I read so many things that talk about how relationships are hard and love can be mean and how loving someone can be awful for you – like unhealthy relationships are some great, romantic thing that Leo Tolstoy and Effy Stonem taught us to strive for.
It's not a healthy mindset, you guys.
Since college, I began to adopt the mindset that I would never get married. I had boyfriends, but I'd wake up one morning and realize – ugh, I didn't want to be in a relationship. I didn't want a person to rely on, I didn't want a person to rely on me. I'd cut and run and I'd feel better at the end of the day when I crawled into bed, alone, to watch Netflix with my dog. I liked being alone more than I liked being with a significant other.
And then I met Angelo.
(That's my Greek husband, for all of you who don't know.)
I met Angelo at a weird, messy time in my life. My grandmother had passed away, I was going out a lot and living my life on a sort of unhealthy, party centric autopilot. I knew Angelo for months before anything ever happened between us. I was in a relationship at the time and Angelo didn't seem to ever give any girl the time of day.
But I just really liked him. I liked him because he would always listen to me. I liked him because he was always nice to me, even though he seemed grumpy on the outside. I liked him because he told me he liked my perfume. I liked him because he found my cat once when I thought she was lost.
And then it grew. It grew into something so wonderful, so amazing, so unlike anything I'd ever experienced before.
I love Angelo because he wakes up every day happy to see me. I love him because as serious as he appears on the outside, he's made me realize you should never take anything too seriously. I love him because he defends me without hesitation. I love him because he found my other cat when I thought he was lost.
A year ago, I made the smartest decision in the world. I gathered up my family and my friends, and in front of all of them, I said,
You are the best person I've ever known.
You are my favorite.
I will always be here for you.
I never get sick of you.
I am always hoping you're okay.
Thank you for existing so close to me.
Thank you for being my person.
I love you better than anyone.
This is a gushy post. It's a personal post. It's been a year since we got married and Angelo became "my Greek husband," for all intents and purposes.
But it's a learning post too.
Four years ago, I was struggling with the loss of my grandmother, dealing with life as a post-grad and floundering my way through bars and parties across Baltimore in an attempt to have fun. I didn't feel fun though. I was constantly doubting myself and putting myself down. I surrounded myself with people in an attempt to have friends and feel less empty, only to realize that when things got difficult – I was more alone than I realized. It was confusing and overwhelming, and then someone came into my life that didn't fix all my problems – but encouraged me to believe I was strong enough to handle whatever hit me.
I made difficult decisions. I cut ties on negative relationships and began to focus on myself and what made me happy. It wasn't easy – when you stand up for yourself and put yourself first, people are going to have an opinion, and it won't always be the nicest. But with this new relationship developing, I found someone who made me feel safe, sane and special.
When you love and respect yourself, it's easier to welcome in positive people to your life. In my relationship history, both romantic and platonic, I was more focused on simply having a person beside me and not focused on how that person and I truly affected one another.
You should be with someone who is proud of you. Someone who encourages you to grow and to change and to be the best version of yourself. You should grow together and better one another. You should see the damaged parts of the person you're with and love them just the same.
Angelo knows my ups and he knows my downs. He's seen me cry when I feel self conscious, he's seen me struggle to breathe during a panic attack, he's seen me yell when I mess up my eyeliner when I'm rushing to get ready. He knows all these negative parts of me that I'd never want to share with anyone and he accepts them.
It's because of Angelo that I chose to focus on my personal self care. It's because of Angelo that I decided to become more focused on my mental well being. I want to strive every day to be as positive of a partner as he is to me.
So happy anniversary, my Greek husband. Here's to many more happy years together.