1. Surviving a long road trip without wanting to kill each other and even, dare you say, enjoying it.

The best parts about road trips are the music and the food. Curated playlists from Spotify, drive-thru runs to McDonald’s and Wendy’s. But after a long time, even those things can grow stale. And in the past, you’ve had your fair of road trips that started out delightful and entertaining and ended with fights, grumpy moods, and total claustrophobia. But with the two of you, even the longest road trip in the world complete with car issues and traffic jams can still be a really great experience. You’re constantly laughing and entertaining each other and you never run out of things to talk about – while still feeling totally comfortable with silence. It’s the best combination you could ask for.

2. Leaving each other cute notes.

Sometimes it’s for a birthday, sometimes it’s for Valentine’s Day. But sometimes it’s for no reason at all, other than to make each other smile. And the best part is, a large majority of the notes would make no sense to anybody else. There are the typical “I love you’s” and “Thinking about you’s!” that are left by the keys or stuck to the bathroom mirror. But there are also the notes filled with ridiculous and bizarre inside jokes, that only you or your partner would understand and that make you laugh hysterically, even when it’s 6:45 in the morning and you’re still half-delirious. But that’s the best part – you leave each other goofy and silly notes that only make sense in your world together.

3. Seeing each other in your most unflattering states – sick, sleeping, hungover, or all three – and still being so attracted to each other.

You feel completely like yourselves around each other. You still love dressing up and putting effort into your appearance sometimes for one another, but you’re just as comfortable being unshowered, un-made-up, and wearing your most tattered-yet-insanely-comfy clothes around each other. You’ve seen one another’s ugly sleeping face, you’ve drooled, you’ve survived your worst hangover day with them where you could barely move – and you know that seeing one another this vulnerable only makes you feel stronger for each other.

Irreplaceable You

4. Having fun together while doing all the tedious adult responsibilities that you normally dread, like grocery shopping or getting your oil changed, because when you’re with them, you can have fun doing anything.

You used to reserve a special kind of hatred for grocery shopping on a crowded Sunday afternoon. Same goes for doing laundry, mopping the floors, putting your comforter back inside your duvet, cleaning your bathroom, running errands, and everything else you put off until the end of the weekend. But whenever you work through these tasks while keeping each other company, they’re not only bearable – they’re enjoyable. Not because you love doing any of these things, but because you love doing them when you’re with your person. Because no matter how dull the undertaking, you’ll spend the whole time laughing and smiling if they’re by your side.

5. Spending an entire weekend on the couch together, eating food that is deliciously unhealthy for you and binge-watching your favorite show.

You know they’re the one when they love going out for a fancy dinner with you, but they’re just as happy to be with you when you’re chilling in sweatpants and throwing back your third piece of pizza in ten minutes. And when you do this for an entire weekend, finishing an entire series and eating everything from Chinese delivery to Italian takeout, you know it’s a sure sign that the rest of your life will be filled with these sweet, comfortable, and simple little moments in time.

Irreplaceable You

6. Breaking the ‘bodily functions’ barrier and feeling totally comfortable around each other now.

Nothing else needs to be said here.

7. Helping each other move.

Bonus points if the move occurs in the middle of the summer with the sweltering heat. Nothing says ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m willing to spend my life with you’ more than carrying boxes labeled ‘books’ or ‘kitchen stuff’ up three flights of stairs for your entire Saturday. Moving is stressful, frustrating, exhausting, and seemingly never-ending. So when you help each other move and don’t even feel obligated to say ‘I’ll buy you pizza and beer afterwards!’ you know you’re in it for the long haul.

8. No longer worrying about looking cute in front of each other while you’re eating.

Eating pizza with a fork and knife? Long gone. Not finishing your burrito bowl in one sitting in under eight minutes? Long gone. Eating your burger slowly and patiently and constantly pausing to use a napkin? Long gone. How can it be real love if you can’t show them the real you at your most hungry point? You guys are way past the point of trying to look sexy and polite when you’re eating – it’s all about being yourselves, barbecue sauce on your face and all.

Irreplaceable You

9. Developing your own bizarre, complicated shared lexicon.

The two of you are so relaxed and natural with each other that you’ve unintentionally developed your own unique shared vocabulary. Sometimes it’s words that you’ve made up, sometimes it’s words that make no sense to other people, sometimes it’s a noun that you’ve ungrammatically changed into a verb. No matter what, you have your own shared shorthand and sometimes don’t even realize you’re doing it until you’re having a conversation at dinner and one of your friends has to say “what in the world are you two talking about?”

10. Loving when you make fun of each other, and how it’s always weirdly affectionate.

You’re so happy with each other that not only are you amused when you mock or imitate one another’s strange quirks or behaviors – you’re flattered by it. You know each other so well, you pick up on the smallest things that you both do, and you’re endlessly fascinated by one another. So anytime one of you is teasing the other, it’s never mean-spirited – it’s always full of lightness, joy, and pure and simple love. TC mark

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Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

This is me letting you go

If there’s one thing we all need to stop doing, it’s waiting around for someone else to show up and change our lives. Just be the person you’ve been waiting for.

At the end of the day, you have two choices in love – one is to accept someone just as they are and the other is to walk away.

We owe it to ourselves to live the greatest life that we’re capable of living, even if that means that we have to be alone for a very long time.

“Everyone could use a book like this at some point in their life.” – Heather
Let go now

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