I finally get it. I get why relationships are hard work. I get why people say you should live with someone before you get married. I get why chemistry is so crucial in a relationship and why it’s important to find someone who compliments you. I get why you have to let those annoying comments from your partner roll off your shoulders. I get why open communication, trust and honesty make the best relationships thrive. I get why it’s important to have those hard conversations early in a relationship and why it’s okay to be vulnerable to your partner when it sometimes makes your skin crawl.
I haven’t been present on the blog as of late. Partly because I’ve just been too busy, but mostly because I’ve been working on investing more into my relationship. After we lodged our Partner Visa application in August, I admitted (to myself) that I would have to work harder on us if I really wanted this to work out.
I’m not a teenager fantasizing of romance and intimacy and how to find my Prince Charming anymore; I’m 29 years old in a committed relationship that has so much potential to be something extraordinary.
Last week our Relationship Certificate arrived in the mail which basically means that the State of New South Wales acknowledges that The Australian and I have a true and genuine relationship. We needed this for our Partner Visa to override the 12-month living together requirement. While the certificate is a big deal and brings us one step closer to (hopefully) getting our Partner Visa application approved, it doesn’t define our relationship.
I’ve been trying like hell to work harder on us. To acknowledge everything he says to me because it’s his way of keeping the lines of communication open between us. To learn how to not let the little things get in the way of the bigger picture. To be more mindful of how I’m spending my money, because even though we don’t have a joint bank account (yet), much of our individual income is spent on joint purchases/expenses. To show more gratitude towards him every day. To have those hard conversations about marriage, children and a possible move to the U.S. in the near future.
Most days, it’s ridiculously easy being in this partnership – perhaps even too easy because of how well we get along and understand each other – but every once in a while I struggle with not letting the small things affect the bigger picture and not letting my own selfishness get in the way of my own personal choices and decisions.
If I’m going to be completely honest here, I don’t know what our future holds. I can’t tell you if I think we’ll get married and have babies and live happily ever after because anything could happen between now and then to change my current perspective on us. What I can tell you is that we are approaching our one-year anniversary (eek!) and we’re starting to have more of those uncomfortable (but completely necessary) conversations on marriage and children and re-locating to the U.S. because we understand that eventually these important “make-us-or-break-us” decisions will need to be made and it could mean we both have to make sacrifices and compromises that we weren’t initially prepared for.
So, I finally get those people who say, “Sometimes you just know.” I can’t really explain how we got from our first date on January 9th at Trinity Bar to here and I can’t really tell you why many of the big milestones in our relationship happened so quickly. I think the biggest factor in all of this has been our willingness to give 110% to each other every single day – even on our worst days – and having those uncomfortable conversations early into the relationship.
I guess it’s true what they say:
Nothing in life that’s worth having comes easy.