So, let’s just address the big old elephant in the room before we go any further. I’m kind of unqualified to give advice on this topic. I’ve had two relationships in my life and neither of them were a shining example of what a relationship should be. I’m also 27. Relationship/marriage advice would probably be more viable coming from an old married couple who had successfully navigated a relationship for 50+ years.
But I have collected a lot of data from my sources over the years! And I have the spreadsheets to prove it. Not only from my personal experiences but from books and TV and friends and Tinder. And celebrity couples. Yep, celebrity couples…Okay – hear me out before you stop reading. I’ve read so many stories of celebs splitting up, divorcing, getting together, adopting 12 children, fraternising on film sets but it wasn’t until I read a piece of advice that Nicole Kidman gave on why her and Keith Urban’s relationship was so successful that my ears really pricked up. Mostly because I friggin’ love them and think they’re the epitome of perfect Hollywood couples but also because I was genuinely curious (you know… for my spreadsheets).
So, what is the secret to a healthy relationship according to Keithy and Nic? Communication? Staying positive? Supporting one another? Never going to bed while angry? All great points that I read in ‘Relationships for Dummies’ once. But what Nicole said to Parade Magazine was so simple but so unrealistic in today’s climate – they don’t text.
What! Never ever?! Not even one teeny tiny goodnight message? Maybe they use WhatsApp or Facebook messenger? I had so many questions.
“We just do voice to voice or skin to skin, as we always say,” she said. “We talk all the time and we FaceTime but we just don’t text because I feel like texting can be misrepresentative at times.” Preaching to the choir Nic! I’ve never read more truer words. Relationships aside, texting can be SO hard to convey emotion. These days, if someone doesn’t put a smiley face at the end of a message, I assume they’re harboring a secret hatred for me and I’ll spend 30 minutes replaying our last conversation.
I should also mention; Nicole and Keith have been together for a solid twelve years. Twelve years ago, texting wasn’t our main form of communication and they were damn expensive – 25c a pop –you had to be a little picky on who you chose to text. And she did address this, “the reason it started at the beginning was because I didn't know how to text [laughs] and it just kind of worked for us. So now we don't." Cute. So cute. So heart wrenchingly cute.
So could you do it? Could you refrain from text messaging your partner for the day? More importantly, could you refrain from firing off a text when you’re angry at your partner?
Let’s be real - not texting isn’t totally viable for a lot of couples. And it wouldn’t work for me to be honest, because I love a good text - I’m a proud millennial. But what about meditating together? That’s what Hugh Jackman and Deborah-Lee Furness do – another excellent example of wedded bliss inspo.
Hugh told People Magazine “We meditate together,” with Deb adding “sometimes we have friends over to do it, too. It’s a lovely Sunday-morning thing. Everyone comes over, and then we have breakfast.” WOW, great guys - sounds like a Sunday morning nightmare to me, I’d much rather stay in my pyjamas for hours and procrastinate on actually doing something productive.
You need to find out what works for you and that, my friends, is the secret to a healthy relationship. Because relationships can be hard and tricky to find a balance. You have to find a way to mesh your values, your views on life, your principals, your favourite TV shows and that takes a little bit of effort and compromise from both parts. There’s never going to be a ‘one size fits all’ method to a relationship so unless you really love meditating with someone, appreciate finding your own secret to enjoying a healthy relationship (and let me know so I can update my spreadsheet).