One Woman's First-Year Relationship Revelations

couple cuddling
Love, Self

What one woman learned about relationships after making it past the one-year mark.

I used to have an expiration date, like eggs or 2% milk. Nine months was my limit; nine months of dating and then a guy gave me my walking papers. But tomorrow will be one year since my boyfriend and I met each other at a birthday party and sometime in the next couple of weeks, we will have been dating for one year.  The Frisky: 25 Things Women (Maybe) Don't Know About Men

This whole experience has definitely been weird for me: I'd been single for the past two years and now I share a sock drawer and a toothbrush holder with someone. I've been thinking a lot lately about how much things have changed in the last year:

1. Relationships are hard. The other serious relationships that I had before David were pretty brief: one was nine months and one was six months. Those experiences gave me an inkling that relationships were hard work, but not like this relationship does. I think that knowing I'm in it for the long haul makes me work harder at resolving our differences and making sure we're both happy. That's an amazing driving force, but, well, it's not always fun times. I definitely have a new-found respect for those cute old couples 50 years deep. The Frisky: 8 Ways To Deal With Jealousy

2. The only two people who really know what a relationship is like are the ones who are in it. There are times when we get irritated with each other in front of friends and I think, 'Oh, man, they're going to think we have a bad relationship, even though we're really happy!' Or there are times friends will say they're jealous of me, or of us, and I think, 'Well, just because I don't tell you about arguments doesn't mean they don't happen.' I realize now that no one else really knows what goes on between two people or how intense the love that they share is. The Frisky: Five Ways Not To Argue

3. I've learned to let the unimportant things go. If I got angry at David every time he put a wet bath towel on our bed, we would be miserable with each other. I've had to teach myself that in the grand scheme of things, I can live with wet bath towels on the bed. In high school, I scribbled a quote from a book by F. Scott Fitzgerald on my bedroom walls: "Very few things matter and nothing matters very much." Now I finally understand what that Zen-like saying actually means. The Frisky: MERRIme, A New Web Comedy About Online Dating