I am absolutely in love with my boyfriend. He's smart, funny, compassionate and yet sometimes I want absolutely nothing to do with him. That's not a bad thing; that's the reality of a long-term relationship.
See, me and my boyfriend haven't spent a day apart in over a year and a half. We wake up together, text each other every hour for the eight hours we're apart, eat dinner together, watch TV together, fall asleep together and start it all over again the next day. The days when we used to see each other a couple times a week seems like a century ago, and for old, married couples like us, it totally is.(Although we really just play the part of old, married, boring couple.)
Every couple finds themselves in the comfortable period. You know, the time when you can get away with wearing sweat pants to go grocery shopping instead of skinny jeans and open toe wedges. In the beginning stages of the relationship, the comfortable period is met with anticipated relief. You no longer have to always be on your best behavior. You can slowly start to not wingtip your eyes, or finally let him see your lips are a magenta stained hue.
And then, there's long-term comfortable. I'm talking about the you don't have to brush your teeth and I'll still slip my tongue down your throat comfortable. I'm talking about the, "I don't have to shave my legs all winter" comfortable. The, sometimes-I-just-don't-feel-like-trying kind of comfortable.
And that, despite its negative attachment, is a normal, ordinary thing. When you've been dating or living with someone for so many years, you sometimes don't feel the need to make an exaggerated gesture. "New relationship you" would be scribbling love notes on his kitchen counter before you left for work. "Two year you" is practically foaming at the mouth as you wait for your Keurig to heat up.
For anyone who is finding themselves in the long-term relationship slump, don't worry; feeling this way is completely normal. In every relationship, two people slowly morph into one being. You share the same stories, enemies, plans for the future, and automatically know that when he asks where you want to go for dinner, your answer will always remain "Olive Garden" (because the breadsticks are worth the calories). You begin doing everything together: shopping, movies, grocery trips, even hanging out in giant group dates instead of bestie one-on-ones.
In the midst of that, it can be easy for two people to slowly stop thinking about themselves. Remember, thinking about yourself is important -no, it's necessary. You can never operate at your fullest if you're running on empty. Not taking care of yourself becomes unfair to your relationship, your partner and to you.
I love spending weekends with my boyfriend. We visit thrift stores, obscure coffee houses, we swap stories with family or even take a day to wear sweats, order Dominos and beat every level of Mario 64 on our Nintendo. Those days are some of the best memories I could ask for.
But, just like he needs time to play his music, write his scripts for his podcast or even watch Japanese wrestling without me asking "how much longer until the match ends?," I also need to take an afternoon, grab some Starbucks and visit Nordstrom without checking the time on my phone to make sure I'm not boring him to death in the man lobby outside the fitting area.
Being together every waking hour doesn't mean you're in a healthy relationship. It's realizing you both need to take a minute for yourselves that is what makes the relationship going strong, and makes coming home to your partner so incredibly worth it.