On Friday, Liam and I celebrated nine years as a couple. NINE YEARS! Pretty huge, huh?
Unfortunately, we were both poorly so our celebrating included ordering a Chinese takeaway and watching Netflix. Usually, our celebrations are a bit bigger – a nice meal out or something like that. But every year we do get each other gifts so I am now the proud owner of a T-Rex planter, cute paw print necklace and the game What Do You Meme? (+ the basic bitch expansion pack, because Liam knows me too well).
Speaking of which, we got each other the same dinosaur gift bag to put our gifts in – clearly, a sign we’ve been together ~too long~, right?
But today’s post isn’t a brag about how great we are at buying each other gifts, or how “in sync” we are when it comes to the reciprocal to put them in. No, today’s post is all about the lessons I have learned from being a girlfriend for nine years.
…Patience is a virtue
I love being early, something that Liam really struggles with. It used to stress me out so much when we would be late for things because of him but now I am learning that we are simply different in that respect.
Yes, I still get a face like thunder when we’re running behind, but I am getting better at being patient and not just understanding that we are different, but the reasons why.
In most straight couples, it is supposedly the woman who takes the longest to get ready…but for us, it’s the opposite!
…Communication is everything
I’m fairly certain we got over the whole “keeping things to ourselves” a while ago. Maybe we ~overshare~ now, but we can confide in each other without judgement and offer a helpful ear when needed.
We’ve been through some pretty big stuff in recent times, and it has taught us to be open about how we feel so that we can navigate it. There’s no one I trust more than Liam and that’s the way it should be in a long-term relationship.
…It’s giving and taking
It’s easy for a relationship to lack balance. If you’re putting in all the effort and not getting as much (or anything) back, then what’s the point?
The balance might shift over time, but the thing I find most crucial in keeping balance is speaking up when you feel like the balance is uneven. Don’t suffer in silence if you feel like you’re putting in more or all of the legwork to make things stay afloat. I can guarantee it won’t be long before you start feeling bitter about it.
…Everyone needs space, sometimes
I’m an introvert who can handle social situations but definitely has a limit. If I’m working in an office all day, or am otherwise around people a lot of the time, I have to balance that with some me time.
This was a hard lesson at first I think – when I worked in an office and Liam worked from home, it was difficult on him that when I came home I wanted some time by myself. After all, he’d spent all day alone and finally had company! But over time we have found a balance that means we can have time together in the evenings and weekends but have separate spaces to be by ourselves when needed. He even has his own man cave now, and loves it!
Usually, the time I need to myself is only about an hour or so before bed, so it’s easy to still have that much needed time together as well.
…Know that you want the same things
You don’t need to be 100% aligned in your wants and beliefs because where’s the fun in that?
For example, Liam wants to be surrounded by movies, and I like a decluttered space – so we have separate rooms now to accommodate this. But there are some things when you really do need to be on the same page.
Neither of us wants to get married, and neither of us wants kids. If we disagreed on the marriage and/or kids front there would always be an elephant (or two) in the room and that just isn’t healthy.
Do you know what else really isn’t healthy? Trying to force a change in the other person’s mind. If Liam started to try and convince me that having kids was a good idea, I’d be out the door. Not just because kids are the worst, but because I’d know he wasn’t respecting my choices.
Saying that I do send him dog videos quite often because I ~really~ want a dog when we become homeowners…but he loves it really.