Now, I know I’m no expert. I haven’t been married for thirty years and I don’t have any children and I certainly don’t have any kind of ring on any kind of finger. But I like to think the boyfriend and I make it work. As were approaching the 18 month mark I can see all those people from Halls who thought it was never going to work and I want to throw my head back and chortle. Cause you know what, it has worked and fingers crossed, it will continue to work for a very long time. Here’s how.
1) Date Night. Now whether this comes in the form of an afternoon gobbling pizza in front of Shrek or a romantic table for two in a posh restaurant, date night is stupidly important to make a relationship work. Despite the fact that man and I do the same course, we’re forever running here, there and everyone with me rushing off to dance or to present a radio show or him to rugby and the pub, so believe it or not, we don’t get to spend that much quality time together. Note the buzz word there, quality. Yes he can be in my room all day but that will be it. I’ll be working, reading journals, writing notes and organising my life whilst he’s doing the same (or playing on Football Manager), so I don’t really notice him. He’s just a comforting presence in the corner. Date Night gives us time to exhale and say ‘How are you?’ and really want to know the answer.
2) The Best Friend Role. Now, I’m a sucker for a cliché, I always have been and I certainly hope I always will be. It makes life much more dreamy and romantic. The boyfriend is my best friend, my best best friend, and I would actually be lost without him. Not in a lovey dovey way, but in the way I wouldn’t have anyone to play computer games with, play Simon Says on rainy afternoons, run around the room tickling or have impromptu midnight feasts with. Well I would, just not in the same way. Another buzz word there, play. Playing brings about feelings of youth, happiness and laughter. Relationships don’t have to be boring and serious. They can be fun, so so much fun. Just enjoy being with your best friend.
3) Don’t Get Comfortable. I may not have chosen the correct words there. When I say ‘Don’t Get Comfortable’, I mean don’t settle for less than what you deserve. As Samantha from SATC so notoriously says in her break up ‘I’ve been in a relationship with me for 50 years, and that’s the one I need to work on’. If myself or boyfriend are unhappy about a comment or an action, we won’t let it fester and bottle it up, we will sit down and talk about it, work it out. We push the boundaries of discussion, debate and sometimes argument, so we know that we are both being the best we can be for both ourselves, and for each other. Because let’s face it, if there comes the time that the other person isn’t the best thing for you anymore, then it might be time for a rethink.
4) You Time. Now this can be a tricky one. If you’re exhausted and just want to cuddle up and the boyfriend says ‘Sorry I’m going out with the boys’, it can be a little down heartening. But it’s so so important. There have been many a night when he’s rung up and wanted to pop by and I’ve said, no, sorry, I’m downing wine and watching SATC. Whether it’s with your boys, your girls, your housemates or your family, time with you and your friends is incredibly precious. Because if it all goes belly up, who will be there? I blow boyfriend off for Bella time all the time. ‘What are we doing now then?’ he’ll often say. And I’ll say ‘I don’t know about you but I’m buying myself a magazine and a coffee and sitting on that bench for an hour’. For me, you time is crucial to not only a relationship, but also general wellbeing.
Just a few tips. Yes I’m loved up, and I love it. And what?