Prince William and Kate Middleton have been a poster couple for “relationship goals” for longer than we can remember. And arguably the best part about them is that we can all take a couple pages out of their book.
From courtship to marriage, through thick and thin, there are some fail-proof relationship tips from the Duke and Duchess and Cambridge we can apply to our own lives.
But first, what makes their relationship so enviable?
Of course, there has always been intrigue around the royal family. But what makes Will and Kate’s relationship so fascinating isn’t their celebrity stature. The couple really garners attention for being so seemingly modern and accessible. (Which makes the idea of mirroring their relationship even more exciting.)
Next: There’s nothing wrong with the friend zone.
The importance of establishing a friendship first
Will and Kate were friends before they became a couple, as they met at St. Andrew’s University back in the early 2000s. Although their courtship was quite long — more on that in just a second — it showed the importance of building a relationship on a solid foundation.
As Psychology Today summarizes, striking a balance between liking someone as a friend and desiring them romantically is key for a relationship to be successful.
Next: Step away from social media, together.
Know when to keep things private
Even public figures like Will and Kate try to avoid the cameras from time to time. Heck, they don’t even hold hands in public!
Putting every little aspect of your relationship on social media, for example, is a way of promoting your own gossip and bringing in outside opinions that really don’t matter. Recognize when to keep your intimate relationship strictly between you and your partner.
Next: Even with all this relationship-planning, it’s good to still have “me time.”
Enjoy some independence
Like all strong couples, the Duke and Duchess are comfortable doing things away from each other. Even though their lives are incredibly intertwined, they still do things independently. This concept of “getting your own life” is what the HuffPost describes as “pursuing passions that aren’t dependent on having a partner and nurturing your own circle of friends who aren’t part of your couple activities.”
Next: Keep that spark alive!
Enjoy the occasional romantic date
Finding ways to keep the romance alive is important. And this royal couple certainly has this down, even having the occasional date night away from the kids. Marking date night on the calendar is crucial in a relationship, as it shows both people that there is special time set aside just for each other.
Next: Get physical! … wait, not like that.
Put your game face on
Spending quality time together doesn’t always have to be about fancy dinners. It behooves a couple to have activities they enjoy doing together. (Will and Kate, of course, have been photographed on many occasions going skiing together.) And you don’t have to be super sporty either — having an activity, any activity, that you and your significant other enjoy is important.
Next: Recognize that it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.
You won’t always agree on everything
Any good couple has a tiff every now and then. The Duke and Duchess are no exception — remember how Kate was “less than pleased” after William’s boys-only ski trip this past winter? It’s important for any couple, royal or commonplace, to remember that disagreements are going to happen. The best tip here is to get through the issue at hand before it manifests into a much bigger issue.
Next: When it comes to the in-laws …
Make nice with the family
Making nice with the in-laws is no easy feat. Nevertheless, being on your in-law’s good side is great for your relationship. Making a good first impression with your significant other’s family can go a long way in strengthening your relationship.
That tip sure helped Duchess Kate when she first met her future husband’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth!
Next: There are certain things you should be on the same page about, no matter what.
Be open about discussing what you want in the relationship
News media has poked a bit of fun at the couple recently since it has come out that Kate had to “convince” Will to have a third child. But what’s important here is that a discussion over having more children was made.
As Women’s Health points out, “there’s a good chance you and your partner have some arguing to do” when committing to each other long term. This discussion tool is important even after a couple has been together for a long time. Whether it’s about having children or another life-changing milestone, it is imperative to be open with your significant other about what you want.
Next: It’s good to think long term.
Play the long game
There was plenty of criticism over how long the royal couple dated before Will proposed to Kate. And while eight years sounds extensive, it also sets an example to everyone that taking time to cultivate a relationship can be extremely beneficial.
As data scientist Randal Olson revealed in a study published in 2014, couples who spent three or more years dating before their proposal were less likely to divorce.
Next: Be do-gooders together.
Support others, while supporting each other
You don’t have to necessarily be like the royals and have a schedule full of charity work. But giving to the same organizations, no matter how small, is good for your relationship. There is evidence that giving to a charity gives us a sense of accomplishment and releases chemicals in the brain that make us feel happier. And giving back along with your significant other can make you feel extra good about your relationship.
Next: You will get over hurdles together.
Remember, you will get through rough patches
Even a seemingly-perfect couple like Will and Kate have gone through bumps in the road. They even broke up a time or two before they were engaged. It’s important to recognize that even the healthiest of relationships will have hiccups — and that you always have the potential to work through them together.
Next: Be a well-oiled machine.
Above all, you can tell the Duke and Duchess are a team
Whether it’s involving a long trip to foreign countries or just a brief public appearance, body language experts have been fascinated by the ways Will and Kate publicly show their support for each other. While you don’t want to be “that couple,” being open with how much you support your partner will strengthen your relationship.
Next: Your relationship should still be fun!
They don’t take themselves too seriously
Let’s be honest — what makes the Duke and Duchess a poster duo for relationships is that they don’t appear to take themselves too seriously. In an interview with BBC 1 radio earlier this year, they took turns making each other laugh while admitting they enjoy nights vegging on the couch and ordering takeout.
Next: That wedding though …
It’s gone beyond ‘the wedding of the century’
Of course, when we think of Will and Kate, the first thing that comes to mind is their wedding. And yes, there’s no denying that the Duke and Duchess’s wedding was something out of a fairy tale. But it’s how their union has flourished that keeps us wanting to know their relationship secrets. From courting to building a family, there is plenty we can learn from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.