Earlier this week my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. 30 years! Can I get a woot woot!? They met in college, got married after graduation, and have been serving as my primary model for a healthy relationship ever since.
As I’ve gotten older, it has become more and more important to me to understand what I need, want, and can fairly expect from my relationship partner. I’m lucky to have parents whose relationship I value and from whom I can learn. My parents have taught me bundles of things. Separately, my mom and my dad have plenty of wisdom to share (check out some of the lessons I’ve learned from my mom here and my dad here), but together they have taught me how to be a part of a functional and happy relationship.
Here are a few lessons I’ve learned:
1. Be each other’s biggest fan.
My parents think that each other are the funniest people in any room. It shows. You can tell they totally still have crushes on each other. It’s because they really, truly like and enjoy each other as people, as friends, and as partners.
2. Don’t be afraid to disagree.
My parents are not identical copies of each other. They don’t always think the same way about things and from them, I’ve learned that that’s okay. Relationships involve different people, with their own thoughts and opinions. It’s important to know that sometimes you’ll have to disagree and that sometimes that’s not a terrible thing.
3. Have hobbies apart.
As different people, my parents have different interests. The activities that float my mom’s boat don’t always float my dad’s. Not only is that okay, it’s a good thing. Doing and caring about things on your own keeps life interesting.
4. Have interests together.
Even though having your own thing is healthy, sharing is part of a relationship. After my sister and I moved out for college, my parents got all cute and started watching old movies and all kinds of crime investigation shows together. It’s something they share and it’s something they do together with frequency. They get to talk about what they watch and they get to look forward to the next episode together.
5. Provide support.
We like to joke around about my parents “standing as one”, but that’s really pretty important. Little disagreements and differing hobbies aside, my parents are united when it comes to the serious stuff. Having support in a relationship is a big deal; you and your partner should be on the same team.
So happy 30th anniversary to my parents! Thanks for loving each other!