Over the weekend, one of my best friends came and stayed with us. For both of us-- "fun"employed graduates with a bachelors in writing who aren't happy unless we're working for 5 independently contracted clients at once and think "relaxing" is an exercise is being frivolous-- it was not only a great chance to not only discover "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding", read woman's magazines, eat McDonalds (or "The Devil's Food" as my very health-conscious boyfriend would call it), and have the Girl Time that we both found ourselves currently lacking in our lives post-grad, but also, to compare relationship notes and find heroes in other people and how they lead their coupled lives.
I think she's utterly amazing for being in a long distance relationship and is a rock-star for being confident enough to try 21st century ways of staying in touch and intimate. She loved the fact that I strive to make every day eventful for my S.O; we woke up and went impromptu hiking the other morning, then ended up getting glammed up and going out for a business dinner later that same night. I love the fact that her boyfriend is admittedly crazy about her and that it's obvious to everyone around them, even when they're apart-- the constant "ping"-ing of her iPhone affirms that he's not afraid to be candid about how he feels. She (and I) were both smitten when my S.O remembered to bring her a towel and washcloth at night before she went to bed-- something very "host-y" that had escaped both our FEMALE minds, but didn't get past him.
All in all, it came down to the fact that we both know our relationships and our respective partners, but found that finding things to admire in your friend's relationships can help you look at and switch up your own more effectively, too. While all of our relationships are as different as we are as individuals, there's something really great about knowing that you have a "Girlfriend Hero" who will run across town after her boyfriend's rent check to make sure it gets to the right place on time that you can look up and aspire to...while knowing at the same time that you're her "Girlfriend Hero" for your uncanny ability to snag the best seats for the festival fireworks AND remember to bring along your S.O's favorite candy to snack on, too.
If you're lucky enough like me to realize that for the first time in your life, nearly all of your best friends are taken, pair up with one of them whose relationship style you really admire, take notes on how each other makes it appear effortless, and exchange compliments. A lot of the time, the effort we spend putting time, energy, and countless summer-day-outing-plans-so-you-don't-get-bored-and-cranky into our relationships either isn't noticed by our partners (because we're just that good at seeming perpetually AWESOME,) or just isn't acknowledged the way we'd sometimes like it to be after going above and beyond, because, hey, we're girls, and men and women communicate differently about appreciation, after all. Make it your goal to find someone who makes it look so easy to look up to, because, chances are, she'll end up telling you that you're just as stellar a girlfriend, in your own ways.