This year I’m celebrating eight years with my high school sweetheart. Some may think it’s crazy that we’ve managed to stay together this long and for others it invokes the “ooh’s” and “ahh’s.” Honestly, it’s a mix of both. Just the other day I got to thinking that we’ve almost been together for a decade and I was beside myself. What’s really special about our relationship is that we’ve truly grown together—as people and as a couple. All for the better.
Sometimes my boyfriend likes to semi-joke that he doesn’t count the beginning years of our relationship because we were so young and not at all attune with ourselves whatsoever. I think our story has withstood challenges that could have easily broken us yet we persevered.
Our love is rare. Not many people can say they’re still dating their high school sweetheart and are still very much in love. I feel grateful to have met someone so incredibly special so young in life. The thing about having something so special at such a young age is that you may not be fully aware of what you have, when you have it. Time and age makes you all the wiser. Our experiences as a couple throughout high school and college (yes, we went to college together, too) allowed us the opportunity to genuinely learn about one another and love one another for who we are in spite of our flaws and differences of opinion. When we tell people our backstory, they tend to respect our journey as a couple. They don’t belittle our relationship or make us feel as though we’re missing out on the experience that dating others could ‘provide’ us with.
There are those that are iffy about our relationships because how could two people who met at such a young age still love and care for one another after all this time? As if it were the most outlandish thing that could ever happen. Thus far in our relationship, I can with 100 percent certainty say that our experiences as a couple are more than any other couple would experience in a lifetime. We live our lives to the fullest and have the best time together.
One time I remember coming back from a trip with my boyfriend and running out the door to see him the next day. My mom looked at me puzzled and asked, “Didn’t you guys just spend a whole week together? Aren’t you tired of each other.” My answer was no. When you truly enjoy someone’s company—there’s no way you’ll ever feel like you’re missing out on life. My life is complete with him and I really couldn’t imagine it any other way. That’s my partner, best friend, confidant, everything in one and I have no desire to leave true love for this idea that ‘I’m missing out.’ Missing out on what, exactly? I’m living my life—and it looks (and feels) pretty damn good to me.