Love is a fun, and love takes effort. There’s so much to navigate and so many lessons to learn. But when I think about my relationship with Jonathan, I think learning has been my favorite part. In honor of our upcoming wedding (14 days!!!), I thought I’d share a few lessons I’ve learned while trying to love him well.
Jonathan LOVES his car. For a while, it drove me crazy. I could not understand what the big deal was. Why is he so into this car? Why are we going to a car show before 10 a.m. on a Saturday? WHO WAKES UP EARLY ON SATURDAYS?!? Then it hit me. His car is his hobby. And the minute I started showing interest and asking questions, we were able to connect in a new way. I’m not saying cars are my new favorite thing, but it’s kind of adorable to listen to him geek out over his car, and I’ve learned some cool stuff about cars along the way, too.
Go on adventures together.
Before moving to Nashville, I had never been hiking. After the first hike Jonathan took me on, I was hooked. Now it’s one of our favorite things to do together. I love hiking new trails with him and revisiting the ones we really enjoy. It’s the most fun, and I so look forward to exploring all the far away places we’ve dreamed of hiking when we’re married.
Listen to understand, not to respond.
This is something I’ve heard before, but not really put into practice until recently. When Jonathan and I are upset with each other, my first instinct is to think about how I’m going to respond to him. This is a problem because I’m not actually trying to understand what he’s saying or why he’s upset – I’m only trying to think of a good comeback to win the argument. Resolving conflict is not always easy, but it’s so much easier to do when you’re listening to understand the other person’s concerns instead of listening to debate them. Truly take time to listen so you can understand the problem. Validate the other person’s feelings. Find a solution in which both of you win and both feel heard. And move on.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in our relationship is the importance of being honest with one another. We made a promise early on to never keep secrets from each other. And y’all. Sometimes that is so hard, but all the time it is so worth it. I’ve found that the more honest we are, with the good stuff and the bad stuff, we become more understanding of the other person and their needs.
Love is fun, and love takes effort. Always be willing to learn, and do your best to love well.