My boyfriend, David, and I just celebrated our 4th (dating) anniversary and sometimes I still can’t believe it’s been that long! Yet, at the same time, I feel like I’ve known him forever. I didn’t date much at all in high school and didn’t have a boyfriend until David came around during my freshman year of college. I like to think that the reason I didn’t date much is because I’ve always been an old soul. For as long as I can remember, I knew that I was looking for a long term relationship - even potentially marriage. I saw no point in wasting my time dating for fun because I’ve always been looking for someone that I felt like I could spend my life with. Yeesh I’m starting to sound like a Bachelor contestant - sorry!
But in all seriousness, being in a long term relationship - and being in love - has taught me more than I could have ever expected. From the outside, it often looks like pure bliss. All you see from the outside are updated Facebook statuses, pretty engagement rings, and cutesy Instagram photos. You never really get to see the true grit and reality of what being in a relationship looks like. Love has its ups and downs. It’s great at times, and at other times, you just want to throw the towel in and give up! More than anything, however, no matter what the outcome, I feel that love always has something to teach us - so I thought I’d share some of the things I feel love has taught me in the past four years.
It takes a long time to truly know a person
This never ceases to amaze me. I’ve spent four years dating David and almost five years getting to know him, yet there are constantly new things that I’m learning about him and things that he’s learning about me. People are incredibly deep and complication and it’s almost impossible to truly know a person through and through without spending years on end with them. Learning how long it really takes to get to know a person has given me so much more compassion for both people I’ve know for while and new people I meet.
Having someone to be weird with is the most underrated part of being in love
This is my favorite part of being in a relationship! I love embracing my weirdness - that’s what makes me unique! Everyone is a little bit weird when they let their guard down and are completely and utterly themselves. When you’re in a relationship where you’re in love and completely comfortable with one another, you can be as weird as you want and that’s an incredibly freeing feeling!
Love has a way of showing you the worst sides of yourself
Boy have I learned a lot about myself through being in a relationship! From strange little habits to giant character flaws you can learn a lot about yourself by seeing yourself through the eyes of another. For example, I am incredibly inpatient and almost irrationally so past the 8:00 hour but I would never have known it had I not spent loads of time being completely unreasonable towards David. While it can be jarring to see the worst sides of yourself on display, it’s also an incredible opportunity to recognize them and work to improve them.
Mundane activities are not mundane activities
Growing up, I really didn’t see the point in going grocery shopping with my mom or eating a simple dinner with my family - it was just something I did because it was what my mom wanted. But now - I get it. Being in a relationship, even the most mundane activities become fun because they are with the ones you love. When going to the grocery store is awesome because you get to find new inspiration for slow cooker recipes together, you know it’s love :)
It’s not about how opposites attract, and it’s also not about agreeing on everything
I feel like we always grow up with sayings and fables of how you should fall in love or what makes the most loving relationship when there really is no right or wrong way. No person is the same and as a result, no combination of two people will ever be the same. David and I agree on a lot of things but we also disagree on a lot as well. Believe it or not, we actually lean towards different sides when it comes to politics - and from what I’ve seen, this can be a huge deal breaker for a lot of people! The thing we do agree on? That we’re both not the most educated when it comes to politics, so we don’t force our opinions on one another. While David and I have very similar personalities (both homebodies and introverts), we have almost no common interests. I’m over here blogging and crafting away while he’d rather be out camping in the mountains. When it comes down to it, your partner doesn’t have to love everything you love, but they have to support your love for the things that you love and I think that’s what ultimately makes things work.
Patience takes practice, change is slow, and compromise is hard.
It’s true that you don’t want to change anything fundamental about yourself that goes against who you are, but when you’re in a relationship there’s something called compromise that in itself requires change. I find it unreasonable to expect a relationship not to involve change. Change is a natural part of life. Situations change, people change, and life itself changes. While change and compromise are slow, difficult processes that take immense amounts of patience to endure, if both you and your partner are committed to making things work, it’s something that you’ll go through together for the betterment of your relationship.
Love is never exactly what you expect it to be, but I truly think that it has so much to teach us. Whether it’s the end goal or just a chapter of our lives, there are always lessons that we can take away from a loving experience. David and I are four anniversaries down, and hopefully with an infinite number of anniversaries to go. What do you think are the most important things that love has taught you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading♥