1. You learn pretty quickly that nobody wants to hear about how awesome the two of you are together. And I mean nobody. Noooooobody.
2. When your girlfriends (or uh, you know, dude friends) are complaining about their relationships during ‘girl’s night’ you just kinda laugh along and avoid eye contact because at this point, you really have nothing to add to the conversation. Uh, he sometimes leaves the toilet seat up…? Heh…
3. People will try to convince you that the fact that you guys pretty much never fight and agree on most things is a weird fluke that can either never last, or isn’t healthy. You try not to let this freak you out.
4. You’re like the poster couple for your group of friends, often in the worst possible way. When another couple isn’t getting along or is in the process of breaking up, they turn to the two of you and say things like ‘why can’t we be like them,’ or ‘you guys are so lucky to have what you do, it’s not even fair.’ Talk about a guilt trip.
5. You’ve probably been labeled as ‘boring’ or ‘settled’ and everyone seems to steer clear of inviting you out on wild nights on the town because they assume you’d prefer to stay in. They aren’t exactly wrong per se. Still, the offer would be nice!
6. Everyone is almost constantly asking when the two of you will get married.
7. Or have kids.
8. Sometimes you might feel this weird, judgy pressure that if the two of you aren’t always perfect all the time that everyone is going to point and say ‘ha! Knew it! Just like the rest of us!’ Like the two of you ever pretended you weren’t.
9. You think there is a lot to be said for going out and having fun and then getting to come home to someone you love all sleepy and smiling in bed waiting for you. They are both great but one is a little more emotionally fulfilling than the other, you have to admit
10. Being together is easy, easier than you ever actually thought it could be. It feels natural, unrushed, unpressured. So easy it makes you wonder why you ever put up with all the crap you did before. Seriously, why did you ever think it needed to be hard and challenging all the time to be a real, fantastic relationship?
11. All that junk you read about the ‘right’ person making you want to be a better person is incredibly true. And it isn’t because they make you feel like you’re not good enough or they need you to be more, in fact, it’s the total opposite. Their complete and utter acceptance of you gives you the courage to continue on the path to being a better, stronger you.
12. You understand that in a healthy relationship you should still be your own, independent person, and for the first time you actually feel that way. You want to be in your relationship, you don’t have to be in it, and that truly makes all the difference.
13. There’s a lot of talk about relationships holding people back, and some of it makes some sense, but you know that not all relationships are created equal. You’ve struggled through those bad ones, the ones that held you down and tortured you for months or years, so you can now attest that quality makes a huge difference. A good relationship is going to propel you forward, not shove you backward.
14. There is also a lot of talk about traveling or doing things on your own, and you might be able to attest to these things. Trying out new stuff by yourself is awesome. It is also awesome to share those experiences and moments with someone you love. Someone who will remember them with you and cherish them as much as you do. You’re not sure if one is better than the other, but you know that they are both awesome and meaningful.
15. You sometimes get this weird feeling like people expect you to apologize for being so happy and content in your relationship. Like your happiness is offensive to them because they don’t have something similar. You certainly don’t want to rub it in anyone’s face, but you sure as hell shouldn’t have to feel sorry about it. On that note…
16. You find yourself doing and saying things you once swore you would never, ever, do. Like finishing each other’s sentences. Using the word ‘we’ when talking about yourself or your plans. Buying matching clothes or accessories. Using obnoxious pet names no one else understands. You find it fairly disgusting yourself, to be honest.
17. You have a newfound appreciation for ‘the little things.’ The big moments matter, of course, but it’s the little ones that really bring it all home. Remembering how you like your coffee, or your favorite brand of tea. Maybe they recall your favorite color and know you love sweaters so they just randomly surprise you with them. You know they love a specific show so you always make sure to record it on the DVR or you know their favorite meal and perfect it for them.
18. Facebook hates you. Seriously. You fall in right around the ever-bitched-about people who dare to post pictures of their babies and children. No one wants to have to scroll past your two happy faces on some fun, exotic trip or clinking glasses of wine together over a celebration for some sort of life achievement. And god forbid you get engaged, might as well just delete your account and save yourself the shame.
19. Sometimes, honest to god, your relationship scares the shit out of you. It’s intense, it’s real and you find yourself letting go of all those self-protecting walls and preconceived notions until, one day you realize, this person could really mess you up. They’ve managed to effortlessly maneuver their way into your life and heart that they now have the power to tear it all down. That’s where trust and courage come in, two things it can be hard to have and maintain.
20. Things have been going great, fantastic really. For the first time in your life you understand what all the hype has been about. But you really do understand that things won’t always be so bright and shiny, but you do believe the memory of how great you are together will get you through all those rough moments relatively intact. Just because something isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean it isn’t great.