you need to interact with others. After all, friendships require time too. :] // itsCarmen.com ☼

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  11. This is amazing advice, and I'm happy to say my boyfriend and I really do all these things. I was married some years ago, and that ended because these are things he was not willing to do (amoungst other things). It really takes two, and it really takes some compromise and sometimes doing things you aren't particularly interested in. But you do it because you love him/her and it's important to them.

    Christen
    http://christenlouise.blogspot.com

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  12. 14 years?
    holy smokes!
    you look so young!!!!
    i love this post! by far my favorite! (:

    congrats on 14 wonderful years!

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  13. My fiance is a middle squeezer too. I love these posts. Thank you!!

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  14. You are married for 14 years?? what? And you look so yound :D :D just kidding. Congratulations! When I read the list, in my head I was saying YES on every point you made. :)

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  15. I love these tips, Katie! And 14 years?! That's awesome!

    I especially love the tip of making time for each other. It's so important, and so hard to do, especially with smart phones.

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  16. I love this. <3 you guys are so sweet together!

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  17. You guys are the most adorable couple! :) I loved this advice column, thank you!

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  18. Love this! My man and I just celebrated our first anniversary and it's so great to read some tips from people who have been married a lot longer than us. Yes, friendship. I had no idea how important that would be before we got married! Seriously, though, who wants to live forever with someone they aren't even friends with? So important.
    Thank you for these tips! And congrats on so many years together!

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  19. I'm not in the a relationship but I think you have offered useful advice to me. I agree that it's important to be best friends with your husband or significant other and to make the effort to have date nights or hang out together at home.

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  20. 14 years? I had no idea - that is amazing. You look and seem really young, but I can't figure out how old you are, how long you waited to have kids, etc. I would love to hear a more in-depth "About Me" post.
    You make me feel like there isn't a clock ticking. That I can do whatever, whenever I like. I love to read that kind of stuff.

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  21. This is BEST post Katie! Ryan and I will be celebrating 9 years married in August/12 together, and so many of the things you listed above are exactly what have kept our relationship so wonderful after all these years! I think its so important to marry your best friend; someone you really, really like. Life is tough enough at times on it's own. I'm so grateful for the softening and uplifting support my best friend offers as we walk through life together. I work hard to do the same for him. I particularly loved the part about staying young. Grown up stuff (jobs, mortgages, bills, etc.) can sometimes have a way of making me feel like I need to be more serious than I naturally am. All the while, it's completely possible to handle our responsibilities well while having fun enjoying life together. Super uplifted by this post. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  22. You guys are so cute. I prefer to read these types of accounts on life and advice.. especially since you don't want to come off as someone who thinks they're a "pro" on something as ambiguous of a topic as this. It just comes across as genuine & you make a lot of great points. Congrats on 14 years!

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  23. You guys are so cute! And great advice. :) While of course you have to work out what works for your marriage, these are pretty much universal tips that can be tailored into more specific ways of operation for individual couples, and I think they are great!

    http://howtomakehome.blogspot.com

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  24. Love this. You guys definitely don't look old enough to have been married 14 years. Congratulations! I really enjoyed the advice you gave. I'm not married but have been with the same guy for 7 years so all of these tips resonated with me.

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  25. This post totally made me smile. Thanks for sharing some REAL advice (as opposed to that fluffy women's magazine crap you usually read everywhere). And congrats on 14 years!
    - Mandi (www.lifeinbeta.com)

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  26. This was such an awesome read! My fiance and I are getting married in just over two months and I found this piece about you two so encouraging and helpful! Congrats on 14 years together, too!

    <3 Kassandra
    thedesertpoppy.blogspot.com

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  27. Leaving the kids at home is HARD! Becoming co-workers is an awful side effect of staying at home, instead of taking the grandparents up on their offer to watch the kids! I really enjoyed this post. We are seven years and two kids into our marriage, we need to get back "us time!"

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  28. Such a sweet & honest post! My husband & I are together all of the time with our business as well so those are really great tips. Congrats on 14yrs married!!

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  29. I just married my best friend three weeks ago, and I hope to still be as silly and weird as we are now! Thanks for the lovely advice :)

    xo
    Sarah
    excitinglittlethings.blogspot.com

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  30. I love this so much! Happy 14 years!
    Sometimes cliches have it right.
    Married my best friend a year ago, he makes everyday happier.
    thelittleliongirl

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  31. This is great. You seem like such sweet people and I totally agree with everything you said. <3

    - Amanda

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  32. Oh gosh, you two are adorable. I want your relationship so badly. And #6 is such an important tip; such silly fights can turn into such great big wars that never needed to stir up in the first place!

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  33. This is such cute post! Made me smile a lot ;)

    http://everydayingrace.blogspot.ca/

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  34. Love this! We were the same way with never wanting to leave our little one, and had to go through some really hard times to learn some of this!

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  35. I think this is my fav post to date : )
    congrats on 14 years!! well done. I'm walking down the aisle next year. the challenges of marriage sound pretty scary, but we're also super psyched to be doing life together

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  36. 14 years! That's fantastic, and this post is adorable. -Hanna Lei

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  37. It's funny how so many people forget to have fun, isn't it? Congratulations on those 14 years!
    I really liked this post. In fact, I am saving it for a rainy day, just in case we forget we will always be young :) But, honestly, squeezing the toothpaste from the middle??? :D :*

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  38. I totally agree with this post..!
    I've been with my boyfriend for 6 years (since we were 18) and if it wasn't for financial issues we'd probably be married by now so all the things you wrote here are exactly our thoughts on how to be as a couple as years pass, especially once you have children. People make the mistake to think that having children might improve your marriage if you're not really in love when you get married but I find this 200% wrong. If you aren't still in love after 5 years how can you expect to last 40 or so?! Being best friends with each other, leaving space for each other to do stuff alone, doing stuff together and remembering that you're also a couple besides parents I think is vital to being happy in a marriage. But then of course not everyone is lucky enough to find the one right away or not mature enough to keep it alive, I try to consider this when I give relationship advice to my friends. Knowing yourself and what you want out of life is also so important in long-term relationships and marriages... One time years ago when we could break up out of stupidness, we just considered what it is that we really want and the answer was each other, above everything, and this is enough for someone to try their best even when you're 30 years together.

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  39. "Marry someone you like to hang out with. Someone who makes your life better" agree with you...

    The outlaw clothing store http://panicswitcharmy.com/men/t-shirts.html

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  40. I'm going to echo all the other comments now.....WHAT!? 14 years! You two look so young. You are the cutest couple around. Love your tips, I'm moving in with my boyfriend soon and am terrified so I'll remember all your advice! Little London Girl x
    www.littlelondongirl.co.uk

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  41. Such great, honest advice. I think it is VITAL to partner with someone that you are friends with, too -- not "just" a partner -- because it really does make a world of difference. And the part about being able to have "together" friends and "separate" friends? YES. THAT.

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  42. I love these tips! Life gets so crazy that sometimes you do forget to take time with each other. I don't even have kids yet, but we still will go a week or so until we're finally like, "wait a minute, did we even hang out at all?!" It's crazy and the less time you spend together, the more frustrating and annoyed you get with one another. I try to always make a point now to have a least a few hours together (whether it be doing something fun, or cleaning the house together) to catch up and just enjoy one another's company.

    xoxo
    Taylor

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  43. Great post!

    www.animpulsetosoar.blogspot.com

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  44. what a wonderful post :)
    and great advice
    Happy Anniversary you two :)

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  45. Congrats on 14 years! As a newlywed, this was a great post to read.

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  46. Awe that is so lovely. I 100% agree with everything but number 6. My husband and I bicker all the time. We own a business and even do it in front of customers. They must night mind because they often instagate it it egg us on. We have been often told that we are like an old couple, lol. Funny thing is I mostly agree with you on number 6. It does not work for most couples. It's like play fighting. You can't be easily offended or hold things said against eachother. Bickering for most couples does lead to real fights. So yeah I wouldn't recommend it but it works for us.

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  47. That last post from Tech Lounge was from me. Didn't realize I was still signed into my business account. Blogging from your phone can be difficult

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  48. love this so much..! what an inspiration, katie.

    Valentina
    Valentina Duracinsky Blog

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  49. So true! This is all really great advice :-)
    It is so easy to take each other for granted when spending time together all the time. It is so important to remember quality time and to make memories as well - this is something we are trying to do too :-)

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  50. A refreshing perspective and a valuable reminder. Thanks!

    Also, I need to stalk your garden pages... I'm trying to graduate from the black thumb of death to at least yellow or brown by the end of the year. My biggest issue is getting my seedlings and transplants to survive the nights when all the creepy crawlies come out for a full-on garden buffet. I keep telling them that this isn't the all-you-can-eat salad bar at the Olive Garden, but they aren't taking the hint.

    Will have to see what you're advice is re: organic gardening vs. voracious beetles and caterpillars.

    Lisa
    Boss Lady-in-Chief
    think . like . a . boss . lady

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  51. I love this! Such great advice for even just people in a relationship but out of that "honeymoon" stage!

    x Sara from awildroseblog.com

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  52. such great advice and i agree! i've only been married for 7yrs but it's always so interesting to see the evolution of love compared to the day you first walk down the aisle. you *think* you couldn't love that person any more than you do in that moment but somehow, you managed to grow that love deeper with every passing day. i'm so thankful for my best friend, i truly do believe he is my soul mate. congrats on making it almost 14 yrs!

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  53. Love your blog and this post was amazing!

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  54. Love this post! These tips are helpful and some are even recognizable already :)

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  55. Oh my gosh that is so beautiful :') CONGRATULATIONS!!

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  56. Love this post. Such a great advice and so true!. Why people force themselves to spend their lives with someone that doesn't make them happy. I had this crush with a guy who seemed to be perfection in every way. But, it was more of a competition than a relationship. Now I am over it, and pretty much ready to find that true best friend who can become my second half!

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  57. I love this post so much katie! especially the part about playing with weird japanese dolls (just. yes.) and also the whole friend thing too. I love liking my significant other. we will be celebrating 9 years together this year and then we will be getting married. wowza.

    you guys are adorbs.x

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  58. Just enjoyed this reading so much! It can be hard to find that time, and I guess that's one of the reasons things can go wrong. Inspiring and fun read, I'll be coming back :)

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  59. Wonderful tips. Congratulations and I hope you have many, many more great years together. :)

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  60. Thank you from the bottom of my heart from this post. It has come at just the right time for me and has made everything so clear I can't even tell you. Thank you

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  61. Married 20 years to my best friend and I couldn't agree more! :)

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  62. 14 years?! That's amazing! Congrats.

    And true to that! Who better to spend the rest of your life with than your best friend. Acting silly together and making jokes until that last final breath...

    x Aurélie

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  63. 14 years?! That's awesome, Katie!

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  64. A reall great Post! Me and my boyfriend see each other every day and now we're about to move to another city together.
    We've got the same goals and wishes in life and your tipps are soooo right! We always try to have quality time for each other or do something with friends etc.;)

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  65. sounds like something I could have written myself

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  66. so agree with #7! it's better to view each other as different players of one team rather than have those differences create conflict and drive you two apart. great advice!

    http://heyprettything.com

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  67. You guys are so cute! Congrats on 14 years that's amazing. My husband and I are about to celebrate 5 years, and I agree, it is definitely important to marry your best friend!

    <3 Taylor
    www.agirlonrope.com

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  68. I'm not married or honestly close to getting married, but this post gives me something to look forward to :)

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  69. so sweet!!!Thanks for sharing...58eveningdress.

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