June 2, 2013. Our seven year anniversary. When people find out I’ve been dating Mike for seven years, their jaws drop and they gasp. Apparently, it’s a big deal. Some people are in awe. “Wow, that’s incredible. Good for you.” It always feels weird to say thank you to that. I don’t really feel like I’ve done anything, but when I really think about it, I guess it is quite an accomplishment. We’ve been through it all – and for a long time – and we still want to be with each other. We still love each other.
I can honestly say that we are in a better place now than we’ve ever been. Obviously, I mean that literally (c’mon, we live in California), but mostly figuratively. I don’t know how we got through all the shit and became (somewhat) mature adults. We got together when I was 20, he was 19. We’ve basically grown up together.
We are not a perfect couple, by any means. We are really good at fighting with each other. We’re so similar with our stubbornness and vulnerabilities that we constantly press each other’s buttons and piss each other off. Just because we’ve been together for seven years doesn’t mean we’ve figured it out. We haven’t. But we keep trying.
That’s what is the most important. That we both want to keep trying. We want to be better for the other person. And we want to put in the effort. As long as we both want that, it’s simple.
There are plenty of amazing things about Mike and reasons I’m with him and ways he makes me happy. But I don’t need to put that out there because who wants to read about that? Anyway, you don’t need to know that. One, because that’s for us, and two, because that’s the easy part.
You unsure about your relationship? Live together in one room. There’s no hiding. There’s no avoiding. You have to deal with that shit head on.
Don’t even get me started on marriage. It’s as if there are these unwritten rules about when you’re “supposed” to get married. “If you’ve been together this long, what are you waiting for?” Why do you care? We’re the ones who have to live together for the rest of our lives. And we live together now. And we’re in a committed relationship, so what’s the big deal.
A lot of people ask, why hasn’t he put a ring on your finger yet? This is actually a really dumb question. As if getting married is his decision and his decision only. As if I’m waiting for him to propose. As if this isn’t a decision two people make together (especially after seven years).
It’s weird, because if I was living in West Deptford, surrounded by my girlfriends, it would seem to make total sense to get married. They’re all getting married now. Having kids and everything. But if I told my actor friends here that I was getting married, or better yet, that I was pregnant, it would be this crazy thing. With where we are in our lives and what we want to do, this is not the time for that. That stuff is going to have to come later, down the road. (I should go take my birth control right now.)
Of course, I get the whole ticking clock. The older you get, the more difficult it is to have a baby. You can definitely be older now, but who wants to be an old Mom? I certainly don’t. But I’d rather be an old Mom who can provide for her kids than get pregnant while I’m living month-to-month in a studio apartment.
This was not what this post was supposed to be about. I was going to write about the actual day of our anniversary. How Mike surprised me with a reservation for brunch. How we walked on the boardwalk and took pictures on the beach. How we drank a couple beers on the upstairs patio at The Venice Whaler. How we went back to the apartment and watched Before Sunrise. It was a nice day (except I had to go to work at night).
But I mean, it’s seven years. I should write about that, because it’s such a big deal.