5 years. Half a decade. That is how long Matt and I have been together for. Ask me at the very start and I would have told you I had my doubts. Not because Matt is not my “perfect kind of guy” because in a way he is to me, but because at the start, he was not like I imagined my perfect guy to be. We were so different.
Nobody’s perfect until you fall in love with them.
One would think to make it work, you need someone who share similar or the same interests and believe. Whose opinions and ideas line up with yours. Someone who never makes you blind with rage due to stubbornness. Someone who agrees with you and supports every decision, even bad ones because you are you and they love you unconditionally. Admittedly, those qualities make a relationship easy. Having someone to agree with you in all matters of your life might be nice. However, the criteria of being with someone who is exactly the same never came up on my list. Heck, I threw my list out the window a few months in. Not because I was settling but because I realised I didn’t even know what I wanted until he started ticking new boxes he created on my list.
You never get to choose who you fall in love with. It just happens. At first, yes, you start to read down your list and you start to pick out things that are lacking but if you fall in love with the right person, even if he looks like the wrong person, you will realise that you can live without those things so essential in the previous relationship. Because the words on the list get tweaked to suit him or it gets replaced with something better.
What I found to have worked in this relationship:
- Realise that your love is conditional. I love Matt to bits, don’t get me wrong but understanding that my love for him and his love for me is based on the condition of continued respect for each other reminds us to never take each other for granted.
- Embrace your differences. As long as your values line up with each other, having differences in opinion and interest adds more to the relationship. It opens up other parts of the world otherwise concealed to the other. We discovered food, hobbies, experiences that we would never have experienced without the other. In my relationship, I bring in the adventure and Matt brings the relaxing experiences.
- Arguments can create both positive and negative changes in a relationship when done right. My best advice is to have a discussion before an argument but if a clash is bound to occur, prepare to see it through. Avoid the silent treatment. Talk to each other. Don’t bottle things up, argue when you need to then let it go. Get your point across and always listen. Arguments can sometimes push the relationship forward. However, one must always remember that a healthy argument should include calm banter of opinions, plenty of cool off periods and the both of you should come up with some resolution to the problem. Aim to finish of so you both win. Compromise is key.
Here is to many more years Matt! Thanks for being my partner in crime for the past 5 years. It has been fun. I love you.