I asked if anyone had any burning questions on Twitter for me. Miss Idgie sure did!
@outseide you've been in a nearly two-decade relationship. Neither of you has offed the other. How do you navigate that??
— miss idgie (@missidgie) June 25, 2014
I’m sure John Gottman could give you specific and detailed instructions on what makes a relationship work. This is what I’ve figured out for myself.
- Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s. You have to figure out what works for you. Your relationship is unique. If that other relationship falters, in some way that will then cause upset in your own.
- Have fun!
- Be honest with one another.
- Have fun! This means doing things together that you both enjoy.
- Don’t except the other person to fill all your needs.
- Admit it and apologize when you are wrong.
I am in a relationship with an introvert. It’s taken me many years to hone my “care and feeding” of said creature. There are always balances to be struck and negotiations to be made. People time v. alone time. Outside/nature/physical activity time v. indoor/cultural/social time.
I think the other reason my relationship (to date) has been successful is because I see us as being a team. My girlfriend supports me and encourages me and challenges me and I hope, at my best, that I do that for her (I’m pretty sure I do, since she’s said things like this me).
I don’t believe there’s a secret sauce that makes relationships successful. Gottman says contempt is poison, but I have to wonder why you would be with anyone you felt contempt for, so respect is a given for me.
What do you feel makes your relationship successful?
Yes to all. Kathleen and I will celebrate 21 this year. I’d add that sometimes we have to draw the line and set boundaries if we feel like we’ve gotten to a place that just doesn’t feel good. Conversation usually goes something like: “I cannot continue this way. So let’s decide what will change.”
I think our anniversaries must be very close! Thank you, Martha, for taking the time to comment and share your wisdom!
After 11 years with this guy there are a few things that keep us happy. #1: Having hobbies that are in line with one another, even if they aren’t the same. He works in his shop while I work in my garden, weather permitting. We both enjoy gaming occasionally, and sometimes we do that together. #2: Having something for yourself, and taking time to do your own thing. He likes photography (and so do I, but not like he does), and I’m into writing. Those are things we do for ourselves. Those are our “me” things. We do talk about our passions with each other, but we both understand and respect the need to have something for ourselves. He and I both allow each other some space to be who we are, and not just a part of the team. #3: Late nights spent laughing together like kids. It’s nice to lay down at night and get to giggling with your best friend. We share many things in the midnight hours, and though we’re always exhausted the next day, it’s totally worth it.
I love all of that, Jess! We do have our shared passions, and the passions we share. I agree with you on those counts. Laughter is an excellent sign that you are having fun. I love hearing that! Thanks for commenting!
Mine works because it’s seven weeks old. It’s too young to walk.
Excellent work! Just keep having fun :D.
This is the wisest advice for 98.7% of all situations!
I will endeavor to apply that, then. What should I do in the other 1.3% situations where these rules do not apply? Duck and cover or run?
25+ years in & the basics are the same: we have very similar world views on the things that are important to us.
He’s an introvert. I’m not, but truly enjoy when it’s just us as well. We are each other’s biggest fans, & will give each other space when needed.
Thanks for sharing the ingredients that make your relationship successful. Celebrating one another is a great thing.
Just beautiful, Jill. Brendan and I will celebrate our 22nd in September. We’ve learned there are times when one of needs to pull away and retreat inside for a spell or times when one of us needs all the attention and support. The rollercoaster is usually pretty level, with some minor bumps, but occasionally there’s a great rise or a terrible plummet and you ride it out together. Mostly, though, there’s just no one else I’d rather be with 24-7-365. I simply like the guy. I got so lucky.
So lovely, Julie Christine. And I know you’ve had some pretty intense downs in the last couple years. I’m glad you’ve found one another to ride the rollercoaster together.