6 years love – the secret to staying together

Relationship advice
Photo by Vinoth Chandar (edited)

Today, we’re celebrating 6 years together and what a learning process it has been. Being with Thomas has taught me so much about myself, about love and life, and sometimes it almost feels like we’re one person.

And that’s how it’s supposed to feel. At least that’s what my parents say and they’ve been happily married for 44 years.

Read my post about how we eloped and got married on a beach in Thailand.

It takes effort, self-sacrifice and will-power to stay together. But if you’ve found someone special, it’s all worth it! This is how we have stayed together for better and for worse.

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Giving each other freedom and not expecting your partner to change is key to a happy relationship. I know lots of people who back out of relationships because they’re afraid to lose identity and freedom. But in my world, commitment and freedom don’t contradict. By allowing your partner to do what he likes and not tie him down, you allow the relationship to grow.

Relationship advice
Photo by Aydin Palabiyikoglu (edited)


I wouldn’t say that we’re traditional.

Not per se anyway.

Thomas cooks as often as I and I don’t see him as less of a man because he knows every line of Pretty Woman. But there are certain areas where gender roles do play an important factor in our relationship. It makes me feel feminine that he holds the door for me. I love dressing up for him and I swoon when he tells me how pretty I look.

I know people and relationships are different, but this is something that has kept the romance and spark alive for us in the past 6 years.

Relationship advice
Photo by Shena Tschofen (edited)
Relationship advice
He drives because he’s better at it
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I cook because I like it


I’d known Thomas for exactly one month when I started planning our first backpacking trip. On a trip like that, you get to know your travel partner inside out – from their best and their worst sides. I knew that it would reveal if we were a good match.

Traveling is a powerful way to revive a relationship and keep things interesting. You see the world together and you grow together. Travel experiences touch you on a deeper level and bring you closer in a very short period of time.

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Photo by Éole Wind (edited)
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Desert Danes
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We’re sexy and we know it


If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that relationships go up and down. There will come a time where everything seems hopeless and it’s easier to give up and go your separate ways. But if you stay together, you will come out stronger.

The key is to fight for your relationship every single dayespecially when you don’t feel like it. And if you’re unable to solve your problems, seek outside help. There’s no shame in that. Whether it’s a religious counsellor, a therapist or other qualified professionals, this is a good way to get the relationship back on track.


Your significant other should also be your best friend. And you should do friend-stuff together, like have drinks, play a game, see a movie. Do with your S.O. what you would do with a friend.

And most importantly, remember to communicate. I think people drift apart because they forget to talk. And I don’t mean they need to discuss the meaning of life every night at the dinner table. I’m talking about the little things, like asking how his day was, sharing if something at work troubles you. Sharing your feelings, dreams and frustrations. This is how you stay close.

Relationship advice
Go out. Have fun.



As a couple, you should make time to laugh and have fun. Not only does it bind you together, laughter can also help us relax, defuse conflict and restore a positive atmosphere. Try setting aside time each week for you and your S.O. to do something together that you really enjoy.

Relationship advice
Every day he makes me laugh


Mutual respect is essential in maintaining healthy relationships. Respect is many things… it’s to defend your significant other in front of other people, to compromise, and to never talk down to each other.

Even when I don’t understand Thomas, I respect the choices he makes, because I trust him and respect him. For me, respect is also about including your partner in important decisions, like job situations, education, and economy.

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Photo by Lauren Rushing (edited)

Appreciating each other every day is equally important. Send texts and leave small notes on the kitchen table. And make it a habit to ask how his day went.

I like to think happiness is in the details. So I do small things, like cook his favorite dinner regularly and fold his shirts just the way he likes it.

It’s the little things that matter.

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Photo by Alice Popkorn


Whether it’s a getaway weekend in Paris or a surprise picnic in the backyard, spontaneity is the way to keep things interesting.

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Photo by Annais Ferreira


Speaking of spontaneity…

Some of you know that our wedding was pretty spontaneous. Well, not entirely since we’d already been engaged for 1,5 years. But instead of having the palace wedding we had been planning, we decided to elope to Thailand.

I’m not saying that you need to run away in order to have a healthy and happy relationship. But is does help to have something that’s yours. Something untraditional and romantic.

Relationship advice


I might tell Thomas I love him a gazillion times a day, but it never gets old and I’m never afraid to be vulnerable to him. When you love someone, it’s okay to put your trust in them and be vulnerable.

Relationship advice

Are you in a relationship? Do you have any advice for staying together?

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  1. These are all such great thoughts, and each of them is so true. My husband and I took our first vacation together after a month of knowing each other- and like you said, traveling really tells you a lot about a person. I also totally agree that it is the little things that matter the most and are the most appreciated. I am meeting a relative in the city today, so for my husband I took a few extra minutes to make his lunch and prep dinner for him. These little things communicate to your partner that you care about them and appreciate them!

    1. That is so true, Samantha! Love is in the details and it’s those little things that make us feel loved and appreciated. I hope your husband liked your surprise 🙂

  2. Great advice. 🙂 The most important for us is just trying to talk everything through, but I agree with all of your points here. To be honest Dan is much better at cooking than me and I’m the only one who can drive, but I do like to dress up if I ever get the chance!

    1. Yes, communication is imperative to a healthy relationship! Personally, I could never live in strict gender roles, but I like some of the values. As long as you’re happy, it doesn’t matter who cooks or drives the car 😉

  3. Such sweet and wonderful words. I was reading and nodding to all the points 🙂 Though my partner and I haven’t been together so long (yet!) I’m happy to know we are still in love with each other just in the same way as when we just started going out. And yes, traveling together is an incredible experience. If you can deal with each other being cranky, moody, hungry and jetlegged (all in the same time), than you’ll survive pretty much everything else 😀

    1. Haha, that is so true 🙂 Traveling is definitely one of the best ways to get to know each other. I’m glad you’re still in love <3 As couples, it's so easy to fall into daily routines and forget to keep the spark alive. We have to make an effort every single day.

  4. Great advice! I’m actually just working on a post about travelling as a couple since it is coming up to my ten-year anniversary with Andrew 🙂 I think that if you can survive travelling with a partner for an extended period of time you can survive anything!

  5. I think if you do a lot of travelling together, you have to be best friends, unless you’re travelling with other friends, I guess. Travelling together makes you interdependent and strengthens the relationship bond, I think.

    Even though it’s not always easy, the fact that my husband travels a lot for work and I cannot always tag along has also served us well. You need to have experiences apart from each other — news/experiences you tell each other about. Being apart for periods of time also makes you appreciate the times you are together even more as well. Time apart keeps things fresh.

    1. I absolutely agree, Deb! I’ve traveled without Thomas several times and it has strenghtened our relationship on so many levels. People have a hard time understanding my need to travel at the expense of being apart, but – like you said – it keeps things fresh and I think it’s healthy.

  6. Miriam,

    This was so lovely! Going on a year with my guy (nowhere near 6 years) and I think we do a lot of these things… except maybe get married haha. You guys are inspiring!

  7. Awesome post. I agree with everything you said. And since I’m the first one to comment who has been married the longs (27 years), I will say that traveling ALONE together after the kid’s left the nest, was the best thing we ever did for our marriage. It rejuvenated our marriage, and we learned how to have without the kids!

    1. I can only imagine that, Amy! Traveling together is so intense and therefore one of the best ways to get close. I’m glad you had such a good travel experience!

  8. Congratulations! My wife and I will hit our 6 year anniversary in a few months. It’s definitely something to work at each day and never take for granted. Especially when traveling and being in such close quarters for years while traveling!
    The freedom we give each other is important, and helps keep us from going crazy from sharing the same table as a desk! I also like being spontaneous – keeps things from getting in too much of a routine!
    I just wrote a similar post for Valentine’s Day!

    1. Freedom is definitely one of the most important things in our relationship! There are so many components to our happiness, but this is one of the key ingredients.

  9. What a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your wise words for a successful relationship. It is inspiring to know that there are beautiful couples out there who have just what I aspire too. I am not in a relationship, but all your points make for a successful relationship with ‘me’ too.

  10. Hey Miriam,

    What an awesome post to read! It seems like all the people around me right now (in relationships) are either going their separate ways or getting married! While I am in neither of those positions at the moment, I have definitely been doing a lot of thinking about my own relationship, so finding this post came at an excellent time!

    I think the biggest thing for a successful relationship (besides everything you said!) is being able to compromise. I was already planning a backpacking trip when I met my boyfriend (doesn’t it always happen like that-finding someone when you least expect it, or even want it?!). I made it very clear that I was serious about our relationship but I was not going to put my backpacking trip on hold for him. We talked about it, and he decided to quit his job and join me! He didn’t want to impose on my trip, and I didn’t want him to quit his job, but after talking and compromising we decided it was the best option! Traveling together like we did for 4 months at the beginning of our relationship absolutely made it stronger!

    The other thing I think is really important is having separate friends and doing things with them! One of the things I really like about my BF is that he has a great group of friends, and I love when he gets to see them. We are currently living abroad and have a very small group of friends (most of whom are the same) and I know we both find ourselves longing to hang out with our own group of friends. We are best friends, but we definitely need other separate friendships as well!

    I don’t know how all of that flowed out of me! I enjoyed reading your post, glad you have found someone that keeps you happy and sane and excited. Look forward to reading more from you!

    1. Thank you for contributing, Katie! I absolutely agree with you that living seperate lives is imperative to stay happy both in the relationship and individually. I’m glad you’ve found someone special as well; you definitely know what’s important <3

  11. I am Dinu and am in love with my girl Aami for the past 6 years, We are just 20 right now. Is there some advice you would like to share with us??

  12. Life without my husband was a real mess for me and my children. i wanted a dramatic change and I thought love spell could be the solution. After discussing the resolution with Him, he gave me hope that he will restore my marriage. I felt confident that he will actually make my husband to return home and he did! It’s fantastic what this great spell caster has done for me, his help is priceless! I don’t know what I would have done without his help, He does his job so well he is organized and highly functional, i believe he is the best service to use i can count on when it comes to restoring relationship, I was floored that his worked was perfect.

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