Courtnie Weber

Loving + Learning: Your Guide to Growing your Romantic Relationship

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13 years.  My husband, Patrick, and I have been together over 13 years.  And almost 3 years ago, we finally got married.  We met when I was a freshman in high school, and he was a senior.  The story of how we met is usually met with a lot of ‘awww’s and ‘that’s so cute’s.  You see, Patrick’s sister had been invited to senior prom.  And she didn’t want to be the only freshman there.  So in her infinite wisdom, she insisted Patrick ask me to prom so I could accompany her.  After some convincing from his best friend, he finally got around to asking me.  And I, not wanting to seem too eager or excited, responded with, ‘sure.’

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Looking back on that night, and the subsequent years, I’ve come to realize that we’ve really created our own way of connecting each day.  We focus on making sure we connect about the highs and lows of each day, share a fun story or two, and listen to each other when we need help.  By sharing how we’ve connected every day, I hope you’ll use these tidbits in your own relationships, as well.

1) Ask Questions 

Every day, my husband and I ask the same three questions – ‘What went right today?’, ‘What went wrong today?’, and ‘What can I do to make your day better?’  These questions really help us connect over our days at work; they help us to let go of the negatives, because we’re able to talk the problems out, come to a solution, or at least just vent – which is sometimes all you need!  But they also allow us to focus on the positives – they force us to find the good things that happened each day, which reminds us that while there may be problems at work, or elsewhere, there are also some really good things going on.  And the last question, well, that helps us support each other.  It makes sure that if we need help – whether with a problem at home or at work – any support we could use will be communicated effectively.  So many relationships fail or falter at letting the other person know when they need support, because they expect their partner to read their mind.  Making sure we ask each other how we can make the day better has helped us fill the communication gap into which so many relationships fall.  

2) Say Goodbye

One thing I make sure to do every day is to say goodbye to my husband before I leave in the morning, or before he leaves – depending on our schedules.  Even if one of us is asleep, we make sure to give each other a quick kiss goodbye.  It’s a small reminder that we’re important to each other, and we care about each other.  This is a habit we’ve been doing for years.  When Pat worked third shift, or a swing shift, we often only got to spend weekends together.  So this kiss goodbye represented the few moments we did get to be close during the week.  

3) Go To Bed Together

Nearly every night, my husband and I go to bed at the same time.  We don’t always fall asleep together, nor are we both tired at the same time.  But we usually agree when it’s time to lie down, even if that means one of us keeps reading or watching our baseball game.  Because of the small amount of time two busy adults in New York City have to spend together, we use the ability to just be physically close to help us feel mentally and spiritually close, as well.  

4) Stay in Touch

I know, I know – this one sounds a bit cliché.  But when I say ‘stay in touch,’ what I really mean is to make sure you’re communicating with your significant other throughout the day.  After years of really hating texting during the workday – in part because it interrupted my thought process, and in part because it was just a pain to deal with my phone while on my computer – I finally found a few ways to stay in touch with my husband during the day that didn’t drive me crazy.  We created a slack channel that we can both use on our phones or at our computers, we use Google Hangouts, and I’ve downloaded a Chrome Extension that allows me to text from my computer, despite having an Android phone.  All of these tools have made it easier for my husband and I to chat about the small things in our day, as they happen.  We get to feel like we’re taking part in each other’s day, and it gives us time to talk about the bigger picture issues in the evening together.  These kinds of tools are useful in today’s modern relationships.  There’s not as much time to connect over dinner in the evening as there used to be.  Using these tools helps achieve the same level of connectedness, just in new and different ways.

So many relationships fail or falter at letting the other person know when they need support, because they expect their partner to read their mind. 

I guess these daily routines really boil down to communication.  Patrick and I stay in constant communication with each other, every day.  We keep apprised of the goings-on in each other’s daily lives, we focus on how we can make the negative things better, and we celebrate the positive moments in our lives.  We take advantage of the time we do get to spend together each day, and we focus on balancing the give and take of our relationship. I’m a strong advocate of the idea that the more you talk, even just daily chit-chat, the closer and more harmonious your relationship will be.  By staying in touch, and balancing the need to vent with the responsibility of listening to your partner, I believe you’ll be happier in love.  If you take the tools I use every day and apply them in your own life, I think you’ll find a deeper love, a greater understanding of each other, and if you’re lucky like me, you’ll find your best friend.  After 13 years, I still enjoy every second we spend together.

 

Courtnie is a licensed attorney, and the Member Engagement Manager at WeWork. She’s a Chicagoan in New York City, with a deep love for live music, sports, and craft beer. With her husband of 3 years, Courtnie is raising 2 fur-babies and finding her path in life.

 

 

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