There are days I’m shocked that I’ve been in a steady relationship for a year.
The strange thing is that it’s not so much that we live together that shocks me, but just the fact that it’s been a year. In some ways, the year has flown by yet it’s been jam-packed with hurdles in our individual lives which translated to issues in our relationship.
Naturally, this happens in every relationship. This just happens to be the first relationship I’ve been in and it’s been quite an adjustment.
I’m used to being independent, making decisions about my life based on what I hope to accomplish, such as moving to the west coast for a couple of years. Now, I have to consider whether or not the city I choose has a good automotive industry suitable for him.
When I make plans, I need to consider his work schedule. When I record shows on TV, I have to make sure there is enough space for his shows. [No more America’s Next Top Model marathons]
These are, of course, minor adjustments. But they tend to add up.
He’s used to working a lot and spending his spare time with his friends. His job demands long hours, and sometimes it’s hard for him to snap out of work-mode and remember that there is someone waiting for him at home. It’s not that he forgets I’m there, but he gets into the zone and 15 minutes turns into 45 minutes. Which doesn’t bode well for us if I’m waiting on him to go out since I hate being late. [Biggest pet peeve EVER]
We’re both passionate, and get frustrated easily. He has ADHD, I tend to switch from subject to subject. He hyper-focuses on something, and sometimes, doesn’t know to shut up. I tend to need my space every now and then.
And then there’s money.
Right after we moved in together, and started to budget and combine our finances, I lost my job. I’m a proud person, and don’t like being the weaker one in a relationship. I learned that needing the other person is not being weaker. It’s a partnership.
In addition to the growing pains that come with the first year of every relationship, life kept throwing us curveballs.
Within the first two months of our relationship, I totaled my car & was in the emergency room [Separate incidents]. He had a car accident. We were both frustrated at our jobs. I was struggling with school. I had four roommates. We said “I love you”. I told my dad I was in a relationship. He pressured to meet my dad, thinking it would make things easier but just frustrated me more.
That is just the first two months.
We celebrated our first Thanksgiving, Christmas & NYE together. He lost his job. We fought, intensely. We had our first & second snowstorm together. We fell asleep on his parents’ couch with the fireplace keeping us warm.
We grew together, as a couple.
Lately, after all the storms have calmed down, our growing pains are coming to the surface again. We are no longer dealing with external factors that kept us distracted.
It’s just the two of us, dealing with each other.
It certainly requires a lot of patience, understanding and deep breathing.
I call them growing pains. When I talk to my closest friends about the latest argument, they ask me what happened.
“Growing pains,” I reply. “It happens. We’ll get through it.”
Because at the end of the day, no matter how tough it gets, lying down next to him feels like home.