Austin

reflecting on a decade

shandy02update

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Today, Andy and I celebrate our 10 year anniversary: 10 years of growth. 10 years of laughter and tears. 10 years all over the world (mostly me :P). 10 years of love. 10 years of life.

Anniversaries are not a huge deal in our household, but this one is quite a milestone. Over our dinner date and all day Sunday, we kept casually reflecting on our past with utter amazement at how much¬†of each others’ lives we’ve witnessed¬† and how we’ve grown up together. Everything from prom to college, lost loved ones to new friends, co-habitating in a tiny dorm to skyping from across the world… But the most exciting part was acknowledging the present – realizing how happy we are as individuals today and knowing that as a result, we will have so many wonderful and exciting opportunities to celebrate together in our future.

People often ask us our views on relationships since we’ve been together so long and shared so many experiences. So in honor of today, I will attempt to share some of what we’ve learned throughout this decade. This may not be comprehensive or applicable for everyone, but in a nutshell, it’s us.

10. Respect each others’ differences and embrace how these differences enhance your relationship.

9. Learn to speak each others’ love language and communicate often. More importantly, listen.

8. Make it a priority to connect consistently, whether it’s a weekly date night or a daily hug.

7. Be wholly present and focused when you intend to be together one on one – no cell phones, computers, or distractions are allowed.

6. Never go to bed angry. Agree to disagree, and be open to examining the world through your partner’s eyes.

5. Make love. Often.

4. Forgive wholeheartedly, and take time to repair. Then move forward with love, and never look back.

3. Recognize that no one expects perfection. Just love each other in all your imperfection.

2. Be willing to tell the other person what they need to hear, even if they don’t want to hear it. Also, realize that you can’t make them listen to what you say; they must choose to believe when they are ready.

1. Love each other fully, but first and foremost, love yourself first. Because if you can’t be the best you for yourself, you can’t be the best you for someone else either.

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