We decided to go to Portland to do the aerial tram. Deek's always wanted to do it but never got the chance, and since he has less than a year left of living here in the Pacific Northwest, we've got to be sure to do the things he's always wanted to do before we pack up and head east.
Here we are! Portland Aerial Tram!
Up, up, and away! Deek said he felt like Peter Pan flying over the houses below us.
Beautiful views of a beautiful city. If it had been a little less cloudy, you would have been able to see Mt. St. Helen's.
The view from the top.
There was also a sky bridge. Dude, that thing was LONG!
View from the bottom--the inner workings of the tram.
We also explored the nearby pedestrian bridge. Oh man, the stairs to get up to that thing were like the Rocky movies! Annnnddd, we'd just had our leg day workout two days before. Anyone who knows weight training knows the "joys" of leg day. Try hiking up some Rocky stairs after that. Holy sore legs, Batman!
After we rode the tram, we took a stroll along the John's Landing section of Portland. I've been to most of the little subsections of Portland now, and this part may be my favorite. It has such a lovely view of the river, quaint shops, and lush greenery. We hiked down to to the river and sat down to chat on an old log. When we got ready to go, we carved our initials in the log...all old-timey romance style. I love us. Have a mentioned that before? ;)
By the Willamette River (Will-am-it for all you non-natives)
Is Portland stunning or what?
Man, oh man, what a handsome man!
So, after our date, I started thinking about dating and relationships. I've been in some good relationships, and I've been in some bad ones. Deek and I have, by far, the best relationship I've ever been in, and I started thinking about why that might be. Here are some of my conclusions (though they're not even close to the total scope of why it's so amazing):
1) Be with your best friend. Your lover, partner, significant other should first and foremost be your best friend. Deek is the person I want to spend all my time with, tell all my secrets to, and with whom I can completely be myself. He sees the best and the worst parts of me and still loves me. Whenever something happens in my life (good, bad, or otherwise), he's the first person I want to tell. We enjoy the simple things in life--talking, laughing, just being together. I'd rather sit and talk to him all day long than do anything else.
Be best friends!
2) Relationships aren't give and take; they're give and give. In college, I took a class on relational communication, and the professor brought in couples who'd been married for over 50 years to tell us their secrets to success. And they all said pretty much the same things. But two pieces of advice stuck out to me the most. Number 1: Give and forgive often. Number 2: Wake up each morning and ask yourself, "What can I do for my spouse today?" I think that's the key. If you both wake up ready to give to your partner, you'll have an amazing life. The problems arise when one person is doing the giving while the other is doing the taking. Then you have an imbalance. The taker takes and doesn't appreciate. The giver gives and receives nothing in return. It's no good. Deek is beyond amazing to me. Most days he brings me my breakfast in bed, he's all too willing to give me a massage if I'm stressed, he's always asking if I need anything, he opens the car door for me (I'm Southern and appreciate this chivalrousness), he's always telling me how beautiful I am and how happy I make him...I could seriously continue with this list for days. He's the most giving man in the world. And I never want to get to the point where I take it for granted or expect it. I cherish his giving heart, and I try to give back as good as I get.
Wake up each morning thinking "What can I do for my partner today?"
3) Communication is key. That's the age-old saying, right? But it's so, so true. Talk, all the time, about everything. If you don't like something, say it (with tact--remember you love this person). If you like something, thank the person (a little thank you goes a long way). Talk about your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your doubts. Ask your partner about his/her day. Ask questions if you don't understand something they're doing or saying. Talk about money (always be on the same page in this area, or you're in for trouble). Every night, Deek and I lie in bed, face-to-face, and spend at least an hour talking to each other about everything and nothing. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk until you're blue in the face, and then talk some more.
4) Kill each other's spiders. I read an article recently about the importance of killing your partner's spiders. I sent it to Deek, and he read it and loved it too. We all have "spiders"--things we worry about or fear. And a good partner is willing to be sensitive to those. For example, I've had several alcoholics in my life, and my life has been seriously and adversely affected by them and their dependence on alcohol. So, Deek doesn't drink. He said he's more than happy to give up the occasional beer so that I feel safe and comfortable. I never asked him to that, but he just did it because he knows how I feel about it. He has his own spiders too, and I'm willing to make accommodations so he feels safe and comfortable. He doesn't ask me to do that or make me do it; I do it because I love him. His well-being and happiness are crucial to me. If you're interested in checking out the article, here it is: http://forthefamily.org/how-to-have-a-closer-marriage/.
Kill your partner's spiders.
Deek says I'm a deep thinker, so I'm sure I'll continue to ponder this topic in the days to come. Feel free to share your own relationship tips as well! I'm all ears! ;)
Until next time...