How My Relationship Changed My Life

How My Relationship Changed My Life

“A lot of people have boyfriends and girlfriends, but have they actually made you a better person?”

My current relationship is going to be 2 years April 30th. Now, I know what you are thinking: “That relationship isn’t so long” or “You’ll meet other people in college.”

Please: tell me how to live my life… wrong.

I’m a 19-year-old college student, and my life changed when I started dating my boyfriend.

When I was a senior in high school, the only thing I was thinking about in April was how excited I was going to be going to go to prom, getting my diploma, and moving on with my life. I didn’t expect a future filled with honest happiness. But then my boyfriend and I met in March, and got really close as friends; he was there for me to vent to no matter the time. I felt comfortable being around him and everything felt so right. I never knew when we were hanging out as friends that I would ever date him; it took me by an honest surprise. Someone told me that he had feelings for me and I somewhat ignored it, but knew that I had to fess up to him that I knew he liked me.

When I asked him he not only admitted that he liked me, he even said that he had liked me since his freshman year of high school. After a few weeks of not knowing what we were, he asked me out. But not in a way I expected. The sweetest thing, a song; he walked up to me so casually and with a smile so nice that I felt myself blushing. He gives me his headphones and says, “Listen to this song, it’s for you.” When I listened to the song before my first class, I felt like I was going to cry. I was in such a happy state that nothing ruined my day. I thought to myself, he has such a great taste in music. When I noticed the song was from Michael Buble, I knew we would date. I love Michael Buble. I had never heard that song from him before, and in that small moment, I realized just how much this guy meant to me.

When we first started dating, we were (and still are) pretty inseparable. It’s not us being “attached” or being “unhealthy”; it is a true bond between one another that is enjoyable, healthy and fun. To anyone who has a relationship/friendship like this, enjoy it because this is love in its truest form. I have told him many things, but one thing that stuck to him was the fact I wanted a big stuffed bear” When my graduation came along he showed me this beautiful essay he wrote in English class, called “Smile.” Little did I know it was about me. This essay brought tears of happiness because it was about how he had liked me for four years and my ‘smile’ made his day whenever he was feeling down.

After reading this, I cried happy tears because I realized that this relationship was going to last. The day of my graduation party I was able to open this gigantic box; I had a feeling I knew what it was, but I had never realized the size. To my (and many others) surprise, inside that box was an 8-ft, 96-inch bear that weighed 50 pounds. This bear is the famous Costco bear that is very big...and not cheap. I named him Chester. This bear was the life of the party. Our relationship was only three months old at that time, so when people found out he had bought me that bear they were blown away. That bear still sits in my room, and I cannot wait for the summer so I can hug and sleep with it again.

The way I changed his life: I showed him how to be strong regarding his past. That is not something easy to overcome alone. The way he changed my life was more significant than what he or anyone else thought. He showed me how to take chances and do things you aren’t used to. He has also taught me to be more connected to religion and to appreciate every opportunity I have. He has shown me how to be strong and that I should never stop doing what I love. He constantly supports my decisions and tries to help the best he can. Whenever I am feeling anxious he is there, whenever I want to annoy someone he is there, and whenever I need someone to tell me “you’re beautiful,” he is there. He has stolen my heart with the dates he has taken me on. He shows me different towns, like Ridgewood, Hoboken, and even NYC! He took me on my first train ride and continues to show me the places he’s been, and he talks about the places he wants to take me. I went on a mission trip for the first time with his church and realized how much I love Ocean Grove, NJ. He is a wonderful human; he is my definition of strength.

After that first summer together, I went off to community college and he continued high school. Because we didn’t get to see each other as often, we enjoyed each other’s company more. He made me cry of pure joy with his “promposal” which was a blanket with pictures of us and a saying in the middle “Let’s go make some more memories at prom.” This blanket is something I can keep and constantly look at, and it makes me know that his heart is pure and nothing but good. When prom came we laughed and danced the night away and were so excited for our prom weekend in Ocean Grove. With graduation came committing to colleges, and my smarty-pants got into a lot of great schools. His amazing research abilities and interest in the campus brought him to school with me at St. Thomas Aquinas College. We are not weird for going to the same college; in fact, we both agreed that going to college with a familiar person would be very nice and would make for an easy transition.

There are so many past moments I haven’t shared. For example, he babysat my godson for my cousin and became a “manny” for two months. Not only was he great at this job, but he taught me how to care for babies, too. If it wasn’t for him, I would still be grossed out with changing diapers. There are also so many future plans I want to share—like, for example, he’s the reason I might be leaving the country for the first time.

This relationship still stands today and it is full of love, trust, and respect. I learned a lot from this man and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him in my life. Ashish Saundade: I thank God every day for letting you in my life. Thank you, Ashish, for not only showing me real love, but for being there for me to vent to, introducing me to your friends, making me feel like a princess every day, laughing with me, sharing inside jokes with me, taking me places I’ve never been, and making me love myself even on days that I may not want to. Thank you for changing my life in such a positive way and always being there for me no matter what.

You are my sun like I am your moon, and I love you.

Cover Image Credit: Chrysanne George

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6 Places in New York City Every "Friends" Fan Needs to Visit

Grab a cup of coffee at Central Park.

As a Friends fanatic myself, I often wonder about the places in New York City featured in the various episodes and whether I could actually visit them. Most of them are fictional or no longer exist, but there are a few places you can go to reminisce about your favorite Friends moments. So, here are 6 places in New York City you definitely need to visit as a Friends fan.

1. The Apartment Building, Obviously

The building used for the exterior shot of the apartments in Friends is real, and is located at 90 Bedford Street at the corner of Grove Street in Greenwich Village. It's an obvious must-see.

2. The Pullitzer Fountain

This is the fountain that the friends danced around in for the iconic theme song, and it's located right in Central Park.

3. Bloomingdale's

This is the department where Rachel worked before she moved on to Ralph Lauren, where she met Joshua, and where she started her career in fashion.

4. The Plaza Hotel

This is where Monica and Chandler celebrated their engagement in The One WIth Monica's Thunder, and is actually really gorgeous.

5. The Central Perk Replica

While Central Perk isn't a real coffee shop, a pop-up replica opened up in 2014 on Lafayette Street and it's definitely a must-visit.

6. Chandler's Office

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Cover Image Credit: Fame Focus

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The Truth About Dating A Girl With An Anxiety Disorder

She knows how annoying she can be, but she just prays you love her regardless of her flaws.


Anxiety: A nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

The definition makes it sound really daunting. Truthfully, there is no one way to describe generalized anxiety disorder if you have it. It is hard to live with, hard to cope with and unfortunately, really hard to date with.

Girls with anxiety are different than the average girl when it comes to relationships. That's just an honest statement, no matter how much it hurts me to say it.

We need the constant reminder that you love us, even though we know in our hearts that you do. We panic when you don't answer your phone, in fear that we did something wrong. We care about your feelings when you say that we don't need to worry and we need to be a little calmer. But it's so damn hard.

It isn't easy to love someone who worries about everything 24/7. Half the time, we know we shouldn't be doing the things we do. We know we shouldn't blow up your phone or ask just one more time if you are mad at us. But we can't help it. It says it right in the definition: compulsive behavior due to excessive uneasiness.

Being with a girl with anxiety is probably downright exhausting. It's exhausting for us to have our minds constantly running and worrying. But I promise it's worth it.

We come to you with everything because you are the one person who always knows how to make us feel better. When we are happy, you are the one person we want to be happy with. We all know the constant reassurance, reminders and the same old arguments get old. It gets old to us too.

There was never a time I wanted to have a panic attack because my boyfriend wasn't answering his phone. In my head, I knew where he was because he was usually in the same three places. I knew he wasn't mad at me because I didn't do anything to make him upset. I knew how busy he was with his classes and he was probably studying and I needed to give him space. But the little voice in my head always argued, "What if you did something wrong? What if he's ignoring you because he's angry? What if he's seen your messages and calls, but no longer wants to be with you?" And then I give in. I call, I text, I cry, I panic. Only to feel even worse 10, 30 or 50 minutes later because you answer angrily, telling me what I already knew after I did what I knew I shouldn't have done.

Having anxiety is almost like having a drug addiction. You know all the things that trigger you. You know all the ways to stay away from the bad places in your mind so you don't end up relapsing. But you do anyway and it hurts worse every single time.

Dating a girl with anxiety is as hard as it gets, but she will love you like no other. She is so incredibly thankful for all the things you put up with to be with her. Because she is worried about being loved, she goes the extra mile to always remind you how much you are loved. She always asks if you are ok because she cares about the answer and knows what it's like not to be ok.

The truth is that dating anybody with anxiety is difficult, but it isn't impossible. You get back everything you put in, even though you may not realize it. Trust me, she is sorry for being the annoying, crying, worried, naggy mess and it embarrasses her because she knows better and she wants to be better for you. But please love her. Hold her, understand her, listen to her, calm her, be there for her. In your heart, you know she would turn around and do all the same things for you in a heartbeat.

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