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Throughout my limited time navigating the dating world, I have learned a lot about myself. I found that I was initially guarded, stubborn, and maybe a little too distant at times to people who were interested in me. That changed, however, when I started dating my long-term boyfriend. I am still my own unique person alone, but I have discovered that being with him only enhanced the person I was capable of becoming in the best way. With that being said, here’s what I learned from being in this relationship (so far):

I Can Ask For Help

As an only child, I often found help in myself unless the circumstances said otherwise. Having a fair share of social anxiety and imposter syndrome made it difficult for me to reach out. However, I realized early in my relationship that I was able to rely on him when I had an accident that resulted in second degree burns on my leg. I called him in tears and he proceeded to calmly walk me through the process of how to take care of it, promising to check up on it the next time we saw each other. He followed through to the extent that he has taken care of me every time I have injured myself, and knowing that he was consistent in doing that prompted me to feel confident in asking him for help. That confidence has carried over to other people since. 

I’m Capable of Coexisting With Someone

I confess that I am someone who is introverted to the extent that I get tired if I don’t have time alone. My boyfriend also shares the same preference. It took a while to figure out how to coexist, but I’ve found that taking gap days to be alone and doing our own tasks separately helped. Now, one of the most common things we do is play League of Legends and Pokemon Arceus on two separate screens. It’s something that connects us, yet gives us room to do what we enjoy. I never knew or expected myself to be so comfortable with doing that. 

I Can Open Up More

It takes me a while to open up on an emotional level to people. The moment I felt comfortable with my boyfriend, however, I felt that my thoughts came to speech naturally in a way that I’ve never been able to share. We share the same backgrounds and quickly became each other’s best friends, which only made it feel natural to share the problems we had so openly. It was refreshing and comforting to know that while communicating was hard to achieve in others, that it was much easier to do so with someone I was dating. 

As time passes in this relationship, I find myself learning more about how it has impacted me. I recognize that relationships may not be for everyone and that I could go on alone, but I also know that being with my boyfriend has brought the best out of me. I consciously know that I would struggle to find someone who was just as chaotic, supportive, and loving as he is. With that being said, I’m eager to see where the future takes us. Happy 3rd Anniversary Patrick!

Kayla Batchelor

UC Riverside '23

I'm an English major that is dedicated to writing about mental health, entertainment, relationships, politics, LGBTQIA+ issues, and literature.
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