Relationship Lesson for the Books

Spencer Dennis Taylor Seely in downtown Phoenix

Having a high school sweetheart is one of those perfect-case, but rarely-does-it-happen scenarios because come high school you either realize all the boys are ugly, you decide you’re an independent woman who doesn’t need a man (totally me – wanted to go to Harvard Law) or you notice most lasting high school couples are miserable, baby-breeding machines.

So believe me when I say I never thought I’d be happily celebrating my four year anniversary with my high school sweetheart next month. Granted, I’m still only in college and four years is just a pinch of time in the grand scheme of life, so it’s not to say maybe one day he’ll wake up and change his mind about me.

I’m certainly not a relationship expert and I know I still have so much to learn, but I’m positive that we are as happy as humanly possible. Personally, I would like to think if someone had a “key” to life or school or raising kids or something, they would share it with the rest of humanity. So I wanted to take the time and reinforce something that Spencer and I live by, and you’ve probably heard it before, but I think it’s important enough to repeat again.

Your relationship is only as happy as you are.

I’d like to especially emphasize the chronology of this sentence. Notice it is not “You are only as happy as your relationship is.”

I know, I know. I sound like a therapist or something and it feels pretty obvious now that I sit and write it all out.

But life is just a funny thing when relatively simple and obvious concepts give you the biggest “AHA” moments.

Spencer and I have had our ups and downs as any normal couple does, but I believe our willingness to allow and encourage each other to chase our dreams – wherever that may take us – is what has made us so successful.

Currently, Spencer is in Utah and he’ll be there for a month before I see him again. For the duration of our summer, he’ll be gone for 8 weeks total. It’s (obviously) really difficult and we both miss each other like crazy, but I know he wouldn’t be this happy doing anything else. He’s living his dream, and that in turn makes him an even better person to be with when he is home.

So this is my lesson for the books: Learn to be independently happy. Never rely on your significant other for your happiness. They cannot be your life force. They’re more a cherry on top of a delicious ice cream sundae – heck they can even been the creamy chocolate syrup and sprinkles too.

You can make each other happy and you can pull each other out of lows; You’re a support system, for sure, but relationships take work and they take energy, and if you don’t have your own supply of happiness, you’ll never have what it takes to dedicate yourself to someone else.

Bottom line –

Happiness fuels relationships.

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