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The Benefits of a Long-Term Relationship

My boyfriend, Donald, and I have been dating for four years now, since we were little juniors in high school. Ours is a romantic tale that began in the band room- I, a trombone player, and he, a saxophonist. We shared a music stand at a football game and the rest is history.

Four years is a long time for a couple to be together so we’ve had plenty of opportunities for our relationship to go south. But, other than a brief three month period where I broke up with him (I’m a free bird, you’ve gotta let me fly!) and a summer spent nearly a thousand miles away from each other, it’s been pretty smooth sailing on this relation-ship (ha). So, before you call it quits with your partner for the summer, here are a few benefits to keeping each other around for a while.

1. You always have a date.

Got a fancy event coming up that you’re too socially awkward to attend alone? Bring your boo. If you’re worried about showing up to things by yourself (you shouldn’t be, you’re excellent company) a companion helps to ward off questions from nosey individuals, like, “When are you going to find a boyfriend?” However, being in a long-term relationship brings on a different question: “When are you two getting married?” to which I like to respond, “Tomorrow, Mom. Didn’t you get the invitation?”  

2. You can tease each other without seriously hurting the other’s feelings.

When you first start seeing someone, you often have to tiptoe around that person because you don’t want to cross any lines. Personally, I’m a rather abrasive personality so I laid on the teasing from the get-go, but when Donald was finally comfortable enough to whip out the comebacks, I knew I had found a worthy opponent. Having someone you love poke fun at you this way helps to remind you not to take yourself too seriously.

3. Your partner becomes your best friend.

Even though all of your interests can’t possibly be the same, there are so many things that you are able to bond over that you’re bound to become good friends. The inside jokes, sad times, and awkward moments that you’ve shared only strengthen your friendship and the time that you set aside for each other makes that possible. Donald and I like to connect over TV shows. Right now we’re working through the 10th season of Law & Order: SVU, and, of course, Game of Thrones. The couple that Thrones-ses together stays together.

4. You learn together.

Donald is my first boyfriend so I had to learn how to be in a relationship with someone from the ground up. I mean, I refused to kiss him for the first three months and even then I thought we were doing it wrong. Now, after four years together, we’re finally kiss compatible. Relationships are always evolving and there are always new developments to deal with, like moving away for the summer or making time in a new schedule for each other. On the lighter side of things, it’s always fun to try something new together as a couple. Donald and I have taken ballroom dance classes and cooking classes together and now we’re an expert chef-dancer duo, obviously. Learning to deal with life changes or even just learning something new together keeps a long-term relationship fresh and strong.

5. Reliability and stability.

This is the biggest benefit of a long-term relationship. Especially as youngbloods, there are a lot of things happening in our lives: hard classes, new jobs, big moves. Having someone that you know you can rely on and just BE with provides comfort and a sense of constancy at the end of a very busy day.

And if that’s not enough to convince you to hold on to your snuggle buddy for the summer, then the fact that you grow matching moustaches after two years should do the trick!


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