7 tips for 7 years.

A and I have been together 7 years today. 7 years that felt like 7 minutes. 7 years filled with laughter and crazy unexpected experiences and most of all, 7 years filled with love. And after 7 years I can honestly say, that our relationship is EVERYTHING I never thought possible.

In these 7 years we made sure to take advantage of every opportunity and made more dreams come true than we knew we had. But I am not writing to recap the past 2555 days, this would take far too much time. Instead I provide you with 7 little tips.

1. Make each other feel uncomfortable.

I pushed A further out of his comfort-zone than he cares for and he admits it openly. He dreads every vacation I plan because I make him go higher and further than he thinks necessary. But see, if you don’t go to the edge, how do you know you reached your limits? Love knows no limits, love does not stop, love does not care for your comfort, all love does is make you feel like you never thought possible. And although A only admits it to me, far away from people that could hear him say this out loud, without the discomfort I cause, he couldn’t find comfort in the little things, like a soaking wet sandwich on Preikestolen.

Camping at Preikestolen
Camping at Preikestolen

2. Be your own person.

Relationships are great, believe me. Lots of work, but great. So many little things, I love about being in a relationship, like not having to get out of my comfy pants on Saturday night. But just because you feel so comfortable being part of something else, doesn’t mean you should forget being yourself. Just because you are in a long-term relationship doesn’t mean you are that long-term relationship. You are still your own person. You still have your own friends, your own sense of humor and you still need to do things for yourself by yourself. Like go exercise or take a little vacation, go take language classes or get a degree. You are an independent human being, fully functioning by yourself and reminding yourself of that is important. If you are not happy with yourself, you can’t find happiness in a relationship.

J skydiving
Be your own (frightened to death) person!

3. Forgive yourself.

If you haven’t been in a relationship for a long time, you are bound to get into a huge (idiotic) fight. Couples always do. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it can be as little as the empty toilet paper roll. But sooner or later, it will happen. Of course you can insist on being right (and chances are you are) but what good does it do? Instead, why not give yourself a chance to reflect on yourself, on your relationship and the real issue. Are you overwhelmed with everything that is going down right now? Did you take the first chance you had to blow up? Or has this issue been bothering for months already? Either way, don’t be hard on yourself. Forgive yourself, allow yourself to feel the way you do, it’s perfectly normal and your partner will understand. As long as you allow each other the space and time to forgive yourselves and each other.

Not sure if A will forgive me for this picture in the early morning hours the day before our wedding day!
Not sure if A will forgive me for this picture in the early morning hours the day before our wedding day in Sorrento, Italy!

4. Talk to each other.

Distance is never easy, whether you live in the same building or across the globe makes no difference. Communication is key, the moment you stop talking to each other, you might loose the connection to each other. If you ever wonder, where you went wrong, that’s probably it. So talk to each other, smoke signs, phone calls, writing letters or for the highly advanced among you, Skype, I heard it’s a pretty good invention.

Skype, best invention ever!
Skype, best invention ever!

5. Write your own story

You can be anyone you want to be. Really, anyone, anywhere at anytime, so be that person. Be a painter, a musician, a nurse. The only thing holding you back is yourself, so go and do that. Love works the same way, you can be a hopeless romantic living in a concrete jungle, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on yourself. You might have to make adjustments. Relationships are no different. So be honest with yourself and with your partner. Write your own story, together.

A might not be able to run with me, but he can bike with me!
A might not be able to run with me, but he can bike with me!

6. Dream big!

Dream big, you owe it to yourself . Make goals that you might or might not be able to achieve, make them anyway. For yourself and for your relationship. If you have no dreams, no ideas, no wishes for your future, where will you go? If you work mindlessly towards something that means nothing to you, it won’t bring you happiness. Relationships work the same way. A and I have our goals for ourselves and each other and ones for us together and we work towards them one step at a time.

16.08.11 Tue
A and I on the day we moved to Oslo – together.

7. Laugh every day like it’s your wedding day.

When it rains, it pours, that saying never was truer than on our wedding day, two years ago. A and I stared out of the window in disbelief early on our wedding day and we could have been freaking out and upset but what good would that have done? So instead we had the most wonderful day in our lives and were lucky enough to have our wedding dance on the top terrace of our villa. And while we were dancing to our song, A graciously dropped me on the floor. We laughed tears, if you can’t laugh at yourself, what good is your wedding day?

Snapshot 1 (2-21-2016 12-06 PM)
The wedding dance, a second before I fell.

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