11 Things We Have Learned From 11 Years of Dating

August 11th: Celebrating 11 years together, 11 things we have learned!

It’s an anniversary over here today. And even though I have not felt like celebrating much in 2020, I think 11 years of dating is something to celebrate. Kyle and I spent our 10 year anniversary apart (him in Australia, me in Chicago), so it does feel special to be together for this one. 

Our relationship has changed a lot over the years. And truthfully, I feel like it is always getting better. I used to think it  was cheesy when people would say things like “I love you more each day”, but with Kyle it’s easy to feel cheesy.

I thought it would be fun to share 11 things I have learned from 11 years of dating him. We have both grown so much and learned a lot about what works for us and what doesn’t. And I asked Kyle to pull together a list too (more on that later).

11 Things That Keep Us Happy:

  • Good communication. If you are going to be stuck at work late, send a text. If you’re apart from each other for a trip, give a quick goodnight call. If you are upset about something, address it quickly. The upfront updates just make everything easier. 
  • Kiss and make up. This goes along with “don’t go to bed angry”. But really it’s hard not to smile after making out, right?
  • Independence. This is something Kyle and I have always prioritized. Be okay on your own (we have done quite a bit of long distance). Have different interests. Have plans with friends on your own. 
  • But also do things the other likes — together. I have gone to my fair share of concerts or sporting events that I would not have gone to on my own, but will go if Kyle wants to go. If you love the person, really any event can be fun. And I think supporting their interests is important too. 
  • Do the little things without being asked. Fill up their empty water bottle. Make the bed. Make coffee. I appreciate these things so much.  
  • Give Dale quiet time. This is something Kyle picked up on quickly – lol.  Introverted empath over here and I absolutely need quiet alone time to recharge. He gets it. 
  • Take turns making plans. Whether this is planning a road trip, reaching out to friends for weekend plans, or making a reservation for a weeknight date night. We take turns being the planner. We both enjoy it, but it’s also nice to not have to be the one always making the plans. 
  • Don’t stop surprising each other. We love to make a new restaurant reservation and not tell the other where we’re going. And I love Kyle surprising me with cookies when he goes to the grocery store just as much. It’s nice to have the reminders of how much we think about each other and want to make each other happy. 
  • Be the strong one when the other can’t. Tough times are hard to navigate in relationships. Kyle and I do our best to be the strong one when the other can’t be. We try to have a rule of ‘we both can’t cry at the same time’. Does not always work (yes Kyle cries), but we try. Sometimes you just have to step up and be the strong one. 
  • Encourage the uncomfortable. Get out and try new things! Kyle encourages me to do things I might not try. Like for example, move to a new continent I had never even visited before. And I encourage him to run and go on adventures with me so much that now he loves them too. We always encourage each other to be a little better, try new things and not to be afraid to take some risks. 
  • Laugh. I am lucky Kyle has me laughing every single day. His humor has gotten me through so much. And it is one of my absolute favorite things about him. You just have to laugh some things off. Kyle reminds me not to be so serious. And I really think laughing makes most situations better. 


I could keep going, but these were the first 11 things I thought of. Relationships take work. But I think the more you work at it and learn about each other, the easier it gets. Kyle and I have found the best way to be the best partner for the other and it really feels like we get better with age. It’s fun. We are not the same people we were when we met at 15. We grew up independently, while also knowing we always wanted to be together. We work at it. We are by no means experts, but it was fun to think about what helps us work so well together and I wanted to share it. 

Just for fun, I asked Kyle to write a list of his 11 things he has learned from dating me before I showed him mine. I was not even sure if he would give me a serious list, but I wanted to ask. It ended up being the perfect mix of funny and serious, kind of like him. And we had a few overlapping of course.

Kyle’s honest list below.

  • Don’t let Dale go hangry
  • Have interests different from your partner
  • But also some the same
  • Screen prospective partners for snoring
  • Running isn’t that bad after all
  • Make sure you like different flavors of chips so you have your own snacks
  • Don’t be afraid to try new things together
  • Find a partner who can do mental math if you are unable
  • Distance is hard but the right person makes it easy
  • Keep going on dates
  • Always say goodnight before you go to sleep

His is a good list too. XO.

tas selfiebarefoot runningbyron lighthouseCoffee with KyleKyle and I

2 thoughts on “11 Things We Have Learned From 11 Years of Dating

  1. My priority this morning was to read everything that Dale and Kyle wanted to share with us! Enjoyed every word! Missing them more than ever now but very happy of their relationship with each other and jealous of the new experiences they are sharing together in the “DownUnder” fantastic world! Thank you! ❤️ 💙


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