Sometimes it seems as though all we see on social media are either cute couple pics or TMZ headlines about the latest celebrity breakup and drama (not that I’m not here for the Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett drama tho). Though the 5-star vacations and cute Tik Tok trends make it seem as though all of these couples are happy and healthy, they actually provide a distorted image of what a healthy relationship looks like. I’ve seen Tik Toks made by women who are proud of their boyfriends’ raging jealously and girls who obsessively track their boyfriends’ locations.
Based on these media representations of “healthy” relationships, it’s really no wonder why so many young people find themselves in toxic and even abusive relationships. These kinds of things were what made relationships seem so unappealing to me. When I first started dating my girlfriend, however, all of these fears faded. Being with her has taught me so much about what real healthy relationships are supposed to look like.
First and foremost, she’s taught me that open communication is the holy grail of a healthy relationship. I read this tweet once that said something like: a healthy relationship is one full of difficult conversations. As everyone knows, not all moments of a relationship are full of sunshine and butterflies, but what gets us through is our communication skills. She’s helped create a space where we’re both able to communicate our feelings, wants and thoughts- openly knowing that we’ll receive the other’s full support.
Second, she really has helped me love myself more. I’ve never been the most confident person, but her endless support and love has really transformed the way I see myself. I love who I am when I’m with her, and she never fails to help me see what she sees in me. She brings out my true authentic self, and she makes me feel like a care-free kid again in the best way. For that, I’m so grateful.
She’s here for all versions of myself, not just the happy and positive ones. When I’m anxious, I usually do a good job of masking it, especially around my friends. But she is so patient with me when I get panic attacks, and she never makes me feel like a burden when I go to her for help. When I begin my endless stream of apologies, she shuts them down and reminds me that it’s okay to not be okay all the time. This seems simple, but it really is so important. Because of this, she’s helped me even throughout my darkest movements, healing my pain instead of making it deeper.
A healthy relationship should add to your life, not take away from it. My girlfriend is my biggest fan, and I know that she sincerely wants the best for me. When I rant to her about struggles in my life, she not only offers me the comfort that I need, but she works through solutions with me. If I’m the problem, she helps me focus on myself so that I can be better. She’s so supportive of my academics and career aspirations, and she never makes me feel like a bad partner for taking time to grind on my schoolwork, even if that means we won’t get to talk much for a day or two. She’s my favorite part of the day; my interactions with her always leave me feeling 10 times better than I had been feeling that day.
I can’t even begin to explain how grateful I am for her. She is quite literally my absolute sunshine, and she’s shown me that the movie-type love everyone wants isn’t unattainable. With trust, good communication, respect and a whole lotta kindness, there really is no limit to how great your relationship can be!