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How To Have A Successful Long-Term Relationship

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

It's time. The time is now. There's no better time than the present. And all other versions of that sentence.

Over the past 4.5+ years since I began this blog, I've had like, a crap ton of two whole people ask me "Allie, how do you do it? How do you manage to have a successful long-term relationship in this day and age?" My answer full of sage wisdom? "You just do, I guess."

But other than just being one minuscule part of an LTR (that's trendy shorthand for "long-term relationship" if you're a little slower on the slang pickup) there are some steps you can certainly take to ensure you have a thriving nearly 10 years, non-marriage relationship like Matt and myself. (Over a half a decade of living together, no expensive sparkly ring, and no huge celebration of your love with friends and family... ah, just what everyone dreams of as a kid, right?) So since I am obviously a wealth of knowledge out of ideas for what to write today I present to you: 7 Ways To Have a Successful Long-Term Relationship in 2017.

1. Pretend to hear everything your partner says

I have bad hearing. Not so bad that I could ever justify spending thousands of dollars on a hearing aid, but it's far from good. This annoys Matt. (Yes, he would admit that he obviously has the same amount of patience as a saint.). I'm constantly saying "Huh?" and "Wait. What did you say?" and "I did not hear what you said, but cool." You know what response works best for when you can't hear well, though? "Ha ha ha ha ha haaa. Totally." Everyone wins when you think people think you're funny, right?

2. Lower your expectations

I'm kidding, of course. But do you remember "the courting stage" which, if done correctly, is then followed by "the honeymoon phase"? Those were the days, eh? Back when a date was planned down to the music in the car on the way (seriously, for our first date during our freshman year of college Matt borrowed his roommate's car, and when I got in, he had burned a CD -- that tidbit ages us -- of my favorite John Mayer and Maroon 5 songs). Ah, sweet romance. Now we go on a drive-thru run and he automatically asks the cashier "Is the ___ still vegan?" without me asking him to do so, and I'm all "HEART EYES FOR MY MAN!!!!!!!" But the reality is I actually prefer these later years than the earlier ones. For real - I love our simple nights of trying new plant-based food, Netflix binges, and cuddling up with our pets. It fits our lifestyle preferences better than forcing ourselves to go out to parties and whatnot just because we assume that's what the other one wants to do.

 3. Do not forget important dates

You may assume I am just talking about anniversaries and birthdays on this one. Which I am. Those two VID (Very Important Dates) are exactly what I am talking about. Don't forget them. Ever. Plain and simple. In all honesty, there is almost no valid excuse for forgetting them these days, now with the invention of calendar reminders on our phones and the such. The only reason I see a partner getting out of this one is if a medical doctor writes a note saying their patient suffered from short-term amnesia. Even then, you've still got a battle on your hands.

 4. Don't stop dating each other

This one has been said in almost every similar article published on this topic. It still holds true, though. It really is vital to make sure you continue to keep up with "going out" with your partner. This doesn't mean you have to go to a 5-star restaurant every week; however, even making seemingly ordinary nights in at home more special will go a long way. Too tired/broke/over it in general to go out in public? I feel ya, I too am an old soul at heart. So is my boyfriend. Therefore, we personally enjoy making dinner at home, cocktails in hand, with Frank Sinatra playing in the background, and maybe playing a game while we eat. It's a fun -- and inexpensive! -- date night for the both of us. (Check out this post for a list of more affordable date ideas!)

 5. Think long and hard about having kids

[Insert wide-eyed red-faced emoji, because this is a touchy subject 😳] I'm just going to come out and say it: Make sure you truly want kids for THE REST OF YOUR LIFETIME before you have them. This is harsh, sure. Many of us grew up with our own family members telling us "Well, when you are an adult and have kids of your own..." It's ingrained in so many cultures that that is what we are meant to do as soon as we are of a responsible "grown" age. That is simply not true for everyone. Matt and I, for example, both agree that we do not want to be parents of humans. Ever. Like, ever, ever. (We do want to be pet parents for ever and always, because they are furry, sweet, and all that is love.) I sincerely believe that if Matt and I became parents one (or, more likely, both) of us would become permanently irritable since neither one of us are meant to be a mom or a dad. If you are both the type who were put on this planet to have children, then awesome - that may be a key to your long and healthy relationship! (It's just not the case for our coupledom in particular.)

6. Find common interests that are potentially lifelong

Matt and I do not agree on everything. Actually, there are plenty of things we don't agree upon. An example, you ask? He loves talking about mixed martial arts. I don't - like, not even a little bit. It's hard for me to even feign interest for more than a few minutes. (The same can be said for him having to listen to my drone on about my admiration of fashion.) A few things we have pretty much always agreed upon? A mutual obsession with Harry Potter, a need to travel the world as much as possible, a deep love for animals and their welfare, most politics, and a non-fear of moving to new places. These may not be topics that we initially jumped right into when we began dating back in 2007, but over time we opened up to each other more and shared our thoughts. Thankfully, quite a few of these common interests are lifelong loves and passions that we can always discuss.

7. Don't lose track of who you are as individuals

As I mentioned in #6, having some interests in common is vital, of course. For some couples, it may be of utmost importance that they are both affiliated with the same political party. For other couples, disagreeing on politics may be one of the reasons for the spark in their conversations with each other. While Matt and I do agree on a lot of topics, there are plenty that we don't. And I think that, although we do listen to each other's opinions (as respectfully as we can muster... heh), the fact that we don't have 100% the same mind is good for us. It keeps things from getting stale because, let's be honest, how boring would it be to date someone who has the exact same mind as you? Having your own opinions, passions, interests, and thoughts, in general, helps keep you both engaged in who you are as individuals, even when you are a part of a couple. Plus, it's nice to be able to challenge each other from time to time while still knowing that you are on the same team at the end of the day.

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There ya have it. A small collection of my thoughts on romantic relationships, written as a 28-year-old who doesn't really have a lifetime of experience to go off of. So really, go ask your grandparents or your neighbors who have been together for 60 years. They know better than I do. 😉

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What relationship advice has been most valuable for you?

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Ruffled Up | Black Top + Denim Shorts + Sun Hat + Sandals

Monday, August 21, 2017

Happy Monday Eclipse 2017! As I previously mentioned, my best friend from college, Chelsea, was visiting San Diego for the past few days. She's back in NYC now (waaah), but per usual she had me crying tears of laughter every day. Female friendship really is a beautiful thing, huh? I am #blessed with many wonderful ladies (and fellas) that I can depend on to inspire me, love me unconditionally, tell me like it is, crack up and/or cry with, etc, etc, etc. They may be spread out all over the country, but I am so grateful that no matter the length of time that passes in between physical time spent together, our reunions are as if no time has passed by at all. I will never stop being thankful for those kinds of relationships.

Black open shoulder high neck ruffle top: c/o PinkBlush
This is my new favorite "going out" top (as if I " go out" a lot, ha!) because it's simple yet still pretty. I love that it can be worn casually with shorts too, though!

Cuffed denim shorts (also seen here, here & here): JCPenney

DV by Dolce Vita black and white print sandal slides (also seen here & here): Target

Wide-brimmed straw sun hat with black ribbon detail (also seen here & here): Target

Urban Expressions vegan turquoise weaved crossbody bag (also seen here, here & here): DSW

Did you catch the EcLiPsE today? (Not gonna lie - I wasn't really following the eclipse hype; however, I did see it, and it was prett-ay neat.)

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High-Waisted Society | Tank + Highwaisted Shorts + Espadrille Wedges

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hi there and happiest of Wednesdays to ya! I am oh-so-very excited for this second half of the week in particular because -- drum roll -- my best friend, Chelsea, gets in from NYC tomorrow evening!! This is her first time visiting since we moved out West, and I can't wait to show her around our city. Plus she is the first guest at our new home, which I feel will give the place all the best juju for the coming months due to her bountiful positive energy. Seriously though, I am just psyched beyond words, because if there is one person on this planet who really gets me, lets me be my weirdest truest self, and makes me laugh until I cry on the daily, it's Chelsea.

Yay for best friend visits!

Gray tank top: Forever 21

Red, white, and blue striped high-waisted shorts (also seen here): Gap

Navy blue open-toed lace up espadrille wedges (also seen herehere): DSW

14K gold "D" and "L" initial necklace (also seen here, here & here): c/o Sivado Studio

Gold stretch bracelet (also seen here, here & here): Target

The Jacksons "Love" jute tote bag (also seen here & here): via Tucci Boutique

Gold and navy blue beaded drop earrings: c/o Happiness Boutique
LunaVida readers get 10% off at Happiness Boutique through 9/15 with promo code "lunavidablog" for orders over 19 euros! They have so many pretty pieces of jewelry to pick from (including these cuties that you'll see in future posts)!

As you've seen in today's post, I busted out some very non "guy hot" high-waisted shorts. I'm sure there are plenty of people (male and female) who will hate these shorts, and I am okay with that. I personally love them. They are downright roomy, breezy, comfy, and perfect for walking around the farmers market, sampling all the vegan food I can find, food baby be damned (which is exactly what I did whilst wearing these babies).

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Sun Burnt Orange | Flowy Blouse + Cutoffs + Sandals + Sunhat

Friday, August 11, 2017

Newsflash: IT'S FRIDAY! The photos in today's post are from a few weeks back when Matt and I went to Los Angeles for the Jason Mraz concert. These were taken in Venice, which may be one of my favorite parts of L.A. We had some bomb vegan food there (well, to be honest, every area we went to had amazing plant-based eating) and the Venice Canals are so pretty. We didn't get to stay as long as we would have liked, though (due to the fact that we had to head out so we didn't hit traffic. JK. You always hit traffic there, but we didn't want to get stuck in the worst of it). We for sure need to plan a longer trip there next time!

Wide-brimmed straw sun hat with black ribbon detail (also seen here & here): Target

Tortoiseshell sunglasses (also seen here, here & here): Jeffrey Bay

Black crossbody purse (also seen here, here & here): Target

Burnt orange printed flowy blouse (also seen here): Old Navy

Light wash cutoff jean shorts (also seen here, here & here): Old Navy

Black skinny belt (also seen here, here & here): J.Crew

DV by Dolce Vita black and white print sandal slides (also seen here): Target

Gold statement necklace (also seen here, here & here): c/o Crown Jewelry

Where are your favorite places in L.A.? I pretty much like all of the neighborhoods we've visited - minus that damn traffic. My lawd, that part sadly does always live up to the negative hype. But the pretty views and unlimited vegan options are totally worth the trip in my opinion ;)

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Stripe-ing It Lucky | Romper + Jean Jacket + Espadrilles

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Whew. What a crazy couple of weeks it's been. Matt and I are officially moved into our new house! We are still in the (seemingly never-ending) process of unpacking and making it homey, but we are loving being able to walk down to the beach and to some of our favorite local vegan restaurants. It's our own little dream come true. Matt and I both wake up every morning and just say "Waaait. Are we SURE we aren't actually in a vacation rental?" It's just so hard to wrap our minds around that we get to live here. Like, actually live here...?! Man. I am truly grateful for this beautiful city of ours. 🙏

Navy blue and white striped romper (also seen here): Old Navy

Dark wash denim jacket (also seen here, here & here): Kohl's

Steve Madden olive green espadrille t-strap wedges (also seen here, here & here): DSW

Tortoiseshell sunglasses (also seen here, here & here): c/o Polette

Gold statement necklace (also seen here & here): c/o Crown Jewelry

Madewell gold cuff bracelet (also seen here, here & here): c/o Shopbop

Isn't it kind of crazy that open-toe shoes and rompers will be "out of season" in just a few weeks? Even though I am a big fan of both, I'm not mad about them being on their way to our storage bins. I, for one, am ready to bust out the basic betch necessities: scarves, boots, and soy lattes.

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Don't forget to enter the giveaway with thredUP going on here - it ends soon!

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Polka Dot Drop | Crop Top + Black Cutoffs + Sandals

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I'm back in San Diego! I returned from Ohio yesterday, and not 30 minutes after my Lyft dropped me off at my front door, the moving company was at my front door for a quote. That's right. Matt and I are once again unexpectedly on the move due to a water leak. And once again lemons were turned into lemonade because although moving in always a pain, we were fortunate enough to quickly find a new place. And this new place just so happens to only be a couple blocks walk from Windansea Beach in La Jolla! We currently aren't even biking distance from the beach, so this is a very (VERY) welcomed move. We have always loved La Jolla, but it is a pricey area (that is an understatement too, because just about everywhere in San Diego is expensive). However, somehow the stars aligned and we will now be saving a whopping $20 a month on rent! (Our new place may be about 200 square feet tinier, but who cares because we now have a fenced-in backyard for the dogs and can bike to one of the best beaches in the county in 1 minute!)

Needless to say, WE ARE SO EXCITED! Moments like this remind me to promptly stop the pity parties and focus on the new opportunities that present themselves when "bad" things happen. Just about this time last year our rental house in Phoenix was having constant pipe issues, which ultimately led to Matt and me moving to California just a few months later. Funny how things tend to work out when we just let them, huh?

Black and white polka dot asymmetrical crop top: Anthropologie

Black distressed cutoff denim shorts (also seen here & here): Gap

Black skinny belt with cutout details (also seen here, here & here): J.Crew

Black braided sandals (also seen here, here & here): Old Navy

Wide-brimmed straw sun hat with black ribbon detail (also seen here): Target

Black crossbody bag (also seen here, here & here): Target

Tortoiseshell sunglasses (also seen here, here & here): Jeffrey Bay

Madewell gold cuff bracelet (also seen here, here & here): c/o Shopbop

These photos were taken in the middle of nowhere in the SoCal desert, hence why my hair is blowing (not so sexily) in the wind in every single one.
Oh well. What can ya do? 😝

Due to these events that have popped up recently, LunaVida has sadly taken a bit of a back burner. Not for long though, I promise! As soon as we are moved into our new home and are all set up, I plan to be back to a normal posting schedule. Bear with me, please and thank you (and in the meantime, follow along on Insta Stories to see the havoc that is moving with pets in a matter of days @alliegee319) 😁

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Don't forget to enter the giveaway for $25 to thredUP going on here!

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