21 Things I’ve Learnt About Long Term Relationships

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I was sitting on bathroom floor the other day having a quick scroll through Facebook, (because I had just got out of the shower and didn’t want to leave the blissful hot steamy bathroom because yano, it’s winter and stuffs) when a picture popped up on Time Hop. It was a picture of me being a jolly good little girlfriend to S by scraping the mud off of his bike’s mudguards at one of his motocross races (it was legit the wettest, muddiest track I have ever seen and his bike must of had at least 100 lbs of mud stuck to it after his first session), and as I was looking at the image I realised that above the photo it said
“this picture was taken five years ago.”

Five. Blimmin. Years. Ago.

When I got over the fact that it was taken five years ago I remembered that S and I have been together seven years. Then I remembered that I am only 24, and then I remembered that I have quite literally spent over a third of my life in a relationship with S, and that’s sorta kind of scary but also sorta kind epic because he’s a total babe.

I mean look at him.

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Whit Woo <3

But anyways, apart from being able to totally objectify S because he’s my hunk of diamond-shaped chest hair, junk, I realised that I haven’t just been in a relationship with him – I have quite literally grown up alongside him.

I mean look back at your life and tell me how different you were 7 years ago.
What were you doing? Because I’m pretty sure that I was still wandering around wearing Barry M dazzle dust without a clue what ‘style’ was and wondering what the hell I was supposed to do with my life.
So yeah some things may not have changed that much. But personality wise? I have changed a great deal in the past 7 years.

I’ve gone through countless jobs, social groups, personality changes and probably a fair few emotional breakdowns, and S has been there for all of it. I mean I started dating S when I was 17 and a weird awkward teenager, and now I’m this weird awkward adult going through the “I’m technically an adult but don’t quite feel adulty enough to be considered an actual adult”  stage and it made me realise how much we have grown together, not just as people, but as a couple. You change so much as you grow up and I find it both strange and more-than-a-lil romantic that we’ve grown into people that we both still like, and admire, and, if I do say so myself, we’ve become a pretty damn good couple.

S is my first (and only lol) long term relationship and there’s so many things that you learn when you spend such a large chunk of your life with someone, especially when you live together, so I decided to share a little list of 21 things that I’ve learnt whilst being in a long term relationship.

1) You still need to be your own person.
When people ask how to make a relationship work my advice is often this:

Me You Us © www.toothbrushtravels

Because I feel like in order for a relationship to work you need to spend as much time being you and indulging your own identity and interests and chasing your own ambitions, as you do when being somebody’s significant other.

2) Support means everything.
It doesn’t matter if it’s support through a difficult time, or if your partner runs to the shop to get you a chocolate bar because you’re feeling a bit emosh – having somebody you can count on is the most incredible feeling.

3) Opening up is fuck-shitting scary.
Opening up and being 100% vulnerable is one of the most difficult things you can do, and it took me a few years to be able to perfect actually opening up to S. Acknowledging your insecurities out loud and sharing them with someone outside of your own mind is personal and raw and scary. But it’s also 100% worth it.

4) Meeting new people is weird.
You’ve been together so long that everybody knows you’re a couple, so when you meet somebody new you sometimes forget that you actually have to introduce one another.

5) Peeing in front of one another is going to happen.
It could be that you pee with the door open or he could be in the shower right next to you but you’re more than happy to take a seat and empty your bladder with zero fucks being given no matter his location. Romantic, eh!

6) Speaking of showers… Shaving your legs becomes a celebratory event.
I mean summer months are easy because epilating hurts a whole lot less when you’re not covered in goose-pimples. But smooth legs in an everlasting English winter? It’s about as likely seeing a unicorn.

7) He can’t read your mind.
I mean sometimes you’ll be craving a whole hunk of Dairy Milk Caramel and then he’ll magically walk through the door holding exactly that and you’ll question whether or not he can. But the truth is that it’s just a happy coincidence. He can’t read your mind now, nor will he ever, so if there’s something that’s bothering you, you’re going to have to psych yourself and talk about it like a real-life grown up.

8) Inside jokes are a real thing.
You used to hate it when other people had them, but now you do, you love it.
They won’t always be jokes, or even be necessarily funny, but you’ll have all these little quirks that you and bae understand and find hilarious and nobody else will have a clue what you’re on about or why it’s so funny, but you won’t even care.

9) Compliments are everything.
It’s easy to slip into a habit of not complimenting one another when you’ve been together so long. I mean of course you find them attractive, and funny and supportive or you wouldn’t be with them, but a quick grope of the ass and the words “nice butt” can change a girls mood in an instant. #SmallThings

10)  You will wear each others clothes.
You’ll snuggle into his loungewear instead of your own because his CK bottoms are so much bigger and snugglier and he’ll wear your teeny tiny purple silk dressing gown when he pops to the loo.
One of you will never admit it to anybody else… But it totally happens.

11) You’ll probably text each other when you’re in the room next door.
It’ll range from “Baaaaaaabe bring me a drink” to “Baaaaaaaabe, can you bring me in some toilet roll?” To “come and give me cuddles, I’m feeling needy… oh and bring snacks. thanks. love you xxx” but it’s inevitable that at some stage it’s probably going to happen.

12) Making an effort changes meaning.
It once meant getting dolled up to the high heavens and being a totally fancy-ass, and going somewhere fancy as, and sometimes it still is, but now making an effort covers things such as doing the washing up or going to the shop to get nibbles. Because do you know how fucking glorious it is on a sunday morning when there’s no food in the cupboards and you’re hungry and too tired/hungover/lazy to move and he offers to go? It’s everything.

13) Sex isn’t always sexy.
Remember the beginning when it was all french lingerie and silky slips that you’d pop on just for the occasion? Now it’s a combination of that and you in his loungewear because you realise that it’s all coming off anyways.

14) You still need alone time.
Time to just sit and be alone in silence. I’m currently lounging on our bed writing this whilst listening to music channels whilst singing hilariously out of tune whilst S is in the other room, watching football or playing xbox or something (who knows), and it’s great because we both get to chill out in our own space.

15) Showing an interest in each others hobbies is a must.
I’m quite lucky in the sense that S has hobbies that I find interesting like Motocross, and well pretty much any form of racing, and not like train spotting or something. But it took a while for him to show an interest in mine. It wasn’t necessarily his fault as before discovering blogging and my love for writing and photography and adventure – I didn’t really have any. But now that I do, he’s always up for coming on my little adventures and helping me get the photo that I’m trying to capture and it gives you the warm and fuzzies when you know that your beau is into what your into.
Now to just persuade him to start taking outfit photos…

16) Respect is non negotiable.
I mean this should go with out saying, but I’m an avid people watcher and so often I see couples that don’t respect one another and it breaks my heart. If one of us doesn’t want to do something we won’t pressure the other into it (unless it’s the washing up). When it comes down to space, feelings and personal preference you have to respect that a person knows themselves better than you, so when they tell you something you need to listen.

17) There’s no rush.
The biggest curse of long-term relationships is having to listen to people say “Omg you’re so young why have you settled down so young?” to “Omg you’ve been together for so long when are you getting a mortgage? When are you having children? WHY HAVENT YOU HAD CHILDREN YET??” and don’t even get me started on people who keep querying our marriage status. It is infuriating. I’ve had people that I’ve known for all of five minutes (looking at you random Grandma in Fishbourne) quiz me about why I have been with someone for so long and not gotten married and there’s no need. Don’t rush something because of other people’s expectations.
S and I know where we’re at and why we don’t have a <insert what society want you to have here> yet. Do what’s right for you and your partner and forget everybody else, their opinion of the imaginary timeline doesn’t matter.

18) Having each others back is always appreciated.
Ever been in the situation above where someone starts quizzing you? It’s a hell of a lot easier to get out of when you have back up come and shut them down with you. Same if you’re ever at an event you want to go home from early. There’s nothing worse than having to deal with people who don’t understand your decisions and having somebody who knows, supports and understands you makes life all that much easier.

19) Responsibilities should be shared.
It’s so easy when you live together to just get on with the things that need doing. But if only one of you is doing the shopping, the laundry, the cleaning and the cooking then there’s something wrong. I’m quite lucky in the sense that S and I share a lot of responsibilities. I mean he needs a bit of a gentle shove nudge to do the cooking but everything else he helps with and it makes such a difference.

20) Don’t stop laughing.
It doesn’t matter if we’re just lounging on the sofa, heading out for brunch or if we’re taking a random adventure – S is my favourite person to hang with, pretty much because he’s a total idiot, but he makes me laugh like nobody else can and let’s face it – a day without laughter is a day wasted.

21) You may not always like them (but you’ll still love the heck out of them)
If S and I ever have a disagreement it doesn’t matter how angry or sad we are, he’ll always kiss me hello/goodbye when he comes in/leaves the house and we’ll always touch legs/toes when we go to sleep. We could be fuming at one another but that little contact is a reminder that no mater what, we’re still there and we still love one another.

What do you guys think? Anything I’ve missed?

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