In honor of Valentine’s, I thought it would be the perfect time to do a relationship Q&A. We aren’t perfect so we aren’t here to say we should be soliciting advice, we are simply here to answer questions you sent in and share what worked for us with all we’ve endured during our relationship 🙂
These questions get serious so I had to keep them to 4 for now or else you would be scrolling forever! Keep sending them in for future posts 🙂
Sending you all the happy, loving wishes on this week of love!
Q: HOW DID Y’ALL APPROACH MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM FRIENDS TO BEING IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP? WHO INITIATED & WAS THERE FEAR OF POTENTIALLY RUINING A LIFELONG FRIENDSHIP?
jacqui: Oh my gosh, the transition! It’s so funny because once the transition started, it all happened so fast! YES, there was definitely fear of not only ruining our amazing lifelong friendship, but there was also fear of ruining “our group” of friends that we’ve had for so so long AND our parents are best friends and didn’t want to ruin that either so we had a lot riding on us! We got so caught up in what if we break up? and talked about it a lot while we were discussing becoming boyfriend/girlfriend (so cute to say that term because it seems like so long ago!)
Anyway – here is how the transition happened. I’ll save you the very long romcom storybook version of our history, but we have been inseparable best friends since we were in 5th grade and the summer we transitioned to bf/gf was the summer after junior year of college. I was living in NYC for an internship and Drew came up to visit me and when I say everything happened in a blink of an eye one short weekend in The City, it did. It was the most fun weekend full of pure magic with the stars aligning – – who knows – – but that’s what it felt like. I think it “just happened” because it was the first time we’ve ever had a weekend all alone without other friends around so things escalated quickly. And when you kiss your best friend, either you love it or you don’t. I doubt there’s an in between when you’ve been in a relationship like we had been in for so long. I seriously don’t think either of us initiated it, I think it just happened mutually and we both knew it and felt it. However, I will say years prior, he was the one always trying to go after me (insert wink face emoji). Also, I want to be clear that Drew didn’t just randomly plan a trip to NYC for a weekend alone with me. Another one of our best friends was supposed to come visit also and literally cancelled his flight 2 days before the trip. So when I say all of this aligned that weekend, it really did. Otherwise, I don’t know what would have got us a weekend alone in one of the most fun cities.
Long story short for the purpose of talking your ear off – – we both initiated in my opinion, or if he did, I was thinking the same in my head. That NYC wrapped up and we both immediately didn’t want it to end and wanted to be in some form of a relationship because we knew it was something super special, but had to hold our horses and have many conversations. We left it at we knew we liked each other and wanted to see where this was going to go. He flew back to Georgia and we talked a ton on the phone and via BBM (shoutout Blackberry!). The next weekend we both were going to Vegas for one of our best friend’s birthday’s. We were planning on not saying anything to them but we knew we had something and that we should tell them because we were so excited to see each other again after the weekend we had. Drew landed in Vegas before I did and told everyone we were “talking” and that we were going to take things slow because we didn’t want to jeopardize our friendship/group of friends. They were all happy we were so happy but they were super worried what would happen to all of us if we broke up and voiced that. After another weekend together and talking on the phone 24/7 for another week after Vegas I flew to Florida to spend the 4th of July with his family at the beach (which I had done for a few years before when we were just friends.) Once again, we toyed with should we tell the fam? Should we keep this a secret? We told and both of our families were SO excited! Drew told his mom we were talking and her response was, “What were you doing before?! Sign language?!” Best response ever. They all knew we should be together and knew it for years so we were right on track to everyone’s predictions! That beach trip Drew and I yet again had the best time and talked about making this officially boyfriend/girlfriend status but didn’t officially make the leap yet because we knew it was all happening so fast and we knew that meant we were going to be in a long distance relationship for years to come. Fast forward another week of talking a ton and Drew called me the following weekend asking me to be his girlfriend and the rest is history. So from our weekend in NYC where it began to us being official was 3 weeks.
In regard to us being scared of “what ifs” with breaking up and how that would hurt both of us so badly, our families and our friends, we took the risk – made the jump – and never looked back. We knew that we had to get married if we decided to become boyfriend and girlfriend and we did 🙂
My advice: You know your particular situation with your friend. You know the best way to bring it up via conversation to him/her or if you should or shouldn’t just make a move. Don’t worry about what ifs but certainly discuss them. And I hope that you have as happy of an ending as we do! xo
drew: I would say our transition from friendship to relationship was natural. It was certainly a progression. We talked and talked and talked. Things started to get more personal, deeper conversations were had, and there was more important dialogue My advice to guys would be – if it feels natural – mutually – then there is your sign. If things are forced, if you are firmly in the “friend zone”, or if she has told you in the past she doesn’t see anything more than just being friends, well then don’t put your friendship at stake.
The biggest risk is losing one of your closest friends. One surefire way to do that is try to take a friendship and turn it into a relationship based only on your feelings. Initiate that transition together, like Jacqui and I did. Talk about it. Communicate. Be up front. If it isn’t meant to be more than a friendship, then you can leave it at that, a friendship!
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON LONG DISTANCE AND DO YOU HAVE ADVICE FOR A LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP?
jacqui: LDR. I have a lot to say about LDR (surprising, I know!) Drew & I were long distance for 3.5 years. We did long distance Alabama to Georgia, Georgia to NYC, NYC to Pittsburgh, and NYC to Arizona. There were time changes involved, and certainly lots of total opposite schedules.
My thoughts on LDR… I think that as much as they stink at times, they are SO BENEFICIAL to your relationship. I’m absolutely not saying move apart and make yourself long distance because you will be so much better off for it!!! Not saying that at all. I’m saying IF you have to do long distance, I promise you, you are better off for it. 100%. The conversations you have when you’re long distance are THE BEST. You have to rely solely on communication so you stay up all night talking and all day texting. You have more in depth convos and think of little things to do for one another to make things special that you wouldn’t if you were seeing each other every day. You know that you really want to be together or else you wouldn’t be putting up with long distance so there is a form of sincere trust and knowledge of knowing you’re both in it for the right reasons.
My advice: Always have your next trip booked to see each other. Even if it’s a month or more away, book it. Because then you have something to countdown and look forward to. I promise you, this is SO helpful. There is nothing worse than simply not knowing the next time you’re going to see one another and that will bother you and will be all you’ll talk about with them instead of the productive, loving conversations you should be having with LD!
drew: Long distance relationships are tough because they are hard work. Consistent communication is imperative. On a daily basis you will find yourself facetiming, texting, and having phone calls that last more than 5 minutes. Seems crazy, right? Well, if all of these means of communication are worth it for the person you love, then your relationship will benefit greatly from it.
The advice that I would give anyone who is in a long distance relationship is to communicate regularly and schedule time with your significant other whenever possible. Once every week if you’re a drive away and the calendars allow. Once every month (at least) if you live a long flight away from each other and both have extremely busy schedules. Give each other something to look forward to. To talk about. To plan for each other. And when you have those special weekends together, wherever they may be, be present with one another. Sure, introduce her to all of your friends. Go out and have some drinks with a group. But make the time together about the both of you. That is the most important thing!
Q: HOW DO YOU NOT ONLY NOURISH A RELATIONSHIP BUT GROW A RELATIONSHIP DESPITE A LOT GOING ON AROUND YOU?
jacqui: Great question. And this one really touches my heart because Drew & I have been through a lot that most young couples haven’t, or even couples who have been together for a long time haven’t experienced. We aren’t perfect and I’m not putting us on a pedestal, but I am VERY PROUD of us, our relationship, and our love. I can’t put into words the feeling of coming together even closer and growing through what you go through. How do you do it? You just do. There are no tricks of the trade I can share or secrets to whisper to you. If you and your other half truly love each other so deeply, it happens and it’s unreal. Is it easy? Absolutely not. Most likely when one of you is going through something, the person things are happening to of course won’t be in a good mood. And it’s hard to not only watch them go through whatever it may be and be down constantly, but for YOU to keep yourself UP and happy enough to constantly try and lift their spirits for days and months at a time. You won’t be happy and you won’t be in high spirits because it’s impossible to when your love is dealing with a situation, but you have to at least put on a face for them. I am not saying to lie to them or not tell them your sincere thoughts and feelings also, I am simply saying, put them first. (Do I think you can’t be the best partner if you aren’t at your best emotionally and physically? Yes.) But you just do what you have to do for the love of your life. And you WANT to do what you have to do for the love of your life. I would do anything in this world to protect Drew and to give him everything he works so hard for. He’s the love of my life and his happiness and wellbeing is my everything. He is my everything.
I don’t know if I just got side tracked or not – – pregnancy brain is real – – but when you come out the other side of something you both endured together, there will be no words to describe your love, strength and growth. You rely on each other full heartedly. The sincere love, respect and appreciation that comes with craziness around you and proving to yourselves that you can make it through anything once you come out the other side, automatically grows your relationship to levels you couldn’t even fathom.
drew: To piggyback on what Jacqui has already said, two pieces of advice come to mind for me about marriage and relationships.
The first, “marriage isn’t 50/50 – it is 100/100.” – What this quote is saying is that you both have to give everything to one another in order to nourish a relationship. It’s not about two halves making a whole. Each of you have to support, care, communicate, and love your partner. Every day. Of course, I’m not typing this to say I am the example of that quote – but it is good for a kick in the ass every now and then!
The second piece of advice isn’t really a quote. I was once talking with someone who I look up to – a successful guy who has accomplished a lot in life. Has a great family, a lot of kids, and seems to have it all together. I had found out that he and his wife had their first two kids in college. While he was playing football, no time for a job. I asked him how the hell he was able to do it? He told me “you just figure it out.” – This is so wildly applicable to relationships during all phases. Things aren’t going so well at work? Figure it out. Fighting a lot at home? Figure it out. Not making as much money as you would like? Figure it out. Family bothering you? Figure it out. Y’all picking up what I’m putting down? Figure things out, with your significant other. Make it right and do it together. It will always work out if you care about each other and want to find the solution!
Q: YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING AWAY FROM HOME DURING A RELATIONSHIP. DO YOU REALLY THINK IT BRINGS YOU CLOSER?
jacqui: This question actually totally goes hand in hand with the above question in my mind. Maybe it’s due to our personal associations and experiences, but YES I sincerely DO. You can’t fully feel what I described above to the same extent when you have your family and close friends you grew up with around the corner to rely on. Would that make things SO MUCH easier? One million percent. And that’s my point. Then you won’t be growing all on your own with your partner, which then means (in my opinion) you won’t have as strong of a relationship. That’s a bold statement, but it’s what I truly believe and what I know to be true. I am so thankful for the years Drew & I had our first years of marriage moving all over and living on the other side of the country because there is no describing the growth that happens when just the two of you only have each other to rely on. You grow SO MUCH as a couple and as individuals that strengthens you both immensely.
Absolutely DO NOT get discouraged if moving is not going to happen for you and your significant other and think, “Jacqui is saying we won’t have as strong of a relationship,” and hate me forever! That would be the last thing I would want. OF COURSE, you can have a super loving, perfectly great relationship!! But make it a priority to have plenty of alone time, figuring stuff out on your own as a couple, doing things alone as a couple.
drew: Obviously this is contingent on certain situations, but yes, truly living on your own during a relationship can bring any couple closer together. Here’s the catch though – a lot of things will rise to the surface quickly when you have nowhere to run and hide! If y’all aren’t meant to be together – you will find out. If you don’t want to make things work – they won’t. If she can’t stand you after 6 months because you’re gross as hell around the house – then buddy I got nothing for you!
On the flip side, however, if things are meant to be – your relationship will grow leaps and bounds. Your friendship will thrive. Your dependence on each other turns into your relationships’ greatest asset. If the opportunity to live elsewhere isn’t realistic – take a vacation to a place unknown to the both of you. Maybe outside the country? Maybe with limited cell service? Rely on each other for a week. Understand that you both, as a team, is your biggest strength. That is what makes relationships the most special. Cheers!
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