Important Lessons I’ve Learned From My Relationship

EandEBirthdayYesterday, we celebrated my boyfriend E’s birthday. It was a small party at our place, and he wanted to turn 31 with pizza and cake. (Why this food combo isn’t utilized more often is beyond me.)

I’ve been dating E for a year and a half now, and I can honestly say that it’s unlike any relationship I’ve ever been in. It’s not just that I think the world of him, but I really feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself, and what it means to be in a healthy relationship because of him.

Here are a few of the things I’ve gleaned from dating E:

  • A really great partner will be your biggest cheerleader. That’s probably the most important lesson I’ve learned. As a writer, it comes with the territory that some people just won’t get what you’re trying to do. And it’s even more common for people to brush off what you’re goals are as unattainable. With E, I’ve always felt ¬†supported. He comments on every one of my BuzzFeed articles, he reads everything I write, and he’s completely understanding of the fact that I wake up at 6 a.m. each morning to do more writing. At the same time, I am equally as supportive of him. After reading his work, I had a hard time not being supportive. He’s a fantastic writer, and I believe that to my bones. Regardless of your field, be with someone who wants you to succeed.
  • Relationships shouldn’t be hard. This is actually something my mom has always told me, and I never believed her until I started dating E. It’s so easy to make a relationship complicated, if you are in a bad place or vice versa. But when it’s right for both of you, it should be smooth sailing and just fun. E and I have so much fun together.
  • Appreciate small gestures just as much as you would a big one. This is good to keep in mind, especially when you move in with someone and see them everyday. Because of that, not every moment is going to be surrounded with a big flourish. It’s really crucial to see your partner pouring you a glass of wine, or giving you an unexpected kiss, and appreciate that small gesture. (And definitely remember to give them back as much as they’re giving.)
  • Don’t yell at your partner. I mean, we’re not completely annoying as a couple, of course we do get into fights. But ours are more like heated discussions. Which maybe sounds even more annoying, but we really haven’t yelled at each other. Remembering that yelling won’t help anything is a good thing when you’re dating. There are times when you’ll want to yell, maybe even throw some things, but if you can avoid that as much as possible, then it will feel good to look back and not remember a time where someone was screaming at you, and vice versa.
  • On that note, learn to pick your battles. This is something I got a hard dose of when we first moved in together. It’s not that E and I are total opposites, but we definitely have different styles when it comes to cleaning. I tend to veer into the anal side of life, and have a hard time functioning when there’s clutter. To be fair to E, not many people are as clean as me, and he handles it well. While E is all about organized chaos. That being said, I knew what I was getting into. So instead of getting upset about the house being a little messy, I’ve adjusted to that style, and he’s similarly been good about putting away dishes and his clothes. At the end of the day, arguing about something small like that isn’t worth it.
  • Flirting with your partner should never ever stop. I objectify him on a regular basis, and I plan to keep it that way.
  • People can change. This is mainly a me thing, but I’ve always thought that I’d wait for marriage until I moved in with someone. It’s the last remnant of my Catholic upbringing, I suppose. And I was so used to being independent and on my own in prior relationships, that it never occurred to me that it would change. Then E came along, and before I knew it we were spending all of our free time together, and I never got bored. And I wanted to be around him all the time. I still do.

Happy birthday, E, and thank you for being such a great 31-year-old man!


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