It’s crazy to me to think that this will be Kolani and I’s first Valentine’s Day engaged. In reality it’s not a huge change, but it’s still exciting. And even though we’re preparing to get started on wedding planning, I can’t help but think about what it took to get to where we are today.
Now, I’m no expert on love and romance (trust me), and everyone’s relationship and romantic preferences are different. But since I’ve been with Kolani, I’ve definitely learned (and unlearned) some habits that I think have benefitted our relationship.
Here are some things that I’ve learned.
Communication is Key
Communication- and I cannot stress this enough- is key. I can’t tell you how many arguments we’ve had early on and eventually later avoided because we improved our communication skills. People are not mind readers and texts can be misconstrued. Being open, honest, and endlessly communicative with your partner is a great way to ensure that you’re on the same page for multiple reasons.
You are responsible for your own happiness
This took me a while to understand. In the beginning, I assumed that Kolani was the person responsible for my happiness. Eventually, I realized that not only is that an insurmountable amount of pressure to put on someone, it’s also unrealistic. Your relationship should not be the only thing that makes you happy. You need to make time for yourself, practice hobbies and remember that you are a person outside of the relationship. I think early on, so many people get caught up in the excitement of a new relationship which completely normal, but it’s important that your find happiness outside of your relationship as well.
Good guys are out there
When I first moved to Washington, I was primarily doing it to romantically start over and realistically expand my horizons. I had outgrown my small town and felt the need to go somewhere new to be able to live to my full potential. I had also just (bravely) gotten out of an unfaithful verbally abusive relationship and finally felt like I could leave it behind officially.
Because of past trauma regarding this relationship, I had assumed the worst when I went on dates, or when Kolani didn’t text back, or if he acted slightly different one day. At first, Kolani was taken aback by my quick fearful reactions or my moments of suspicions. I decided to have a conversation with him about what I had been through, and then he realized where I was coming from.
Over time I realized, just because I had lived one nightmare, did not mean that I couldn’t dream. Eventually I was able to see Kolani as the sweet, sincere man that he is and my questioning of his intentions began to fade. If you’ve been through a similar situation, just remember that there are good people out there who will treat you right. You are a capable and amazing person who deserves the world.
Those are my tips for a healthy relationship! I feel like they’ve helped me grow so much, and I’m thankful that I have such a patient partner who allows me to grow. Until next time, Chloe.