Every time I scroll through Facebook or peruse through my Instagram feed I am inundated with the term “relationship goals.” Cute pictures of couples strolling down the beach as the sun is setting, two people snuggled up on the couch wrapped in the coziest looking blankets, or even hilarious images of couples having food fights or eating huge pieces of pizza in bed all captioned with the new millennial saying #relationshipgoals. This got me to thinking…what is my version of #relationshipgoals?

Now, I don’t mean it in the picture perfect moment way as seen all over Pinterest; I mean overall, what do I feel is the most important in a happy, healthy relationship?

Mike and I were just married this past October, and have in total been together for almost two and a half years. Most people would say (or have said) that we were engaged and married very quickly, but in my honest opinion, when you’re a certain age, and have dated and figured out what kind of a person you want to be with, it’s an easy and quick decision to make once you meet “the one.” This has been the case for many friends in my circle who so happened to be dating in their late 20’s and early 30’s. However, although falling in love was easy, and the decision to start a life together wasn’t really a decision at all, I feel as though the relationship defining moments come with time.

There are moments in every relationship that make you wish that time would stand still, or at least slow down so you can soak in every second. There have been many instances in my relationship with Mike where I have thought just that. Curled up in our tent in Banff the night we got engaged, sitting on the deck at the island enjoying our coffee the morning before guests arrived for our big annual cottage weekend, lounging in a hammock on Maui listening to the crashing ocean waves on our way back to the hotel after dinner. These were moments (some of my very favourite) in our relationship that could easily be classified as #relationshipgoals, but in truth, the moments that had my heart bursting at the seams weren’t those blissful, carefree times. In fact, they were some of the most difficult times where in which your mind goes into overdrive, and you don’t even know how to ask for support although you may need it.

After about 15 hours of flying overnight on our way home from our honeymoon, Mike and I pulled into the driveway, dragging our suitcases into the house when we were immediately notified that my grandpa had fallen, and was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room. The next two months were a blur of hospital visits and chaotic family overload. One would think that it would be natural to be a little frustrated or grouchy given how exhausting it is when a family member is in the hospital, especially given how tired we both already were after our whirlwind wedding, but Mike did not complain once. He picked up the pieces when I broke down, drove my family members around without having to be asked, took time off work to be there for important appointments, and he pulled more than his weight keeping both our house and my grandparents house in order. On top of all that, he did not once step foot into the hospital to visit my grandpa without a big smile on his face, even when he had to literally help him use the washroom when the nursing staff was too overloaded.

Mike was incredible at keeping him calm, and responded so positively to his delusions. My grandpa experienced very intense delirium after his hip surgery where he often thought he was 30 years old again working construction. He would yell at my cousins and I to put on our work boots and start shoveling, and Mike was the only one who could get him to relax by saying things like “Hey boss, it’s okay, we are on break now.” Needless to say, he did all of this without laughing or yelling, or even getting the least bit frustrated.

It was during this difficult time in my life where our relationship felt the most strong, happy and healthy. It was crystal clear that Mike would always be there for me, and also my loved ones, in both the good times and the bad. Nothing could have solidified our recently recited wedding vows any more than that.

So, all that said… if I had to pick one photo captioned with the ever popular millennial saying, #relationshipgoals, I would have to pick this one:

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To me, this picture says it all… There will always be a shoulder for you to lean on when you need one, that special person to show you that in your darkest hours there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and a hand to hold along the way.

Happy Friday everyone!

Until next time,

J xo

Photography: Marguerite Belanger Photography

Written by Jessie