So today we take a break from our regular scheduled posting to bring you this special announcement.

It’s my four year anniversary today!  Yay!

While I have known my boyfriend for about seven years now, we’ve only been dating for the past four.  It’s been a bit of a long haul at some points, I mean for the first two years we knew each other I was dating other people, but I like to think it was worth it.

Now I was going to take the day off, but I decided to go the romantic route today and toss up a post about love in all it’s forms and what I personally think you need to create a long lasting, stable, healthy and fulfilling relationship.

I mean, lets face it.  The world could use more of these.

First and foremost, there are 3 key things to make any relationship with anyone work long term, be they friend, family, or something more: trust, communication, and mutual respect/understanding.  That’s just a given.  You can’t spend any length of time with anyone if you can’t talk to them, if you can’t trust them with yourself and what you tell them, and if you don’t respect them.

But that’s not all you need for a relationship.

1.  You also need to have the capacity to do everything together/be together 24/7 but not the need to do so.  And yes there is a difference.  Capacity = you can if you want to.  Need = you have to for whatever reason: you’re co-dependent, you want them to like you more, you’re afraid of what would happen if you don’t, etc etc.  Basically, you can spend days apart or together.  And when you are together in the same room, you don’t have to be doing the same thing.

2.  You need to be yourself, in all your forms.  I think this is something that a lot of people take for granted.  We’re all about censoring ourselves, emotionally and physically to make others happy.  But you really truly need to be yourself.  Get angry if something pisses you off.  Cry if something makes you sad.  Laugh if you think something’s funny.  If you can’t relax and be yourself around the person you love, or if they can’t accept you when you’re going crazy with your emotions (guys, you do this too) then I don’t think you’re with the right person.

3.  You need to be comfortable with yourself around them, emotionally and physically.  You need to be able to say what’s on your mind, be unafraid to tell them your deepest darkest secrets, and be able to prance around nekked in front of them without being embarrassed.   Granted this one I think relies a lot on the other person accepting you for everything already noted above.

4.  You need to form a partnership with them.  Not a relationship where it’s “You do what I say”, but a give and take and compromising relationship, where you work together to help each other with your problems.  Not abandoning your partner to deal with drama alone to the point where they’re stressing out so bad it starts affecting your relationship.  That’s bad.

5.  And last but not least, you need to know your partner.  And I’m not talking about knowing their likes and dislikes, I’m talking about knowing them so well you can predict their reactions to certain things.  This one obviously takes time before you can get it, but it’s in some ways the most crucial part of a relationship, especially when it comes to getting married to your partner.  I think the divorce rate everywhere would go town a ton if more partners had this going up to the alter.  This way, for the most part at least, you know what’s going to upset your partner and you can avoid doing it to the point where they want to dump you for being an insensitive ass.

Now I know that not all relationships are like this.  I know a lot of this may not work for a lot of people, because every one is different and what works for one may not work for all.  But for me, these work.  I’m 29 years old this year, all my life I’ve applies these aspects to all my relationships, and the shortest one I’ve had was two years so there must be something to this.

And today, as you are reading this (thank you WordPress Auto post) I am celebrating an end and a beginning with the love of my life.  The end of a four year relationship, and the beginning of a five year partnership.

I trust him, we have open communication, we respect each other, and understand each other.  We can spend days alone or in the same room with each other, watching movies together or sitting on separate sofas doing our own thing and still be spending time together.  We don’t hide from each other when we’re angry, sad, or what not.  We accept each other for all our faults, flaws, and strengths.  We support each other, work together, and sometimes we leave the other hanging (hey, no relationship is perfect…) but when we realize what we’ve done we work together to fix it.  And we know each other, much to his chagrin.  He doesn’t like being predictable.

He can make me smile through the tears, bring me down when my dander’s up, and he knows when to smile and nod when I’m being all hormonal.  I love him, I like to think he loves me, and I hope we celebrate many more years together.