HOW BEING IN A RELATIONSHIP FOR OVER A YEAR HAS CHANGED ME

One year, four flights, two cultures and innumerable Skype calls. This is how I would sum up the past year of my love life. That and a lot of easy to avoid arguments, interestingly new selfie angles and a whole lot of new found self love. Relationships in any form are definitely one of the most complex and interesting things that we create, there’s so much going on in our heads (and our “hearts”), so much learning to be done and so much growth that we go through whilst in a relationship, it’s honestly beautiful. 

I’ve been in my most supportive, normally functioning and longest no-breaks-in-between relationship for the past year. I believe that I’ve found my soul mate and that every mistake before him was a lesson to learn from to be okay and prepared for the lessons he has come to teach me too,  but I love love. I love being in love and obviously, I love being loved. I’m very interested in sex and relationships (as you may have gathered by now), and I always fantasised as a teenager about the love of my life, who was he? What was he doing at that moment in time? Did he think about me, too? Little did I know he was living in Portugal and probably didn’t have a computer yet, we met when I was thirteen online and formed a friendship, which was always flirty, a little bit more than friendly, loose I love you’s were thrown around and then we’d go years dipping our toes into each others romance box and hastily running away once things got too intimate. We weren’t ready for each other and both went on to have relationships with other people, which I’m so glad that we did.

I often wonder, had we done the whole online boyfriend-girlfriend thing, and had met when we did, would we value each other as much? I know I value him more than anything on the planet, and don’t get me wrong, I know I can be a spoilt and entitled little sod at times and God only knows how he puts up with it, but in hind-sight, all of the boyfriends that came before him and all of the flirting over the past seven years before making it official when I turned 20, were only getting us ready to be together and to truly appreciate a relationship with each other.

This isn’t actually a soppy I’m oh so in love post though, because I’m fascinated by my relationship and how I’ve changed thanks to it. I think it’s incredibly interesting how much I’ve grown as a person since being with him, and how he has taught me a lot of new things about how to stand up for myself, to push my boundaries and just do what I want to do, I’m sure he’s learned things from me too, we’ve had our ups and downs and plenty of arguments to show for it, but I didn’t actually realise that relationships can show you so much about yourself.

Before we went ~official~ I was incredibly selfish. My world was revolving around me, I had no cares in the world. I was also a lot more in the box. I kept myself to myself as I do now but this was also at the expense of not knowing how to express myself, this sex and relationships column would’ve never opened had it not been for his support, and I would’ve also never come to love things about myself, physically and emotionally, because they just weren’t brought out of me yet.

I don’t thank Pedro for who I am as a person completely, because that would be a bit silly, but he’s seen me grow up. We were thirteen and sixteen when we met, he’s seen me in my ~emo~ phase, he’s seen me as unhappy as I could possibly be and he’s fallen in love with me and I’ve fallen in love with him somewhere along the lines.

Amazingly, I feel like I’ve become less dependant as a person since we began our relationship. I’ve become more confident, but we’re a long distance couple, so this interests me a lot, because you’d think it would have the opposite effect on me, like yes okay, I admit that I do turn down going out from time to time and I hold off doing things for a bit because I just want to get on a Skype call to him for the entire day, but I’m also more willing than I once was, and as I just said, I’m also a lot more confident, I do things now that frustrate him which relate to not wanting to ask for help or talk to strangers, but this was a lot worse at some point – because now I probably will reluctantly go and ask a store assistant for help, I will order food and try my best to make conversation with people, and even though I’m still not very good at it, I’m a bit more willing to make the effort.

I also feel like he is the first person that has come into my life and allowed me to be completely myself. We have different views and clash a lot on certain matters but that doesn’t stop him from loving me, nor me loving him, and thanks to this, I feel like I’m completely Georgia around him, which then extends into how I am generally. I don’t show everyone the sides of myself that he has the honour 😉 of seeing every day, but in my writing, in the way I approach people and in the way I dress my body and the music I listen to, it’s all unapologetically me. I don’t hold back and I definitely don’t feel the need to change anything unless want to, because I have somebody supporting me and encouraging everything I want to do.

I’ve definitely done a lot of growing up over the years but I know for a fact that most of the flourishing and growing has been with him, with him being here I’ve found things about myself that I really like and appreciate, as well as things about myself that are a bit crappy and that need to be changed (harsh opinions, critical thinking when it’s not needed etc), and I don’t think there’s any shame in actually admitting that somebody else has had a helping hand in making yourself a better person, because we only know ourselves from inside our own heads, and we can only learn from experiences with other people. I know a heck of a lot more about myself thanks to him pointing things out, and even though I can’t give him sole credit for it all, because well, he doesn’t deserve the sole credit for all of the growing that I’ve done over the past few years or the past twelve months, I can give him some credit.

Boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives are very interesting, because these are the people that harbour feelings of love and affection for us and we return those feelings, and we can thank them for our own growth. The best part is: We’re growing with them. We’re changing, evolving and learning alongside them, and hopefully, becoming better people thanks to it.

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