How to Keep Your Relationship Healthy: Find Someone You Can Dance With Forever

This life is one big dance, and I’m blessed to have met my forever dance partner. In business, parenting, marriage and friendship, Dennis and I have learned how to keep our relationship healthy: hold each other close, and keep dancing.

rachel dennis wedding castle night

We got married June 28, 2014 in a castle in Sweden surrounded by all of our friends and families.

“Harvest Moon” by Neil Young was our wedding song. When I told the DJ before the wedding which song we would be dancing to, I was worried. Would it be awkward?

Having 200+ people staring at you while dancing as newlyweds wasn't something I could envision without feeling nervous, so I asked him, "At the end, could you transition to something super fun, maybe Soca, so our friends can crash the dance floor and we start the party all together?"

"Sure," he said. "Wedding dance, then party. Got it."

The wedding weekend came and it was a whirlwind of anticipation, laughter, tears and more love than I've ever felt in my entire life.

My best friend Andrea had just passed away, and everything we did was infused with an urgency to squeeze every drop out of life. We all felt so much.

Then, we got married.

I don't remember all of it. I remember that the sun didn't come out, but it didn't rain, and the arch wasn't steady so Dennis’s sister and brother had to stand at the top of the aisle by the lake to hold it down. I remember feeling like we were in a Wes Anderson movie; some parts felt a bit awkward yet so beautiful, and everything made sense.

I said I do, and Dennis cried big, real tears.

After the dinner and all of the speeches, it was time to dance. Everyone was drunk with magic, the vibe was electric and I'd taken my heels off long ago.

“Harvest Moon” started playing and everything else faded. We danced, and it wasn't awkward. Not at all. I could have danced a thousand dances there, with Dennis, barefoot on a sticky floor.

The end of the song came and it was much too soon. Suddenly all of our friends were there and the music became too loud and the moment was lost.

I think about that dance a lot...

Looking into the eyes of my husband, wondering why I ever thought it would be anything but wonderful to take the first steps to the tune that would carry us for the rest of our lives.

Our daughter, Lea Luna, was born under the full moon. While I was in the hardest part of labor and doubting I could go on any longer, Dennis took me out to our garden, under the full moon, and we slow danced.

Just like on our wedding day, everything else faded. It was just him, me, the full moon above us and our little moon between us.

rachel dennis kissing sailboat aruba

It hasn't been easy, transitioning from two to three. Everything is different now. But we're still us. We're still dancing.

And I love him now just like I did then.

Husband, best friend, business partner, father to our daughter...my life is better because I took a chance and moved to a tiny Caribbean island to be by his side. I would have never imagined that choice would have led to the life we now live.

Dennis and I are married, we live together, we raise our daughter together, we travel together, practice yoga together and run our businesses together. We spend a whole lot of time with each other!

We complement each other, and that’s what makes our relationship work as well as it does.

Dennis is humble, generous, easygoing... Qualities I value more and more each day. I am spontaneous and rash and impatient. Dennis is my anchor; my rock. He calms me down when life spins too quickly, and he puts my feet back on the ground when I drift off to the clouds.

People ask us, "How on earth do you manage to keep your relationship healthy when you live and work together?"

The truth is, it doesn't really feel like we work together, but of course we do. Dennis works on the business side of what we do. I am terrible at that side. I'm good at making decisions and getting things done, but I need to delegate to function. Also, I'm the creative side of what we do, so most of the times I want to play and practice yoga and travel... Which is great, but without structure you can't really get anywhere.

So how do we manage it all and still stay in love?

Well, that’s the exact thing that makes it work: we love each other. A lot. If he wasn't my absolute favorite person in the world to spend time with, none of this would work.

We have fun and make each other laugh every day. We take care of one another, we work hard, we play hard.

We brainstorm and get creative when it comes to solving problems, and we do our best to not take things too seriously.

We both share the same vision of what we want to create, so we usually have the same end goals in sight for everything we do. We want to make the world a better place! We want to make people happy, and we want to be happy.

So we do our best, and at the end of the day we smile, go have dinner and talk about things that have absolutely nothing to do with travels, meetings or social media.

I try to be strict on dividing my time between working and not working. There is no need to talk about business over breakfast or before you go to bed. And you don't need to keep your phones on all the time.

I make sure we have fun and that there is a clear line between where the work day ends and everything else begins. But with the type of work we do — leading yoga retreats and teacher trainings, traveling all over the world, managing social media platforms and non-profits, doing photography and videography, meeting amazing people... It doesn't really feel like work most of the time!

villa30-6

In the end, our relationship is what's most important. It’s remembering the love that brought us together, and the love we vowed to nurture and grow.

I still look back at the photos from our wedding weekend and get goosebumps all over. It was so, so, so special. So much love surrounded us all. That’s what happens when people come together for weddings — the air becomes electric with the purest and happiest love. Everyone believes in love again, and all we want to do is celebrate it.

On a sticky dance floor to our favorite song, in our backyard under the full moon, in a yoga shala or in a business meeting, I live my life to celebrate love and happiness, and it works, because I have the greatest gift from god by my side.

Life is easier when you let love lead. Find those who agree, and don’t be afraid to take their hand and dance. I promise, it will change your life.

X,

Rachel

All photos by Ben Kane

Keep reading

Yoga

Cultural Appropriation, Inclusivity and Yoga – What I’ve Learned

I want to start off by saying that I am so, so grateful to be in this place. I truly am. There have been some hard lessons along the way but I feel absolutely blessed to be not just a part of this conversation, but a part in making a change.

Rachel Brathen- Tuesday, 10:49 pm0
I am a Yoga Girl

I Am A Yoga Girl - Larissa Ranft

I am… a Yoga Girl. And being brave enough to shout this out in public feels so damn good. For a long time, I have been confused with identifications of “who or what I am“. Being identified as a woman, as a daughter, a sister, a friend, a partner. I‘m identified with my profession, my age, my lifestyle, my looks, my opinions, and so much more.

Larissa Ranft- Thursday, 12:40 pm0
Yoga

This 1 Trick to Your Yoga Practice Will Save Your Life off the Mat

There’s a not-so-secret trick to committing to your yoga practice every damn day. I believe life is like a yoga practice, and the same trick has become an essential life lesson that’s saved me every time I felt like giving up.

Rachel Brathen- Saturday, 6:24 pm0