April of 2012 was the first time we met
It still feels like a story out of a binge-worthy romance book, complete with some complicated twists
Our 16 year old selves met at a mutual friends house and it was about as close to "love at first sight" as you could get
It's been over 10 years since and I'm still as in love as I felt at 16
I've thought a lot about why that is
How it's still possible to feel like way after everything we've been through, after bringing 3 entire human beings into this world, after having to cut family memebers out of our lives completly at times, after navigating being parents as teenagers and then having our daughter dignosed with a life-long disability.
I'd say were soulmates (which I'm absolutely convinced we are) but in a more explainable way- here's some things that keep us so close and connected..
We're best friends.
You know those friends that you could spend every second of every day with and never be bored? You can sit in absolute silence and it doesn't feel awkward at all? The one that makes you laugh so hard until you can't help but cry? That's Matthew for me. We genuinely enjoy spending time together and it never feels like we've run out of things to talk about. If we had the best day or the worst, the only person we want to talk to about it is eachother.
We have so much fun together.
We are so similar in the way that we are always down to act like kids and have a great time. We love amusement parks and bouncey houses. We love kayaking and paddleboarding. We love riding bikes and going on walks. We even like playing video games, together. All of these things we started doing before we had any kids at all and we haven't stopped ever since.
We understand our differences and respect eachother for it.
We don't agree on EVERYTHING. We know that. We've learned to value our seperate perspectives and appreciate having eachother to open our eyes to thinking in a way we may not have.
We know how to make the other FEEL loved.
There's already so many places on the internet to learn about love languages.. I won't bore you with the explanation. However, if you take anything away from reading this- PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT MAKES THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU FEEL LOVED, THOUGHT OF, and CARED FOR. You could spend alll of the time in your day bending over backwards for someone and still not achieving that reaction simply because those actions aren't percieved the same way to the other person that they are for you. Sometimes a long hug (physical touch) will go a whole lot farther than doing the dishes/laundry (acts of service) or asking to watch a TV show or movie together (quality time).
We know that we're young.
We know that we are constantly growing, changing, and trying to be the best versions of ourselves. We know that the people we were at 16 is absolutely not the same person that we are at 26 and we'll be even more different at 40. We don't hold our past mistakes or even accomplishments against the older versions of ourselves. We really meet eachother where we are and to hold eachother accountable for the people who we want to be.
Our kids are our whole world.
I feel like this should go without saying (but after being "raised" by a parent who always loved to remind me how unwanted I was).. it's been such a big part of our life together and our feelings for each other. One of our favorite things about one another is watching eachother interact with our kids. For almost all of our years spent together, we've been parents. It's been so beautiful to grow up with our babies. And we've always completely split all parenting and home tasks, whether we we're working outside of the house or not. I've always been so grateful for that.
We know we don't NEED each other.
This is probably the absolute biggest part of our sucess, in my opinion. We've always had this mutual understanding with eachother that we don't really need each other. That we would be okay without each other. That eachother's happieness is absolutely all that matters. That means that every day that we are with each other, it is because we want to be. We don't feel stuck. We don't feel obligated. We just appreciate each other so very much.