3 Years Later. What Have I learned?

Well – may as well write about this now since I haven’t yet!

Relationships.

October 4th will be my three year anniversary (longest relationship I’ve ever had!) with Kyle; and MAN it has taken work.

PS quick birthday shoutout to this hunk, he turned 31 last week!

That’s not to say these last 3 years haven’t been special, because I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world; but in three years time, you really get to know someone and even more, you really get to know yourself. You get to learn what you look for in a partner, you start to look into the future, and you start to evaluate what you want out of your life. Funny all the things relationships can bring out, but that’s why we call each other partners. This life we’ve built together is a partnership because it takes both of us to keep it going.

I met Kyle in September of 2015 and he came into my life at what was a very confusing and difficult time. I always say 2015 was the best and worst year I’ve ever had. I ended one relationship, my horse of 10 years passed away after having an aneurism while I was riding him, I started going out and drinking a lot, got myself into other weird dating situations just to end up even more confused, my grandpa passed away, I met Kyle, I graduated from college, and I landed my first big girl job. Lots of things happened.

But it was all after I met Kyle that I had something I looked forward to, that I longed for, that brought me peace of mind. I don’t know if I believe in fate or not, but I do believe in timing and I think we were supposed to meet at this time. A time when I was a completely vulnerable 22 year old about to go through a major life transition and not having a clue where I would come out on the other side. I’ve never been more sure of anything else since the day we met that I wanted this relationship. I knew I wanted it so much that I’m the one who kicked things off and I’m the one who confessed I wanted to be in a relationship first – I went after it! PS, ladies, this is a very empowering feeling 😉 Men shouldn’t always have the make the first move!

All of that aside, the biggest takeaway I have after 3 years is communication and understanding your partner’s preferred method of communication (aka love languages). I HIGHLY suggest looking up the 5 love languages if you haven’t heard of them before. My therapist is the one who introduced me to this concept and it has been a complete game changer since then. When you start to understand WHY your partner responds a certain way as opposed to focusing on HOW your partner responded, you open up so many more levels of communication. We have to learn to love each other the way we want to be loved. And with Kyle and I being 6 years apart, this was actually tremendously helpful in understanding each other and each other’s past experiences in relationships.

For example: I am all about words of affirmation. If Kyle gives me an “I love you” or “I’m proud of you”, I am happy and it makes me feel close to him. Kyle on the other hand prefers physical touch. If he comes home from work and I greet him with a big hug and a kiss or we hold hands out in public, that’s when he feels closest to me. It’s hard to remember, but we try to assume positive intent with each other and remember we have different love languages. It’s all about learning how to practice your partner’s love language to really show them you know what matters to them.

This is a topic I could go on forever, but I wanted to share the biggest lesson I’ve learned in 3 years. If you take anything away from this post, I want it to be these two things:

There are 5 love languages and not everybody receives or gives love in the same way and to always assume positive intent.

Because at the end of the day, Kyle and I are together because we want to be together. We each love the person the other is and we want to put in the work it takes even during the worst of times.

Sorry for the abrupt ending of this post, but I feel it’s a good place to stop until I continue on about this topic in the future. There is a lot to say about the journey of our relationship from meeting family, moving in together, adopting animals, buying a house, cancer, and many other ups and downs.

Until next time!

XOXO,

-H

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