Saturday, 11 February 2017

Small Words, Big Meaning

personal lifestyle love relationships saying i love you reflection

It's three days until Valentine's, and that's often a day people either love or hate. As someone that hasn't dated much, it's never been a big deal to me, and even now that I'm in a relationship, I still don't see Valentine's as a big deal - it's just another date night, really, this time with a fancy title on it.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I am not a sentimental person. I'm not someone who goes around telling people how much I love them and how big a part of my life they are, and, in fact, I find it really hard to trust people and let them in. So for me to have gotten this far with Jack - that's a big deal. I've said 'I love you' to two men in my life. One was several years ago by text whilst I was drunk, missing him desperately and knowing full and well he didn't reciprocate my feelings to that extent. The other person I've said it to is Jack.

For those of you behind on the story, you can read about my relationship here and here. Jack and I will celebrate our second anniversary in August this year, but it feels like so much longer. We had our honeymoon phase, where he constantly crashed over at my house (bcos he had work the next day and I didn't, mwahaha), we cuddled all the time, we text 24/7. We made it through our first time abroad together; journeying on the plane; finding our way to our apartment; and he bought me my current favourite MAC lipstick from the duty-free. We've already endured some hard times; me being unemployed and emotionally unwell; Jack struggling at work; and, most recently, we started the new year with mild fights but cool, icy silences. 

And despite all that, despite the tension and the cold, dark quiet on the other end of the line, we made it through. I knew when I entered a relationship it wouldn't be easy, that there would be hardships. I know myself, and I knew it was going to be difficult - I don't open up easily, I don't talk about things, and I often pick fights just so I can vent and let out some frustration. But I haven't wobbled, haven't wavered, haven't doubted our future even in the hardest circumstances. Early on in our relationship we spoke about marriage and a future, of fur babies and potential human babies. We knew we were in this for the long haul, but I think it has surprised me that as humans in a relationship, we can go through so much shit and still be content, be happy with each other and be in love. 

No matter how I describe myself online, and no matter how mad I can get at him, my heart will always be full of love and affection for Jack, the guy who makes me smile just by looking at me; who can turn a shitty day around just by offering to come round for a few hours to watch Netflix and snuggle; who happily receives and appreciates the rare times I take nudes; who puts up with all the ranting I do and the moaning and the nagging; who patiently guided me through the beginning of our relationship because I didn't have much experience with dating; who says if I want a purebred mini sausage dog puppy, then that's exactly what I'm going to get; who will drive me wherever I need to go, even if it's just to drop clothes off at the charity shop, and not complain one bit; and who encourages me on every whim decision I make and every venture I think of and decide to chase.

I'd wanted to tell Jack for so long before I eventually did that I loved him, but there was big mix of things stopping me - partly I was waiting for the 'right time', you know, some romantic setting where I looked all pretty and the stars were out; partly I was waiting for him to say it first as it would ease my fears; and lastly, I was scared as I'd never said it to someone's face, and I was petrified that he didn't love me back. Looking back, this last one seems a little silly. We'd been dating for sixteen months and been through so much shit - if he didn't love me and if he wasn't happy, we wouldn't have still been together, it was as simple as that.

I think we were both surprised when I finally said it. I had planned to say it, but I didn't think I'd actually go through with it. It had been nearly three weeks since I'd last seen him, so when he gave me a lift home I told him how much I'd missed him. And then I said it. Quietly, and a little clumsily. Three small words with a really big meaning. He was definitely caught off-guard at first, but when Jack said 'I love you too' I couldn't help but pull him closer and kiss him harder, and when I got into my house five minutes later I admit that I sat on my bed snivelling and smiling for ten minutes because my heart couldn't quite keep up with it. Even better was when he said to me later on that it was 'well overdue' - and I was glad I wasn't the only one who felt that way.

And I realised that the thing I missed the most about not seeing him for three weeks - other than kissing his face off, cuddling at night, and his laugh - was that I missed talking to him. Telling him every detail of my day; keeping him updated on how I'm going to start posting just twice a week here on the blog; about how I'm exploring more potential careers; and how, after my tattoo appointment in March, I'm going to stop saving as much for them and start saving for a house. I have so many thoughts, and so much going on in my mind about how to create a future for us whilst still trying to maintain a balance of keeping myself happy and enjoying things that I want. I wanted to tell him about the douches at my work and have him make me laugh about it; to tell him how some of my money each month is going on boring shit we'll need when we move out like cutlery and kettles and how I'm so stupidly excited to do adulty shopping with him. I missed all the cute romantic things, but I missed Jack as a friend too. He's my partner, and he's my best friend, and it sounds so obvious and silly but I'd never really noticed before just how much I love to share and talk with him - he's there to laugh with, to talk work with, to excitedly tell about the new TV show I've been watching. He's there to help, to encourage, to swap secrets with, to hold my hand and look after me when I'm upset. He's that person who, after a long shift at work, I want to curl up with and moan about my night, and he's that person who I always want to tell first whenever something happens. I ordered cute new lingerie? Tell Jack. I almost got squashed by a palette in work? Tell Jack. I'm looking at a specific career path? Tell Jack. And, of course, having this returned means the world to me, too.

We aren't perfect, and we fight and bitch sometimes, just like any other couple. But I'm so excited, more excited than I've been about anything in a while (even more so than I was about rebranding my blog earlier this month) to create a future with someone I can say I well and truly love. Now that those three little words are out there and said, there's this confidence in me, this new, fresh desire to find a job that I could really stick out; to make the best content on Amanda Jayne; to start a project, be it a blog or channel, with Jack, finally. To think about the future. To plan for the future. To have a future. We've spoken about the future a lot, but now it seems more concrete and more real. And the purpose of this post, and this reflection of the way I'm feeling, it isn't to belittle the other people in my life or to make them feel like they don't matter. I just want to express the madness, the magic, that is hearing those three little words, and realising the weight of its meaning; the renewed sense of purpose I have to get shit done; the injection of energy and enthusiasm I have to embrace life again, and embrace the future, of which I was never even sure was waiting for me.


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