5 Things I Learned In 5 Years With You
Dedicated to my love, Vito. I can list a million things... but today I'll share just five.
1) Who you meet on day 1 vs. year 1,2,3,4,5 + will all be different people.
I'll never forget crossing the street to meet you half way or that cute and nervous smile, your blue shirt and how you walked towards me to say, "Ciao, nice to meet you." Looking back now, it feels like a lifetime ago. We were a few years younger... and well we've grown up quite a bit since then. We've also become entirely new people these last few years, yet somehow we've also still remained the same on the inside. We've changed jobs multiple times, we've moved to new apartments, bought our first home and traveled bits of the world together. The girl I was when I first met you was different. She was overly cautious, trying to fill the void of heartache and pain from the past. I've learned that only loving myself filled that void, but growing to love you and have you love me in return also healed my pain and made me stronger. Expecting anyone you love to remain the same, year after year, is like caging a bird and never letting them fly free. To truly grow and become who we are meant to be, requires freedom: mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. When we are granted this freedom, it allows us to be who we need to be, and our partners learn that they can love you even in all your many forms, shapes and shades. We learn to love and adjust to each other, no matter how many new versions we become.
2) We all crave love.
No matter how strong, brave, stubborn, macho and masculine your partner may be, know that we all deserve and crave that love, attention and affection. Humans need love to survive, just like we need water, air, shelter and food. Love is just as vital for our growth and overall nourishment. We all want to be wanted. We all want warmth, attention and respect from our love partners. The most important thing I've learned is that my way of receiving and wanting love is completely different than his. Learning early on what it is that makes your partner feel fulfilled and loved will be super important in preventing silly arguments which leads me to my next point...
3) Arguments are necessary.
As frustrating and exhausting as arguments can be - they mold you into who you both need to become to help the relationship thrive and survive. No and I promise you - no relationship is perfect. Neither is ours, but when love is real, you work towards what you want and you learn to prioritize your relationship over other petty things. Arguments are bound to happen when two completely different people merge their lives together, especially when they get married. Marriage isn't like dating. Marriage requires the highest level of commitment to each other - in sickness and in health, on the good days and the bad. Learning to let the small things go is key, but also speaking up for yourself and your wants and needs are just as important. Over the years I've learned that to get what I need, want and deserve - I must speak up. Nobody can speak for you like you can speak for yourself so ladies I say this lovingly: chirp from day one and keep chirping!! Don't wait. If something is bothering you, speak up! If your partner is a keeper, he will value and respect your opinion, even if he doesn't agree with it. We all have our voices so start stepping into your power to express yourself the way you need to. The true ones who really love you may get initially annoyed, but eventually they will come to value and respect your voice.
4) Actions speak so much louder than words.
In previous relationships, I was promised the world... hah! And we all know how those ended up! It's the simplest but most honest way to know if someone is who they say they are. Their actions will speak so much louder than their words, but both are equally important. 1) Speaking your wants, needs and desires are important to state your intention and to let your partner know what you need, and 2) Taking the steps and action to make those things happen. Vito is Italian and as most of us, know, culturally - Italians are big in personality and.. yes, loud in volume too lol. They can't help it. They are big in hand gestures, big in food, flavor, fun, and living the good life, aka "la vita bella". Unlike Americans, they don't live to work - they work to live and being with him has taught me that. I've also learned that if he says he will do something, I don't worry or stress over it because he's proven to me time and time again that he is a man of his word and he always honors it. It's one of the things I love most about him and that goodness in him motivates me to be better and stick to my promises too. ❤️
5) Sharing is caring
This doesn't just mean splitting the pie. It means doing your part in the relationship to be a great partner. Relationships can be work of course, but they're also what makes life so fulfilling. It's a rare person who can live their entire life in solitude without the love, comfort, affection and adoration of another. Sharing in a relationship means sharing kind words when your partner is down, it means sharing good news when you get a promotion, it means sharing your fears when life feels scary and uncertain, it means sharing your last fork-full of food because you know they might still be hungry, it means sharing your blanket while you watch the movie, and it means sharing your life with another: the good, bad, happy and sad. The more you emotionally crack open, the more the scary, dark stuff can seep out to let the light and love in from your partner. Every year together has it's own set of challenges but I've also learned that it's also a new chapter together which bring us more memories, laughter, fun, adventure, food, and most of all... L O V E.
I look forward to this next chapter for us. I think it'll be the best one yet.
All my love, ❤️