Today marks 11 years since my boyfriend asked me to be his girlfriend, and it’s honestly insane to me to think about how we were only 16 when we started our relationship. We have truly grown together and grown stronger through all of the years, and I am so excited to see what our long future ahead holds! As he sleeps next to me, I want to take time to write a few key things I am grateful for in this relationship, that I feel could help benefit others! I could probably write a whole book about it, and maybe I will one day, but for now I hope you enjoy.
1. Patience. My boyfriend is probably the most patient man in the world; and if not, I can say he is definitely the most patient person in my world. I am so blessed to have someone who has taken the time to get to truly know me, and hasn’t been pushy or aggressive in any way. He was so helpful when I was going through starting therapy and different medications to help with my anxiety, and he was always understanding and helpful. Over the years, I have been able to improve my patience and I feel like he is a big part of that. I used to freak out over small things, like if I asked him to put the dishes away and if he didn’t do it within like 30 seconds I’d be pissed. Over time, with his help and my therapist, I realized a lot of this anger stemmed from my control issues and even though I’d feel like things needed to be done ASAP, the truth was I’d survive if it was done a few hours from then, or even the next day. I definitely annoyed the shit out of him for the longest, and was even annoyed by him for it too, but with time and patience we have been able to get through everything. I know life will continue to test our patience, but I just know we will be able to get through anything. When the time comes, I know he will be the best father to our future children, and because of him I also feel I’ll be a more patient mother.
2. Communication. In the beginning of our relationship, communicating wasn’t easy. We were both sixteen, this was my first high school relationship, and I was a very insecure, anxious girl. We definitely had our struggles- I would avoid any conflict/confrontation so if anything ever upset me I’d just hold it in to avoid a fight, but once we had any disagreement then everything I was ever mad about would come out and I would explode! He was always so confused and would ask why I didn’t tell him at the time I was bothered, and that came back to me avoiding fights (clearly not working LOL). We came up with a plan to regularly check in with each other when we were both in a good headspace and talk about anything that bothered us. This practice helped us so much and although we have grown together and have developed much better communication skills, it’s still nice to do every once in a while!
3. Honesty. This is key in any relationship, but I find that most people do struggle with this even in adult life. From the beginning of our relationship, we developed a good sense of trust. Of course as teenagers we are young and don’t know much about the world or relationships yet, and there were definitely things we had to work through, but overall the honesty and transparency is something I am so grateful for today. Even in high school, we were never the couples that had each other’s facebook logins or went through each others phones, and we still don’t do that as of today. I remember hearing how common it was so have couples share passwords and even then we thought it was so stupid; if you don’t have that trust, then don’t be together. People deserve their own lives and privacy, and just because someone did you wrong in the past, doesn’t mean this whole different human would do the same. That’s where communication comes back in, but I truly believe honesty and trust are a key foundation for any relationship.
4. Respect. Now this one is also a huge one to me, probably because I grew up observing relationships that didn’t have this. My boyfriend and I both have respect for each other, and in our relationship it comes out in our love and adoration for each other. Throughout the past 11 years, we have never called each other any names, we do not yell or swear at each other in fights, and we honestly just treat each other how we want to be treated. I have so much respect for him, I could never really talk down on him or talk to him that way, and I know he’d never treat me that way either. We both want a loving, healthy relationship so that’s what we work for!
There are so many more qualities of our relationship that I am grateful for, but he is awake and we are heading home, so I’m going to end this here. I wish you all well and a Sunday full of love!