Unfiltered is a series we showcase in our print mags each month where Brisbane readers share their stories about the good, the complicated and everything in between. This month, we discuss: relationships. This is the raw and the real.
On our wedding day, one of my friends said to me: “Being married is the best thing ever. It’s crazy how nothing changes but everything is different”. He was exactly right! The reasons why we had fallen in love and decided to make this commitment to each other would always be there, however, there was something extra that pulled that all together. I’m of the opinion that true, unconditional love can only come when two people can trust each other unconditionally with their well-being and emotions.
The commitment we made to each other on our wedding day solidified that unconditional trust, it provides this kind of safety net for us to fall back on when things are getting tough. To me, that is what makes our marriage special. It’s knowing that we can live our lives to the fullest and no matter what the result, always having that one person who will be there to share in the triumphs and the tribulations.
The day my boyfriend met my parents (and subsequently made them fall almost as much in love with him as I am), I had to say see ya later for an unknown amount of time as I moved far away for work. I can’t imagine my life without him, but I suppose all relationships feel that way – even the ones that break. Long distance was never up for debate because we were both determined to make it work. It’s not like I’ll be getting on a first-name basis with the postman as I wait to hear from him. The Internet was built for love!
We watch the same movie on our laptops while we commentate on the phone, message each other dumb little anecdotes throughout the day that no one else would care about and FaceTime each other until we go to sleep. Physically we’re far apart but we’re trying to find ways to be side-by-side. Of course, it’s not quite the same. You’d be surprised how cold a bed can get at night.
I love love and tend to fall reasonably hard – I’m a sensitive sucker. Amongst my family and friends, I’m considered to have ‘dating disasters’ – I either do or say something that’s completely left of field or inappropriate. I have also been known not to follow the general ‘dating rules’, i.e. I’ve eaten messy burgers on a first date, rather than a salad and high-fived instead of hugged when saying goodbye.
Despite my no-rules track record and after two long-term relationships I have now found myself in a new love predicament – being ‘together’, but not exclusively with the potential love of my life. Oh, and he also lives 30,000 kms away. With a long-distance relationship not being an option, I’m back to square one – loving love, but not being in-love.
The Childhood Sweethearts
I met my husband in the last few months of year 12. The first time we spoke was when he asked me to the school formal. I said yes and that was basically the extent of our first conversation. There was an immediate attraction and we’ve been together ever since.
In 2010, after ten years together, we bought our first house. It was a renovators delight to say the least! We spent two years of literal blood, sweat and tears gutting and restoring it. I thought at the time if we can get through this, then we can get through anything! And in the end, the experience bought us closer together as a couple.
Since then, we’ve lived and travelled overseas, sold our first home, got married and bought a second home. I think the key to our success is that we respect each other’s opinions, feelings and values (even if they differ), and support each other’s goals. We’re closely connected while maintaining our individuality and independence within the relationship and we haven’t rushed into anything.
The Slow Mover
My partner and I have been happily together for four years now and we credit our success to our independence. So many modern couples jump headfirst into the freedoms of adult life, throwing their individual lives out the window and replacing them with their newly found plus-one. This merging of perspectives, routines and interests are things we believe should be made gradually over time rather than jumping into the novelties of relationships like statuses, sleepovers and moving in before you’re both truly ready.
Giving your relationship the chance to grow naturally rather than being blinded by the ‘couple life’ is my ultimate tip for success. Don’t be afraid of travel, temporary separation or difference in opinions if it means both of you are living your fullest life, together. With calendars of anniversaries yet to come (if it’s right), why rush?
Got a topic you’d like us to talk about? Email Courtney at [email protected]