Over at Band Back Together, I do a little bit of everything. One of my favorite things is DOH.
DOH stands for Dose of Happy. We celebrate the happy every Monday, taking a day that many dread and looking for things to celebrate. Each week, I write a short post about what’s making me happy.
Sometimes it’s the smallest thing, sometimes it’s more emotional. This week, I have a few things to be happy about.
Tomorrow is mine and my boyfriend’s three year anniversary. Three years ago, he took a day trip to visit me, meeting me for the first time. We’d been talking for a while but this was our first date.
He picked me up and we went to the store for snacks. We took our little picnic to a small beach park on the shores of the Puget Sound where we sat and made googly eyes at each other.
We’ve weathered quite a lot in our three years together. He helped me heal from the loss of my daughter, we taught each other how to trust again, we learned how to communicate healthily in a relationship, we became caregivers to his father, we’re learning to manage chronic illness.
Many people who see us together ask how long we’ve been married. It’s true, we’re very much like an old married couple. And I don’t see a damn thing wrong with that. When your relationship has survived all that ours has, you grow together as people.
We’re not actually married. Yet. We’ve both been married before, we know we’re in no hurry to rush things along this time. We’re happy together. We share a home, we know we’re in love. We have talked about marriage, we know that it is in our future, but we’re content with taking our time to get there. We understand that marriage is not the destination but merely a step on the path of our lives together.
We joke sometimes about co-writing a book for relationships. So many of our friends come to us for advice. I can’t pretend that we’ve got it all right or that we don’t have our problems. We’ve had our disagreements and our fair share of difficulties.
If you ask either of us what our secret is, we’ll tell you two things:
- Communicate. Sitting down and talking to your partner saves so much heartache. Learn how to have healthy conversation and conflict.
- Never go to bed angry with each other. All this accomplishes is making matters worse. You don’t sleep well when angry, you’re unlikely to forget why you quarrelled, and so you’ll wake up more angry than you went to bed and irritable with the lack of good sleep. Take the time to talk it out before bed, it’s worth it.
I’ve never understood the saying “in love with my best friend” until I fell in love with Scotty. We have enough in common to have things to talk about but enough different that we’re not the same person. He’s taught me to be a better planner and helped me to be a bit more stable financially. I’ve helped him to be more impulsive and relax a bit. Mostly, we support each other unconditionally.
And that? Is happiness.
Thank you for changing my life. For showing me how to love again, how to trust again. For teaching me about the kind of person I want to be. For loving me like you do, and supporting me in all my dreams. The last three years have been some of the best in my life. Here’s to another three more, and more after that. I love you, with all that I have, all that I am, and all that I will be. You will forever be my Lucky Charms.