What I Learned About Myself in a Relationship

2019 is mine and my boyfriend's 5th year we have spent together. We've been in a relationship since we were 18; we have literally grown from teens to adults together. When I say 'we've been through a lot', I don't mean what you might expect.

I don't mean rocky periods or arguments, or catastrophic personal issues, I mean your usual progression from sixth former to being a (supposedly) 'grown' 20-something. Numerically it's only 5 years, but there's quite a big jump between the way we all generally experience and perceive life as an 18 year old and as a 'proper' adult. I've been thinking about what 18 year old Millie thought I knew about myself, life and love - compared to what my adult self feels. My relationship with Sam has definitely taught me a lot: 
I'm not the strong independent woman I thought I'd be
I went to an all girls school, and I'm pretty sure that I could count the number of boys I knew on one hand. Understandably, I was never that girl that had a boyfriend. And obviously when you're 13, 14, 15, it's hard not to compare yourself with the popular girls who were changing their Facebook relationship status every other day and uploading photos of them and their beau doing that cliche 2009-esque 'heart hands' gesture (you know the one I'm talking about). I'd be lying if I said that thinking about what it'd be like to have a boyfriend didn't take up a lot of my time; maybe I watched too many Disney movies growing up (likely), or maybe I was just being a typical teenage girl (equally likely). To rebuff my envy that I never had a boy standing outside the school gates for me, waiting to hold my hand whilst he walked me to the bus stop, I think I convinced myself that I was so independent, I just didn't want a boyfriend.

My first serious relationship was when I was 18 - me and Sam met at a friends birthday 18th birthday party all that time ago, and we've pretty much been inseparable since. I promise that, whilst this post is supposed to be reflective, I do want it to be light hearted, and not soppy! So let me just get that bit out the way: Sam makes me believe in soul mates. I was not a whole person before I fell in love with him, but he completes me. Gross, right?! It's true though. When you align with someone the way you do when you're truly in love, you feel it in your entire being. You're finally just you - which is absolutely enough. Naturally, when we're apart, I don't feel right. Sure, the first half an hour is welcome alone time - wanting time alone is healthy, after all! But the rest of the time, it's almost like having an itch you can't reach. I can feel his absence, even if we're texting the whole time. Not being able to feel his arm resting against mine - or even just hear him typing on his laptop across the room -  is really noticeable, but loneliness isn't the right word for it. It's like when you've just finished a good book, and for a short while you don't really know what to do with yourself next. It's like when you've been on a long road trip, and the journey back is long and boring, but you're on the edge of your seat because you just can't wait to get home again.
So it turns out I'm not the 'strong independent woman' my 17 year old self was convinced I was, or would be. I need, literally, my other half. No situation is stressful, saddening or scary if he's with me. I'm not overwhelmed when he's by my side. Sam is the solution to literally any problem I could ever have. I simply would not be okay without him. Not just that, but if he wasn't my partner, I wouldn't be me. Out of principal, I want to say that 'I think it's a sad statement to make and I wish it wasn't true', because, does anybody want to be dependent on someone? But it feels right to me. I feel so secure in my relationship that I'm not scared to acknowledge that Sam completes me, because I know he's never going to go anywhere. He's literally my other half, and I think that's the way it's meant to be.

Everything Is Better Shared
The outcome of needing your other half is doing everything together. It's not that I can't do something without Sam, but it's just never as good. I can go to the cinema with my friends and have a nice time. But it'd be 100 x more fun if I went with Sam. A spontaneous midnight drive to McDonalds is an adventure with him. A long weekend trip goes from being just a nice little holiday to being a little bit magical. I know five years together isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, but everything's still exciting together. Not in the sense that something incredible could happen any minute, but just I enjoy Sams company so much that everything is so much better together. (Please don't @ me Jack Johnson!) 
I'm not the funny one
I've always liked to think of myself as kind of a funny gal. I find interacting with people so much easier when I'm making them laugh. But Sam is really funny, his sense of humour is wicked and he says the wittiest things so quickly! I realise my sense of humour is drab compared to his. He can make anything hilarious.  I absolutely can't share anything he says publicly because it really is vile humour!

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