man kissing womans cheek

My Life Is So Much Better With You

When I’m with you, I feel calm. It feels safe and comfortable in your arms. You’ve helped me realize what it means to be in a healthy relationship.

For years, I have mistaken the butterflies in my stomach for passion when it was the rumblings of trauma. I’ve defended past boyfriends who made me feel like garbage about myself or past choices. The instability and chaos were normalized. My relationships weren’t a smooth ride, but instead a colossal roller coaster.

Not with you.

There’s no inner trauma rumbling anymore. Don’t get me wrong, there was at first. At first, I was scared. Scared at the lack of chaos; picking at the small things and trying to find faults and flaws. Until one day, after weeks of journaling and talking it out, I woke up from almost a decade of emotional ups, downs, and abuse and realized that THIS is what people search for in a healthy relationship. A healthy partnership can (and does) exist.

Because with you, the world is serene and peaceful. These words that I would have previously considered ‘boring’ are my normal with you, yet we are far from boring. You’re my adventure partner. I can rely on you. Whether you’re striking up important conversations, listening to my tough stories, or helping me out around the house, I know you’re there. Securely, happily, and safely, you are there.

What I Was Searching For

Whether we choose to blame Disney movies, the media, false expectations, trauma, or more, I was searching for that ‘spark.’ The “can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of stuff.” I had convinced myself that if there wasn’t a challenge to overcome, it wasn’t meant to be. There were many nights where I told myself that my ex ripping apart my past was “helping me work on my future self.”

That just wasn’t true. Smooth, simple, trusting relationships do exist. And that ex? That ex had a laundry list of his own issues. I don’t hold it against him, because there is no point, but he wasn’t helping me – he was hurting me.

For years now, I have repeatedly told my friends that my hypothetical ‘checklist’ for my future partner had been thrown out the window. That, the lie detector said, was a lie. Internally, I continued to check those artificial boxes: older, sporty, and great butt. If you didn’t match those, then how could we ever be a match?

Then, after self-reflection and a whole lot of inner work, things started to change.

What I Ended Up With

I remember the night before we met in person. We had been texting for weeks and I had never engaged in such awesome conversation via text. I laughed, I pondered, and I looked forward to hearing from you. So, I sent you a text that evening.

“Promise me something? If we meet tomorrow and we don’t ‘click’ or whatever…can we still be friends? I think I would seriously miss talking to you.”

Thankfully, he was more optimistic than I was.

“I don’t see that happening, us not ‘clicking’, but you’ve got it.”

And so my list began to change. Was he older? No. Sporty? Not particularly. Salt and pepper? Definitely not. Great butt? Thankfully, yes. (I couldn’t get rid of the WHOLE list, could I?) Yet, my focus started to change. I wanted communication, trust, openness, calm, safety, genuine company, and reliability. When I fast forward, I want to know that I can rely on the person standing beside me. I want to feel safe in bringing up tough conversations. In hard times, I want to feel supported through them.

No games, no roller coaster, just being able to ‘be.’

When I’m With You

As the song goes (which ironically came on as I wrote this) “I like me better when I’m with you.” I like the level-headed Erica that has surfaced. You’ve brought me to the other side of chaos. In times that some may have run, you stood by and said, “What do you need?” And because of that, you’re getting the best of me. I feel free to unleash every side of me with you. My inner fears, my incredible kitchen-dancing, and more.

In return for how happy and calm you make me feel, I hope and strive to do the same for you, while also providing comic relief (of course). May our days be full of adventures, deep conversations, mutual decisions, and ridiculous dance parties.

I’m so happy you’re here, because my life is so much better with you.

About the author
Hiker of mountains, & lover of dogs, golf, & singing in the shower. Follow Erica on Instagram or read more articles from Erica on Thought Catalog.

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