Relationships 101: How To Be An Awesome Partner.

Relationships 101: How To Be An Awesome Partner.

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Cover Image & Image

Sometimes I feel like a complete tool writing about my relationship because it’s so humble braggy. My boyfriend rocks but there’s something that makes me want to apologise for it. When I talk about Mr Smaggle on the blog and on social media I generally try to keep it light and funny to stop people from vomiting in their mouths over their morning coffee. I’m just super considerate like that. People are always telling Mr Smaggle and I how lucky we are to have each other and I completely agree. However we put heaps of work into our relationship and I’d hate for anyone to think that what we have is effortless. It occurred to me that no one really sees what goes behind our closed doors so I thought it was time to share a few things that I believe make our relationship so damn pleasant and might just help you get your relationship back to happy dance level.

Don’t Be So Serious All The Time

You have to have a laugh. Every day. For example, you know that moment when you turn on the tap in the shower and wait for the water to heat up? I use that time to do a nudie run around the house and wiggle my naked butt at Mr Smaggle. Sometimes I sing a song or just simply shriek ‘NO PANTS! NO PANTS! NO PANTS!’. It has a 100 percent laugh success rate. He likes to send me texts of piglets wearing gumboots or piles of sleeping puppies. Just try to be a bit delightful every now and then.

Hold Each Other’s Hands

Why on earth do couples ever stop holding hands? It’s lovely. Do it on the couch, in the movies, when you’re walking down the street and when you fall asleep at night. Kiss. All the time. Hug each other. Throw your legs over each other on the couch. Casual intimacy is a crucial building block for deeper intimacy.

Don’t Be A Dick

I’m often quite horrified by couples that I see out and about and the way they talk to each other. I heard a guy say to his girlfriend in the supermarket ‘Oh for f*cks sake! You’re a f*cking nightmare!‘ when she said she didn’t like sweet potato. Dude. I’m sure there’s underlying issues there and she may well be a nightmare but for god’s sake don’t be such a dick. There’s no need to ever speak to your partner like that. You can disagree but never resort to name calling. It’s really hard to recover from a fight where you called your girlfriend a bitch or your boyfriend an asshole. Mr Smaggle and I have had disagreements obviously but we’ve never, not once gone down the petty name calling path. It’s nasty. Don’t go there.

Get Each Other’s Rocks Off

Sex is rad but when you’ve been together for a while it can often take a backseat to everyday life. You don’t need to be jumping each other’s bones seven days a week but a sneaky couch shag on a Wednesday night or a quickie in the kitchen before dinner can be such a little life boost. Come on, it’ll take 15 minutes on a good day. If you have time to watch half an episode of Home and Away, you have time to pleasure the pants off your partner.

Be Away From Each Other Sometimes

I once went to a hen’s night where one of the bridesmaids brought her boyfriend. Yes, you read that correctly. He was so bored, she had to babysit him all night and it totally changed the tone of the evening. Mr Smaggle and I rarely socialise together. Quite a few of my girlfriends are single and I love nothing more than having a few drinks and a natter with them on the weekend. It would bore Mr Smaggle to tears if I made him come. As much as my girlfriends love him, they love him even more if he drops me off at their place and then goes home. His idea of a perfect evening is to stay in with his mates and play video games. Yawn. We’ll often have an early dinner together on a Friday evening and then go our separate ways afterwards. Then we snuggle into bed later with cups of tea and tell each other about our fabulous evenings. It’s way better than either of us tagging along after the other one and having a mediocre Friday night. We spend heaps of time together alone so we don’t feel the need to be each other’s handbags all the time. Try it, it’s remarkably freeing.

Be Kind To Each Other

Sometimes I hear couples complain about having to do things for their partners, like pick them up from the airport or go to the chemist when they’re sick. Often it’s the little things that they would do for their friends without a moments hesitation but the second their partner needs a favour it turns into a giant inconvenience. I find this completely bizarre. If your partner asks you nicely to make them a cup of tea and they’ve made you one in the not too distant past, make them a damn cup of tea. Even if you’re pissed off about something else. Make them a cup of tea because it’s very nice and pleasant to do things like that. Geez.

Ask Them How Their Day Was

Do it every day. Even giving your partner ten minutes of air time at the end of the day will make them feel appreciated and important.  I cannot tell you how much better our evenings are when we’ve taken the time to talk about our days with each other. 

This is just stuff that’s worked for me and Mr Smags but I know that every couple is different.

So tell me… 

What’s your idea of the perfect partner?

Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.

30 Comments

  1. cilosophy.blogspot.com 1 year ago

    Fuckin’ A, Smags.
    That’s awesome.

    I contrast my relationship with my current partner, where we follow all of these things, and my marriage, where we followed none, apart from being apart a lot of the time.

    We are lucky to have our partners, yes, but we make a lot of our own luck in life.

    cilla xx

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      I agree! I love that! My partner is ace but I treat him right!

  2. Erika 1 year ago

    Yes to all of the above. Best Beloved doesn’t get much of a mention in my blog because I figure he deserves his privacy. OTOH, the dogs get waaaaaaaaaaaay too much exposure :)

    He makes me laugh. He also makes me roll my eyes and bite my tongue. I’m sure I have the same effect on him at times. But name calling just does not happen. I had that growing up and it causes big scars. No way would I do that to someone who makes me smile just thinking about him (15 years and counting). He gets told “I love you” at least once a day. Hugs. Spooning in bed. Mutual support. He tells me when I need to call in sick rather than me attempting to work through it. This is very important, as overwork is part of the reason I’m now dealing with CFS.

    He mostly goes to car shows with his best friend. Every so often I go too (I love the cars, but not the feeling of being a third wheel). Whenever he wants boy time, he gets it (providing his share of the household chores get done. That’s the only caveat). He loves my curves, he loves my cooking. He can talk to my mum about almost everything – love that they get on well!

    Bunnings vouchers ROCK as gifts (for both of us).
    And a big one – we’ve both learned to compromise. A small one – making sure he has a piece of fruit each night.

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      It’s totally about being separate people I think. We also about the daily I love yous!

  3. Yep yep yep, couldn’t agree more! (Humble brag alert) Manfriend and I hit these pretty well – and it makes such a difference :) Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      It totally does. I felt it needed to be said.

  4. Deb 1 year ago

    spoken by someone who has no kids. A quick shag on the couch or kitchen? no. an evening out? hahahahahaha. we only ever have evenings out separately. someone has to stay home with the rug rats!

    but I agree with your other points wholeheartedly.

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Ha! Guilty as charged!

    • twocents 1 year ago

      Hire a babysitter and have a shag on the couch after a romantic night out. Not that hard. If money’s an issue, then swap childcare with another couple with children. Children can’t be the only priority: Mum and Dad’s relationship must make the list, too.

  5. You’re so wise, Smags. So wise. x

  6. Kelly Exeter 1 year ago

    My hubby loves holding hands everywhere – and we have been teased about it. But I love it xx

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Me too! My holds my hand all the time but especially at home. If he’s sitting next to me on the couch, he’s constantly touching me.

  7. sharnek 1 year ago

    Not to sound smug but, I’ve been with my fella for 17 years and we’re as happy as ever. We’re very well matched and conduct ourselves pretty much how you’ve outlined. I’m often appalled at how some people speak to their partners, so rude and nasty. Why?

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      I agree! I’m like what are you being SUCH A DICK?

  8. Anonymous fortheloveofmylife 1 year ago

    I absolutely agree. I think it is a simple act of showing respect not to insult your partner.

    What I would add: Being able to have discussions with very differing opinions and still love and respect each other by not taking it personal that your lovely partner does have an own opinion.

    Another thing I notice in some people how much shit they talk about their partner when he/she is not there. For one thing – show some respect! And the other thing: If he/she is so horrible/dumb, why are you together? It all falls back on you.

    One of those stories I can never tell in real life about my partner because it would really hurt him is how he fell asleep on the toilet one night with his head on the rim of the bathtub on top of a magazine. When I woke him up after about 45min, he had a big dent in his forehead with the magazines words transferred to his skin! I laughed my ass off!
    (the ink washed of in the shower but the dent took a few days to disappear : )

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Ha! That’s so cute! I can’t say I wouldn’t share that about my partner. HILARIOUS! I totally agree with other people bagging their partners. I never talk smack about my man.

  9. Jim @ MrAndMrsRomance.com 1 year ago

    Smaggs, you nailed it! As you know, the missus and I have not only been together FOREVER, we now also work together. Don’t know how we do it, but I reckon it’s got something to do with understanding each other and remembering how the other person operates. Once you get that, you can anticipate being considerate, when to help out, when she just needs an ear to moan at, when to walk away and give space.

    Your 101s are spot on… apart from the insulting each other bit. I like it when she swears at me. Gets me all hot! ;-)

    Love your work

    Jx

    • Author
      Smaggle 1 year ago

      Oh we totally insult each other… just not in a screaming ‘You fucking mole!’ across the supermarket car park kind of way.

      xxx

  10. dingleberry 1 year ago

    What a gorgeous post.
    I’ve been with mine for 4 years in October. I’m a (pretty young) divorcee and when I met my now fiance I swore to myself I would not make the same mistakes I did before… and I would always listen to my heart. Thankfully I am still ridiculously in love with him and would do anything for our relationship.
    Some things I can think of…
    I listen to everything he says, even if it’s boring. I tell him I love him every single day and vice vera. And it is always heartfelt. We have a little spooning routine when we go to bed… I spoon him, he spoons me, then we move to our own comfy positions and fall asleep, usually with our legs *just* touching. On his days off work, he bakes us something delicious. He has made me laugh every single day for 4 years, and I know he tries to, which I find so so so adorable. We disagree on things, but respect eachother so much it never becomes a fight. We consider eachother in everything we do. We learn from eachother and inspire eachother to become the best people we can be :) can’t waaaaiiiitttt to be his wife!!! <3

  11. Anna 1 year ago

    I totally back up everything you said here! My husband and I just hit the seven year mark and we’re often asked what the secret is to our continued good relationship. Now I can just send people here. Good relationships really aren’t rocket science, but they do take constant, mindful work. Thanks for a succinct list.
    If there is anything I would add, it’s put in the effort every once and a while to look good for each other. So often the hubs sees me in pjs when I haven’t showered in two days. It’s good to put on a sexy dress and remind him every once and a while that, yes, I do care enough about him to try to still impress him. Also, it generally results in number four.
    Plus, a shared hobby can really help, though I strongly agree with the necessity of separate social lives as well. The hubs and I both love food. When it’s been a busy period for both of us and we’re really disconnected, we can just try a hip new restaurant, re-bonding over the fantastic noodle dish. For my parent’s, it’s baseball. After their team wins, they totally forget why they were grumbling at each other.

  12. Susan Brown 1 year ago

    What you said. It’s all true and common sense. Particularly the “casual intimacy” bit. That really is making love – doesn’t have to be sex to be making love. In fact if everyone practiced all of the above they could say, like me and my man, that we are making love all day! I should add we have been married for 24 years now.

  13. Wendy Clark 1 year ago

    This is beautiful and I love it. Also, totally agree with every point. My idea of a great relationship is really “getting” each other — and getting each other should be awesome and intimate and fun!

  14. Anonymous 1 year ago

    Although a lot of those things on the list are things we already do without consciously making an effort, this is still a great list. I feel like a lot of couples get too bogged down with everyone else and everything else that they forget their partner is still meant to be a *friend*, and should be treated well, not taken for granted (especially with regards to airport drops!).

    Not really relevant here nor with me, but as more and more people I know begin to get engaged and married, and so many marriages fall apart — I feel like often people make it too much about the marriage, rather than the *relationship*. Which is why this is a great list.

  15. Jess. 1 year ago

    I’m only 22 and have only been in a serious relationship for just over a year now, but YES, I LOVE this article! I noted that you said to avoid the name calling path – I think I do this too often and take it for granted that it will never be taken seriously. I am now aiming to drop the name calling! Thanks x

  16. Sam Bell 1 year ago

    This is a fantastic article! I am in a relatively new relationship and while we are absolutely lovely to each other and we are never disrespectful or inconsiderate of each other I am thinking we are a bit guilty of the whole not spending enough time apart thing. I am going to contemplate this – I think you are very right!!

  17. Deb 9 months ago

    I love this article, I love even more that I recognise a lot of it in my own relationship. I have 3 kids and still manage all of the above – it is not impossible. I obviously don’t have quickies whiles waiting for dinner – no audience allowed and I have a household of kids, but occasionally we find unexpected time alone.. xo

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