10 Lessons I’ve Learned From 10 Years With My Boyfriend

Ten years ago I met someone who changed my life. From the moment I met him, I knew he was the one. If it wasn’t for him I don’t think I would have been able to handle the fact that my parents were getting divorced. He helped me through so many different experiences. When I was going through a rough time, he was there for me and he always picked me up from where I got down. Over the last 10 years we have been together and I can honestly say that he is my best friend and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him.

Life with my boyfriend can be a challenging experience at times, but there are definitely some things I’ve learned in the last decade or so that have made our relationship stronger than it would have been otherwise. I hope that helps!

On my 10th anniversary with my boyfriend Chris, I had a revelation: dating was fun! In fact, it’s a lot of fun. Especially for me since Chris and I are a totally different sort of couple than most. We’re not conventional in the ways that we date and have fun and love each other, and we’re pretty sure no-one else is either. It’s not like we’re the only oddball couple out there. But, you know, we’re used to weird and different, so we didn’t give it much thought.

I was a timid 16-year-old schoolgirl when I first began dating my boyfriend Steve (OK, I’m still shy!) who didn’t have the foggiest idea how to properly apply mascara, much alone be someone’s girlfriend But, ten years later (and many more changes to our lives than I can list), we’re still together! I’m no relationship guru, but I enjoy what Steve and I have and I’ve learned a lot, so that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

1. It requires time and effort.

Don’t get me wrong: I believe there must be some degree of comfort and chemistry between two individuals, but I don’t believe the greatest relationships are natural and easy. It takes time and work to correctly express all of your ideas and emotions, as well as to have all of your expectations on the same page, no matter how deeply two people are in love (at least it has for us). Effort is the cornerstone to a great relationship, therefore put out your best effort!

2. If you have a good thought, express it.

Steve and I have shared each other our three positive things about the day every night for the last three years (and counting). I also make an effort to include something positive from the day that has anything to do with Steve. I really think that expressing Steve the small things I love about him has had a big beneficial effect on our relationship.

3. Don’t keep track of the score.

Steve and I don’t keep track of whether or not we’ve been compensated for the good deeds we perform for each other. He’ll pick me up from the train station without making me feel inconvenient, and he’ll do the same for me when I do pleasant things for him. And as a result, we assist one other more often than if we kept count – when someone does something kind for you and doesn’t make you feel terrible about it, you want to repay the favor! Remove the phrase “you owe me one” from your vocabulary to get started.

4. Make your own circle of buddies.

I’ve always believed in having my own circle of friends and seeing them without Steve (the gossip is never as nice when he’s there!). Having my own pals helps me maintain my sense of self-identity, and Steve is no exception (which means Steve usually sees the boys without me). Mutual friends are wonderful, but you must always have a ride or you will perish!

5. Take some time apart.

I’m not scared to spend time apart, as you may have surmised from the last one. I’ve spent almost a year traveling abroad without Steve throughout our ten-year partnership. Long-distance relationships are difficult, but time apart is acceptable – particularly if you want to explore the globe but your partner does not.


6. Apologize as soon as possible.

I’ll admit that I can be a little irritable at times (particularly when I’m hungry). But I’ve learned that immediately and genuinely apologizing is preferable than pretending it never occurred.

7. It’s OK to have different priorities.

I’ve come to realize that just because something is essential to me doesn’t imply it is to Steve. And that’s all right. But it wasn’t until lately that I figured this one out, thanks to this episode of The Life Coach School Podcast!

8. Be a motivator.

Isn’t it self-evident? But I don’t know what I would have done if Steve hadn’t believed in me and supported me while I attempted to figure out what the heck I was trying to accomplish with my life – particularly because he had no clue what I was attempting to achieve! He never fails to motivate me, which makes a huge difference.

9. Set your own objectives.

It’s great to have objectives as a pair, but it’s even better when you’re both working on your own projects at the same time. Always be supportive of one another, but also be yourself.

10. Establish new customs.

When Steve and I watch Netflix on my laptop in bed, one of our favorite small “traditions” is tucking candies into our candy drawer. I realize it’s not the healthiest habit to have, but we both keep the top drawer of my bedside table stocked with our favorite chocolates and candies at all times. I like going out for a nice meal, but there’s nothing like putting on the fairy lights, burning a wonderful candle, and sampling all of the new items we’ve purchased while watching TV.

What lessons have you taken away from your past relationships? Please let me know in the comments section below!

And, just so you know, my site Smart Twenties has additional tips on how to make the most of your twenties.

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I have learned that it is important to be honest with your partner.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”What do past relationships teach us?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
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Frequently Asked Questions

What have I learned from my boyfriend?

You have learned that he is a good person.

What have you learned from your relationship?

I have learned that it is important to be honest with your partner.

What do past relationships teach us?

Past relationships teach us that we should never give up on love.

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