One year -- that's how long I've been seeing Justin, as of today. Part of me is kind of in awe over this simple fact, not because I ever doubted that our relationship had staying power (in fact, I'm not sure I've ever been so certain about anything before), but because I spent a large portion of my life doubting that I'd ever reach this point with anyone. After 24 years of singledom, I often found myself wondering if I would ever fall in reciprocal love with someone, and whether I'd be able to make a healthy relationship last if I did. After so many years of failure, I'd come to believe that love might not be in the cards for me.
Now I see that those misfortunes and instances of heartbreak were vital in teaching me what I wanted, what to look for in a mate, and how to comport myself in a relationship if I wanted it to be successful. All of those experiences shaped me into the person who Justin fell in love with, and I wouldn't change that for the world, no matter how romantically miserable my teen and early adult years were. After all, I feel like I've hit the jackpot with Justin. I could not have hoped for a better partner, and I honestly feel like he is more than I probably deserve.
Being the kind of person who loves to dispense advice, whether it is solicited or not, I used to advise my romantically troubled girlfriends that dating isn't about finding perfection in one's mate; it's the process of finding and figuring out what flaws you can live with on an ongoing basis. Now that I have Justin in my life, however, I feel like I have been giving out bad advice. In no way do I feel like I am settling, or putting up with a lot from him. He might not be perfect, but he is perfect for me.
In the last year, we accomplished a lot together and grew as a couple, forging a bond that has only deepened with time. Without a doubt, the year to come will present changes and challenges for us, but I am confident we'll be able to work through any of them, and come out stronger on the other side. I look forward not only to my next year with Justin, but our entire future together. Happy anniversary, my love!