From Day One (the first day we met), there was something different about how Haley and I interacted with each other compared to all the dates I’ve been on previously. It was more effortless and more authentic than anything. It was refreshing.
That’s more than likely the reason why Haley and I moved in with each other only two short months after our first date. And there’s plenty of things we learned about each other because of that.
We got to know each other’s awesome little quirks and our various pet peeves really quickly because we were around each other nearly 24/7. And as a new relationship and not knowing what each other’s “ticks” were, we got on each other’s nerves once in awhile. It was a new relationship at the time, and we were learning a lot about each and every day at a very fast pace.
Many people have asked us if moving in together was good & easy or if it was difficult. I’m here to share our real story with you.
Relationships aren’t all love, unicorns, and rainbows. They’re work. (“work” isn’t meant to be a bad word, btw.)
In the wedding industry, and especially as a coach and educator, I keep in the loop about a lot of other creative entrepreneurs and their marketing messages. Of course, what I typically see 99% of the time are stories of love, unicorns, and rainbows. Not many people talk about the real work required in relationships. Haley and I just want to be 100% authentic, and share our real love story because we believe it’s the real moments that really make a lasting relationship deeper. Not just the rainbow moments (as we all know & understand).
Personally, I came from a long bout of being single prior to meeting and dating Haley. So, I had my routines of doing whatever a single guy does. For me, that was working until midnight on a Friday, taking a week to travel around and do whatever I want, eat poorly (who doesn’t love junk food), and live a completely independent lifestyle.
Well, living totally independent doesn’t make for a great relationship. Haley and I even call ourselves a “team” or “pod” even in our personal lives, away from work (corny, we know). We split up tasks and conquer activities that need to get done as a team. If we worked totally independently and didn’t communicate, nothing would get done, or certainly not as fast as the norm around here.
The #1 takeaway that we have learned together as a couple over the past few years is that COMMUNICATION IS KEY. Everything is related to communication. Bad, good, annoyed, excited – you name it, every feeling tied to the relationship stems from our level of quality or poor communication.
In our relationship, the more we learned how to communicate with each other in every kind of situation, the better our relationship was, and the more our relationship strengthened.
The better we communicated, the easier our relationship felt. The worse we communicated, the more frustrating things were in the moment. Over time, we worked on being more aware of not only ourselves and how we were feeling, but how each other was feeling and what we need (for each other) in those moments.
During the time of us dating, we traveled to California about a couple dozen times, went to Europe, Mexico, and traveled as often as we could. We had crazy schedules, took advantage of every opportunity we had in our careers and had an absolutely amazing time during the two years we were dating before we got engaged.
At the time of me writing this blog post, we have been married for just over one year. We have been together for 4.5 years and we are still learning about each other. Every day there is something new, and every day we practice our communication.
With every step forward, our relationship strengthens one equal step.
^ My gorgeous wife, Haley, and I | Photo Credit: Kim Butler Photography
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