For almost two years now, I have been dating my best friend. We get a lot of comments about how we make such a cute couple and that we are great. However, our relationship is a lot more than what we post on Instagram. Part of being together has meant spending two years working with my boyfriend to make the relationship work. There are days when we are both selfish and don’t think straight. There are days when we fight to the point that my boyfriend has to bring me a baker’s dozen of donuts on Valentine’s Day (that actually happened). We say things we don’t mean and have to step away from each other and the situation to think clearly. It’s a lot of work, but our relationship would not be special if everything came easy for us.
One of the first lessons we learned was going out of our way to make plans, no matter how hectic life got. We faced issues like being too busy to spend time together, and it took a toll on our relationship. We realized that we needed to figure out when we could make time for each other, and we had to realize that things were not going to just be set up for us. We had to take initiative instead of getting upset with each other. Whether it was going out to dinner on a Thursday night or hanging out on the grass near Janss Steps before class, we not only had to learn to go out of our ways to create those moments, but to also appreciate whatever time we had with each other.
The second lesson was learning to let each other do whatever made us happy, even if it took time away from our relationship. Because we were both so busy, it was easy to blame each other for signing up for things when we could be together. However, part of our relationship is accepting that we were not going to have 8 hours available for the person everyday. It was also learning to find happiness in the fact that we were succeeding at the things we signed up for. For example, my boyfriend left the entire summer to go work at a summer camp which only allowed him to message me an average time of 15 minutes a day at most. Sometimes I would not hear from him for two or three days, but I knew that what he was doing meant a lot to him. Instead of depending on technology to communicate, we wrote each other letters which turned out to be a lot more special because it was something we both took the time to make and write out instead of just typing in two minutes.
The third lesson was communicating. It’s cliché but vital to our relationship. Communication is something we still struggle with today. We find ourselves telling each other all the time, “I’m not a mind reader.” With me especially, I had to learn to not be passive aggressive nor petty because it made my boyfriend upset and caused more issues. He had to learn that he did not know everything and that he needed to listen to me. It got to the point where we had to become super specific about what was wrong and how we wanted to fix it in order for the issues to start getting solved. Even though it may seem like a lot of work, it’s worth it at the end of the day for someone who matters to you.
Although there are days when we feel like screaming at each other and just ending everything out of convenience, we know that we have worked hard to get to where we are. He is both my boyfriend and my best friend who has gone through a lot of things in life with me. Even though we may seem cute on social media, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes.