I love relationships. Call me corny, but I love "love". Over the last 24 hours, I've seen some of the strongest relationships and have had the honor of celebrating a marriage.
Yesterday, my family, Ryan, and I attended my cousin's wedding. (Welcome to the family, Shannon! Finally, another "Sienrukos" added to our whopping 8-person clan.) In the middle of the celebration, all of the couples were out on the dance floor. The EmCee then called out lengths of time that the couples have been in the relationship. Obviously, Ryan and I were only up there for about 17 seconds until he said "1 year of marriage or less, stand to the side." He went on and on. 10 years. 20 years. 30 years. 40. As the years grew, the couples dwindled. He got up to 50 years and two couples stayed strong. Turns out one couple had been together for 53 years, the other 54 years. The EmCee asked the 54-year-ers if they had one piece of advice for the newly married, TJ and Shannon. "Communication", said the husband. "You've got to communicate." Got it. If anyone knows how to have a strong marriage, it's these guys.
Also at the wedding, I had the pleasure of seeing my mom break out her "killer dance moves". I have never seen my mother move the way she did. At one point in the beginning of the night, she and my dad were literally the only couple on the dance floor dancing to "Up All Night To Get Lucky" (Aka the last song I ever thought my parents would dance to.) Despite the chuckles of oh-my-god-what-are-mom-and-dad-doing-up-there from my brother, sister and I, I thought about another thing too.My dad was by her side. Needless to say, my mom isn't quite Dancing With The Stars material, but it didn't matter. My dad danced with her, and he did it with a smile on his face.
Fast forward about 24 hours. I just got off the phone with my grandparents. I call them Pat and Frank. His name isn't even Frank. It's Paul. He looks like Frank from Everybody Loves Raymond. Just go with it. Yesterday was their anniversary and Pat's birthday. Since I was busy at the wedding, I lost track of days, and had to make up my phone call tonight. Pat told me what they did to celebrate: they went out to a restaurant and relaxed at home watching 3 hours of Netflix crime movies. She said "Your grandfather was so good. He sat with me the whole time and watched it all." There you go. He was there for her.
These three things, the couple married for 54 years who specialized in communication, my dad, who didn't skip a beat when it came to dancing with my mom, and my grandfather, who endured three long hours of crime movies just to make Pat happy are just tiny snippets of what I think defines a relationship. To me, relationships aren't supposed to be difficult. In fact, they should be joyful. Making a relationship joyful isn't exactly rocket science, either. It takes some very simple things to make one work.
Support. Be there for each other. Even if you think it's silly. Cheer him on when he catches a fish.
Appreciation. Thank one another for what they do.
Respect. We learn this is kindergarden, guys. It's not hard. Do it.
Trust. Without it, the relationship will crumble.
The opportunity to brag and complain. No one else wants to hear you brag or complain except your significant other (and maybe your parents), so take advantage of it. It's healthy to brag and complain once in a while.
Laughter. The best relationships are between two people who are best friends.
Say "I love you".
See? None of these are hard. In fact, we learn most of these skills at a very young age. It's up to us to follow through and actually do it. Given, there are hard times, but if we remember these simply things - bam, a joyful, beautiful, fulfilling relationship.