My last relationship lasted (on and off) for five years. I loved, learned, and lost a lot. Naturally, I thought being equipped with the armor of experience would make my next relationship run like a well-oiled machine.

The Universe: 

That’s not how this works. That’s not how ANY of this works.

It wasn’t until my current relationship that I learned the true meanings of all the relationship buzzwords that are allegedly required to make your relationship work(see: not drive you insane).

Commitment is easy to do when you’re in the ornamental stages of a relationship. Everything is light and fun. Our skeletons and demons are safely tucked away. Commitment is easy when your relationship is full of merriment and adventure. It gets hard when you go months of feeling unappreciated by your partner and there is a line at the door of others ready to pick up in every area your partner lacks. It gets hard when you put on a good face at family functions together after you were just screaming at each other hours before. It gets hard when your partner has said or done something that hurts you to your core and their only remedy is to suggest you get over it.

You learn there isn’t an “if” he messes up, but “when”. You learn that forgiveness hurts. You learn that forgiveness means accepting that the very thing that almost tore you apart is never going away no matter how many times it re-injures the wound. You learn that you have to love him during the times when you don’t particularly like him. at all.You learn that a few bad days doesn’t equal a bad relationship. 

You learn that everything in the aforementioned paragraph applies to you just as much as it applies to him.

I’ve learned that commitment is more than not cheating on your significant other. It’s protecting your happiness from the outside forces committed to destroying everything you’ve built. It’s protecting your relationship from good friends (and family) with bad energy. Sometimes it’s protecting your relationship from yourself: the doubt, the anxiety, the voice in your head that says “This isn’t right,” when there is nothing wrong. 

Here is Part Two