Over the summer, I saw a video circling around Facebook titled something along the lines of “Things You Need to Thank Your Boyfriend For.” I’m a sucker for click bait like that, so I watched it. There goes three minutes of my life that I’m never getting back. The video was filled with things like “When you complain about the girls at work,” “When he gives you a back-rub because you’re on your period” and “When he lets you cry to him over stupid little things, even though he has no idea what you’re crying about because you’re just a woman who only knows how to cry, burn food and bleed.” Okay, maybe I exaggerated that last one a bit, but point being, I was a little offended. So, in retaliation to that video, and also because my boyfriend and just had our sixth month anniversary, I made my own list of things that you should be thanking your significant other for.
1. Accepting (and maybe even liking?) your weird, little quirks.
My boyfriend and I are complete opposites, so sometimes our little habits get on each other’s nerves. For example, Killian eats Kit-Kats the wrong way. He’ll bite right into the bar, instead of breaking them apart along those nice, vertical lines along the candy bar. It was such a divisive thing, but he came up with a nice solution-- Bitesize Kit-Kats, so there’s no wrong way to eat them. Compromising saves relationships.
2. Surprising you with small gifts
Sometimes, the unexpected things are the best, like when you’re too busy to do laundry and your S.O. takes care of it. Or when they text you on their way over to visit you and they ask if you want them to bring some food because they know that you haven’t had a chance to eat a real meal yet today.
3. Knowing what you like…
We both love gummy bears, so we just buy the enormous bag and share. Killian’s favorite spice is ginger and he’ll put it in everything he cooks.
4. ….and what you don’t like.
I hate vegetables, so when he makes stir-fry, he gives me a scoop without a ton of green stuff because I’ll just eat around it all. He also eats all the orange gummy bears because I hate citrus fruits. It’s like the Olive Theory on How I Met Your Mother.
5. Respecting your personal life and other commitments
Being in a relationship is like committing to another club or organization-- if you don’t put in the same amount of time and effort that you put into all of your activities, it’s hard to keep up. Being with someone who can respect that you have a life outside your relationship with them is important. Almost everyone has been in a relationship where you lose touch with yourself because you become so attached to the other person, and if that relationship goes sour, it’s hard to find yourself again. Each person in the relationship shouldn’t be afraid to have their own things that their partner isn’t involved in or doesn’t want to be involved in-- it helps you stay true to yourself while learning about a new person that you want to share a huge part of your time with.
6. But still being interested in your hobbies
Killian and I are both huge nerds, but we’re different ends of the nerdy spectrum. I’m into video games, history trivia, and PokemonGo, while he builds models and studies engineering. That being said, we have more in common than we sometimes think, and we teach each other new things. He lets me come over to his house to play Kingdom Hearts, one of my favorite video games from my childhood, and he taught me how to play Magic: The Gathering (and I beat him the first time we played against each other.) I don’t understand a word he says when he starts talking about Material Sciences, but bless his heart, he still tries to explain it to me because I’m gonna figure it out one day.
7. Trying new things with you
Killian and I met through a mutual friend at a party. I had just started going to Swing Dance club, so I asked Killian to come one week. Now, swing dance is something I look forward to every week because we both enjoy it so much, and we make a killer team. Even when we mess up a move, we’re having fun and we’re learning. We also tried carving a pumpkin for Halloween, something that neither of us have done in years, and that was actually pretty successful.
8. Introducing you to new things
Whenever anyone asks me what my favorite kind of music is, I usually say that I don’t have a favorite, but “I’ll listen to pretty much anything, except for heavy metal.” Killian’s favorite music is heavy metal. After a couple of road trips and an introduction to the “safer” side of the genre, I found that I actually like it a little more than I thought I would. Killian’s favorite band played a show near his hometown this summer and we went to see the concert - it was an amazing show and I loved the performance. He also introduced me to the comedic brilliance that is The Office. In return, I had him watch my favorite movie, The Princess Bride. I promptly fell asleep halfway through the movie and he continued to watch it, so if that’s not Boyfriend of the Year worthy, then I don’t know what is.
9. Making you laugh
In my opinion, being with someone who can make you laugh is the most important part of a relationship. If the person you’re with can tell a joke or do an impression that makes your sides ache, that’s the kind of person that you should be spending your time with. If you’re me, you snort when you laugh too, which makes them laugh.