This is the story of my relationship. A path I never imagined I would take. After some unsuccessful relationships in my early 20s, I decided to just live my life. I traveled through Africa. I became a solo traveler. I turned into a self-confident woman. I was immortal (as we all feel at this time of our lives). And I could very well take care of myself.
About a year into this new self-confident me, my partner rolled into my life. At first, he was just there. In my group of friends. Eventually, he was trying to get me. Get me into a relationship. That went on for a year.
It took me that long to accept him. To accept someone in my life as a female solo traveler. A nomad. That was who I was. I also made that clear to him.
Four years later…
I’m sitting here wrapped in my blanket lying in bed next to my partner. Typing on my tablet. He’s watching a series on Netflix. That’s what we do. We’ve spent the entire day together. 24 hours. That’s how most of our days look like. We live together. We work together. We spend our free time together.
Life goes on
Something I would never in my life have imagined. Myself. Together with a partner. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. How on earth do you do that without losing your soul, your passion?
It’s pretty easy. We do spend all that time together. But we don’t always do everything together. We went on a three-hour hike this morning, then made lunch and ate together. Afterward, I was sitting on the couch working on an article. He sat at the dining table playing a computer game.
We’re still in the same room. Yet doing things separately. And no, we don’t feel guilty for not doing something together. Because we do every day something together. But not everything.
Later that evening we spent 2,5 hours playing monopoly. Before I starting writing this article.
This what our lives have looked like for more than two years no. Living together. Working together. In a foreign place. In a foreign country. Exploring places together. Figuring out our position at work. Helping each other. Teasing each other.
And somehow it works. It obviously does. Because we’re both happy. Happy in love with each other.
The key to a successful relationship
Communication is the key. In any relationship. If it’s a love-based relationship or one between friends. It doesn’t matter. Without communication, it is set up for failure.
But in a relationship where you spend 24 hours a day together communication reaches a different level. You can’t just ignore things and let them go. It will hover in the room and make your day horrible.
Anything bothering any of us has to be mentioned and discussed. On the spot. If something wasn’t clear enough and the partner seemed confused or even upset then we took our time to clear things up.
Any problems you ignore and transport from day to day will sit heavily on your relationship. If you’re not living together you might not feel it right away. But if you see each other every minute of the day it will pull you down. Eventually.
That is why we agreed on it from day one. If there is something we don’t like. Anything. It doesn’t matter what it is. We talk about it. We tell our partner what bothers us, what makes us feel depressed, and what stresses us out. So that we rather fix the problem together than fight against each other because of it.
We don’t keep things to ourselves. We share them. The problems just as much as the happy moments in our daily lives. We share them all.
A new beginning
The lifestyle we live and the work we do forces us to start over again and again. Almost every year we move to a new country and sometimes even a different continent. We start working at a new company and meet new colleagues.
But since we’re together in it, it can be very comforting. While getting confronted with all those new aspects like rules, languages, and behaviors we are in it together and can help each other to find our position in the company as fast as possible.
Having each other is already a lot when moving to a new country where you don’t understand the language nor the behavior of the people. It gives you the feeling of being home before you even built your new home.
This is what I love about our relationship. The nomadic lifestyle we live brings us a lot of challenges. They are fun to accept since it is easier to master them as a team.
There isn’t everything just smiles and butterflies. Like every other couple, we do fight too. We do shout at each other too. Or we don’t want to see the other person’s face for a while too.
That is part of life. But as I said. We talk about it. First, we talk about it and then we might spend some time apart. Like I would go for a walk or visit some friends. But you have to talk about the issues first.
Don’t just run away. That makes everything worse. And that makes the other person even more upset. Running away is being cowardly. Nobody wants to be a coward.
It is okay to not want to spend some time with your partner. That is part of being in a relationship. Sometimes you just want spend time by yourselves. Or your friends.
Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. If you live together or have a long-distance relationship. That doesn’t matter. It is okay to spend time apart.
Why nature is important for your relationship
Spending time in nature is known to be healthy for everyone. But spending time together with your partner in nature can be the key to success. Nature does connect. It calms people’s mind and teaches you to appreciate the small things in life.
Therefore it is important to spend some time together with your partner outdoors. It doesn’t matter what you do. If you like going on bike rides then do it. If you rather go on surf sessions or go on extensive walks along the beach that’s fine too.
All that counts is that you find some activity which you can do in nature and both of you enjoy. The rest will come by itself. Your conversations will slowly calm down. You start talking about your dreams. Your future. The future you want to have together.
I love going on walks together with my partner. Wherever we live. If it’s on the beach, in the mountains or the forest. It doesn’t matter. We enjoy them a lot and embrace the time spent together in nature.
Hobbies connect people
When being in a relationship it helps to have similar interests. Similar sports you can do together or other hobbies. Hobbies do connect. Hobbies bring out emotions. Not only negative ones. Positive ones too. And that is where passion comes in. Hobbies can bring passion into your relationship.
But you don’t have to have everything in common. It is totally okay if one person likes to surf and the other one much rather goes for bike rides. So be it.
If there are sports you can combine and do together that is great. Enjoy the time. But if the other person doesn’t like your hobby, don’t stop following your dream. Keep being yourself and do what is fun for you.
Especially when living together and working together like us it is good for the relationship if you do have activities you don’t do together. It also gives you something to talk about later.
What else are you going to talk about if you spend all day together doing the same things? Ever thought about that?
We’re not perfect. Nobody is. But we’re doing the best out of our lives and we love it. We love every day of living together. Our lifestyle is what we always dreamt of. We work every day on it to live our dream.
Being happy while spending 24 hours a day seven days a week together is possible. It might not be possible for everyone. But it is for us. And it does work.
Don’t judge others for the way they live their relationship. Let them be. Let them live their dream. Get inspired by other people’s motivation and smiles. Learn and adapt. Every single day.
P.S.: Thank you for being the best other half I could ever have dreamt of.
“A great relationship is about two things: first, appreciating the similarities and second, respecting the differences.” — Unknown