35+ Sweet Illustrations That Capture The Essence Of Long-Term Relationships
Every relationship is a vast spectrum of feelings and encounters that are as distinct as the people who partake in them. Although not flawless, they unveil the intensity of human emotions and the ability to exhibit benevolence and empathy. Amanda Oleander, an artist based in Los Angeles, produces endearing and relatable illustrations that capture the essence of relationships. Through her art, she provides a sneak peek into the gentle instances, obstacles, and delights that emerge in daily life.
Today, we’ve prepared 40 images that Amanda created, and we arranged them in chronological order: from the first buds of romance to a long-term, committed relationship, continuing with moving in and crowning the love with some babies. If you are interested, keep on scrolling!
Long-distance relationships are freaking hard, man! They take a lot of work from both parties in order to succeed, and even if you both put in some serious effort, it doesn’t mean it will work out in the end. Distance does no good.
Looking at the datestamp on the pillow, we assume this was during the time when everyone was separated, including couples who lived apart. It was a sad and tough time for all, however, luckily, everyone got through it one way or the other.
That long distance can make or break you. One of the toughest obstacles to overcome is knowing that you are not coming back to each other at night and sharing a good night’s sleep in each other’s arms. Instead, there is an even larger longing present.
Hugging a pillow and imagining that that was her man was the best she could do at that moment of tangible absence. With this wonderful drawing, we can see the subject’s wishes, dreams, and hopes. It is both gorgeous and sad.
When you start dating someone, it can be a bit awkward at first. The “getting to know you” chats are both exciting and nerve-racking. So, sometimes, the easiest thing to do is just go all in and get to know each other through touch first. Wink, wink.
These fast-food dinner dates are something everyone is familiar with. These two can’t keep their hands to themselves! The chemistry and attraction they feel are unreal. However, some things should be reserved for a more private setting if you ask us… Nonetheless, young love is beautiful love.
Loving Gaze On a Holiday
Traveling with your partner feels like a dream come true! You have found your person, and now, the sky is the limit. You two are on cloud nine and feel like you can go to the end of the world and back together. What a lovely life stage.
This picture reminds us of that blissful feeling. You have each other, you are not married yet, and you don’t plan on having kids in the future. You are selfishly enjoying life as is, without a care in the world. That is when your love is supposed to be built up and strengthened by mutual experiences.
Livin’ La Vida Loca
As we mentioned, we’re following this relationship in chronological order. So, this comic takes us to the next stage of a relationship: living together and being in a committed long-term relationship. This picture is really wholesome. It’s so simple, yet exudes warm and fuzzy feelings.
There is something so incredibly comforting about wearing your pajamas, noshing on popcorn, and chilling in bed watching some Netflix. Is there a better way to spend a Saturday night with your loved one? None? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
Reading Her to Sleep
One of those habits and hobbies you pick up when in a long-term, calm, and peaceful relationship could be a love for reading and books. It’s a good habit to have, and you should push each other to do better as people, and as a team.
Not only is he reading a book for the both of them, but the way the girl is looking up at her chosen one is what everyone should be looking for. Someone that loves them and someone that they love back unconditionally.
Game of Thrones Cosplay?
A sign you are in a good, growing relationship is starting a show together. It’s another form of commitment when you think about it. Imagine starting a show with someone and then breaking up soon after. If you attempt to finish it alone, you could reopen those old wounds.
These two seem to have started watching Game of Thrones, or something fairly similar. They seem extremely enthralled and interested in the show and the plot. They prepared popcorn, some champagne, a charcuterie board… and full cosplays. This is couple goals!
It is a real struggle getting your home to a temperature that both you and your partner are comfortable with. Usually, one of you will be sweating, while the other will be freezing, and vice versa. It’s like being in different climates.
Amanda remembered that and showed it in a very nice manner. Her art style is recognizable and authentic. With that said, she knows people and can relate to a variety of situations in life, and therefore, create art that speaks to a large group of people.
Living with your long-term partner requires a lot of work, compromise, and agreement. You need to work together towards the same goals. The artist knows how to show that teamwork in a simple image of the pair doing household chores.
She is vacuuming the floor while he is cooking, and to help her out with that, he is willing to hold himself up on the kitchen counter. What a man! Girl, you made a great choice for yourself. Get you a man (and woman) that will do this with you.
Self-care should be something you practice all the time, not only when you are single or when you get into a relationship. You need to be enough for yourself, you must enjoy your own company, at least most of the time, so you can let someone in the right way!
This couple is embracing that fully! He is letting her do her thing—read a book, have a face mask on, and snack on grapes—whereas he is probably off to do some gaming with his pals online or going for a jog around the block. So lovely.
There is no better time than nap time! Being comfortable enough to relax and sleep next to someone is the best feeling ever! People come from nature and have a lot of instincts that are supposed to protect them against predators while sleeping. Those instincts just disappear when with the right people.
Also, it’s an unwritten rule that men, when comfortable enough, become little babies that love nesting on their partner’s chest and in their partner’s arms. That is an endearing sight to see, and it’s a warm, fuzzy feeling to experience.
Enough With the News, Already!
In 2020, everyone was obsessed with following the news and checking out every new article that was released. It was a tough time, and we were more hungry for knowledge than ever. This comic really speaks to that obsession and mentality.
We were both of them. We couldn’t pull ourselves away from our phones, but we also felt exhausted by them. Clearly, she wants him to turn off his phone and just hit the lights, but he can’t pry himself away. Poor guy.
Welcome, their majesty, the forehead kisses! They are the most royal form of kisses that exists. It is such a form of pure love, devotion, and care one has for their significant other. It leaves us breathless and heart-warmed beyond words.
While that man is enjoying his girl’s hair, the dog in the background is looking hella sad and disappointed. Its eyes are filled with tears, and we kind of feel bad about that. Share some love with the pet, too!
A Cute Little Family
We know it’s cliche, but family isn’t just blood ties; you can choose who’s in your orbit. It doesn’t have to include kids or settling down with someone, nor does it have to end in marriage. It can be living with a partner and your pets together in a loving little community.
These two look very happy with their choices. And, remember, if this is the life they chose, no one has the right to judge them. These two humans look happy, but we all know who pulls the strings here. Woof, woof.
Pumpkin Carvin’ Season
Although pumpkin carving season is not remotely close, there are still those warm, fuzzy moments from the last ones that Amanda wanted to share with her audience. She has a special way of pulling people in and making them feel good.
Loving stares, productive time passed, and a jealous dog—a picture-perfect life! Whether they were prepping for Halloween, making some autumnal decorations, or just having a little bonding activity, it doesn’t matter. They’re super cute together and just looking at them gives us warm fuzzy feelings!
Grocery Shopping Date
Couples often highlight these dates as some of their favorites. It makes a lot of sense: you go in, spend money, buy delicious food, and make a nice dinner when you come back, complete with candles, wine, and desserts. What is there not to love?!
These two are so deeply in love; you can read it in their faces. Find someone that would push you around in a shopping cart while looking at you with that heart-eye look. We hope they made a delicious meal when they came back!
Sometimes, having pets trying to get into your business is annoying. They love you, and it’s only natural they want to be next to you at all times. However, some times are a bit less convenient than others, if ya know what we mean.
This woman does not want her dog to join them in bed. For whatever reason that is, the dog looks very shocked by her decision. That threatening face and finger are telling us everything we should know about the delicate situation. Dog, trust us, get out.
A sign you fully bonded with someone is them letting you pop their pimples and black spots. It’s the ultimate form of trust, love, and a solid foundation for a life-long friendship and partnership. You got each other’s back! And even there, you might need to help clear us some backne.
That man is not even resisting it anymore. He is aware of the fate that is waiting for him at the end of the day, and he is just accepting it at this point. She is so focused, and it would be a shame to take away this joy from her.
“I Won’t Fall Asleep, I Promise!”
Couples are always arguing about this. One starts, “I won’t fall asleep this time, promise!” The other retorts, “But you always say that!” Getting defensive, there’s a, “I know, this time it will be different!” And then, it’s never different.
Of course she fell asleep. It wasn’t a surprise at all, not to her significant other; he just looks so done with it all, it’s hilarious. She is tired as heck. Either that, or she’s just so cozy in her SO’s arms that nothing could keep her from snuggling close and dozing off.
Intimacy Like This
Intimacy is a very important part of any relationship. It can be reached through different means, and each couple knows what works best for them. In this next picture, we can see how the artist portrays intimacy in her own way.
Letting someone touch your hair might be one of the most intimate things they can do—unless they’re your hair stylist, of course. When it’s your SO, they are not only touching it but brushing it or trying to tidy it up—the butterflies in the stomach, man!
The Pupper Found Its Spot
It’s great to see that this pupper got some lovin’, especially since a few of the others in Amanda’s comics got jilted. Remember, the one that the owner kicked out of the bed due to reasons unknown to the observer? Yeah, that one.
While the owners were sleeping, the dog crawled in and found its spot on an available pillow. What we find the most adorable of all is the way its little paw is out, and the legs are visible through the snuggly sheets. So wholesome.
There is nothing more satisfying than taking an unflattering photo of someone who is unaware of it. Some couples even do this as a form of banter and poking fun, lovingly, at one another. Amanda Oleander has that for us today.
These are relationship goals, as youngsters would say! He is just taking a nap on the sofa, with a string of drool falling out of his mouth, snoring uncontrollably, and she is standing there, taking his photo and sending it to all her friends.
Chopping Vegetables & Chill
This is a much better, sweeter variant to Netflix & Chill—we call it Chopping & Chill. This is the committed form of a relationship and spending time with one another. You are just relaxing, cooking dinner, and enjoying each other’s presence.
These kinds of hugs are the cutest and most comfortable thing ever. These feelings of pure bliss and happiness are rare, and everyone should hold them close to their heart and in their memory. Those hugs keep each one in the relationship whole.
At some point in any relationship, you two get super comfortable with each other, and you forget about your manners or having class. Now, everything is about who can be more disgusting and let out a longer burp or smellier fart.
The way that lady’s shirt is dirty, and her mouth gaping wide, stuffed with marshmallows and popcorn, tells us everything we need to know about the length of this relationship. They are good two and a half years in, and as happy as ever!
That Morning Breath
A lot of people love cuddling, making out, and other activities as soon as they wake up on the weekend. However, the realness of it all hits them as soon as one of them opens their mouth and that morning stench hits you in the face.
The way this man is deeply inhaling his girl’s breath tells a bigger story than one could imagine. He is in L O V E. He is not even backing away or showing disgust in any way, and she is so happy about that since she must know how bad it can get.
Doing Things Together Part I
Sometimes, when you live with a partner, doing things alone becomes a rare occurrence. Especially if your apartment or house is small, then you’ll be doing everything together. Or, at least, the other person will be in the room or somewhere close by.
This is such a beautiful and wholesome picture of a woman taking a bath and her man washing her hair while she is reading a book. Their love, although drawn and not real, seems wonderful and is absolute relationship goals.
Bakin’ Cookies in Underwear
If you have never baked anything in just your underwear with a significant other, then you haven’t done well in life! If you have both a partner and some comfy underwear, wait for a Saturday evening and do some baking!
Don’t these two look super content doing this and sharing cookies from a baking tray?! Heck yeah they do! What we also love about this are their tattoos! These two seem like one of those fun couples you’d enjoy going to festivals with!
Her Hair Everywhere
You’ve never been in a relationship with a girl if her hair wasn’t everywhere—on and in your clothes, shoes, socks, and mouth. It’s not the girls’ fault that their hair is longer and sheds periodically during the year, smh at the dudes who don’t get it!
Luckily, Amanda Oleander understands the struggle guys face when in a committed relationship and living with their female partner. She, as always, has an interesting, beautifully drawn picture to display just that. We love how relatable all her comics are.
Melting From All the Love. And Heat.
We are not really certain what the author wanted to say with this image. Like, what is the message here: is she melting from all the love, or from all the heat? We figured it was up to the spectator to figure it out for themselves.
Everyone has experienced both of these feelings at least once in their lives: melting from the heat because you don’t want to move because you love your partner’s hugs and cuddles so much. Melting from all the love at the same time.
When The Realization Hits
Sometimes, you are not aware of the kind of person you have by your side. This realization can hit you at a very random point during the day, and that’s usually at night when you are winding down. That’s what happened here.
Her face says it all! This girl is excited out of her mind. It’s interesting just how many things people can understand from cartoons and digital art of this kind. When you think of it, art becoming digital, and therefore global, might be the best thing ever.
Head & Shoulders Commercial
One of the difficult things to get used to when living with someone is the amount of foreign hair you will start noticing all around your place, especially in the bath/shower and basin. Most of this excess hair is coming from women, let’s be honest.
This looks like a shampoo commercial selling the length and volume of that woman’s hair! The man is clearly suffocating, but he will persevere for the higher cause: staying in a loving, caring, healthy relationship. There are some things that you just have to accept.
Building a Fort
Building a fort is not only a fun activity for kids, but adults can partake and enjoy it, too! If someone thinks that’s silly, here is a message for them: Don’t be so judgemental, and have fun at least once in a while!
They seem like they are having fun, and enjoying their love and their life together. Look at how their feet are rubbing together. That is a sign of pure intimacy and devotion! Popcorn is a detail that must not be forgotten in these situations! A good fort needs good snacks!
Doing Things Together Part II
In the first part, a man accompanied a woman while she was doing her regular thing. This time, the roles have reversed, and now the girl is inserting herself in a situation that does not require her at all. And that is what partnership looks like sometimes.
The dude just wants to shave, but instead of doing it the old, boring way, this girl decided to join in and just hug him from behind, being a part of his manly ritual. Well, hope he knows that he is the one that will clean those beard hairs out of the sink…
Doing Things Together Part III
This is the last part of the series: Doing Things Together. This time, differently from the first two parts, both of them are doing the same thing. Having quality time together is very important if you want your relationship to last.
We don’t know if this counts as quality time, but it sure looks like it! They are sharing their time with each other, brushing their teeth right before bed, recounting their day, and having a good laugh. Guys, enjoy all that before the kids come…
Relationships are wonderful, beautiful, and even spiritual things. However, a lot of couples agree that almost every partnership should be crowned with a child. Not everyone opts for this, but most couples do. After all, it’s a natural instinct to want to have kids. How else would the species survive?!
When a woman finds out she is pregnant, the first thing she usually does is share it with a partner. This news can come as shocking at first, even a bit frightening. However, a child can never bring anything but happiness.
Baby’s First Picture
Pregnancy is not easy. You have to visit your doctor pretty often and do all kinds of tests to make sure your baby is healthy and well. It all pays off at the end of the day, especially when you do ultrasounds and see your little one for the first time.
With ultrasounds, couples can usually tell what the sex of the baby is and start prepping. This is yet another precious, memorable milestone one relationship can go through. This is the baby’s first photograph, something almost all future parents cherish deeply.
Third Trimester Things
Entering the third trimester is something every mom is both excited by and anxious about. Yes, they are going to meet their baby very soon, but also, the realness of childbirth is approaching, and it’s nerve-racking. Thank goodness we have modern medicine to ease the anxiety a drop.
What every woman has to think about, though, besides that, is packing her bag for when she enters the hospital as one person and comes out with a new family member. “Wet wipes, regular wipes, pajamas, moisturizing cream, pads, underwear, did I forget something?!”
Welcome Home, Little One!
When childbirth is over, and you are at home with your little one, there is probably no greater happiness and contentment than that. Now, you and your partner are teammates in yet another way. You have to take care of another human being and do it well.
A child can create an even stronger bond you already had with your partner. It can further solidify it and make the three of you Three Musketeers! You are now a family, and it’s the most amazing thing you can wish for.
Getting kids to sit and stay in a highchair is usually a job and a half in itself. However, if the kid is angelic and has a soft personality, not fussy at all, it is a dream come true for the parents. These parents are doing their best to entertain the baby.
When they’re this young, kids usually forget they want to be somewhere else when you start acting all goofy and entertaining them. Then, they don’t mind anything as long as you can make them laugh that little, cutest baby laugh.
You know what they say about two-year-old toddlers… aka the terrible twos. A parent may perceive this age as nightmarish because of the rapid shifts in a child’s mood and sudden changing behaviors and the difficulty of dealing with them.
That doesn’t mean every moment is terrible. Amanda Oleander captured one of the many moments this family enjoys as a trio. We can almost hear the pillow talk… “We raised this little one; we are a team, we are happy, and no one can take that away from us.”