An open letter to my boyfriend

Due to social media, it is so easy to put filters on things and make our lives appear so much better than they are. We share only what we want other people to see or know about us. Isn’t it easy to be “happy” when we really aren’t? Nowadays making a  real connection with someone is hard or at least it has been for me.  Learning to be vulnerable at all has been a challenge.   I’ve been good at appearing to be a lot stronger than I actually feel sometimes.  Call it pride, ego, or maybe just stubbornness but some of that armor started to come off when I began to be more honest with myself about who I was vs. who I really wanted to be.  This is something that I’m still working on and in the process of it all, I know that I haven’t been the easiest person to be in a relationship with.  I’m learning a lot about myself.  Some of it good and some of it not so great.  I’m very aware that I can be a difficult person to be around at times and hard to deal with.  So to my dear boyfriend who has been by my side the last few years, I love you.  

Being open and vulnerable wasn’t something that was easy for either of us. Thank you for being patient and understanding as we learned how to love, not just each other but ourselves. There has been many times that I have given you a reason to end things but, you have never given up on fighting for us. I’m not just talking about petty arguments either.   You have continued to love me even when I haven’t always deserved it.

You are by far one of the most selfless people I know.   Thank you for all of the things you have done and do for me, they don’t go unnoticed. It isn’t just the flowers you bring home because you know how much I love fresh flowers on the kitchen table. It isn’t just the food you keep in the house, that you don’t even like. It isn’t just the coffee you bring to me in the mornings when I struggle to get out of the bed. Those are just some of the things you do for me because you are always considerate of me. I’ve learned it’s one of the many ways that you express your love to me. 

In many ways you have helped me heal parts of me that I didn’t want to acknowledge.  I guess I had given up on people and had closed the world off from allowing anyone close to me out of fear. Fear of being hurt of course, but also, abandoned.  It’s hard to allow yourself to be loved or to love someone else when you are always waiting for them to leave.  It’s sad to say that you are the first person who has ever fought to stay and be at my side.  I don’t know how to always respond to that.  I was forced to grow up young and depending on someone else for emotional or physical support has been hard for me to do.  You have shown me a support that I’ve never really experienced before and have been patient with me while I learned how to trust.

I know dating a mom with two young kids can be a lot. Who am I kidding? It is a lot! Thank you for understanding that they must come first and I that I will always put them before me.  You put me first, even when you haven’t always felt like a priority in return.  Everything about me for the most part, is wide open. I think fast, talk fast, and have a relentless work ethic. You have been my rock and stability while I have started a new career and business.  Even when I have felt like I haven’t been able to contribute, you still encourage me.  You are not just my boyfriend but also, my best friend.    You help recharge my energy and relax. Thank you for bring stillness to my mayhem with your calmness, simplicity, understanding and patience.   

I believe it takes a special kind of man to love a woman like me.  As if everything I mentioned wasn’t already enough, my health doesn’t make it any easier.  While people know I struggle with a syndrome and illness, very few have seen how it truly affects my life on daily basis.  Each day you have gotten to see it more and more. You have seen the days where I can’t function or get out of the bed.   You have learned many of my symptoms and triggers on your own.  You see what I try to hide from people – even you – and know when I’m faking a good day and pushing through it.  I’ve always thought that people would think less of me or feel sorry for me if they really knew what I’ve learned to hide.   I also thought what man would willingly want to have to deal with any of these things over a period of time.  Which is partly why I’ve been waiting for you to leave.  That all of it would be too much. I assumed that I would continue to fight these battles alone.  But here you are –  fighting me, to let you help me more and telling me that I don’t have to do it all on my own.  

There is a part of me that doesn’t feel like I deserve you because I can’t give you what you truly deserve. It is the selfishness in me that doesn’t want to let you go. I know I can never give you children of your own. I know that there are plenty of women who don’t come with a ton of baggage and would be easier to love.   

I could say thank you a million times and the words never seem to give my sincere emotional gratitude justice.  Thank you for loving me and accepting me for who I am.   Even with all of my unattractive flaws, you have never asked me to be someone else or asked me to change. Not one single time.   Thank you for getting on my emotional rollercoaster and refusing to get off my ride.  Thank for taking care of me.  Thank you for being a good man.