I'm in my second year of college and I've been with the same guy for the last three (almost three-and-a-half) years. He was my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my prom date twice, and so many other things.

At this point, we know basically everything about one another. We can order for each other at restaurants, buy each other things like books or movies, and pick out music for road trips that we can both enjoy. He's truly my best friend.

But does all of this mean that everything is always perfect? No.

We do the long distance thing during the semester and just come home as often as we can to see each other, but that still usually isn't enough time. We go through phases where our nightly FaceTimes are more out of habit than an actual want (not that some actual desire to talk face to face isn't there, but...). We have times when we've both been growing while we're away from each other and we realize that we've grown into different places.

We disappoint one another. We hurt one another without meaning to. We're humans.

But, it's not all that either. There have been nights where we've been on FaceTime for so long that it takes one of our phones dying to make us hang up. There have been times where we've been doing this whole "growth as a person" stuff while away at school and realized that we're in the exact same spot. There have been times when we've been so good together that it feels like flying.

Is it OK that we still have those rough patches sometimes? Yes.

Here's the thing about relationships: the people involved are only human. They aren't perfect, no matter how hard they try. They are going to screw up and they are going to inevitably let the other person down or hurt the other person without meaning to. It's part of the risk of being in a relationship.

It's like that cheesy John Green quote about choosing who hurts you. Love is not a feeling. It is a choice. And every day, you have to make that choice. You have to choose to commit even when it would be easier not to, even when it would hurt less to not to.

What's not OK is not learning from the problems that you tackle together.

If you don't learn how to deal with it the next time that it comes up, it just gets to hurt you all over again, probably more than the first time just because you're kicking yourselves for not really solving it that first go around.

What's not OK is not communicating about it.

If you're feeling something, you ought to share it with the person you're closest to. Take it from me when I say that it hurts them worse to have to speculate about what's going on with you than hear the actual truth. Share with them if you're sad or angry or hurting or even really happy. Communication is key, my friends.

If you're in a rough patch, keep your head up because it's going to be OK one way or another. These are the times that make you truly appreciate the good ones, the times that make you closer and stronger as a couple.

To my own guy, thanks for being you and for letting me be me. I love you lots!