It freaks to me out when I realise that, on Saturday, I will have been with my boyfriend for three years. How could it have been three years? To celebrate we are going to visit some elephants and then going to stuff ourselves silly with Italian food. Can you think of a better day out?
Technically this is my first relationship. When we meet, we were both at university: students with no real experience of the outside world or love. Now I have a full-time career, he is going to do his post-grad degree and we own a house together. How things change.
In the last three years I have learned a lot of things about the world and about myself. The spirit of my anniversary (and the gooey romance that it brings with it) has got me thinking about what’s important in my relationship on a scale from big, massive, huge issues to the things that no one remembers but me.
It’s about making each other happy
At the beginning, I spent so much time making sure we were equal. If I text him first yesterday, I would wait until he text me today. We would spend the same amount of time at each other’s houses. Boy, did that get annoying fast!
Eventually (and it took a while), I realised it wasn’t about equal contribution to the relationship: it was about working to make each other happy. Throughout the course of a (healthy) relationship, there will be times when one person can put more in than the other. And just because they don’t match you step for step in what you do doesn’t mean that they aren’t contributing and showing that they care in their own way.
So I offer to do things that make his life easier. And he does so for me too. We’ll order something off the menu that we don’t really want to let the other person have half of it as well as their own meal. I’ll buy him white chocolate coins at Christmas because I know it’s his favourite.
A large part of this is trust. I can happily do this for him because I know he will do the same for me. You don’t want to be taken advantage of. But I don’t want to be in a tit-for-tat only relationship. I like to see him smile.
There is nothing better than when we both love a song
You don’t sing and you don’t dance.
Except when you are in the car with me, singing to the new song on the radio with crazy voices and (my) funky dance moves (though you called them something other than funky).
Special couple moments.
“No man is worth your tears and the one who is, won’t make you cry”
I call bullshit.
To say that someone you are incredibly close to and that you are investing a considerable about of your time and energy/emotions into won’t make you feel bad once in a while is ludicrous. Even Prince Charming was rude enough not to get Cinderella’s name first time around.
Your partner is human (hopefully). They make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes hurt you. It may suck but sometimes you will cry. And sometimes you’ll scream and shout. Sometimes my partner makes me sad. He can hurt my feelings by something he’s done just like I can.
But (of course there is a but), we never mean to make the other one upset. And we’ll do better not to do it next time. If someone doesn’t care that they’ve upset you then you have an issue.
I’m jealous of your hair
How do you get it to stick up like that without any product?
It’s better to laugh than to cry
Maybe this is a general life lesson.
I am an over-analyser. I can be quite sensitive. I had little experience of men in any context prior to seeing my boyfriend. All of this led to a clash at the beginning. I would get wound up over little things he did (the punctuality thing was a big bug bare of mine). I would tell him this (perhaps in a less than effective fashion) and it would led to an intense discussion or argument.
What I learned from this wasn’t how to win and get my way in these situations.
Instead, I realised some things aren’t worth getting upset over.
I could have spent the rest of our relationship (and it would have been a short-lived one if I did) picking at all the little things and getting myself more and more upset about them. But you have to let some things go by. The longer we were together, the more we have picked up on what bothers the other one and tried not to do it which helped.
The biggest thing was that I learned not to wind myself up about minor things. It’s important in our relationship that we bring these sort of things up when something that really bothers us happens more than once rather than “Oi, you’re five minutes late. I WILL KILL YOU!!”
It saves the pain of getting into debates which are no fun and leave no one feeling good.
You can tell when a man really loves you when he gives you his last chip
Fuck flowers. Fuck chocolates. You want to give me your last chip? AFTER EVERY MEAL?
You are the man of my dreams.
Sorry for the relationship advice but this milestone got me reflecting. I’d love it if you liked this post if you enjoyed my ramblings! I’d love to hear what you think about what I’ve said or if you think there is anything bigger I should have picked up on!
On a last note, I am aware that the following tidbit is very true.Follow @jenwatson91