Boring does NOT equal bad.
By Ashley Reese
I used to take a screenshot anytime my boyfriend liked one of my photos on Instagram. I also took a screenshot when he posted a song on my Facebook wall or sent me a funny text.
This was in the early days of our relationship, before we really became official, but that doesn’t negate the fact that this behavior was doing the absolute most, being extra to the max, and just generally acting like a total weirdo.
I’m a sentimental chick, so this was definitely some roundabout way of capturing something I though might soon be long gone. I had little faith that this relationship would last, especially given the unconventional way it began: A date, a hookup, a ghosting, a reunion months later, a topsy turvy lumbering into something beyond weekend makeout sessions while listening to records on his turntable.
I made so much meaning out of these virtual interactions, as if an Instagram like meant that I was desirable, a song on my wall meant that he was thinking about me…and maybe that was true.
But what became of these screenshots clogging up my meager phone space if, as I suspected, none of this would last long anyway? Probably some fucked up torture mechanism for the future, or forgotten in the nether of The Cloud until the Timehop app reminds me of it a year later.
But I don’t take screenshots anymore. I’m also not texting my friends about every incremental progression in my relationship like I did in my early days of post-blow job anxiety or overanalyzing texts.
After nearly a year of being a couple, meeting parents, going on weekend excursions, racking up Venmo IOUs, and tackling everything from body image problems to interracial relationship woes™ to I love you’s, our relationship finally feels… normal. Hang out at his, hang out at mine, find an excuse to get burritos, nurse hangovers, Skype during work, send some cheesy emojis, rinse, repeat.
My relationship is almost getting boring… and I fucking love it.
When I say that my relationship has become boring, I mean that in the best way possible.
It’s no longer full of surprises, nasty or otherwise. My heart doesn’t pitter patter when he likes an Instagram photo and I don’t care how long it takes for him to reply to a text. We’ve gotten into a routine, and it’s a massive fucking relief.
After spending months caught up in so much neurosis and self-consciousness — I once burst into tears in the middle of the night and asked him why he even likes me — I’m finally gaining a semblance of chill. I’m not concerned about being validated by how many texts I receive from him. I’m not worried about whether or not he thinks my v-card status is a turn off. I’m not holding my stomach in anymore, hoping that I look cuter in my underwear.
I’m not treating this relationship as if our days are numbered.
I think that I’ve watched so many twee romance movies with jingly indie soundtracks that I’ve convinced myself that an ideal relationship is supposed to be littered with never ending offbeat and cutesy moments with just a sprinkle of strife. Throw in a Wes Anderson approved color filter and you’ve got relationship goals IRL.
But maybe — just maybe — a good, functional relationship doesn’t need to be like that. Maybe it’s filled with watching bad episodes of Law and Order and farting and wondering how much a cross country road trip would cost.
I’ve found solace in relishing the unsexy moments, the scenes that wouldn’t be interesting enough to make it into a TV show about my life, like the times spent lazing around and silently scrolling through our phones in unison. I’ll absently run my fingers through his hair and he’ll have his arm wrapped around my shoulder, and that’s enough. That’s all the validation I need.
This article was originally published at The Gloss. Reprinted with permission from the author.