the foundation of a solid relationship
communication and trust. those are the two words i would use to describe what started our foundation of our relationship (let me explain why so you don’t just roll your eyes at a somewhat expected answer).
i have spent the last hour (okay, maybe 2 hours) looking through old emails and pictures of when my relationship with ravery started. woohoo technology and social media! it has been full of things that make my heart quicken, roll my eyes, make me blush but overall make me incredibly happy that we started our relationship the way we did-although i certainly did not think that at the time.
how we met: we had quite a few of mutual friends in college but never really crossed paths for a length of time until our friend cassie’s birthday party. he was sitting and talking with this woman and as i walked by she said “i bet you don’t know my name, do you?” he exclaimed “of course i do!” (he didn’t). i locked eyes with him, mouthed the name ‘amy.’ when he repeated that…turns out her name was really jessica, whoops. cue “that boy is mine” by brandi and monica. we ended up laughing for 5 hours solidly (and soberly, i might add). we became essentially inseparable for the next few weeks but absolutely did not classify ourselves as dating, because ravery was leaving for 7 months to work, travel and study abroad. i was just ending my unhealthy relationship (for about the 4th attempt) and was ready to be single for a while anyways.
then a group of us went out to chili’s for his 20th birthday and he did something that shocked everyone at the table. he gave me the first bite of his birthday milkshake. why is this a big deal?? a) he never used to like sharing his food with anyone and b) he had never ever ever given anyone his first bite of anything. evidence below (i am in shock and he looks like he has doubts):
a few days later he asked me out on our first official date and i eagerly accepted to go back to chili’s (it is his favorite restaurant ha). we talked about what a relationship would look like 7 months apart and overseas. we talked about how important trust, loyalty and communication would be in order to make this work. ravery also threw in there he wasn’t just looking to casually date, he was looking for a life partner so he wasn’t taking this lightly. thankfully, my chicken fajitas had just been set in front of me so i obviously couldn’t run out the door in fear. we agreed to have honest and open communication, remain faithful and give it our all because we knew the connection we have doesn’t come along very often. 2 weeks later he left (and i cried for a day straight because my heart ached so much-a little pathetic maybe but i had honestly never felt this way about someone before and it felt like a piece of me had been ripped out).
he sent me a hand-written letter every single day he was gone.
i did get to see him 3 times during the 7 month stint (once in DC, once in NYC and once in prague, czech republic) but man was it hard.
thankfully we did have the internet for most of the 7 months so we could communicate via email and webcam calls but it is completely different getting to know someone and learning about who they are when you are 5,000 miles apart with an 8 hour time difference and no making out.
obviously, trust played into this enormously since we only had one another’s word on what was going on on that continent. it also forced us to figure out how to communicate and what our communication styles were. i did not fully appreciate this until about 2 years after he came back that our foundation had to be built off of open and honest communication. of course we had our virtual disagreements, rough patches, and times when we both felt it was just too hard to be away from one another (especially since we had only been in a relationship for 2 weeks prior to him leaving). but what got us through those times was our willingness to communicate all of this to one another and talk through it (and of course lots of ice cream, whining to friends and them feeding me wine).
from the moment we started our relationship, we both agreed to open, honest and tough conversations and we continue that now. i would say 87% of our conversations usually involve lovey-things, laughing hysterically and what we should eat for dessert but those other 13% are tough talks (i should probably note that the ‘tough talks’ part is even higher right now because of moving to a new state and starting a business together). but those tough talks are essential because it means we are getting everything out there in the open, speaking our own truths and willing to work on things together as a partnership so we can get back to the ooey-gooey desserts/conversations. so whether you are in a brand new relationship or have been in one for years, are both on the same page in terms of communication and what your expectations of each other are?
i just asked ravery what he thought our percentages of the “tough talk”s were and he said 10%-pretty close but apparently some talks are harder for me than him.
wife lesson: it’s important to be conscious of how your relationship started or what you are going to change to make sure it stays healthy.
1) what else makes for a solid foundation to a relationship?
2) how did you and your significant other meet?
3) longest you’ve been apart while in a relationships?
question to ask your partner: what percentage, in your opinion, are “tough talks” in our relationship?