What have I learned after being in a steady relationship for 3 years? I could say I’ve learned a lot, but there is definitely much, much more left. I grew up being a hopeless romantic, reading chick lit during my spare time, and fantasizing about being swept head over heels. To say the least, I thought my love story would be like a television drama, where in the hero and heroine would automatically have this connection and slowly play the game of love. Mine happened relatively quickly; all he had to do was wrap a scarf around my neck during a photo-shoot, and bam!, somehow I was attracted… and apparently the attraction was mutual.
A few months later, we were going out. And that is where the fun part begins. Can you imagine my surprise at the revelation that I had somehow fallen for a person who was not romantic at all? At least, not romantic in the way I imagined. It took me a while to get used to it, and it took him a while to get used to me too. We both held strong beliefs… which could be good, unless they were opposing. Once, I almost wanted to break up with him because of our different views on which political party to go for. We’d have a lot of arguments about the proper way of doing things, and usually, neither of us would want to back down.
Amidst the differences, we’ve learned to compromise. I gave up the notion of my boyfriend ever having the super powers to read my mind and decide to surprise me during Valentine’s day. He told me explicitly that I had to tell him what I wanted because otherwise, he’ll never know. So I did. And he listened. He needs reminding every now and then, but I figured, it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t express his feelings the way I do (because he is very sweet and romantic in his own way), or that I have to tell him what I want and how I want it…I guess what matters is that he cares enough to listen to me and do whatever it is that will make me happy… or at least compromise. I, on the other hand, have learned that I am not always right (haha) and that I should be open to new thoughts or ideas (or fine, political parties). Again, it was a compromise.
We also talk often. We spend a few hours at the end of each day talking about what happened, what we did, and we ask each other about things as mundane as what we ate for dinner. We try not to end the day fighting. He always prods me to say what I’m thinking, and I try to be as self-critical too, when I think he’s the one who has done something wrong. We talk about everything. And I’m really thankful to have someone who I can be myself with- complete with the good bits, and the bad bits. I never thought anyone could ever accept me, and all the ways that I am. I can wake up feeling all ugly and down and whatnot, and I know I won’t have to worry about making myself look pretty because for him, I’m enough. I can have negative thoughts and feelings, and talk like a total b*tch, but he’ll listen, reprimand me when necessary, and support me when I need it.
I’m so blessed to have found someone to look forward to the future with. I’m so blessed to have found someone as committed to a relationship as he is. We will be facing new challenges soon, and I’m pretty sure there will be rough times ahead, but I am writing this to remind myself that this is something that I should really work hard for. No quitters!
I am hoping to be writing a similar gratitude post next year, when we turn 4, then 5, 6, and so on and so forth! Until the next post!