I know it sounds silly but having someone to call at night when I'm walking to my car alone was, for me, one of best parts of a long-term relationship. I mean, it's no secret there are perks of being single — like having more time for yourself and potentially earning more money — even though science says married people are happier overall. But what about just being in a long-term relationship? If we're being honest with ourselves, there are great moments to be had there, too.
We spend so much time fantasizing about the beginning stages of a relationship that we forget to envision what things would be like in the long run. In fact, I think our hope is that our relationships — no matter how far into future they last — will always feel as glamorous and romantic as they did when they just began, which unfortunately isn't realistic.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating settling for a mediocre relationship — just a healthy understanding that dynamics change as both you and your partner learn more about each other and grow closer together. The truth is, getting to that point in your relationship where you and your partner can just enjoy each other's company without having to say or do anything special is a major relationship milestone that often goes unnoticed.
Here's what eight people say the best parts of a long-term relationship are.
1. You never have to be alone.
It really depends on what point in the relationship you are. After 4 years with my SO my favorite thing is that I really can't remember the last time I felt truly lonely. There's a support structure there no matter what the day lays on you to hold you up. I never have to do ANYTHING alone if I don't want to.
2. You're appreciated for who you are.
You're allowed to be the worst version of yourself with no fear of judgement because that person already loves every version of you (bare faced, naked with lights on, depressed for no reason, sad, angry, frustrated...).
3. You know someone will always be there for you.
Having someone to talk to everyday, even if it's about the mundane things. Knowing that you always have support. Knowing that even though you've gained 20lbs, they still think you are beautiful/handsome. Being able to act how you normally would if you were alone. The weird things that you do aren't weird to them. Cuddles, kisses, sex, post-sex cuddling and kissing. Head/back massages and foot rubs. Still being loved even though they know your flaws and weaknesses. Knowing that you are loved for exactly who you are.
4. You can share responsibilities.
Always having someone to bounce ideas off of. Who will get your jokes and make you laugh. Someone to enjoy life with and to divide sorrow between. It's like being two people. I mean, you are two people (at least most relationships are), but you can do things twice as fast, or with twice as much impact.
5. If you live together, you come home to your favorite person every day.
Coming home to somebody that actually cares about you. I remember growing up, and explaining to my family how my day was, and they really didn't give a shit. When your SO asks how your day was, she is serious, and really cares about what you have to say.
6. You get to enjoy each other's company, no matter what.
For me it's comforting to be in our house, not necessarily doing something together, but just knowing she is there too.
7. You can poop without feeling self-conscious.
Pooping whenever I need to and not having to pretend like girls don't do it. Making a complete dick out of myself and my husband has to love me anyway. Always knowing that someone is in my corner and has my back. Sharing bills. Sex whenever you want it without worrying about stds. Financial freedom (to an extent... ie if I lose my job, I'm not completely fucked) it's a lot easier to cook for 2 people. I'm sure I skipped over 20 important things....
8. You feel deep, unconditional love.
Knowing that someone cares about you. You know it all the time, and you know it's not just because they happened to be born into the same family as you. They chose you, you chose them, and you always know someone is in your corner.
And isn't that all anyone really wants in life? Excuse me while I sob uncontrollably because these are the real #RelationshipGoals!
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