3 Key Relationship Lessons


Good morning and Happy Monday!!!  Hope everyone had an amazing weekend!

As mentioned on Friday, Justin and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary (October 27, 2007) this weekend.  I can’t believe it’s been 6 years, although we’ve actually been together for a total of 12 years!  The time has flown by insanely quickly. I remember our first date, our first trip to the beach together, the proposal, planning the wedding, the wedding itself and everything in between so clearly and here we are 12 years later – it seems like all these things happened just yesterday. Come to think of it, Justin and I have been together almost half my life.  Crazy, huh!?!

Wedding CollageJustin and I started dating in November of 2001.  I was a senior in high school and he had just started his first year of college, although we were acquainted with each other even before that.  Ironically, when I was a freshman in high school, we  in the same Spanish class together, but never spoke to one another.  A few years later, my brother and Justin happened to be taking a guitar class together.  They sat next to each other, became friends and he started coming over to the house.  After about a year or so, we talked more and developed a friendship; then he “officially” asked me out and the rest is history. Funny how things happen sometimes!  It definitely was unexpected, but I guess it was meant to be! :-)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was taken a few years after we started dating.

In all the time we’ve been together, we’ve certainly learned a lot about ourselves, each other and what it takes to develop a healthy relationship.  It’s by no means easy and relationships and/or marriages take a lot of effort on both sides to make things work.

There are many more but in the interest of not making this post absurdly long, here are 3 key relationship lessons I’ve learned during our time together:  


Although it takes some practice, communication is key to a healthy relationship.  We can’t get into each other’s heads, so it’s important to be open and honest – express your feelings and talk things through.  This holds especially true when there are important issues to be discussed or there’s disagreement.  I’ve found that calmly and effectively laying it all out in the open is important to work through those difficult topics.  It doesn’t do any good to raise voices, attack each other, pass blame or say hurtful things. There’s no “I” in a relationship, so working issues out as a team will allow both sides to be heard.


A relationship involves two people – the my way or the highway type mentality isn’t going to fly.  I’ve got to be honest with you though, this one has been a hard one for me to adhere to sometimes because of my Type A personality.  Lets face it, Justin and I both have different personalities, habits and idiosyncrasies, but both of us have learned to bend and be flexible to those things.  I’m not going to say it’s always easy, but it’s always necessary for a relationship to work.


I’ve known people who are married or in a relationship just for the sake of being with someone.  There’s no love or feeling behind it – it’s a sad way to live.  So the question remains, what is love?  I think the answer is personal and different for every person who tries to define it.  So, what does love mean for me…love is a sense of calm and security you get from being with someone for so long – a sense of contentment.  With love you accept the good, the bad and the ugly sides of the other person, and are there for each other no matter what.  Love grows – I’ve found that the love that Justin and I have for each other becomes deeper over the 12 years we’ve had together.


There is no doubt that relationships require an open-mind.  With each phase of life, there will be new lessons to be learned, but I’m blessed to have Justin by my side now and forever, and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.  I’m a very lucky girl indeed!


In your opinion, what makes a relationship work?

What does love mean to you?

Do anything fun over the weekend?

56 thoughts on “3 Key Relationship Lessons

  1. Congratulations! !
    I am thrilled to report you.
    I adore the God who have committed to people the message that love.

  2. awww, you guys are adorable. My husband and I have been married for 7 years and together for almost 10, so very similar to you and Justin. :-)

  3. CONGRATS Holly! Your’s and Justin’s is such a beautiful story – yall were most definitely meant for each other! Yall are a beautiful couple!
    Love these relationship lessons – I have much to learn in that department :)
    This was a quiet weekend for me – lots of running, spending time outside…nothing too Crazy! Happy Monday Lady!

  4. Happy Anniversary! Can’t believe you guys have been together that long; incredible! I totally agree with what you’ve mentioned, and particularly like the ‘lightbulb’ photo. It seems like people are so quick to give up and call it quits these days. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a successful relationship/marriage that comes with zero problems or challenges. It takes a lot of effort, but it’s worth it.

  5. Happy anniversary guys! This post is such a great reminder for me – lately I’ve found myself feeling frustrated/annoyed with my relationship & it’s because we’re not communicating properly. But, its definitely important to not let issues pile up before they become too difficult to manage, ya know?

  6. Aw happy anniversary ! this post just brightened my day on a sleepy/miserable monday morning! :)

    -Elise @ 9toFit.com

  7. awww omg you guys!! congratulations!! this made me “Aww” out loud :”Come to think of it, Justin and I have been together almost half my life. ” awww! you guys make marriage look easy :)

  8. Congrats! I definitely believe the compromise thing is pretty difficult at times- especially when you get married at a fairly young age! Some people view love as the fairy tale type, and I have learned with being married that it isn’t that at all (at least not for us). It is having someone on your side, and having a teammate. It is about making each other laugh and taking care of each other when you are sick. There can be some fairy tale moments definitely, but people shouldn’t expect it to be that way all the time! Great advice!

  9. You two are adorable. Congratulations, and happy anniversary again. The way you talk about Justin just shows how dearly you love him. You two truly are blessed to have one another <3 <3

  10. 6 years? Awwr! Happy Anniversary to you and Justin! I’d say that good, honest communication is pretty much essential for making a relationship work. You’re right that we can’t get into each others’ heads, and making sure to communicate our thoughts and frustrations is a good way to keep them from piling up and eventually exploding. That and trust… if you can’t trust the person you’re with, the relationship probably won’t last.

  11. Happy anniversary!! I love seeing those older photos of the two of you together! Compromise has definitely been the hardest lesson for me to learn – but it’s like my grandma always says “love one another and give and take” : ) She says those words every single time I see her! So cute.

  12. Congrats – so awesome to read about couples who are really truly in love!!
    My husband and I have been married 17.5 years and are still very much in love – you are right about the compromise and communication for sure!!!

  13. Awww, congrats on six years of marriage! Communication is always my biggest ‘must-have’ in a relationship. You can’t expect the other person to be a mind reader or to figure out what’s going on in your head without being told – it’s when communication breaks down that resentment and problems start occurring!

  14. Aww I love these tips!! Beautiful, beautiful! Congrats on the 12 years!! That’s the bigger picture ;)

  15. Happy anniversary! These tips are so beautiful and heartfelt- I agree with every single one of them! You guys are a gorgeous couple and I’m ecstatic that you guys are still head-over-heels for one another :)

  16. Aww Happy Anniversary! I love you guys!

  17. Happy Anniversary! I love to see couples find success and happiness. Things like that make my day. And thanks for sharing your thoughts! As someone who is coming up on the years where serious relationship may be on the horizon, every little bit of advice helps, even if I may not be in a relationship right now.

  18. You two have such a sweet love story. That’s amazing you’ve been together for 12 years! All of your advice is so true and very important for a successful relationship. It’s amazing to see how much my relationship has changed over 9 years. We still struggle with the communication part but it’s definitely become easier with time.

  19. I’m absolutely in LOVE with this post! Congrats again on 6 years of marriage and 12 being together. Your wedding pictures are stunning , as are you!

    I agree with every point you have made in this post. Communication, compromise and love are the most important parts of a relationship or marriage. No ones life or relationship is perfect, but conquering these 3 things are a great start to becoming pretty darn close. My husband and I are very big believers in all 3 of these topics. I have seen so many marriages fall apart, it’s so sad. Each one has always been in regards to one of these 3 topics, mostly communication about feelings and/ or pointing fingers. Its so important to always remain on the same side, never defending against eachother!

    • Thanks so much Heather! :-) Yes, communication is such a big one. Sometimes I think people think it’s easier just to point fingers and blame the other person, instead of really sitting down and talking it out. If more people did that and learned to communicate, maybe there wouldn’t be so many failed marriages.

  20. Congratulations! I was just talking about marriage today with a client who was celebrating 18 years of being married. Your tips were the same as hers. Communication is our #1 factor in our home. We have made a promise to always try to be open and clear with each other. so important.

  21. Great advice and so true. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 5 years now and communication and honesty are crucial for us!

  22. Happy Anniversary! You two look adorable!! Hope you had a great weekend celebrating!

  23. Congrats once again on the 6 year anniversary- the story is amazing of how you guys met and how you ended up- life throws some amazing curveballs! I think in any relationship, communication from BOTH sides is definitely key!

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  26. A great post!!!!
    So funny about you and your husband being together 12 years!
    My husband and I have been married a year and a half but have been together for 11 years! CRAZY!!!!!! lol

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