Today marks three years since Mr Brooks and I said “let’s give this a go” and whilst I am an incredibly private person, I’m also really stubborn and determinedly independent and so other than showing off a few photos of our wedding day last July, I wanted to share a few things I’ve learnt in these last three years of our relationship.
Some things that may help you, particularly if you're starting something new.
I wish someone had told me about the difficulty of balancing friends, family and everything else in life when you're trying to get to know someone new.
Not an active dater and not well experienced in how to bring our lives together. It was a real learning experience to be honest with each other about making plans to hang out together and when we also weren't for the sake of our sanity at the least. Talk to your friends honestly about how important they are, but how you also need to fit this new person into your life.
When we are learning about another person we take the time to ask lots of questions and listen to them. We want them to feel vulnerable enough to be truly themselves (or at least that's what the people around me, including myself, wanted).
Once you've been together long enough to know they love tea and hate parsnips then the act of listening is required for whatever their daily life entails and sometimes it's about listening to their behavior and recognizing they need more of our attention and kindness than other days. Choose to be kind - this should be for every relationship in life, but most important the person who is closest to us.
Three - Make plans together
One of the biggest priorities when we first got together was to plan things to do together. The more you do together, like train for a half marathon or have dinner with friends, the more you see how you react to each other in a variety of situations.
Planning things can also help through the difficulty of day-to-day life. We were getting to know each other while one of us worked full time and the other was studying for a degree full time - plans were something to be excited about even when everything else was a blur.
You always hear people say "it's hard" to be married or in a long term relationship, but never the why behind that statement.
Ultimately we are our own people, we have our own plans and hopes and so does this other person. They have their strengths in the same way we have our weaknesses and some days you'll both be tired and stressed and hangry and all the reasons why you're in a relationship might feel lost.
Sometimes talking about your feelings will result in you finding out they feel the same, but sometimes it's important to step back and question why you feel that way and the bigger picture of why you're with them.
Five - Get married how you want
This cannot be said enough because we actually had two ceremonies. One a few months prior with a few close friends in attendance at sunset in a very special place for us and the second at sunrise thousands of miles from where we met and both were exactly how we wanted and how we are as people.
When preparing for a wedding there are so many decisions to make and so many factors to tie in and there are many moments where your wedding can be one thing or another, but honestly the amount of couples who said that eloping was perfect for them in addition to who we are as a couple, made it the perfect thing for us.
When you look back on your wedding day, it will be more important in your lifetime than all those people who attend, so it's vital you feel happy with your wedding day and look back fondly. Our second one pictured took place at sunrise, officiated by a close friend. We spent the morning taking photographs before having a nap and then sitting down with our loved ones to a cheese table spread finishing our afternoon with a glass of whiskey and Midsomer Murders with everyone important gathered together in that lazy summer warmth and full bellies.
It was bliss!