Four years ago today, I went to a friend’s party. Truth be told, I didn’t want to go. It was raining and I was tired. But I went anyways. And when I arrived, I noticed a cute boy, asked her quickly if he was crazy and/or married and then went about my business. He approached me at the fondue table and we started to chat. He said his name was Andrew. We talked all night. A few days later, we emailed (seriously the email chain haunts me with its awkwardness and weirdness on both of our parts) and the Wednesday after that, we had our first date.
The rest is history.
I’ve learned a lot about relationships in the past year. I don’t like to blog about my super personal life terribly often, but now that the dust has settled, I will tell you that a year and a half ago, I didn’t ever imagine I’d be writing this post. Andrew and I went through a rough patch—a really rough patch. I still don’t want to talk about the what happened, because I can see now that it doesn’t matter.
What matters is what came after it.
When your relationship is falling apart, it’s really easy to blame the other person or to throw in the towel or to remain bitter, angry and stagnant. There were many times I considered letting go of the relationship all together. But something held me there. And slowly but surely, we worked to fall in love again. We talked a lot, we took walks, we went away for weekends, we practiced being nice to one another and fighting right. We had fun. We remembered why we liked each other.
It was the hardest, yet most rewarding, work I’ve ever put in to another person. And now, out of those dark woods, I can say I’ve never loved anyone more.
I love Andrew because he’s smart and funny and nice. I love him because he is hysterical and totally willing to be silly with me. Because he loves my family—not tolerates them, but gets just as excited as I do for family dinners and time with them. I love Andrew because whatever crazy idea I say I want to do, he’s 100% behind me. The man has given up sugar with me, watched multiple blog meltdowns, cheered me on in running and a zillion other hobbies. Every summer, he comes and sets up my classroom with me and doesn’t do it begrudgingly—he is into making the bulletin board paper straight and the borders perfect. I love Andrew because he listens to me drone on about things and always knows what to say, even when I know he’d rather be doing anything else.
I love Andrew because he has never shut the door on me, or on us, even when things were hard. I love him because despite our shortcomings together, he has worked tirelessly to make us better, to make this relationship good. He knows exactly how to push me to try something new without crossing a line. I know I’m always safe, loved and cared for with him. I love him because we spend hours dreaming about what’s next and he never belittles my hopes or fears.
I love him because I know I’ve gotten the best of him, because I see the things that no one else does. I love him because there is a depth and intimacy to our relationship because we live together, because we’ve put in the effort to really know one another and because we’ve worked so damn hard to make it happen. I love him because I’ve given him the best of me, and he’s treasured it, and helped my best to be even better. You always hear that the person you’re with should make you better, and Andrew makes me better a thousand times over. He’s always striving to make himself better and in turn, cheering me on and inspiring me to be better, too.
Happy-four-year-meeting-one-another anniversary, Andrew. My life is infinitely better because you are in it. I love you.