Total inspiration credit goes to somethingwinnderful.com for this post – #13 on her “What I Would Tell my Freshman Self” post is what compelled me to elaborate on my feelings on this subject.
I have been with the same guy for a while now.. thinking about how long considering my age (20) tends to stress me out. In today’s society being in a serious relationship before having a life plan is uncommon and scary. I don’t know where I’ll end up after my undergrad, and since he’s two years older and finishing up his this may – I don’t know what it will be like to be here without him.
But so what – I love him and we are happy together. So we should be together, right?
Something I dislike about myself is my tendency to compare. I know some really young people in some really bad long term relationships – does that mean my long term relationship is a mistake too? – I don’t think.
Many University students sleep around a lot at this time in their lives, and they seem happy. So would I be happier if I wasn’t committed and could get more diverse sexual experience during my early 20’s? – still don’t think.
And the biggest question: Lots of those students that experimented with different relationships through school settle down with “the one” after. So they must know exactly who their perfect match is by “playing the field” right? – still don’t think.
What I do think might be similar to Katie Winn’s opinion in the previously mentioned post. Love isn’t reserved for one special person who can only be found by searching through multitudes of partners. Love is a verb. Love is something you do and give and uphold with someone who you care about and enjoy being with. I firmly believe that if a relationship makes your life even a smidgen better than you should do whatever it takes to maintain it. To me falling in love didn’t happen because my guy is the only guy for me. It happened gradually as we grew together and continues to happen as we help each other become who we want to be. As our relationship grew the care and effort that we put into being a valuable part of each others lives resulted in love, at least how I see it.
I don’t think my long-term exclusive relationship through my undergrad is holding me back from anything, I don’t think I’m having less fun, less sex or experiencing less because of my boyfriend. I don’t think long-term and young have to be a combination that screams unhealthy in my head just because of my exposure to relationships that are just that. I also don’t think that being in love right now means I can’t possibly find another “the one” later if that’s where my life leads.
For now, love is a verb and I am doing it with my boyfriend of almost 3 years, because it makes me happy and I love making him happy. That’s all that should matter.