Before my current relationship, I had never really been in love. I had never even been in a serious relationship, for that matter. Still, a hopeless romantic to my very core, I used to spend a lot of time thinking about what it would be like once I did find that connection with someone. Would it be love at first sight? Would she be anything like Scarlett Johansson? It would for sure be like a romantic comedy right? I imagined montages of us trying on silly hats at the mall followed by us walking hand in hand down the street laughing and eating ice cream cones while The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” accentuated the playful mood in the background. I imagined constant bliss, no arguments, and certainly neither of us would have to compromise any of our previous behaviors and/or habits in any way!
Fast forward to today when I have been smitten with my significant other for a little over a year now, and have learned that maybe some of my expectations were a little off. Here are a few things I didn’t expect to happen when falling in love for the first time.
1. I became one of those people who say “we” instead of “I”.
I used to really hate it when people did this. When I saw one half of a couple respond to event invites with phrases like “Count us in!” or “We are so there!”, I would think to myself, “But you are both equally capable of speaking for yourselves! Speak for yourself, you co-dependent twit!” Alas, I have since become someone who uses “we” instead of “I”. It’s just a good time saver, to be honest.
2. I gained 15 pounds.
Yup. Apparently, the “fat and happy” stereotype is a stereotype for a reason. So many dates at your favorite restaurants. So many pizzas ordered for movie nights on the couch. So many “Okay, we’re going to eat better starting Monday” lies told every Sunday night. And this probably goes hand in hand with the fact that…
3. My Netflix time has doubled.
I thought I watched a lot of Netflix when I was single, but I seem to watch way more now. I’m pretty sure it’s because the most satisfying thing you can ever do is put on sweatpants, lay in bed with a human that you love, and watch 3 to 11 hours of streaming television.
4. I started taking annoying selfies less…but replaced them all with annoying couple selfies.
Sorry for becoming the type of person we’ve always made fun of, all social media followers.
5. I became more motivated to do the things I love.
It’s no coincidence that I’ve been writing a lot more over the past year and a half. My girlfriend is a very smart, funny, passionate person who knows what she loves and what she wants. Spending time with her has made me want to be better. Not in an “I only want to do this to impress her” kind of way, but in a “Hey, I think I may have potential I’m not using” kind of way. But if it DOES impress her, far be it from me to stand in the way of that.
6. Mundane things became fun adventures.
I never thought that some of my favorite moments with a person would take place during a trip to the grocery store. I never thought that inside jokes could be born out of a trip to the laundromat. I never thought these would be activities I’d enjoy doing, but it turns out that when you’re looking at everything through rose-colored glasses, even the dullest of activities can seem like fun outings.
7. Oh, not everybody sleeps like me?
She has approximately one million body pillows and likes to wake me up mid-sleep if she thinks of something she needs to tell me. I try not to laugh at her huffs and puffs of annoyance when I climb over her to get out of bed in the mornings, (she describes me as a “giant, clumsy Saint Bernard puppy.”) Having to get used to each other’s sleeping habits was something I’d have never assumed would be an issue, but it has been quite the journey.
8. I became more aware of my faults, in a good way.
Believe it or not, I, Krista Doyle, am not perfect. *Pauses for audience gasps and objections* No, no. It’s true. Selfishness, jealousy, stubbornness, and impatience have often found their way into my relationship, shining a light on some of the grosser parts of my personality. Having to own up to and take responsibility for the less-than-perfect parts of yourself is never fun, but it does assure that you’re always growing and even brings you closer to your significant other.
9. I realized the importance of making time for yourself.
I’ve never been much of an “alone time” kind of person. I love being around people. If I’m by myself for too long, I get antsy and need to get out and go do something or I feel like I’m going to explode. These days, I spend a large chunk of time hanging out with my girlfriend and when I’m not with her, I’m with other friends. This leaves little to no time for being alone and I can now identify a little more with those “alone time” kind of people. I obviously enjoy every second I’m with my girlfriend or my friends, but there’s definitely something to be said for allowing yourself the space you need to re-charge.
10. I started to feel (a little) more accepting of adulthood.
I’m far from looking anything like what most people would consider a mature adult, but being in a serious relationship has made me feel a little less “all over the place” and a little more accepting of the things that come with adulthood. I now enjoy cooking. I purchased a real bed instead of just sleeping on a mattress on the floor. I love shopping for couches and rugs and cookware to fill the apartment we’re moving into this Fall (I never thought I’d care about what kind of rug would go best with the TV stand, but here we are.) I still sometimes eat pizza for breakfast and I have holes in most of my sneakers, but, you know, baby steps.