Relationships are funny things. They begin with so much hope and exhilaration, full of life and laughter, buckets of butterflies, and attempted patience while you both wonder if the other likes you back just as much. Once you get past the beginning stages and establish that you’re on the same page, the fun continues for a while but after being together for an extended period of time it’s easy to lose sight of the excitement that you both felt at the beginning.
It happens to even the best couples; they grow comfortable and then think they’re relationship is shit just because they don’t have the same passion they did in the beginning. But if you’ve past the point of giddy flirting and thinking “they can do no wrong” then you might be in a better position than you think. Here are five ways to tell you’re relationship is actually stronger than it seemed last week when you wanted to throw that freshly cooked meatloaf at their head after a meaningless fight over the grocery list.
- You are companions and stick by each other no matter what
Sure, there are times when you complain to your friends about your significant other or moments when you want to call your parents to tell them how annoyed your partner is making you again. Some days you think that maybe you’d be better off alone but you know that’s not true. At the end of the day, you realize this person is your sidekick, the one who makes you laugh the most, and you know that as much shit as you may talk about them you would always, always, always have their back if anyone else ever said anything negative about their character.
- You are comfortable together
Most people associate the word comfortable with negativity, but why? Isn’t the goal in any relationship to get to the point where you’re so comfortable with each other that you know they won’t leave you if they have to clean up your vomit when you get the flu? If you feel comfortable at your worst and at your best with someone, then you’re luckier than some. Imagine being with someone who always made you feel like you weren’t good enough or someone that never let you be yourself. Being comfortable isn’t a bad thing–just never take advantage of it, because you never know when you might lose it.
- You actually have sex
Seems like lots of couples these days might share a bed but many see getting intimate as the ultimate chore. After being together for a while, sure, maybe the spark fades and life (work schedules, children, anything really) begins to get in the way but if you are still finding ways to enjoy each other’s bodies then give yourself a pat on the back. Not to say that you’re relationship isn’t good if you haven’t been getting down and dirty lately, just realize that if you do find time for some naked fun here and there, you are bound to keep that spark alive.
- You spend time together
Life gets busy, as we’ve just established, but taking time out of your busy schedules to actually hang out together is something that is often overlooked in many relationships. If you hang out together doing the most mundane things you are still doing more than some couples that may never even see each other despite living under the same roof. Don’t take the small things for granted; just sitting in the same room and watching a useless show or going for a walk around your neighborhood helps strengthen your bond and if you have made spending time with each other a priority then you’ve found a secret key. Level up.
- You communicate
Letting each other know how you really feel can sometimes be a scary thing for people (maybe a bit less once being comfortable sets in) but if you are able to talk things out together then this is invaluable. Actually talking about your feelings when you’re hurt and letting your partner know why they made you feel that way is important, just the same as it is to let them know when they’ve make you happy. So many couples these days lack this fundamental building block and would rather play on their phones than pay attention to what’s in front of them. If you let each other know when you’re upset and you actually take time everyday to talk with each other about your days, your selves, and your plans then you’re on the right track.
Being a couple isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It takes hard work, trust, effort, and understanding and sometimes it might feel like you are starting to break. But if together you feel stronger than you would apart and you know that at the end of the day, the love you have for each other means more than anything else in your life then don’t walk away (or throw that meatloaf). The grass is greener where you water it, take care of yours and watch it grow.