When we think about relationships, we often think about #couplegoals or wedding bells. We think about kisses and little meaningful gifts. We often forget to stop and think about the worry, the tears, the sleepless nights and all the hard work.
Wedding photographer Amber Robinson admits she rarely gets to "stop to think about the day, weeks, months or years that follow a wedding day."
In an Instagram post, she reminds all of us that marriage is more than just white dresses and cake.
"So today I share with you what those years after can look like when true love exists. These are my parents: married for 47 years, they have triumphed over cancer...twice. Have raised two successful daughters. They have been poor together and rich together. They have fed, sheltered, and advised countless lost souls. They love with out expectation and give freely, whatever it is they have to offer."
Her parents have been together for 47 years. From her post we know they have been through thick and thin together. They didn't give up when it got hard but rather worked to build a life together.
They are a great reminder that marriage is more than just a wedding, more than just someone to hold your hand, more than just a status update.
This successful relationship came about by the same things other successful relationships have. If you want to a successful relationship, follow these five steps to build a happy life together.
Being in a relationship is about learning to communicate with another person. You are learning to communicate physically, emotionally and verbally. It can be hard to be so vulnerable to someone, but as you learn to work together, you can achieve success.
2. You are two independent people working together
You both need to live your life - you support each other and you build each other, but you are equal partners.
A recent FamilyShare article explains that couples are shaped through shared experiences. But if you work together as partners, these changes can shape both of you for the better.
3. Good at forgiving
Neither of you will be perfect in the relationship. You can be married for years and still make each other mad. The important thing is to remember to love each other and forgive the mistakes.
"It's important to accept that we all have separate minds and points of view. Each and every one of us is hurt, defended, flawed and inevitably going to make mistakes." says relationship expert Lisa Firestone. "If we want to enjoy a lasting relationship with someone we value and choose to spend our lives with, we may want to grow our ability to forgive."
Calling each other or sending a text, putting the toilet seat down, emptying the dishwasher or simply saying "I love you" - these are all simple things you can do daily. Remember the simple things matter.
Lifehack reminds us it's the small things that keep couples together. When you see someone doing small, simple things for you, you know you can trust and rely on them. You know that they care about the details of your life and they just want you to be happy.
5. Think long term
When you are in a lull in the relationship, remember the good times and plan for better in the future. Work on building the other person for a long term. The longer you view and think about your relationship, the longer and better it will last.
Relationships are meant to last forever. These are five ways you can make any relationship successful and last like Robinson's parents.
Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.