The party’s over, your guests’ have gone home and it’s official, you’re married! Everything you’ve planned up to your big day has come and gone and now you’re headed down the road to happily ever after, but what exactly does that consist of you ask? Some people get so consumed in the planning process that they lose focus on the fact that there’s life after the wedding. It’s okay to reminisce about your big day here and there, but don’t get stuck on JUST that alone! Be sure to focus on the more important topic at hand, your marriage.
Here are the top ten things you should try to accomplish during your first year of marriage in order to upkeep your happily ever after:
1. Travel To Somewhere New: Wanderlust is a real thing, what’s better than traveling somewhere completely new with your spouse and immersing yourself in a new culture? Whether you create your own adventure jar like Carl and Ellie or whether its simply booking a Groupon to another state, be sure to travel somewhere! It’ll create so many new memories and so many new experiences for any newlywed couple. Besides, there’s no better time than when you’re fresh into your marriage, to book that ticket, pack up, and go. Remember you wont have this leisure when the responsibility of kids come around!
2. Start Saving For Your Dream Home: Whether it be a house, a condo, an apartment, if you don’t have one already, be sure to start a savings fund for a place to call your own! There’s nothing like turning a house into a home and trust me, there’s a difference between the two. Set aside a few dollars from every paycheck, or just pack your own lunch once a a week, it starts with routines as simple as that. Have a target date in mind for when you’d like to take that next step and start building towards it!
3. Establish A Date Night Routine: Just because you’re married doesn’t mean the romance ends! Be sure to keep things spicy, interesting and romantic, especially during the first year of marriage when you should be floating on cloud nine. Simple things like a movie date, a trip to get ice cream or even a walk in the park, date night doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Your relationship with your spouse should always be nurtured, no matter how long you’ve been together so don’t fall into the mistake of getting comfortable after marriage, get off the couch and DO something!
4. Decide On A Timeline For Kids: “When are the babies coming?”, it hasn’t even been five minutes since you said your “I Do’s” but you’ll be bombarded with this question by everyone under the sun. Figure out a timeline of when you’d like to have kids, or if you already have children, when would you like to begin expanding the family? Or decide if you want to have children period (it’s not for everyone). It’s better to be on the same page with your spouse with this topic so answering this question doesn’t get awkward.
5. Host Your First Dinner Party As Husband And Wife: They attended the wedding, now show them how you throw down in the kitchen and invite some of your close friends over to share in some good conversation over wine! Hosting your first event together as husband and wife (aside from the wedding of course) helps reintroduce yourselves as a team to your family and friends. It’s no longer John and Jane are inviting us over, its now, The Doe’s are inviting us! Doesn’t the thought of that sound nice?
6. Learn Something New As A Couple: Like they say, the learning never stops! Try to learn something new as a couple, take a dance class, try working out together, or even learn a new language, learning something new with your spouse helps you grow together! You can try your new moves out at a party and wow the crowd, or cook that new recipe you learned for a family dinner, or use those new language skills at your next vacation!
7. Create A Tradition: Creating new traditions as husband and wife helps build the foundation for a happy family life. Maybe its a tradition your spouse usually takes part in and would like to include you in, maybe its something you’d like to teach your kids one day, whatever it is, make it something special and memorable. It’ll be great to look back on when you’re older. It could be something as simple as binge watching a Netflix series together and never without one another, or traveling somewhere new for every wedding anniversary, the options are pretty much endless. Just create something special to call your own.
8. Establish “Me” Time: Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have to be joined at the hip. Make sure to make time for your family and friends and do your best to upkeep your personal relationships.Whether it’s a quick bite to eat after work or a phone call while doing laundry, make sure to not go MIA on the ones closest to you once you say “I Do”! And don’t make the mistake of constantly inviting your spouse to girl time or guy time, nobody wants to feel like the third wheel with a married couple! It’s completely okay to do things without each other once in a while and to have your own personal space. DON’T lose your identity just because you’re married! Any level headed spouse will understand the need for that “me” time and wont mind having it for themselves as well. After all, you have the rest of your lives to spend with each other, and sometimes we all need a break to be left alone with our thoughts or our friends to vent about the dishes that were left unwashed.
9. Learn To Communicate Better: Once you’re officially a union, its time to stop thinking about “me” and start thinking about “we”. Make it a goal to learn to communicate better when it comes to any and everything. Upset? Mad? Tired? Frustrated? communicate it! Simple things as going to your room to be alone are no longer an option when you’re married and living with your spouse. There is no reason to bottle up emotions, but learn how to communicate with one another in a healthy way. That mean’s no shouting matches, no passive aggressiveness and do NOT address any major issues via text messages. When given an issue, find a way to approach it, solve it, and get past it. Try not to get stuck on it, and learn when to pick and choose your battles.
10. Establish A Relationship With God As A Couple: You and your spouse might share different views when it comes to religion but make sure to always find a way to give thanks and praises where it’s deserved. For those who are religious, pray together, let God play a role in your relationship. Not religious? Volunteer together, give back to the community together, just find a way to give thanks and pay it forward together.
Until next time!