As of today, I’ve spent three years with my best friend. Last year, I wrote about everything that happens when you date someone for two years. I was pretty thorough, including things like:
Having outdoor adventures, sharing your favorite music, tv, and movies, stealing half of their closet, having an abundance of gifts from them, becoming best friends, becoming part of their family, dealing with life together, and choosing them every day.
I am so happy to say from firsthand experience that the same can be said for three years.
We have continued to have outdoor adventures; boating, swimming, camping, and hiking near waterfalls and along the Great Lakes.
We have continued to share our favorite music, tv, and movies; we’re seeing Maren Morris and Sam Hunt in a month! He’ll probably yell at me for sharing this, but I got him to watch “Gilmore Girls,” my all-time favorite show, all the way through with me. We’ve also seen some pretty good movies in theaters this past year, like “Finding Dory” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
I can still look around my room, be it my dorm or bedroom at home, and easily find traces of him. It goes beyond clothes; there are pictures and pieces of jewelry and little things like water bottles, calendars, and fuzzy socks.
Half of those things also serve as reminders of his welcoming family; I have a framed picture with his sister, and his mom is the one who picks out my purple fuzzy socks and yearly Taylor Swift calendars. I’m looking forward to my fourth summer of adventures and “making memories” with them.
The last few things, I feel, go without saying; obviously, we’re continuing to deal with life together, choosing each other, and remaining best friends.
That’s how I started this, and that’s how I always refer to him; he is, first and foremost, my best friend. He is someone I seek to laugh with, to hug me tight when I am overcome with tears, even when he has to do it with words because he is too far away to physically hold me, and someone whose love and support I never have to question. I can be the worst version of myself, and have been, and know he won’t leave. He’ll give me space or let me know that I am crossing a line, and I appreciate it because I need it sometimes. I am impulsively honest, pushing the limits of truth and perspective, and he tells me when I go too far. Sometimes he tells me without words, because he is such a genuine person that his emotions don’t hide well. He’s much easier to read than I am, and I give him so much credit for decoding many of my silences and other passive-aggressive bad habits. He knows me better than I think he does, and I can tell because he constantly surprises me in the best ways possible. That is something he’s been doing for three years, something I could never get tired of.
Last year, I said that being with someone for two years gives you a good idea of what love is. Once again, that is even truer now. The thing that has amazed me time and again over the last three years is how easy it is to fall in love with the same person again, when you’re choosing to see them and accept them and return their kindness and care. It is not always easy or necessarily what you feel like doing; sometimes it is easy to be critical or to focus on other things. I feel incredibly lucky that I am in a relationship that communicates well – constantly and without screaming matches – and so, we keep each other on track. We remind each other why we chose the other in the first place, and we do our best to be a little bit better than we were three years ago.