Saturday, February 2, 2013

With Love From An On Again Off Again Girlfriend

With Valentine's Day growing near, I've gotten to enjoy all of your heart-filled posts and so many storybook worthy tales of you beautiful blogger's relationships. I've purposefully avoided saying much about Anthony and I because, well, our story is different. But since we're celebrating love, I thought I would share with you a story of it's survival. So grab some popcorn and cuddle up because this is a long one, but well worth the words. 

So you've met my man. You've heard a little of our story, but you haven't heard that we've been off again three times in the five years we've been together. One of these break ups lasted just around nine months, with the another being only slightly shorter, and the first amounting to less than a week. 

Our first date was when we were juniors in high school. We became a couple the first months of senior year.

Freshman year was a year of changes. We coincidentally attended the same university as a couple, but separated near the end of the year when we realized being together was hindering our growth. We had come to rely too much on each other and missed some of the joys and suffering that comes with venturing out on your own. We never had to be scared or lonely because we were never alone. But we never took the chances that bring overwhelming joy and satisfaction. He left me, but our relationship didn't change. We got back together later that year. 

Sophomore year of college we officially lived together with three other mutual friends and our dog. By sophomore year, we were sharing some finances, seeing each other almost every day, and plotting how to kill each other in our sleep. The end of this year, both of us were in an awful place. We endured a messy break up in which he blamed me for every problem in his life, and I blamed myself for most of the hurt in the world. He moved out. I took the dog. He found a new girlfriend soon after. I found boyfriends, and lots of them, but mostly spent time living with two of my best girlfriends, trying to decide what I want from life. 

We were young when we met, but life circumstances caused each of us to grow up too fast. We tried to be wise beyond our years. We tried to be in a mature, adult relationship when we were children. Frankly, we were trying to hard. Then we would leave, to breathe, to relax a little, but mostly to grow and to find ourselves. We were young, and growing so much and so fast that we needed space, because without it we would have never gotten big enough. We would have been like the feet of women in cultures which bind them. We would have looked right, but too small, and we wouldn't quite work right. We'd never be able to run, or move very far. 

I've heard so many give advice along the lines of, if you break up it wasn't meant to be, move on. I've even given this advice, myself. I believe it is appropriate for some relationships. However, this isn't us. We've come back together and it works. It's hard as hell, because break ups don't just go away. Every hurt stays with us, and every so often comes to the surface. 

Then I think of why we're fighting. Why we're fighting for each other. We are here today because we could never stop loving each other. There have been times we haven't liked each other. There have been times we've straight up hated each other. But we never stopped loving each other. 

Sure, there are days I wonder what's keeping him from leaving me... he's done it before. And there are days I see the pain of old wounds in his eyes. There are days we struggle and days we fight like hell. But there are days we smile, and smile, and smile.

My relationship isn't like yours. I've been told it is weak because we didn't bear through the bad parts. I've had men ask when the next breakup is so they can get in line and women ask when he'll be available, for them. To go through a relationship as others watch for the next time you fail is rough, to say the least. But I've had people look at us and find hope. Through those years, I learned so much. I'm still learning and I have had the opportunity to share what I've found with so many. 

For now, I'll just say that I grow each and every day because once upon a time, someone told me that I wasn't my relationship. I was a strong, beautiful, independent person on my own or with him. Nothing about me as an individual changes because I'm in a relationship. We are together today because our love illuminates who we are alone. Our relationship takes each good, bad, silly thing about each of us and makes it shine. It won't create what wasn't there to begin with and shouldn't take away what was.

I didn't wish for a fairy tale, but I sure wasn't dreaming of breakups at night. Regardless of what I thought my perfect relationship would be, it wasn't going to happen. Because I'm a mess. He's a mess. Together we're a little disaster, but I'm loving every minute of it. 


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  3. thank you for your honesty! this was a great post very refreshing :)

  4. Relationships aren't always peaches and sunshine. Some days they are and some days...not so much. That you always come back to each other is beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing. Your forthrightness is both admirable and refreshing :)