Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Love and Marriage Series: Leah's Love Advice

Hello again blog world! I am back with part 2 of my portion of the love and marriage series. This time I'll be giving you a little bit of advice on this thing called love.

In full disclosure: this post has been a little harder than my previous one to sit down and come up with what to write. When it comes to relationships I've certainly had my fair share of experience with the good and the bad.. but I've had a hard time putting pen to paper when thinking about what one piece of advice I would give.

Ultimately it came down to this question for me "What advice would I give to my younger self?".

And so my advice to all you readers (single, engaged, married.. whatever your relationship status may be) is to know when and when not to compromise.  I'll preface this by saying that, yes, I've heard many times and truly believe that compromise is KEY to making a relationship successful. But when it comes to finding the person that you want to be with, my advice is to not compromise on the qualities and characteristics that are most important to you.

Step one of this would be to understand what IS important to you. What are the things that you look for in a partner that are a MUST? Sure we all have the list of "wants" and "would be nice to haves", but when it comes down to your happiness in a relationship (and finding a partner that compliments you the best), what are the things that you know are the most important to you? Perhaps it's honesty, loyalty, empathy or faith. Or maybe it's that they need to have a sense of humor or deep compassion.

Whatever it may be, figure out what it is that you are not willing to compromise on in your partner and stick to it. Trust me, there is someone out there who has the qualities and characteristics you're looking for. Even if it means you have to compromise on some of the "would be nice to haves".

Step two is to be honest with yourself about if someone has these qualities. Dating can suck and relationships can be hard work. But you know what's even worse? Being stuck in a relationship or situation that you're not happy in because you've compromised on one of your big "must haves".

At this point I feel the need to say that this list of "must haves" needs to be realistic, honest and probably short. If you have a laundry list of 10-15 "must haves" that you're never willing to compromise on, then things might be difficult (and lonely.. because come on, no one's perfect). This is why it's key to know what's most important. And sometimes it takes not having it to learn what you're looking for.

For me, I was looking for someone who was honest, kind, empathetic, family oriented and that I could be my true self around.. someone that made me comfortable and that cared, a lot. These were qualities I knew were my "must haves", and thankfully I found someone who had all of these qualities (and so much more!)

Everyone's list will be different, but what's important is that you know what's on that list and are honest with yourself when dating, in a relationship, etc.

So that's my advice to all of you! We still have so much to learn about love and marriage as we continue to grow our relationship (and get married!), and maybe 10 years from now I'll have a new piece of advice for my younger self. But for now, knowing what I want most in a relationship has led me to what I've always wanted: true happiness <3


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