5 Steps to a Happy, Healthy Relationship

At such a young age with many mistakes yet to make, I don't feel entirely qualified to write about this, but I've been in a happy relationship with my boyfriend for close to 3 years now. There's something morbidly satisfying knowing that you've outlasted a few couples that you thought were made for each other *muaha* and something completely satisfying about sharing how you've stayed so happy in your relationship so that others might feel the same.

I met Josh when I was 16, after crashing his 18th in August (he didn't even know I was there) and having near to no idea who he was to getting a surprise kiss at new year as the clock chimed 2013. We've talked every day since then, despite us both being very busy at times and living 60 miles apart for almost two of the years, him being in Magaluf then Tenerife for a week (god save our souls) and me being caught up in client work or bar work. For around a year our relationship relied on train fares, travelling and wi-fi, but it was so worth it and it shows. 

At times, it may have not been a dream but getting past silly arguments (which barely happen) and talking about bad events has eliminated bad times, one less drunken tiff at a time. He's not just my boyfriend but my best friend too. 

Here are some ways I've learned to keep a healthy, happy relationship. 
Never let the sun go down on an argument. 
I think this was something my grandma used to say but it's something I live by. Whether you're arguing about what to have for dinner or why you haven't seen each other lately, don't go to sleep on an argument. It's best to get everything out in the open at once and forgive or agree to disagree than stay mad at each other. It's so damaging!

Use what you have in common to bring you closer. It's all fine and dandy going to see a movie that you both like but what happens when that movie ends? What do you both like to do together? Can it be made into something bigger, something important? For Josh and I, 3 Parts Mad is a combination of both our creative sides. It gives us a chance to turn our work into a passion and requires effort from both of us. There's nothing better than feeling proud of your partner and always having something to fill a rainy day.

Make time for each other. I love being surprised with dates, but sometimes I get worried and wonder when I'll next see him (probably from having a distanced relationship for a while at the start) so we often make dates for each other. Plan a walk together, cocktail night (extra fun if you make them up as you go along), a picnic, movie night, day out or just a cup of tea before work. Texting is great but it isn't the same as face to face contact! I worked out that in a year alone of train rides to see Josh I'd spent around £450+ and if we ever break up, I'm suing him.
Whatever will be will be. Accept this. If they want to leave you then they will, if they've moved on then they'll tell you. Don't waste the time that you have together worrying if they're going to leave, questioning their every ringtone. Do NOT go into their phones and try not to dwell on that girl's photo he liked on Instagram or whatever. If you need to, ask about it, tell him or her your concerns and talk it out. There's nothing worse than being in a relationship where every text is looked at over your shoulder.

Appreciate each other.
This is a pretty obvious one but when you're in a relationship for so long, you might still appreciate them but not tell them. It starts to fade into your persona and it stops being so obvious that you care. Let each other know how much you love them with words, actions, the rest of it and it'll take care of itself. This person doesn't have to be with you or anyone, so show them that you love them more than anyone else does ;)

So there's some tips that have helped me. A relationship is a conscious effort, whether it's with your partner or that bacon sandwich that you're making- not sure the same rules apply but who doesn't love a good sammich, hey.
Do you have any tips for a healthy, happy relationship? Let me know about your experiences in the comments!

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