We got some outdoor exercise today. S went for a jog and I had a crispy walk. Fall colors, bursted bright all around us, while subtle darkness swam above. It was a reminder to appreciate the beauty in the light and the shadows.
The ebbs and flows of life can be such a whirlwind at times. Adventure and massive success in relationships, while exciting and inspiring, can threaten the connection; the spark that started it all.
Mark and Ethan are a couple that has found huge success with both their YouTube channels. The energy that flows between the two of them is infectious and they shoot absolutely amazing content for their channels.
We’ve followed them on numerous explorations around the world, family visits to the lake house, and my personal favorite, a little town called Bloomington – Go Hoosiers!
I wanted to write a little note about one of Mark and Ethan’s more recent videos, “Why we Broke up.” The title alone shook me. I quaked, honey. These two can’t possibly be separating!
False alarm. There’d be no breakup, but the two did share why Ethan had recently moved into his own apartment, five minutes away from Mark in LA. Some words the two shared hit me like a speeding truck:
Ethan: “We need to re-evaluate how we’re doing individually, because everything was just so habitually together.”
Mark: “Something that you had said, and that will always stick with me is that ‘you want to appreciate my love.’ There are days that I don’t appreciate him, and I don’t want that to be a thing. I just don’t want that to happen.”
This couple has shared so many good times through their lenses and YouTube channels with us. What we as the viewers forget is that these are real people, in real relationships.
It’s amazing that these two have been able to build their platforms together, but what happens when your relationship and business blends too well? Mark and Ethan explained how they need to focus back in on how they’re doing individually, and what a word this is.
Ethan goes on to quote RuPaul.. “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
Obviously, I don’t know these guys from Adam, but I get what they’re saying. You need time to focus on you; to take care of you. Without a strong sense of self-love in place, you won’t be able share that with the ones you love.
I’ve talked before on Gays in the Life about making time for each other and not forgetting to take care of the relationship. A big part of that is taking care of number one so you can continue to be that support system for whoever it is on the receiving end of your love.
I want to thank Mark and Ethan for taking a moment to share these thoughts with us, and to remind us that relationships are work. The highs can be really high, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be low lows.
Put in the work, people! And don’t be afraid to face and enter the shadows – It’s the only way you’ll find that light in the end.
It appears that S and I both have tempers. Those of you who know me have figured out that it takes a pretty good amount of nonsense to push me over the edge. We have a WiiU at home, and it is the source of fun and decompression – along with our pup, Reynold – after a long day of work. I’m not sure if the amount of hours we’ve spent playing Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon is embarrassing or impressive. Yes, the machine actually tracks the amount of hours you play each game, and provides dates and times; in case you wish to deny your gamer status.
We both have gamer rage when something doesn’t go our way during a race or a battle session. “JESUS CHRIST…. COME ON… GOSH” are regular exclamations when we’re both on the couch. I tend to be more of a slow-cooker when I’m getting frustrated with a game, while S will vocally rage during the first minutes of playing. I find this hilarious and I had to think to myself, where has this been? This fiery, competitive, passion that had manifested just a couch cushion away from me had gone unnoticed, by me, for the longest time. Whenever he’s playing a game and I hear outbursts of objection, I quietly chuckle and ask “…are you okay? It’ll be okay.”
Let me apologize to you now if you’re a biking enthusiast, or regular cyclist. It drives me beyond crazy when I get stuck behind someone on a bike, traveling on a one-lane road, and there’s no possible escape. Whenever this happens to me, there are always cars coming in the opposite lane, and I can’t get around the individual on the bike. Apparently it’s a law in Indiana that no bicycles are allowed on the sidewalks. Are you kidding me? I appreciate the fact that these people are out exercising, but jeez! I just want to get home at the end of the day. Are there no other biker friendly routes? My car horn is broken, so there’s not even the slightest bit of a chance that I can angrily honk at the unaware nerve-crusher. I usually scream profanities in the car or send rude Snapchats to my friends to share the annoying moment.
Where does our rage come from? Was it our parents that did this to us, or are we just those people who are instantly set off in these specific situations? After sending my angry snaps to my followers on Snapchat, I laughed at myself. “Wow, is it that serious?” Rushing is usually what gets drivers into accidents, so the fact that I was forced to focus on something other than getting home, was probably a blessing in disguise. From now on I’m going to make it a point to focus on my zen, and harness the rage. When it comes to S… Well, I’ll just leave that alone for a while. He’s entertaining as all get-out when he’s screaming at the television screen, and teammates who can’t hear him.
Going on a walk is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You can clear your mind, get some easy, low-impact exercise, and enjoy some fresh air. If you were a fly on the wall in our household, you’d notice that we’re very scheduled and don’t take much time for ourselves outside of the living room. This has improved with time. I tend to play with my schedule a ton, and most of the time it’s to my detriment. I do my best to fit in any tasks I have to complete, worry way too much about when I will hit the gym, and never end up getting through all I want to accomplish. Today I’m focused on being active. Screw everything else for a moment. Today, I will go on a walk, get some fresh air, and get to what I can when I can.
So true! I have had coffee from many regions around the globe; it’ll be cool to travel to those countries one day. Good morning!
(Reynold and I in front of IU auditorium)
Sometimes you just have to get out of town. S and I decided weeks ago that we would take Friday off and spend a weekend in Bloomington. Bloomington, Indiana is the home of Indiana University – Go Hoosiers! – and is where our story began. This makes it an easy place to visit if we need to escape the city and relive the college glory days, as it’s only and hour south of Indianapolis.
We decided that we didn’t want to let too many know that we were in town. Reconnecting and refocusing our energies on each other, at times, can mean tuning everyone and everything out for a moment. This is not to alienate or disrespect those in the area, but to share valuable time with each other and have a private adventure away from our cozy couch. We did stop by a good friend’s house to visit with her and her son, but we hadn’t seen her in ages! We had to say hello.
The weekend was nice and simple. Before checking into the Hotel, we got to hangout with Reynold – our pup – at one of our favorite Bloomington spots, Crazy Horse, and walk the B-Line trail. Later that evening we enjoyed dinner and drinks at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants and turned in after a couple more drinks at the hotel bar.
We spent the next day walking around campus with puppy, exploring shops, and recounting all the wild and crazy times we had as undergrads. I really got a kick out of walking all over the IU campus with our dog – it’s like I was taking my kid to orientation or something, haha, showing him the beauty and glory or IU’s campus. Saturday evening was a very enjoyable and relaxing time for the both of us. We’d planned to go out, but somehow, we never made it out the door 🙂
Sidebar: Orientation is currently going on at IU. If you didn’t know, I was an IU orientation leader the summer of 2007 for the university and to this day say it was probably the best job I had. It was fun and exciting for me to spend a summer greeting our new students and parents; getting them excited about the adventure they’d begun. I smiled every time I saw a group and spotted one or two orientation leader t-shirts in the middle of the crowd. Has it really been eleven years since I was in that t-shirt? Goodness.
The weekends are never long enough, but we appreciate any bit of time we can spend with each other. A quick weekend trip down the road is inexpensive and a fun way to experience the escape of a vacation without breaking the bank or taking too much time from work. Could we have used another day in Bloomington? We could ALWAYS use another day. Have any of you ever taken a little staycation with your significant other? Share your experience with us in the comments! We’d love to hear 🙂
Every couple goes through a rough patch at some point in a relationship. Maybe it isn’t a rough patch, but a period of discovery. What’s the topic on the table? Do you have something you’ve been meaning to ask your partner but just can’t? Why is that?
S and I have learned to communicate whenever possible if there’s conflict. Communication is still probably the most important key in a relationship, but just because you can talk doesn’t mean there isn’t any lingering darkness from time to time. Maybe you’re just in your head, right? Get to the bottom of whatever it is.
Don’t get me wrong, every talk doesn’t have to be sitting around having therapy sessions every night, but it’s important to check in with each other. Go on a walk and chat. Explore a new bar; someplace vibey and romantic.
Not every conversation needs to be heavy, but addressing any hurt feelings, disagreements, and new territory in your relationship is of the utmost importance if it’s going to last.
There’s always a slight feeling of, “ugh, I don’t want to talk about this yet…” but you have to get over it – come into the light! Face the scary stuff in your relationship. If love is present, the support and love of your partner should help you through the conversation.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN! ANSWER THE QUESTION WITH YOUR PARTNER OR FRIENDS, AND SHARE YOUR RESPONSES IN THE COMMENTS. Ciao!
How do you say I love you? Is it the way you look at each other or in the little isms in your day to day with each other? Think about this for a second. How important is it to you that you hear the words I love you, and if this does matter to you, how often?
S and I aren’t terribly expressive in person. We say I love you here and there – sprinkling the phrase throughout the week, but not necessarily each day – and this isn’t something that’s been an issue for us.
(This picture was taken the night we first told each other we loved one another… Awe.)
I tend to show love with physical contact, while S translates the little things as me caring for him. For example: I’m not a big toucher… Family, friends, I won’t really hug you unless I haven’t seen you in quite some time. I’m the complete opposite when it comes to S. I’ll mess with his hair or sneak up on him in the kitchen; hugging him from behind. My favorite is holding a free hand while he’s driving or resting my hand on his leg.
S usually tries to bat me away as he’s got a different love language – acts of kindness. He stays pretty busy so I try to accomplish whatever I can in our home – chores, errands, taking care of our fur-child – before he even has to think about it. Whenever he has a moment to relax and decompress, I make sure he can enjoy it fully.
Don’t get it twisted though… I usually save the hardwood floor cleaning for him 😉
(If you haven’t already, I suggest you dive into finding out what your love language is… do that here.)