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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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The 7 Stages Of A Breakup, As Told By Netflix's 'Someone Great'

Alexa play "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo, and max volume, please.


We all know how it feels to get your heart broken by a guy. Whether it be in your teens or in your 30s, everyone experiences it, or already has. After watching the movie “Someone Great" on Netflix, it hit me deep in my feels. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It made me realize all of the stages of going through a rough breakup, and I could not relate to a movie more.

1. When you first breakup and will cry about it to just about anyone

We all know that we do this almost immediately after a break-up. You are just trying to get out of the house so you go to the store, something reminds you of our ex, and next thing you know, you're talking the stranger's ear off in the grocery store for the next 2 hours.

2. When your friends call you and you say you're fine but you really haven't moved from your couch in two days and all you have done is eat two gallons of ice cream and watch "The Notebook" on repeat

"Just come do something with us, or let us come there."

"Nah, I'm okay, I actually have a super busy day today."

Yeah, if you mean busy as in binge-watching every episode of "Pretty Little Liars," then yeah, count me out of all plans so I can rewatch every episode for the next 3 weeks. We all know that feeling of not wanting to move out of bed for as long as you can after a break-up.

3. When that ONE song comes on at the mall, and you suddenly realize it was "your" song

This one hits differently. You're literally just minding your own business, trying to treat yourself to a little bit of a wardrobe change because of how sad you have been all week and BAM, it hits you like a train. Next thing you know you're crying in the dressing room of Forever 21 wondering where it all went wrong.

4. Finally caving in and hanging with your friends, realizing that this is what you needed all along

You never want to leave your bed after a breakup, you seem to cancel or bail out on every plan you try to make, then finally, after you have run out of tears, you actually follow through with a girl's night, and then you suddenly realize that all along, just time spent with the gals is what you needed. Trust me, been there, done that. In most cases, a dance party is also well needed.

5. The morning after your girl’s night, you realize that having these gals is better than the boy 

Having your girls there for you in such a tough time actually helps so much. It helps save the tears, the constant replaying of memories in your head, and saves you the time you could be wasting if you're sinking into a deep sadness over something so dumb. That support system is vital for post-breakup, and even I know that.

6. You let him go one last time

Whether it be writing a letter, throwing away all your old memories with him, or by finally getting all your clothes back from his place that have piled up over the past few months or years. It is a truly bittersweet feeling and might even hurt a little, but it's time. You're going to thrive without him.

7. You truly know how much better you’re doing without him

You have reached the point of no return. You’re finally thriving without him. You’re never going back, and you know how much potential your life has and how much better you are without him. Your heart is whole again.

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