How to Survive the Fourth Year of a Relationship

Rich and Kerrie

Who’d have thought that the guy my family set me up with four years ago would still be my boyfriend today?

It’s crazy what life throws at you at the most unexpected of moments. I was at a pretty low point in my life four years ago, having just dropped out of Uni and was working long hours in a retail job I hated.

It’s massively cliche but it’s true that when you’re not looking for someone, the right person will come into your life. Rich was just what I needed at that point in my life and I have a lot to thank him for.

So here’s to us as we embark on the fifth (yep, I can’t believe it either!) year of our relationship. Here’s a little of what I’ve learnt this year.

Instagram doesn’t reflect our relationship

We don’t travel a lot or get to go to lots of expensive places but I’ve learnt that when we do, the only people who will really treasure those photos and memories is us.

That’s why I made us a scrapbook so we can look back on the memories we’ve shared. I will still use Instagram as I’m still nosy like everyone else and like to have an online collection of photos but I never want it to be a place that I flaunt my relationship.

Cherish time apart

We spend a lot of time together and for that, I’m very grateful but it’s also important to spend time with friends and family too. It’s not healthy to spend every waking minute together.

I don’t really like being on my own as I get bored easily but I’m going to try harder to make the most of time on my own next year.

Embrace each others’ differences

It’s so easy to pick at each other’s habits and question why your partner does something differently to what you would have done but that’s what makes them unique.

You can’t shape or mold someone into something you want them to be. Embrace all the weird (and annoying) quirks of your other halves. You will get along better if you take a deep breath and don’t comment on why they put two sheets as well as a mattress topper on their bed. ( Don’t even ask…)

Your relationship is unlike anyone else’s

This is something that I’d advise anyone to remember at whatever point you are at in your relationship.

Don’t expect that another couple will deal with life in the same way that you do. You are each on a different path in life and the beauty in relationships are the small things that only you two share.

Don’t do something just because another couple are doing it and you think you should be. We are guilty of comparing ourselves to others, comparing our chapter 2 to someone else’s chapter 20 and then wondering why we don’t match up.

The pressures of modern life mean that we are often left wanting for more. Everything will fall into place in its own good time.

I know for me, I have been desperate to move out for the last three years. I don’t need to move out really and I know in time, I’ll have enough money to do this but the waiting game is frustrating.

Seeing other’s move out makes me jealous. There I said it. Underneath the obvious happiness, we all want that for ourselves don’t we? Except, our happiness will be different to theirs and further down the line, moving out will be a different experience to theirs.

Love is so important

…in every sense of the word. Intimacy, showing that you care and saying those three words should not falter the longer you are together. There is nothing better than feeling loved and although you may go through times where you want to punch your partner in the face, it will pass!

Your partner is often the one person in your life who knows you better than anyone else. Unless you give your whole self to them, are you really invested in your relationship?

Love is a funny thing. It’s small moments but also the biggest moments. It’s making time to relish in each other’s company but also being present in the every day. It’s unpredictable but also the only constant in life. If you’ve got it, don’t ever let it go.

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