Surviving the Human Experience: Believe It or Not, Relationships Are Not Always Like Fairy Tales

I just could NOT sleep last night so I typed this up, and now I’m beyond exhausted this morning surviving on nothing but coffee. I’ve been like this lately, and I know it’s because I’ve got a lot on my mind. Shit has been going down in my romantic life that I do not wish to discuss just yet because it’s just too damn painful still. No worries. No break ups or anything, but shit could be better. We’re working on it and getting through it, but it’s a slow process. I’ve gotta heal. I realize none of this will make sense to you out of context, so I’ll just stop.

But let me tell you some insight to all those hopeful romantics out there who have never been in a long term relationship before: Love isn’t easy. Let me rephrase that… Relationships are not easy, but love is. I was never told this, so let me be the first to tell you. Relationships are not like in those young adult romance novels like fucking Twilight where they go through ONE bump in the road, and then they come back together again, get married, and then badaboom-badabing a baby pops out and they live happily ever after. Nah, bitch. Nah. Shit doesn’t work like that.

Relationships take work, honey buns! Yeah, I know! Crazy, right? “But, Heather, shouldn’t love be natural and easy? Shouldn’t you always be in love, and every second feel those sparks and butterflies in your tummy?” Yeah, in a fictional love story, sure, but there’s more to it than that. Yeah, it’s easy, at first. My lovely Joshie-poo (whom I’m still very much in love with despite our little bump in the road) explained to me that love is a chemical addiction. In the beginning, it’s all you feel is the addiction, and you gotta get your fix. He likes to point out the science behind everything, and he’ll tell you how the brain functions in love and how it’s like when you’re high. He said that’s how the foundation is established, but after that chemical addiction dies down, you get to the good stuff. The deep stuff. No, it’s not hot and passionate physically every second of the day anymore, but it’s hot and passionate in other ways.

You don’t have your first kiss anymore or your first date, but you will have many other firsts together. Like the first time you tell each other you love one another, the first time you move in together, the first time you guys purchase a car or maybe get a pet together, the first time you say “I do”, the first time you fart in front of each other. You know, all that good shit.

Along with the good stuff will come the things that will make your relationship stronger. You cannot grow as a person or as a couple if everything is easy. Your love for one another will truly show during the hardest of times. There will come moments where you’re not sure if you love him or her anymore. That sounds bad, I know, but when in a long-term relationship, that shit happens from time to time. Now if it happens all the time is when it’s a problem.

I want to share some insight because nobody was there to tell me. It’s not like they have Relationship 101 classes in school, and those young adult novels I read in high school did not help with painting a realistic picture of what it truly takes to make a relationship work. My unrealistic expectations of love and relationships almost made mine flounder. I expected too much from my partner, and I’m learning to be better.

Think of your relationship with your significant other as a garden. If you don’t tend to your garden, it will die. The same is for a relationship. It. Takes. Work. And everyday. Everyday you must tend to your relationship. Give him or her a kiss everyday whenever you see them. Tell them you love them at least once everyday. Help with chores around the house without having to be asked. Watch that crappy movie you don’t like but your partner does because you want to spend time with him/her. Have a night out every week or two to spend time alone. Go out with friends together and socialize.

But here’s another thing: spend time away from one another. You can overwater your garden. You will get sick and tired of one another if you do not have friendships outside of the relationship. I don’t have many friends (well none that live nearby and I have a slight agoraphobia), but I do love my alone time. It’s healthy to have other things outside the relationship. Go have a beer with the boys or spend a day out with the girls. I prefer to hang out with my parents and drink with my siblings and cousins. Yeah, my family are also my friends.

I have my hobbies outside my relationship that Josh doesn’t partake in, but he supports me 100%. He also has his, and I support him. He enjoys drumming, and I make it to every show he plays (unless I’m sick or it’s an out of town gig during the week). I do my channeling, and even though he doesn’t believe in any of it, he supports me nonetheless. He makes sure I have everything I need for my meditations and will leave the room whenever I do my youtube videos. But we also have things we like to do together, which is also important to have. We love watching funny videos on youtube, we go disc golfing together when we both have the time, we enjoy talking about conspiracy type things; the universe, physics, and philosophies.

Another important piece of advice is to not give up so easily on your relationship. There will be bumps in the road. Don’t expect smooth sailing all the time, but it shouldn’t always be hard work every second of the day just to be keep it afloat either. It should be fun! It’s rewarding and you and your partner should help build up one another, not tear each other down. My Joshua makes me stronger. He makes me strive to become a better person for both myself and for us.

So you will fight. You will question the relationship at one point… Or two. You will get sick of your partner, but give it time and space and it will heal itself. You must be mature to handle a relationship, which is something my 16-year-old self couldn’t comprehend. I thought I was so ready when I was in high school, but when I really think about it, I wasn’t. I had no idea what a real relationship entailed, but I’m glad I’m learning this with Josh. I wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s so patient and loving. He’s compassionate and gentle. He never raises his voice at me, so we don’t get in verbal fights. We have long talks about things. I tell him openly when I’m upset with him, but in a calm voice.

Open communication is key, so he knows exactly how I’m feeling at all times of the day. I don’t play games with him like saying, “It’s fine. Go. Go out with the boys, if you want.” When clearly it is anything but fine. That shit doesn’t help a relationship at all. Be open, be vocal, and be gentle to one another. The golden rule really works here. If you don’t know what the golden rule is, it’s the saying “treat others how you want to be treated.” Now if you want to be spat on and treated like a dumpster rat, that’s a whole other can of worms I won’t get into hahahaha!

Relationships are built on trust, communication, and mutual respect. Without those three key components, your relationship will crumble. Now don’t worry if you’re sitting here thinking, “But I don’t have trust for my partner!” Ask yourself why and then talk to your partner about it openly and calmly. Tell them what’s on your mind and share your feelings with one another <3 And give it time to allow trust into the relationship. Things don’t get fixed over night here, guys. My trust with Josh has grown exponentially since this bump has happened, and I feel that’s why it happened: to make our trust grow stronger.

Let me also say this: no relationship is perfect. You may see a couple posting nothing but happy and smiling pictures on Facebook, but let me tell you, they got their shit too they ain’t saying. So don’t compare your relationship to others. Stop reading those articles or taking those quizzes that tell you whether or not your relationship is up to whatever standard today’s society has set. Because you relationship is different, imperfect, and beautiful just the way it is. And don’t let anyone else fucking tell you otherwise. I do compare mine to others from time to time, and I’m trying not to. What works for one relationship won’t work for another because everyone is their own individual. And when two individuals come together, they make their own unique couple that won’t play by your rules or that other couple’s rules.

After over 5 years, I’m still in love with Josh. I look forward to falling asleep and waking up beside him. He makes my heart flutter whenever we kiss. I melt by the simplest touch. And (sorry if his mama is reading this but…) I still wanna pounce on him whenever he walks into the room. My heart picks up its pace whenever he comes home from work, and it breaks a little whenever he leaves to his job. I want to get into his head and know every little aspect of his day and soak up every word he says. I’d die for him. And I can’t wait to grow old with him. I want to be warm and safe in my bed with him holding me as an old, and hopefully delightfully senile, lady as I slowly transition to the next life. I know that may sound morbid to some of you, but that’s romantic to me. I want him holding my hand throughout every triumph and every disappointment in my life, and I want him holding my hand as I leave this earthly plane.

Love isn’t suppose to make sense, so don’t try to rationalize it.

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  1. Jeanne Hall says:

    I’ve told you before, my dear Heather, you are wise beyond your years. My husband and I were together 53 years when he transitioned. I thought we had another 20 years or so. My advice to anyone in a relationship is to treasure each day. You are right, Heather. Relationships are difficult, but loosing the one you love is much more difficult.

    • Heather Quinto says:

      I can’t imagine being without Josh. It rips me up just thinking about it. My love to you! <3

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