I’ve been sitting at my computer trying to write this post for a long time and the words haven’t come to me.
My husband an I celebrated our one year anniversary Monday – why can’t I find any words to write about it?
Ironically, because one of the reasons we have a great relationship is because we keep it private. We don’t discuss it with other people. I have never vented to a friend, sister, or mother about my anger or frustration with my husband. I rarely share the sweet things he does for me with other people. I don’t post about my love for him on social media. I protect our relationship. I keep it private.
This wasn’t something that just happened. When we first started dating, we made a very conscious decision to not allow other people the opportunity to get involved. It’s not their relationship. Were we worried about judgement? OF COURSE! Especially for a new couple, judgement can be hard to adequately deal with. You are still getting to know this person you’re attracted to, all while listening to other people’s opinion on them. And opinions have a great power to influence and sway.
At first, it was difficult not to vent to an outsider when I was upset. There are two reasons why we chose to not do this. The first is that we wanted to have very open communication with one another. When we were bothered, we wanted to feel comfortable talking about it with each other, even if it may be offensive. Learning to both give and take criticism with humility and love was not the easiest thing, but as the years have gone by, it’s become cornerstone to our relationship.
The second reason was the judgement of friends and family. It’s natural to want your friends and family to like the person you’re with, and in fact, it’s important for your friends and family to support your relationship. That can be very difficult to do if you only share the negative spats with them. Their idea of your significant other is shaped in the worst way possible, through your frustrations when you have fights and disagreements. They don’t see all the good – they are only exposed to the bad. But even in the good, there are intimate details that should be kept private, no matter how close you are with someone else. Keep some things special.
I post a few things on social media, but I rarely do a loved-up gushy post. Frankly, I just don’t care. Here’s the problem with relationships on social media. Either A – you post about it all the time (9 times out of 10, relationships that are proclaimed to the world on a weekly basis don’t last and people can see right through the farce of Instagram), B – you post, but don’t post about them at all (people don’t think you’re as invested in them as you should be), or C – you don’t post at all (people think you and your relationship totally fell off the radar). I don’t like any of these options! And I especially don’t feel the need to tell the world the highs of my marriage because the world should have zero impact on it.
So many people convince themselves that the success of the relationship is based on the approval of others, but the approval of the relationship should come from yourself and your partner. As long as you approve and aren’t providing ammo for negativity, it’s hard for others to have a foundation for disapproval.
The number of likes you get on an Instagram post don’t determine how loved of a couple you are. The frequent posting of Man Crush Mondays and Woman Crush Wednesdays don’t determine how much you love each other.
You know that quote “Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody’s watching?” Your relationship should be the same – based on what you do for each other even if nobody except your partner knows about it. After all, wouldn’t it be great knowing your loved one did something sweet for you just to make you smile, not to make all of your followers smile?
After one year, you won’t see a ton of photos of us on social media. You won’t be able to find a lot of the adventures we have gone on, memories we have made, or happy moments we have shared, and it’s completely intentional.
Here’s to a great first year, and many, many more to come.
The photographer of our wedding was the incredible Chris Koeppen.