Five years. That is a long time. It is a long time to spend with one person. Especially when you are young. I certainly did not see myself in a long-term relationship while I was going through college. But many times, things happen that are out of our control. Whether that involves some outside forces or not, I am not one to speculate. One thing that I am though, is grateful. I am grateful to be with the person I can call my best friend.
I also want to say that it is okay to not have found that one yet. It is okay to go through college single – you often will find many of your best friends that way. I don’t want to make anyone mad or jealous, that is not what this is about. This is about knowing how lucky I am to have my partner and best friend rolled up into one person. Are we perfect together? Not always. We argue. We definitely don’t share the same values. I would say we are two sides to the same coin though.
We are both busy bodies. He works nine to five, seven days a week. I am a full-time college student and I have worked in the past, along with extracurricular activities and so on. We are like two sails passing in the wind most of the time. But we are comfortable with this life, and we understand it. I think that is one of the most important parts of having a good, solid relationship. Both parties understand and accept that they will be busy. They won’t always get to see each other every day, week, or even month. There may be months where you only see each other once or twice. Will it strain the relationship a bit? Absolutely. But no one should ever have to give up their life for a relationship. If work and hobbies are an important aspect of your life, you shouldn’t give it up just to be in a relationship.
So how does one make up for the lack of physical contact? It is impossible to make up for a lack of physical connection. That is one of the most important aspects to any relationship. However, one of the favorite parts of my relationship is the little things. Whether it is sending good morning or good night texts to each other or calling each other on the phone just to hear each other’s voices, we do these things every day. We can’t afford big displays of affection like flowers, going to the movies, and going out to eat every week and that is okay because we rejoice in the small signs of affection.
Now it is okay to be the person who loves going out to eat, getting flowers every week, or always having to do something together. Most relationships start with a period of making impressions on each other and that is completely okay. But at some point, especially after so many years together, you will get into a rhythm with that individual that you must be willing to accept and be happy with. As individuals, you will both have difficulties in life, whether they be financial, physical, or other things. Your flexibility and understanding is key to the longevity of that relationship.
This is where being friends first is important. Whether you have known each other for years and decided to heat things up one day, or you just met this person and you aren’t sure what you are feeling. When you develop a friendship with someone, you tend to feel comfortable around that person. You are more of yourself, and you both get to see your true selves. You do things around this person that you wouldn’t necessarily do around a stranger. You push each other’s buttons. You are competitive with this person. You share secrets and emotional moments with them.
For me, the best thing about being best friends with my boyfriend is that our expectations are different. I wouldn’t say they are lower or that my standards are different than they would be with anyone else. I just know that I can be truly comfortable with him. I can wear baggy pants and a sweater one day and the next we can go out on a date and I can dress up and no matter what I look like, he will always find me beautiful.
I have also learned a lot from him, and that is something I may not have been inclined to do if we weren’t best friends first. Because I know him so well, I was willing to change myself to allow the relationship to blossom. It is important to me to plan my life out. I have a plan for the next five years, while he likes to take every day as a new day. I used to hold grudges so bad that I lost a perfectly good friendship. I almost lost him because of my jealous nature (cue the cliché girlfriend who is jealous for no reason), but I learned that every day is a new day and to not go to bed angry, all of which I learned from him. He taught me to look closely at a situation before I overreact and say or do things that I didn’t mean. Apologizing doesn’t come easy to me either, but I have learned to become apologetic and mean it. He has changed a lot himself, and I am proud of the person he has become.
So moral of the story is: your soulmate may be closer to you than you think.