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Today is a very special day. Today is March 28th. Today is the 5 year anniversary of my first date with my fiancé. We have been together for half a decade! It also marks 3 months until our wedding.
We first met in high school, when we were on the robotics team and had chemistry together. We were both shy and insecure, but with enough teasing and strategic planning by some friends in that chemistry class, he eventually asked me out during a marathon of the original Star Wars trilogy. We now watch that trilogy every year the week of our anniversary.
People are always so impressed when they hear we have been together for so long, and it does seem like a long time for our age! They are also impressed to hear that we have never taken a break. This one is less obvious to me. It’s never occurred to either of us to take a break. We love each other and have known we are going to get married for almost 4 years now. During the 3rd year of our relationship we began to see ourselves as committed to each other as if we were married. You don’t take a break from marriage.
As 22-year-olds who aren’t even married, I may not seem qualified to give relationship advice. But I think we are uniquely qualified. We survived high school, college, long distance, doubts, mental struggles, physical struggles, changing life plans, and through it all we have grown and changed with each other. We have survived 5 years together and our relationship is still thriving and full of love.
I attribute a lot of it to acting like teenagers.
We are adults. We are very young, but we are still adults. Will has a full time job in his dream field, which he started 3 years ago. I am about to graduate college and enter the work force. We are getting married.
Yet we are grossly cute with each other. We tell each other we miss each other while we’re with each other. We cuddle whenever we get the chance. One holiday, Will remarked that we don’t act like an adult couple at all. None of the adults we know, not even his cousin, act like us. And I’m okay with that. If being an adult couple means we can’t cuddle in the backseat during a 7 hour car ride that started at 6 in the morning, well, I don’t want to be an adult couple.
And I attribute the rest to being adults.
I strongly believe that loving like teenagers is the key to keeping romance alive. But loving like adults from day one is what got us through all the ups and downs of the past 5 years. Communication was something we always considered essential. We never played games with each other. We didn’t lie. We respected each other and our decisions. We were always willing to compromise. We always encourage one another and do whatever we can to help the other achieve their goals.
We are far from perfect and we recognize that. We read books and try to talk things through. We fight, and we try to fight fair. We try not to be too proud to apologize. But we can both be pretty stubborn!
We still go on dates and give each other gifts. The frequency has gone down a lot over the years, but Will does so much for me and I only wish I could make it up to him. He would tell you that I do and that he doesn’t do anything for me I don’t deserve. To which I make a doubtful grunt.
At the end of the day, though, we are still together after all these because every day we make the decision to love one another. And then we do it.
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