Celebrating Our Anniversary
& What I've Learned While Building The Healthiest Part of My Life
I remember every detail from our first moment together. I remember every thought, feeling, and emotion that embraced my new life. I remember the first time I knew I loved him, and the first time I knew he loved me. I can't help but cherish to every memory, moment, detail, and image from our beginning. Those moments shaped our future; they are the reason I am who I am, he is who he is, and we are what we are, today. Chad and I first met when I was a freshman in college, I had just turned nineteen and was coming to find who I wanted to be in this world. We were both young, but we were two of the same. Chad was a senior in college and beginning his career as a business owner. He showed me what it meant to follow your passion, work hard for what you want, and stay true to who you truly aspire to be. I will never forget one of his first texts to me saying, "You have a blog? That's sweet. Keep it up dawwwg."
That's the thing about our relationship, we never had to hide who we are, feel ashamed or embarrassed, or put the other down for wanting to follow his or her dream. For us, it's always been nothing but respect for each others dreams and ambitions; we aim to contribute, support, encourage, and love whatever we put our mind and our heart into, together as a couple. My life was forever changed the moment I knew that Chad would be my person for the rest of my life. It wasn't shocking or surprising, it didn't make me anxious or cause fear - it was calming, it felt right, and it quickly became the healthiest part of my life.
We have spent four years together, growing and becoming who we are as people and as one. When I think back to when we first started dating, I can't help but think about how young, naive, and careless we once were. Chad has always been the backbone of our relationship, strong and stern and there for when we needed it most. I on the other hand, I had much to learn. We've gone through our fair share of pivotal relationship moments, each proving to be a stepping stone in a better direction. The last four years have been the greatest of years, with the greatest of memories and the greatest of lessons. I can honestly say, I would not be who I am and where I am today, without him.
Every year on October 17th, we make sure to take a little extra time to recognize our day. We go through old love letters, laugh at the gooberest of videos, and remember why it is we began this journey together, years ago. Today, I want to take the time to share a few things that I've learned over the past few years as to how we maintain a happy and healthy relationship. Chad has always been such a big part of my blog, especially during the beginning days - some of my long-term readers might remember some of our adventures, Harv and Barb anyone? How about our Farmhouse BBQ, Getaway Weekend or Trip to Nashville? I think I could look back at these old posts and photos for hours. We've had so much fun and I am so happy I continued my blog and shared each moment with all of you, despite how rough those old posts and photos may be!
Today is our day to smile, laugh, cherish the memories that we share, and honor our life together. We recognize how special our relationship is and we never take a day for granted. As I share every aspect of health, nutrition, and wellness with all of you, I want to do the same with something that means a lot to me - relationships. Our generation is slowly becoming more distant from one another, relying on social media and the internet to do the whole "relationship" part for you. We've lost touch with many of the real life truths that help to build the foundation of a healthy relationship, whether with friends, co-workers, or your significant other. The Healthiest Me is all about finding health in every area of life - with food, with the body, the mind, and relationships included. After four years with my person, I have learned many valuable lessons that I practice in every aspect of The Healthiest Me, and I am honored to share them with all of you.
Be Willing To Talk
& More importantly, be willing to listen
How many times have you heard, "Communication is key?" And how many times have you actually given communication a chance? I'm talking - sit down, face to face, real communication. If you can't remember the last time you had an uncomfortable conversation with someone, chances are you aren't valuing the art of communication.
In every problematic situation, it can generally be worked through with some good old, in person, communication. Texting, DM-ing, and sub-tweeting doesn't count! If you have something on your mind, feel undesired, hurt or confused - simply take the time to talk about it. The longer you harbor anger, fear and discomfort; the bigger your resentment will become. Yes it's uncomfortable, yes it takes time, and yes you might actually have to say exactly how you feel in that moment rather than wait to text back, but that's life and that the foundation of a healthy relationship.
While you're talking, don't forget to take the time to listen. As a female, I know how we work - we love to talk about everything thats wrong in the situation, without really taking a moment to listen, to both yourself and your significant other. Allow yourself to truly understand where both sides stand and are coming from, and then you can work together to figure out the best outcome. If you talk and turn away, you might never fully grasp and change the problem at hand.
Because sometimes, you are wrong
Along with talking things through and learning how to truly listen, being wrong is another tough lesson to come by. And don't get me wrong, I don't admit I'm wrong if I truly did nothing wrong. We all have our 'nonnegotiables.' I used to apologize for every little thing and wanted to take the blame for everything that went wrong, but I've come to realize that there is no shame in standing up when the time is right.
On the other hand, there's no shame in admitting your were wrong, either.
I never want to point the finger or blame before I know all the details, and I appreciate that my significant other does the same as well. There has been moments, both big and small, that I have been in the wrong. It was hard, really hard, to admit it at first, but I've grown to accept my own flaws, learn from the past and be willing to apologize when need be.
Let It Go
If you choose to forgive, you must choose to move forward
If you choose to forgive, if you accept ones apology, and if you truly mean it - you have to let it go. We all make mistakes, say something dumb or slip on the courtesy train from time to time, and that's okay. First, be willing to apologize or admit you were wrong (see section 2), and then it's time to move on.
If you've chosen to forgive, you shouldn't dwell on the past or continuously spark the same argument again and again. That tells him/her that you didn't truly accept their apology and you aren't over it. Running in circles with arguments is just as detrimental to relationships as the problem itself. If you want to forgive, you have to let it go. If you can't forgive, maybe it's time you let the relationship go.
Values & Morals
It's like the 'big picture' of relationships
One thing that I feel is crucial for building a healthy and happy foundation in a relationship is sharing/having/respecting each others values and morals. If he doesn't see himself making a full commitment in the beginning, it's doubtful that he will overtime. I know the whole "I'm going to change this guy" feeling, but trust me on this one - sometimes it's more work than it is reward.
Find someone who shares your same views, morals, and values from the beginning. When it comes time for bumps in the relationship (because we all have them), it makes things a million times easier knowing that this person probably had the best intentions in mind. It will also making sitting down to communicate the issue, much easier.
Take The Time
Slow down, it's always worth it
This is my favorite one. Slow down, take the time to make someone feel loved, and truly contribute to the relationship. From the moment Chad and I met, we were constantly hand writing letters to each other, jotting little notes in birthday cards, and taking the time to make sure the other knows how much they mean to the relationship.
It's not a hard thing to do, but it does take time and attention. I'm not saying you have to write novels to each other, but something as simple as a sticky note with a sweet message is all you really need. If that person means as much to you as Instagram makes it out to be, make sure you take the time in real life to show that. Do something unexpected, contribute to the relationship with meaningful momentos, and take the time to make that person know how much they mean to you.
Mark it on your calendar and don't be late
It's like the rule of 'communication, being wrong, and taking the time all' in one. When Chad and I first started dating, we had a 'relationship meeting' on the 17th of every month. We would set aside time to sit down, without any distraction, and simply talk about the good, the bad, and what we need to work on for the next month. We would talk about anything and everything from how we were feeling about something (maybe something we said or did on social media or real life), what we expect from the relationship and one another, and how we can make the next thirty days the best yet. This really helped to build a strong foundation and that open sense of communication. Of course if something was bothering us before the relationship meeting, we could absolutely talk about it before the seventeenth, but this was a way to clear any miscommunication or fear that we may have had.
It's really all about taking the time to sit and listen to each other. Lay out your values and morals and make sure you both are on the exact same page.
Love Yourself First
If you aren't happy with who you are, how will you contribute?
Last but certainly not least, being confident and happy in who you or where you are as a human is everything for a relationship. I had to learn the hard way, a relationship is not meant to fix your life, a relationship is made to compliment your life. The moment you depend or rely on someone else to fill a sense of happiness in your life, is the moment you are backing away from contribution of that relationship. Don't get me wrong, Chad always knows how to make me feel better when I'm having a bad day, and I am so thankful for that. But, when I was struggling to find who I was and what I wanted to be in this life, I had to stop searching for the answers within him.
It shouldn't create an abundance of self-worth or a depth of depression, your relationship should compliment your life. Everything that I have mentioned thus far requires your input, your attention, or your willingness to give. If you aren't at peace with yourself or struggling to find happiness within your own life, there is no way you can do that for someone else. Find peace and purpose within yourself before you expect to contribute to a relationship.
After four incredible years together, I am more in love with my person than ever. Things aren't always perfect, we have our fair share of moments, but we always recognize what matters most; us.
Thank you all for the kind wishes and thoughts. We are feeling so blessed by our wonderful friends and community! For any questions, concerns, or thoughts, be sure to leave a comment down below!
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