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6 Things I’ve Learnt In My First Relationship

Me and Matt have been together for a year and a half yesterday, but we’ve known each other for two and a half years. Before you roll your eyes, a year and a half isn’t an anniversary, I know. Yesterday we just sat and worked in our lounge, but procrastination got me thinking about what I was like before we got together and how much I have learnt since.

To be less self-conscious:

In first year when I met Matt and everyone else, I was painfully self-conscious but I think I hid it pretty well. I wouldn’t come downstairs in pyjamas, or without makeup. I wouldn’t eat in front of people, i’d sneak downstairs for dinner in the early hours of the morning sometimes. I wasn’t as chatty as I am now, if someone said something casually that I disagreed with, I would never say and just go along with everyone else. I worried about how I came across to my friends and housemates 24/7, and going to Uni made me this self-conscious. I remember having issues with myself in sixth form, but not as bad as they became in first year.

Since being with Matt, I’ve let that (nearly) all go. When we first got together I was still quite bad and would keep concealer and mascara beside my bed and put it on before he woke up, it took me a few weeks to get used to eating in front of him because that was my main issue the year before, and I learnt to take myself less seriously. At home, me and my sister are always messing about, winding each other up, doing stupid voices and accents, pulling faces, quoting films and vines, and I always thought we’d have to stop doing so when we got boyfriends because let’s face it, it’s a bit embarrassing.

Then I met Matt and realised he is exactly the same. The thought of making myself look a bit silly in first year was my actual worst nightmare, and now I don’t think I can say anything to him without the addition of a stupid accent or a vine reference. I also now go downstairs in my disney pyjamas, with no makeup and having just dried my hair so it’s all puffy. I’ve learnt not to care so much about what other people think about me, because nobody else’s opinion matters other than Matt’s. If you can’t be silly and your true self around someone, it’s not right.

To accept that my room is messy, and it’s no longer MY room:

I’m still working on this, I still get a bit naggy when I can’t see my rug for all of the boy pants/socks/joggers/t-shirts. Mainly because my room is quite small and awkwardly shaped, so a couple of things on the floor make it super messy. It’s a very girly room and it’s full of little decorative things, and for a while I used to think of it as ‘My’ room and ‘Matt’s’ room and we should keep our things separate. In reality, we live together and we split our time between the rooms. My room has his hair stuff, hair dryer, coats, trainers etc in it, but I feel much better having put stuff in his room too. We’re even now aha. My desk is also now Matt’s, I daren’t touch any of the papers on there because they all look too important and complicated and it’s not worth the argument if I misplace something..

Maybe opposites attract, but shared interests are needed:

Me and Matt are very different in some ways. He’s methodical and science-y, i’m creative and I don’t understand any science stuff he tells me. He’s had a set career path his whole life, and i’ve just found what I want to do. He’s quite stubborn, and I can be stubborn but I usually relent to avoid an argument. He LOVES to be right. We do different courses so we have different groups of friends. Despite this, we have the exact same sense of humour and taste in a lot of things. The same things annoy us, we are both obsessed with dogs, we have the same fitness goals, want to travel to the same places, and are just very similar in other ways. I remember when I was in school, I wondered whether it was true that opposites attract, or if you should be with someone you have a lot in common with. I think me and Matt have found the perfect balance, and i’ve learnt that you need aspects of both. I can’t imagine being with someone that doesn’t find things funny that I do, someone that was a cat person, or someone who didn’t like Harry Potter. Embrace any differences you have, but it’s nice to like the same things sometimes. Until you both like salt and vinegar crisps…

That we can live together:

Before we were together, we planned to live together in a house of 8 and it worried me because I liked Matt and I didn’t fancy seeing him find someone else. Luckily for me, it worked in my favour, and we’ve now lived together for 2 years and have seen each other nearly every day. For some couples, that wouldn’t work and they’d need time apart. We aren’t together during the day sometimes when either one of us is in Uni, we still go out separately with friends, but other than that we always are. I think that for us, it works because we can spend time together without spending loads of money, and hang out but do work at the same time. I think that if I had loads of coursework, but had to make time to meet Matt somewhere, i’d be stressing about the work I had to do. Also, we have separate rooms as I mentioned earlier, so we can work separately if we like.

Living together is usually a big step for a couple, but for as long as i’ve known Matt i’ve pretty much lived with him. Even in first year, every time I went downstairs I could almost guarantee that he would be in the lounge. We spend every holiday with each other as well, little road trips between out two families in my little car. Our little car I guess now. People always say that you don’t know someone properly until you’ve lived with them. I can say that’s true about some people I live with, but not about Matt. We never really argue, or feel like we are smothering each other, and we’re all part of the same friendship group so it’s not awkward that we’re together all the time.

To stand up for myself:

As i’ve said in first year, I agreed with pretty much everything anyone said, and if I didn’t like something someone did for example, I wouldn’t say. Matt taught me to believe in myself more, and showed me that am more strong-willed than I thought. If something is unfair, or I disagree with something, I now feel confident enough to say. I’m not saying I cause arguments or anything, but if one of my lecturers says something for example and then marks my work differently, I’ll question it rather than just taking it. If no one has helped tidy in our house, I don’t mind asking them to help. I’ve just grown up, and learnt to put myself before worrying about offending other people. I used to not say anything if I disagreed with Matt in first year, and now we like a good debate haha.

How to cook: 

Matt hasn’t taught me to cook before anyone thinks he’s some sort of chef aha. Yes, he’s actually very good, but we often try to make something new together. Since being together, we’ve learnt a lot more about food and nutrition. Mainly I just listen to stuff Matt has learnt in his lectures and nod politely. In first year, if I cooked at all it was a toastie, wrap or pasta. Now we make curries, homemade burgers, soup, chilli, and we even bake sometimes. I’ve learnt to really enjoy cooking actually, I used to completely hate it. I especially like it when Matt cooks something and brings it to me when i’m ill aha.

Ultimately, this was worth the wait. Not just my 18 year wait until I met him, but the whole dramatic first year before we got together. (Whole other story). We’ve figured out how our relationship works having no past experiences to base it on, so we’ve learnt together. Matt has also changed since we got together, I think he was very like me and self-conscious and serious in first year, and now he’s so chilled and doesn’t take himself seriously at all. It’s nice putting someone else before yourself, wanting to buy them stuff instead, do nice little things for, and just to want to make them happy. I learnt to appreciate memories over anything else. We are best friends, and we’ve learnt to be a team rather than two individuals, but this does not mean we are incapable of doing things by ourselves or with other people.

When we first got together I found myself time-keeping, “we’ve been together for a month/2 months/3 months” and subconsciously counting how many dates we’d had, now there are almost too many to count, and I feel like we’ve reached the stage where we are almost taken seriously. Not they we weren’t before, but you know when you’ve not been with someone for long and when people ask how long you’re like “oh…3 months” and they kind of look at you like “..aww”. I’ve stopped questioning whether I deserve this, and wondering why we never fall out, that things are almost TOO¬†smooth (despite Uni work) y’know? But no red flags, isn’t a red flag.

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