Hi Gorgeous,
As some of you know, my husband and I just celebrated our one year anniversary this past week! Woo!! As we were reflecting back on the year and the things we've experienced and accomplished, we noticed an interesting reoccurring theme.

For every "Happy Anniversary!" we received from a dozen family members and friends, we also got a reassuring, "Don't worry, the first year is the hardest!"

We smiled and nodded appreciatively, but eventually Matt and I turned to each other and simultaneously asked, "Was this first year of marriage hard? At all?!"

The short answer is: No way! Our relationship is amaaazing, we have tons of fun and laughter daily, and can communicate and resolve any issue way faster than just about every couple I know. (Oh, and did I mention we also traveled to 10 countries, 29 cities, and have had some ridiculously incredible experiences to boot?!)

Don't get me wrong, it hasn't all been an extended honeymoon (well...maybe it has) because we've also worked HARD over the past year. Matt started a new job, I started my journey as an entrepreneur and launched my own business, we moved (twice), have had plenty of "discussions" and had to make adjustments just like all married couples do.

But "the hardest year"? Doubtful.
Perhaps it is for most newlyweds, but if our first year was "the hardest", then the rest of our relationship years are going to be easy breezy and jammed packed with super awesome experiences.

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if things actually end up like that!

My husband and I intentionally and deliberately design and create a life we love - and then we follow through and live it! But that loaded topic can be tackled later.
I’m not trying to be naive, imply my life is easier than others, or say that I'm just "lucky" to have an amazing life and relationship.

I did certain things and took specific actions to make sure my life and love story ended up this way.

It wasn't left up to chance. And upon reflecting with Matt about what actually made our marriage so successful over the last year, I came up with my top 3 relationship MUSTS.
1. Know who you are, and be happy and fulfilled on your own.

No man wants to feel like a woman "needs" him in order for her to be happy, and no woman wants to feel like a man is suffocating her.

I could write an entire book on this subject, but knowing and embracing who you truly are, having a life and hobbies you enjoy, and being happy and fulfilled ON YOUR OWN are imperative to a successful long term relationship.

When you're in a relationship, it's normal to want to spend all of your time with your significant other and (especially at the beginning) it's totally possible to become borderline obsessed with that person.

However, you must keep your own friends, hobbies and special things that make you happy close to your heart.

Many people start to lose friends and prior interests when in a relationship, but I guarantee you it will eventually backfire if you're not maintaining and fueling your own personal, individual happiness.
I love baths, audio books, cooking, and wine, and I make it a priority to do all of those things every week (if not everyday), just like I prioritize my business and spending quality time with my husband, family and friends.

This is what makes you well-rounded, whole, fulfilled. (Not dedicating all of your free time to your significant other.)

Plus, once you're out of the "honeymoon" phase of a new relationship, having someone expect to spend every moment with you or drop their own interests in favor of yours is super annoying.

Don't be that person. Have your own life, and make sure that you're living it.
2. Communication

This one's a no brainier, but it's way easier said than done. I see couples avoiding talking about hard topics, waiting until things build up to finally express (yell) their feelings, or just straight up communicating with the opposite sex the WRONG way.

Of course, discussing tough topics like finances, stressful jobs, and frustrating disappointments isn't the most fun thing to talk about, but it's essential to always make sure you're on the same page with your partner about nearly everything.

How you feel, what you want, your goals and why they're important to you are all things that should be discussed regularly.
How and when you communicate? Even more important. Financial planning is a good example of "communicating the right way and at the right time" in my own relationship.

I love lists, charts and budgets and could chat about them happily at any time of the day.

Matt? Not so much.

So even though I may be super excited to talk about my new savings plan for our next trip, springing it on Matt when he walks through the door is a terrible idea. (Lesson learned from experience(s) here.)
As talking about finances and budgeting for the future is a stressful and negatively associated topic for Matt, I've learned that asking IF "we would be able to schedule a time to go over some financial details" produces faaaaar better results.

He's prepared for the conversation, doesn't feel like he has to get defensive, and I get my thoughts, plans and budgets across smoothly and with agreeance. At the end of the conversation, we accomplished talking about an important (and potentially stressful) topic, and both feel good about our communication and the end result.
3. Patience

This point ties the prior two together. When you're living a life of love and happiness (both on your own and with a partner), there needs to be flexibility and understanding in the relationship.

When you join your life with someone, you clearly won't be able to continue to do everything you want to do at the exact time you want to do it every single day.  But that's okay!

Be patient when the dinner you made is cooling on the table, because his boss kept him late at work.

Be patient when you really want to watch SportsCenter but your girl needs to vent about her day.

Be patient when he asks to reschedule your movie date because his family flew into town.
Whenever you’re feeling impatient, I'll bet that the real reason you're getting upset is because of something else.

Him being late for dinner or canceling a date will most likely be the catalyst for what you're really feeling or for what's truly bothering you.
Are you really upset that the dinner had to be reheated? Or are you actually feeling unappreciated?

You're probably not concerned about watching your show on the DVR in 30 minutes. So why is taking some time to listen to your significant other rubbing you the wrong way? Do you feel like your time isn't being respected?

Maybe it has nothing to do with your partner, and everything to do with you. Are you kicking yourself for missing the gym again today? Or regretting saying that stupid phrase to your boss this afternoon?

My point is that impatience usually doesn't stem from being a genuinely impatient person.

Of course it's important to put your partners needs before your own sometimes, but it's just as important to be honest about what you’re thinking and feeling.

So if you're feeling impatient about something, take a breath, take a step back and reflect on what it is that's really bothering you here.

My guess is that it may be something else unrelated to the situation entirely. Just make sure you see point #2, and know when and how to communicate about it. ;)
There are many, many more tips and insights I can provide about men and relationships, but clearly my newsletters already borderline on becoming e-books.

If you want to know more, or are interested in how I can help your love life or relationship specifically, reply back to me!

I'd love to hear from you!

Lots of love and happiness,
P.S. – To learn more about my signature programs, click here!