Today Harry and I are celebrating being together for FIVE YEARS! I can hardly believe it! We have been friends for over 12 years, so it's safe to say Harry has been in my life for an incredibly long time. Our five years together have been some of the best of my life, and I am so thankful we have managed to grow together throughout our twenties. Here is the story of Harry and I, and my experience of being in a long term relationship in my twenties.
Reaching this anniversary has got me thinking about what it means to be in a long term relationship in your late teens and twenties, which are undoubtably some of the most important and formative years of your life. Looking back to who I was at 18 to who I am now, there seems to be incredible differences. The same applies to Harry, we were both two very different people at 18! We have managed to develop alongside one another, at times our paths have slightly diverged, but never enough to separate us, and we have always found ourselves back together.
When we first started going out, we were at school together. We lived 10 minutes away from each other, we saw one another every single day. It's an easy relationship to maintain, and lent itself to the exciting beginnings of a relationship when you want to spend every waking moment together. Thankfully, we both shared the same view on the next step in life: we didn't want to go to the same University. I think this was one of the best decisions we could have made. Harry when to Manchester, I went to Leeds. Close enough to see each other at least every three weeks (but mostly every two), and far enough apart to live our own lives and enjoy university for ourselves, and not live it for one another.
On a few occasions people have asked me if I would regret spending my University years in a relationship if we were to break up. The answer is absolutely not. We both made our lifestyle choices at Uni for ourselves as individuals, and not for each other. I was happy throughout University, and being with Harry made that all the more possible - I could never regret something that made me happy!
We only moved in together after I graduated. In some ways the decision was all mine; Harry studies architecture and has two more years left on his course in Manchester, so I know Harry had to live in Manchester this year. It made the decision easier; I knew if I wanted to live with Harry it would be in Manchester, quickly eliminating lots of other options! I am thankful for that and the decision was easily made. Living together has been the best part of our relationship yet. It's living with my best friend, and we are very lucky in that our lifestyles match perfectly. Being with Harry has always influenced my decisions in life, but never controlled them. When I was in the process of deciding whether or not to take the plunge into full time blogging after graduating, I knew that working for myself would be 10x better with Harry also working from home a lot. It made the plunge into something uncertain much easier, and our days working at home together and drinking lots of tea are always amongst my favourite. And the fact we both work on creative projects makes it even better, to discuss ideas with someone you can count on to be 110% honest is something I am very grateful for.
I think being in a long term relationship in your twenties can be so rewarding and fulfilling. You definitely have to be prepared for change, and in the past two years alone Harry and I have grown into very different people. I don't think growing together can be forced, and there are times when it is difficult too! An ongoing relationship through these changing years can be so reassuring too - to have a constant aspect in life when so many things change. For me, the most important part is that both Harry and I have space. Space the change, to follow our dreams, to pursue whatever we wish and knowing we have each others support. Harry gives me confidence that I can follow my dreams everyday, he makes me feel good about myself everyday, there isn't a day goes by he doesn't compliment me on something. My late teens/early twenties have been shaped by my relationship, but not defined. My decisions have been influenced by Harry, but never forced. And I am so proud to say we have spent five years together.