Now this is a topic I can speak on with a fair amount of experience. Tomorrow is our 11 year anniversary and only by the grace of God have we made it this far.
We met on the island of Kos, in Greece. We were only 18 and each on holiday with our friends. We didn’t know each other before hand and I can’t lie and say it was love at first sight because we met on Bar Street and it’s safe to say our beer goggles were well in place! Nonetheless, as we all paired off, I quickly realised not only did I nab a handsome dude, but one with a brain. Those were some of the best memories of my life. I count myself lucky, there was only 1 before him – yes I was a late bloomer, ha!
How did we last this long? All I can put it down to is, not playing games. Some people set all these rules. Don’t do this, don’t say that etc. Then they wonder why it doesn’t work out. If you pretend to be someone you’re not, when your crazy comes out, don’t expect the other person to stick around. I didn’t do the whole, I need to wait 3 days to call rubbish – I was my over-excited craycray self from day one.
We also maintain lives outside our relationship. To me this is fundamental. So many people think they need a partner to complete them or make their lives whole. Well here’s a bit of news, you are whole – you were born that way. Yes, being in a relationship can enrich your life, but you need a good foundation in yourself. This is precisely why so many stay in toxic relationships, either too scared to be alone or, too uncertain who they are without their partner.
To me, relationships are about enrichment. Having someone who adds to your life and let’s you return the favour. They champion your ambitions, but aren’t afraid to say “hey love, you’re way off base”, thereby encouraging you to be better, think better!
Ultimately we love each other and stuck at it. As the old Jamaican saying goes ‘don’t pick and pick until you pick s**t’, ha! These 11 years have not been easy. Everyone goes through stuff, but every relationship is a sum of its parts, and that includes the tough times. Here, we give each other space (usually after a craycray rant from me ;)) – I don’t mean leave the house or, stop speaking to each other. Instead, just do you – go plan an outfit, read a book, just get distance from the situation. Then come back together at some point to discuss what happened. This is important, you have to see things from the other side and be willing to accept it at face value. Most of all just keep moving forward.