Relationship & Ryan Questions

  • How long have you and Ryan been together?

A little over 10 years! We went on our first date on February 1, 2004.

Below you will find a collection of our relationship milestone posts that have popped up on the blog:

julie and ryan fagan

  • How does Ryan feel about your blog?

I feel very fortunate that he’s incredibly supportive. Please see this post: Ryan and the Blog.

  • How do you and Ryan keep your relationship feeling “alive” and exciting?

We’re big fans of date night! We alternate months where one of us is in charge of planning a fun date for the other person. Date night is easily one of my favorite nights of the month!

Ryan and I also try to get out of the house and explore together. Make the little things an adventure! It sounds silly, but taking Sadie for a hike or an evening walk provides us with uninterrupted time to chat and just be together.

  • You guys seem so happy. Do you ever fight?

Of course! Please read this post: We’re Not Perfect.

julie and ryan

  • Do you have any gift ideas for guys? I’ve been dating my boyfriend for four years now and am running out of good ideas!

Absolutely! These posts may contain an idea that pops out at you:

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  • My boyfriend and I are moving in together next month and I’m both excited and nervous! How did you and Ryan handle the transition?

Please see this post: Moving in Together for the First Time.

  • How did you and Ryan meet?

Ryan and I met in the beginning of the second semester of my freshman year in college at our university’s gym. I was there working out and realized my sorority had an intramural dodge ball game that night, so I wandered down to cheer on my girlfriends.

Ryan came to the game with one of my sorority sisters and when he spotted me, he asked her to find out whether or not I had a boyfriend. When she asked me, I said yes and when she asked if it was “serious” I told her we’d been dating for more than three years.

Apparently she took this as a “no” and proceeded to tell Ryan I did not have a boyfriend. Sneaky, sneaky. Well, Ryan asked her for my phone number and eventually called and asked me to dinner. I remembered him as the super-cute guy from the gym and was really intrigued, though I had reservations since I was still in a relationship. In my gut, I knew that if I was intrigued by Ryan, something important was probably missing from my current relationship. I kept things open and honest with both guys, though Ryan’s expression when he asked me directly whether or not I had a boyfriend was pretty priceless. “Oh really?” I believe he said (his voice increasing a few octaves on the “really”).

Anyway, the relationship I was in with my high school boyfriend was long distance (tough stuff) and eventually things faded out with him while things simultaneously began picking up with Ryan. So, basically our relationship is all thanks to a lie my sorority sister told Ryan. That’s sisterhood, my friends.

  • Have you and Ryan ever “taken a break” throughout your relationship?

No. We’ve been together for a little more than eight years. Ryan is pretty hard-headed about the “taking a break” issue and though I never wanted to “take a break” from our relationship, I really like his views on “breaks” and have adopted them as my own. To him (and now to me as well), taking a break really puts your relationship in a gray area. The “rules” are undefined and inevitably someone always seems to get hurt. Every relationship has ups and downs and for us, we were fully committed to communicating and working thorough any issues at hand, rather than waving the white flag. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are couples who take breaks and it works for them. For us, though, it never was really something we considered.

  • What tips do you have about maintaining a healthy relationship? What things do you and Ryan argue about? How do you resolve any issues?

Ryan has taught me so much about love, but the biggest thing he’s taught me is the importance of communication. I am not a confrontational person by nature and will typically get quiet when I’m upset and I prefer to be alone when I’m angry. Ryan has really encouraged me to communicate with him all the time, and he’s always been very open with me. It can be so hard to bring up what’s bothering you, but the only way issues can be resolved is to talk about them. Ryan made it clear to me from day one that as his girlfriend (and now his wife), I was his number one priority and he is mine as well. I’ve always felt like he puts me first and I’ve tried to show him the same respect. Ryan also has three ideals of a good relationship that I think are spot-on: communication, trust and entertainment. You gotta have all three!

As for arguments, our fights are typically over trivial things like my driving abilities (they’re stellar, by the way), or Ryan not unloading the dishwasher when he was home all day. We’ve actually even taken the time to communicate and talk about both of these little issues and even issues as silly as those have improved because of a simple conversation. Talk it out! It works!

ryan and julie

  • How do you balance your eating habits with Ryan’s? Boys/men tend to eat more than females and require more energy/calories in a typical day, but I sometimes struggle with the fact that I eat as much as my live-in boyfriend.

I think there’s a reason why statistically women gain weight after marriage – blame the men! Seriously though, it can be challenging to live with a guy that eats all the time. Ryan eats constantly, but fortunately is very open to trying healthy recipes. When we cook, we typically cook recipes for three people and Ryan will eat two portions while I will eat one. It takes some adjusting to recipe measurements but makes it easier to control portion size when the meal is ready and I know he gets two thirds of the meal while I get one.

Where I struggle most is dessert. If Ryan wants ice cream or something sweet, I have a very hard time saying no and will typically indulge right along with him. As long as I don’t down a pint of ice cream every day, I try not to worry about it too much.