A memo on love

 

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Original illustration by Earth + Jade

 

I have been in a relationship for almost 7 years now. Through ups and downs, we made it past the dreaded 7-year itch and I am here to give a semi-educated opinion on how to make a relationship work.

In 2011, I turned 21 with him playing “Oh, Darling” to me in a room full of people. He was – and still is – a passionate musician ready to take me through a whirlwind of emotions and experiences I could have never seen coming.

You see, when I say we had ups and downs, I mean an insane rollercoaster of jealousy, fights, envy, resentment, anger – I even threw a book at his face once. The interesting thing about him is that the first month of our relationship was the strong anchor that brought us to this present day. It’s like on some level we always knew we were meant to be together because we saw each other in our purest form and wanted that to be our life forever. It didn’t matter that we exploded intermittently between periods of love because, at the end of the day, we knew our love conquered the rage that comes with growing up.

 

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We did, in fact, grow up together.  As I said previously, I met him when I was 20.  I hadn’t finished university yet and was living in a different country. He was 27 and just recently separated from his previous partner and going absolutely insane after getting rid of his responsibilities. I am now 27, an MA graduate with a penchant for spirituality and craftsmanship, and he is a 33-year-old respected musician in his field. And believe me, that shit most certainly did not happen overnight. It was a constant battle between self and love for the other.

The thing about our relationship, what makes it special, is that we allow each other to be free. We have worked through our anxieties, our jealousy, our feeling of inadequacy and we now let each other be. I have friends who ask me how I do it, and I can gladly say that I can only do this because I trust him fully and unconditionally.

 

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The thing I see the most in relationships around me is the lack of trust. This, in turn, can turn a potentially loving and caring relationship into a very heavy and tortuous one. I have learned, through my partner, that trying to make the other one jealous, or hiding something from them, can only bring discord, distrust and more insecurity to one’s relationship.

When people say ‘I don’t play games’, they usually do. Or else why mention it? Why not just be yourself and see if this works. I can be myself every single day. Like really myself. Can you honestly say the same? If not, I would strongly recommend taking a look at your relationship and just trying to talk to your partner. I have had lengthy conversations about a lot of issues my partner and I were harbouring. Some talks went on for seven fucking hours. Seven. Do you know how long that is? But we were open, honest, and it was hard to face our feelings but ultimately, it brought us to the final conclusion that we are in this together and most probably forever. From that, we learned to let go and pick our battles.

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I have had 5 lives since getting together with him. He saw me grow up, he helped me become the better version of myself. That would have never happened if I hadn’t let him. I can’t say we have it all figured out, but yesterday, we started fighting and, in a moment of unusual growth and maturity, we decided to just stop it. It just wasn’t worth our time. We know what we want, we know what our end goal is, and if that means not winning a fight once in a while, I can live with that.

Ultimately, trust your partner, invite them into your most intimate self. If you can’t do that with them, then who with? More importantly, accept them for who they are, nurture, trust and love them unconditionally. Only then will you truly know their true nature and know if they are the one for you. Never be afraid to get hurt because it’s always better to get hurt and know you didn’t miss out on love, rather than not take a leap of faith and wonder what could have been.

Happy Valentine’s day. I hope this year brings you nothing but love and growth.

 

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