This last week Ben and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary (September 9) and shortly after that … will be our eight-year dating anniversary. At 25 years of age I have shared the last eight years of my life with the same person. Since high school to be exact.
Having known one another since high school we have really gotten to know each other. At that point in our lives we had no idea who we are or what we wanted out of life. But our relationship made it through all of that, which is saying a lot. Together we experienced every immature part of growing up together. We’ve dealt with jealousy, anger, heartbreak, sadness, and every little bit of insecurity one has while growing up. Because of all this we really know each other and on a level I don’t think many other couples do.
We have seen each other through graduating high school and college, moving out of our parents, buying a house, getting married, career changes, loss of family and friends, family drama and more. We have pretty much shaped who we are together, there is no hiding from each other because we really do know each other.
However, knowing each other, having been through everything together, can be tough to deal with at times. There can be times when it feels like we have nothing new or exciting to talk about. That we’ve done and said it all. It’s something we must constantly work on. To communicate, to share, to try new things. It is all too easy to fall into a rut when you are so comfortable with someone. So, while really knowing each other is something incredibly special, it is also something that comes with a lot of work.
Having been together for so long we have a lot to reminisce on. The memories we have together make up a pretty extensive list and it is fun to be able to look back on a memory from when we first met at 16 years old. It’s a great way to reflect and remind each other of how far we’ve come and why we are still here.
However, while it is always fun to look back on the good times, because we’ve been together for so long, there is also an extensive list of not so good times to remember. For me, I am learning how much the past can still be part of the present. Especially if there are things we haven’t dealt with or healed from. It can be difficult at times, to not only have to remember these bad memories, but also learn to deal with them so many years later.
As high school sweethearts, we’ve made it through some incredibly tough times together. Those critical teen and young adult years where you are trying to figure out who you are and what you want, dealing with the past/childhood, while still trying to plan for the future. We went through all that together which forms a bond that I am pretty sure most couples do not get to experience.
Of course, all couples grow together, but a lot of them don’t make it through those growth spurts. It can be incredibly hard to navigate, especially when one person is growing and the other seems to stay stagnant (we’ve been there). But we had to learn how to deal with the growth at a young age and early on in our relationship. Dealing with it isn’t easy, but it has allowed us to now recognize when we are going through a rough patch. When things get rough for us, it’s probably a good sign that things are starting to shift and that we need to figure out how to go through it once again.
Growth never stops, so this isn’t something you deal with once or twice in a relationship and then move on from it. It’s an ongoing thing and it’s not easy to go through over and over and over again. But when you want something or believe in something hard enough, you figure it out. You learn ways to adapt and love the new person/relationship that has come from the growth.
The one that is destined to spend their life next to you won’t mind your flaws. Your soulmate, your one true love, your person, whatever you want to call it, they won’t be bothered by your imperfections. This person will accept you for who you are. They will fall in love with our wild, untamed side, they will find your silly little quirks cute. Your different opinions and ideas will not be something they’d wish to change. In fact, your difference may inspire them to question and change certain things in life. They will quiet your loudest insecurities and calm down your paranoias. They will not judge you. They will understand the reason why you always overanalyze everything. They will know the reason you do this is because you deeply care for them. Most importantly, the right person for you will never hurt you, leave you, lie to you or abandon you. They are going to take care of your heart and soul the way they take care of their own.
That is what being married is. But there’s something beautiful about it anyway, about wanting to fight for something commit to building with someone. We are really young, and that’s scary aspect were going to change a lot. I have no doubt that we were meant to end up here. We will no doubt continue to learn about each other, reminisce on all we’ve been through, and grow together.