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18 Mar

our ultimate relationship guide: 7 ways to strengthen your love

this May, robbie & i will be celebrating four years of marriage and five years of knowing one another! {yes, in case you didn’t know that fun fact about us: we were married exactly one year to the day of our first date! we went on our first date in Vegas on May 10, 2013 and we married there May 10, 2014!} it honestly feels like we have known each other a lifetime because it’s hard to imagine life without each other.

it’s been so fun over the past several years to watch this blog grow and see that with every new follower, the interest in my and robbie’s relationship grows and grows. then, when his Instagram post about me went viral last year, we both received an entirely new flood of love from around the world, support from people who were suddenly so invested in our relationship. we love that our relationship has become such a big part of Sassy Red Lipstick and we wouldn’t change it for a second!

we enjoy chatting about our relationship for the simple fact that we love love! we always joke that we are so needy of one another and that we couldn’t live without the other. in all seriousness, we really do prioritize our marriage above all else. of course that’s not to say that we have a perfect relationship! we argue, disagree, get mad, get sassy, and hurt each other’s feelings from time to time, just like any other couple. but we’ve always said, what’s most important is that we never let a fight continue on. even if it takes a couple hours, we always say sorry, hold each other, and snuggle up real tight for the rest of the night.

robbie and i are constantly getting messages about our marriage/relationship advice so we figured we’d sit down and give our best tips! the 7 topics we’ve selected encompass what are pretty much the most major parts of being in a relationship: communication, money, sex, careers, family, faith, and hobbies. we’re both sharing our honest thoughts on each subject, opening up about our experiences together, and hopefully helping any of you who are looking to strengthen your own relationship.

we can’t thank you enough for being invested in our relationship and we hope you feel how much it means to us. as always, feel free to DM us on Instagram or send an email with any questions and we’ll do our best to reply. nothing but love and positivity from Team Tripp! scroll down to read our thoughts on all aspects of relationships & enjoy these photos from our Valentine’s Day shoot this year!



Sarah: there’s a reason why people always say communication is the most important part of a relationship! it’s something that is so simple but also can be so hard. what’s important is that you understand how one another communicates. for example, robbie and i have two different communication styles when we disagree about something and that has taken time for us to learn how to deal with these situations. when i’m irritated or stressed out, i need my own space and time away to just be alone and calm down. robbie on the other hand likes to talk things out and address issues as soon as they happen. these are obviously two very different approaches and it’s taken a lot of time and understanding to balance those! i’ve had to learn that it’s important to find solutions to problems without just trying to ignore them, and robbie has had to learn to give me time to cool down and think before we start diving into something. if you can identify each other’s communication styles, especially in disagreements, you’ll be so much happier.

Robbie: The human condition has always been so fascinating to me. We all have our own fears and insecurities and quirks based off our life experiences and DNA, and that is the lens we use to view the world (and the people) around us. It can be difficult and frustrating if we don’t realize that not everyone shares our same opinions, perspective, or way of doing things. This is one of the most important parts of being in a relationship: You have to make peace with the fact that you’re two different people who are going to disagree sometimes. Just because you are married, doesn’t mean you have to think the same. You have to let the other person be themselves and allow room for disagreement. Sometimes it can be hard to open up to others, even with the person you share your life with, but the main thing is that you create a safe space between the two of you so you can honestly share your thoughts and feelings without being judged or hurt. I believe the key to a happy relationship is when the couple feels like they can express themselves and be themselves and feel completely supported.


Sarah: this has always been a difficult topic for me because i don’t really like talking about money! i was raised to be very modest with money and not flashy at all. i’ll let you in on a little secret: even to this day i sometimes feel uncomfortable posting my new designer purchases on social media. i don’t want people to think i’m braggy or materialistic! it’s not who i am and i’m always worried things will come across that way. robbie always tells me i’m overreacting but it’s still a concern of mine sometimes. anyway, my main advice about money is to make sure it’s not the focus of everything you’re doing in life. i know a lot of people who work for the dollar and they are never happy. money doesn’t equal happiness. it can relieve some stresses of daily life for sure, but it doesn’t buy you a carefree life. far from it, in fact. prioritize your family and friends, your passions and your beliefs. those are the things that will bring you lasting joy. money is nice, but getting caught up in it will do nothing but make you unhappy.

Robbie: I married Sarah Tripp and Sarah Tripp likes to shop. We all know this. When I first met Sarah, I thought it was so funny when I saw that her number one relaxation activity after a long day is to sit on her laptop and online shop. Endless tabs open, carts full on countless websites, just browsing all the new, pretty things out there in the world haha. We’ve come to affectionately refer to this relaxation time of hers as “The Browses.” (Sarah every evening: “Hey babe, I’m going to go take a bath and do the browses.”) So it’s probably no surprise that Sarah and I have had a quite a few disagreements about money, saving, and shopping haha. This is another aspect of who we are that really differs. I’m very frugal and don’t buy myself stuff that often. (A lot of people don’t believe this for some reason but I seriously only buy a new pair of Jordans maybe a few times a year.) Whereas Sarah is constantly (and I mean constantly) shopping and buying things. I understand it and support it because A) it makes her happy and B) it’s literally her job. Plus, she’s the love of my life and I’ve always wanted her to have everything she’s ever desired. My only advice with handling money in a relationship is to sit down, get on the same page about what makes you comfortable and uncomfortable, and make sure you’re saving an appropriate amount.


Sarah: this is also another topic that i approach carefully because i’m a firm believer that some things are meant to be private and not be shared online! i think our generation feels the need to share everything on social media and that’s something i’ve always tried to be reasonable about. when it comes to sex in a relationship, i believe that it really boils down to making each other happy. intimacy is such a beautiful way to connect with your significant other and makes you feel closer, more in love, and appreciated. i love how robbie is so attracted to me and that not only makes me feel sexy but also valued. physical bonding has always been an important part of our relationship. we’ve always said to each other that we feel lucky that we have been sexually compatible since day one. i’ve heard some couples don’t have that sexual chemistry right off the bat and we’ve always been fortunate to have that spark. whatever the case may be, intimacy is about keeping that spark in your relationship alive and letting the other person know how much you care.

Robbie: I don’t think it is any secret at this point that I find my beautiful wife to be damn near irresistible. Take two seconds to scroll through my Instagram feed and you’ll quickly see my frequent tributes to Sarah’s soft, sexy, curvy physique that I just can’t get enough of. (I’ve always told Sarah she has the figure of a 17th century goddess depicted in Rubenesque paintings haha.) I can honestly say that four years into our marriage, I am even more attracted to her now than I was when we first met. Somehow she manages to get more beautiful as time goes on. So yes, to be perfectly candid, I truly can’t think of a single thing in this world I enjoy more than making love to Sarah. That being said, my advice in this department is to be open with your love and desire for one another. Express yourself rather than holding it in. When your partner looks good, tell them! When you see a little something at the mall that you know they’ll look sexy in, buy it for them! Sex is about expressing yourself and you need to be vulnerable and open for it to be as positive as it can be. You never want to let your partner feel like they’re not appreciated or desired, and sex is one of the great ways in a relationship to show that love and commitment.


Sarah: robbie and i have definitely taken the road less traveled in the career department. we quit our regular jobs after a few years of being married, moved to San Francisco {which just so happens to be the most expensive city in the country}, and started building our dreams as entrepreneurs. fortunately it paid off for us, but that’s not to say that there wasn’t {and still is} a lot of stress that comes with it. my advice here is simple: help one another. i couldn’t do what i do without robbie, and he always tells me he couldn’t do what he does without me. even if you and your partner have completely different jobs in completely different fields, it’s still your job to be their rock, their place of peace when things get stressful. whatever it is that you do or want to do, having someone there to hold you after a long day or cook you dinner at night or just listen to your problems at work makes all the difference. it doesn’t matter what you do, it just matters who you come home to.

Robbie: My number one priority in life–besides Sarah of course–is making my dreams a reality. I’ve always had a passionate heart, an ambitious mind, and a singular focus on my goals. Because my dreams are so important to me, being supported and encouraged in those dreams by my wife is also very important. Sarah and I promised each other early on in our relationship that we would support one another and help each other succeed. By taking a look around at all that we’ve built, I’m proud to say we’ve done that. Seeing Sarah succeed makes me so happy, and I know she’s proud when I succeed as well. I’m always here to do anything and everything she needs for Sassy Red Lipstick, and she’s always front row center whenever I’m speaking at an event or whatever else. Love your partner, love their dreams, help them achieve their goals, and the rest will take care of itself.


Sarah: anyone who’s ever been married knows that blending families can be hard! even if you both come from the most amazing families in the world like robbie and i are fortunate to, it still is an adjustment! you have to learn to split holidays, learn new traditions, and become a close member of a group of people who you haven’t known for most your life! both robbie and i are lucky to have great in-laws but we know many couples who really struggle. my advice is to remember that you married the other person because you love them and if you love them, you have to love where they came from. even if it’s hard or even if they came from tough circumstances, it’s the road that brought them to you. respecting each other’s family is important, and so is being on the same page about your future family together! robbie and i are so excited to have kids and are looking forward to that next chapter in our lives. to me, family is the most important thing in the world and when you have a good family life, everything else seems to just fall into place.

Robbie: The old adage is as true today as it ever was: When you marry someone, you marry their family. It’s just a fact of life! Fortunately, Sarah and I are lucky to have loving and supportive in-laws and that has made the transition much easier. My only suggestion when it comes to family is realizing that everyone is trying their best, social situations can be hard, and you don’t necessarily need to be everyone’s best friend. As long as everyone is polite, positive, and cares about one another, that’s all that matters! When it comes to having your own family… I’ll let you know! Sarah and I are looking forward to having Baby Tripp one day and being the coolest parents ever haha.


Sarah: i don’t talk much about my religious beliefs on my platform because i want this to be a space for everyone to enjoy and i welcome people of all different faiths, backgrounds, and belief systems. in the end, if you’re a good person trying to be a positive influence in the world, that’s good enough for me and should be good enough for everyone. to answer this question specifically for us, our faith is not simply a set of religious beliefs but a lifestyle. for example, we are constantly getting messages when we go out to eat because people notice we always order mocktails. yes, neither robbie or myself has ever tasted a drop of alcohol. it’s because our religious beliefs have always guided our decisions and we choose not to partake in anything that can potentially be addictive or harmful. of course we don’t judge anyone who does, it’s just a personal decision of ours! bottom line: having a belief in God and having a belief system has really helped guide us in the direction of happiness and peace. every success we’ve had in life we attribute to blessings from above; we know that we wouldn’t be anything without these blessings.

Robbie: Sarah and I feel very grateful to be in the position we’re in and we always want to use it to help others! To me, my faith has always rested on my belief that everything good in my life has come from God. Yes, I work really hard and take chances and create opportunities for myself but none of it would be possible without all that I’ve been given. My faith also assures me that I will be able to spend forever with Sarah, which is the most important knowledge I have. I’m grateful that Sarah and I were married for eternity and that death cannot separate us or any of our family members. Going to church is not always easy with our insane travel schedule but we make our best effort and we always value the important teachings that guide us in our lives.


Sarah: i think it’s really important to have something that keeps you sane outside of your work! since robbie and i are self-employed entrepreneurs, we can easily spend all day, every day on our laptops/phones and obviously that’s not healthy. on days where we are on our screens from the moment we wake up until we go to bed late, we feel so burnt out. we inevitably get snippy with each other because we’ve been spending 24/7 inside with one another and it’s just not an ideal situation all around haha. that’s why it’s important to mix things up and be sure you’re taking time for yourself! having a hobby is one of the best ways to refresh your mind and prioritize your happiness. my big stress relief is going to SoulCycle. i love the energy in the classes and it makes me feel empowered and strong. find your hobby that makes you happy and support your partner in doing it! trust me, it will be better for everyone!

Robbie: This is something I have a hard time with because my mind rarely allows me to rest. I always feel like if I’m doing nothing then I’m wasting time or being lazy. I’ve always felt like I need to be doing something to get closer to my goals. As I’ve gotten older, I realize that going non-stop is a great way to lose perspective and burn out in your journey. I’ve learned that it’s important to be in grind mode all day long and even on weekends if you want to be successful but you also need to have chunks of time where you turn off your brain. For me, I like riding my Boosted Board or going for a run or sometimes I will literally lie on the ground and turn on some relaxing music so I can just drift off for a bit. It may seem counterintuitive but it’s true: Taking a break from your grind will only enable you to grind harder and smarter.

heart dress {old, similar here, here, and here}
Patrick Woo lipstick
robbie’s blush tee
robbie’s jeans

see our home decor post here

photos by Alexis Exstrom