November 22nd will mark Michael and I’s 10 year dating anniversary. In some ways I feel like we’ve been dating forever, in other ways I still feel like we’re years old and sitting on the back of his pickup truck. Around this time a decade ago, we went to Starbucks and I ordered a caramel apple spice. We still we’re officially dating, as our first real date was the homecoming dance.
I ordered my drink and waited by the counter. Michael came over and waited with me, kissed me on the forehead and accidentally slipped up, calling me his girlfriend. I think my cheeks stayed red for a full 24 hours.
I’m not saying that I know what a perfect relationship is, frankly, because no relationship is perfect. But I do have a pretty good idea of what a healthy relationship is with 7 years of dating plus 3 years of marriage. Here’s what I think is a healthy relationship:
1. You have your own hobbies or things you like to do, independently. Michael went out of town this weekend and I spent my time being productive: watching Netflix and popping popcorn. And it was awesome.
2. You fight. Not the kind of fights where someone ends up calling the cops, but functional couples stand up for what they believe in. Or when the other is seriously forgetting the details of a memory.
3. You’re in an open relationship.One that’s based on trust.
4. You have the same morals. We don’t believe in all the same things, but we do agree about the things that matter. Such as choosing to see which DJ at a music festival.
5. You’re there for each other. Especially when life gets hard.
6. You still get butterflies. It might not be everyday, but you get that feeling of excitement when you see them.
7. You support each other’s dreams. No matter how crazy they are. Letting someone be passionate about something makes life worth living.
8. You are completely yourself around them. You can act out a scene from a play, sing out songs loudly and terribly, and talk in weird, high pitched voices.
What do you think makes a healthy relationship?
Oh, and if you thought this was going to be my only post about our 10 years of being together, you’re very very wrong and I’m sorry in advance.