5 Things I Have Learned About Relationships

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My boyfriend and I are now nearing our 3rd year anniversary. With him, I have learned more about myself and about relationships than I had ever learned before. Today, I wanted to share some of those things and maybe provide a bit of advice to all the guys and gals out there who are looking for or are in a long term relationship. You've heard the basic advise everywhere, so here I hope to provide a fresh breath of what I think is most important.

1. Relationships are all different and never perfect
From early on, I started to compare my relationship to others. Sometimes, unfortunately, I still do it. But I've learned that my relationship with my boyfriend is very different from the relationships around me. What I idolize as a perfect relationship is my parents' 25 years of marriage. Still, being with A has taught me that my parents' relationship is not perfect, it shouldn't be perfect, and maybe I shouldn't idolize it. If every person is an individual, how can you expect every relationship to be the same? Although thanks to my parents I know what a healthy relationship should look like, I know that a lot of work goes into it and no one other than the couple knows better about it.

2. I learned to be comfortable in my skin
Like most women, I've always been insecure about one thing or another. When I was younger (and 20 pounds lighter), I was as if not more insecure. Although you never should depend on your partner to make you feel better about yourself, being in a long term relationship and seeing the good and the not so good has helped me grow into myself better. Yes, I gained 20 pounds in the last three years but my boyfriend still reminds me that I'm beautiful. Even if he didn't, I feel like I'm more confident in myself as a person--in my intelligence, my experiences, and the way I carry myself--so I'm not trying to impress anybody with how my body looks. Sure, I want to be healthy and look good, but I no longer have to stick to an imaginary standard on how I should look so that boys like me. Also, you know you're with the right person if, when you're in sweats and a t-shirt, they tell you that you look beautiful and when you're wearing your hottest outfit, they tell you you look beautiful. A relationship needs so much more substance than the physical aspect, which has helped me work on my emotional and mental health more, making me more confident in return.

3. It's the little things that matter
My boyfriend and I are in college, so we can't really spend tons of money at the moment. However, we both love staying at home, eating pizza, and watching TV. Sure, once in a while I think it's important to get out of a routine but we're so comfortable with each other that even spending time at home is fun.

4. People are going to judge you
I didn't think this would happen but if you're in a relationship, people will want to dissect it and tell you what you should and shouldn't be doing. But all relationships are different and although advice is very much appreciated, take it with a grain of salt and do what works for you and your partner.

5. I have learned more about myself than at any other time
I agree with people that you have to love yourself first in order to love others. I also agree that when you're single, you should date yourself and discover who you are. But I have to be honest, I have never learned more about myself than in the years I've been with A. I've learned compromise, compassion, and selflessness, as well as the things that are really important to me. As I venture into the law school world, I am constantly thinking; what will work for me? And I know that the answer that applies to this and everything else is: Family and my relationship goes first. This might seem shocking to people but I know that I'm the type of person who thrives in an environment of love and stability and that's what my family and my relationship brings. I know I would be OK if I left to the other side of the world--but I wouldn't be happy and as happy as I could be.

What are some lessons you have learned in relationships?


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