It’s not a coincidence I’m sharing this post today. One year ago on September 7, 2016 my boyfriend and I met for the first time. To celebrate our one year anniversary I wanted to share what being in a relationship has taught me and advice my younger self would appreciate.
Let me briefly recap my relationship for those of you who aren’t aware. This is my first ever relationship, I hadn’t had experience with boys before. My focus was school and boys weren’t a priority. I knew I liked boys but I didn’t have male friends and wasn’t in situations to talk to and meet boys. Fast forward a few years to August 2016, I was in a good place, I was happy, recently landed a new job and felt brave enough to take the plunge and try this dating thing. Like lots of people my age, I joined Tinder. My experience was positive, I am a good judge of character and didn’t do anything I regret. After a couple of weeks my boyfriend and I met and we are as happy now as we were in the beginning.
I am quite private when it comes to our relationship, people know it exists but I don’t talk too much about it.
So, what has the relationship taught me?
1. Be Yourself
This one is a cliche but it’s true! I can truly say I am an individual and I do things my way and don’t follow everyone else. When I was on Tinder I didn’t feel like I had to act a certain way to get attention or say funny things to make conversation. I’m not afraid to be honest and say what I think. When you act naturally you feel comfortable and the other person picks up on that.
2. Don’t Overthink
Prior to my relationship I was worried I wouldn’t know what I was doing and worried about how I was supposed to act and how relationships work. I stopped that very quickly and actually feel like I’m a natural now. Don’t rush into anything, take your time – whether it’s working up to meeting someone, flirting or dating. Don’t commit to something if it doesn’t feel right and never give in to peer pressure. Know your mind and what you want and you won’t go wrong.
3. Respect One Another
I tend to think about things in a different way to other people. I don’t judge and when I ask questions it’s genuinely because I’m interested in what a person is saying. Listening to what people have to say, taking in that information and processing it is one of the greatest ways to show respect for someone. You feel valued and it makes you more open and willing to share if you know you’re going to be heard. Trust goes hand in hand with respect for me, if trust is not there you’re not going to feel respected and want to show respect. Respect feelings, respect choices but most of all respect what makes someone happy – who are we to judge people’s happiness?
4. True Happiness
Being in love feels wonderful and beautiful and makes you feel in ways you didn’t know you could. Happiness has been difficult for me in the past. Good things would happen but something would go wrong and leave me worrying about the bad rather than focusing on what’s good. Ever since I met my boyfriend I see things in a different way and focus more on simplicity and being happy in the present, happiness is a journey not a destination and all that. I’m grateful whenever we spend time together, we don’t have to do anything in particular, I just enjoy being with him. I’m grateful to have met someone who has become my best friend and I admire the sense of calm he possesses.
5. Communication Is Key
From day one the communication between my boyfriend and I has always been strong. I don’t think a day has gone by where we haven’t communicated in some form. I’d like to think we have similar mindsets and we always make each other a priority. We always send good morning and good night messages, it literally is the ‘first thought in the morning and last thought at night’ thing. We’re cute if I do say so myself! Never have I been let down or felt I couldn’t rely on him.
What have you learned from relationships – good or bad?