4 Years and 20 Thank Yous - An Open Letter To My Boyfriend

8 Jan 2017

Dear J, let me just start this by saying I hope you don't mind me posting this sort of thing on the Internet. We tend to keep our relationship quite private and away from the eyes of social media, but I just have a few things I need to say. I know you won't mind because you're the total opposite of me and are an advocate of PDA, but you know, just a courtesy. You know how I am, so this is going to be rambly as heck!

I knew that you were special since the day that I met you, and you're still special to me four years on. You managed to come into my life at just the right time, and while I wasn't looking for you - in fact, I wasn't looking for anyone - you found me at the perfect moment in my life. And who could've guessed that that goofy boy with the shaggy hair, weird accent and daft hat, and the shy girl with the oversized jumpers, introvert yet extrovert personality and emotional baggage would still be together after all of this time. Crazy, right? But we've both blossomed because we have each other - you ditched the hat and you've managed to help me with my inner demons - and that's exactly why we're still going strong.

So, as it's our four year anniversary, I thought I'd write this letter to you and say thank you for a few things, because you deserve it. You've done a lot for me and our little team of two, so it's about time that you got a whole load of gratitude.

1. Thank you for not nagging me. Because we've pretty much lived together for the entirety of our relationship, you know exactly how I work, and nagging me is not the way to get me to do things. You encourage and support me whenever I decide I want to do things, like apply for jobs, which is what I need to flourish. And it's because of this encouragement that I landed my full-time internship, my summer internship in 2015, managed to walk across the stage at graduation, and even start this blog. There are countless times you have lifted me up and shown me that I can do things if I really put my mind to it.

2. Thank you for taking the bins out. It's a dirty job that I don't want to do, so it means a lot that you do it every single time without me needing to ask (much).

3. Thank you for not arguing back (too much) when I want to pay for things. Even if you don't always like it, you let me have my bread-winning moment and I appreciate that. We've never been one of those movie couples where the guy pays for everything, and we never will be.

4. Thank you for being a foodie. This is a highly serious thank you, because you fuel my love for being in the kitchen. Everything I bake, you eat. Everything I cook, you eat. And while I know not all of it is good, you try everything and give me feedback, which leads me into my next thank you.

5. Thank you for being honest. You are probably one of the most honest people I know, and although you're never nasty, I know that you will give criticism if I ask for it (sometimes I don't ask for it, which is a little less appreciated, but hey, I know that the thought is there).

6. Thank you for letting me have the last bite. This is such a small gesture, but it shows how truly selfless and kind you are. You allow me to have the last bite of pretty much everything, and I bloody love it. I'm not sure my waistline loves it, but I've never been one to deny food.

7. Thank you for being a bit of an idiot. Some of my fondest memories of you features an abundance of silly faces, made up words and a hoard of inside jokes. You know just how to make me laugh, sometimes to the point of tears, and it's just great knowing that we can have fun. I love that you don't take life or yourself too seriously, and you aren't afraid to let your inner child out.

8. Thank you for being serious. While you are a big kid, you understand that there are times when you need to be serious. I really appreciate that you know when to take your silly head off and put your grown-up pants on. There have been a lot of things that we've tackled together, like you applying for British citizenship and me being a crime witness that we've had to be sensible for, so thank you for being able to put your silliness aside.

9. Thank you for all of the adventures. We've done so many cool things together that it's so hard to try and narrow it down to just one. We've been to Edinburgh countless times, a crazy weekend where we made the mistake of camping at T In The Park, a gorgeous holiday to Bamburgh, and so much more!
10. Thank you for not belittling my hobbies and interests. While I know that, to people on the outside, cross-stitching, baking, writing stories, and collecting coins and makeup may not be the most exciting thing, you get excited about these things because I'm excited about them. That's definitely a long-winded way of trying to say that I really appreciate you not making fun of me for liking the things I like. I know that it must be difficult for you to be as enthusiastic as me, especially when I'm cooing over embroidery threads, but you try, and that's all I can ask,

11. Thank you for being the level-headed one. Whenever there's a problem or if things don't go to plan, I'm the first one to throw a paddy. But you're always the one that is calm and collected, and think things through before making a new plan of action. While I'm still quick to jump to conclusions and get all crazy, it's comforting to know that you will have a level head, no matter what happens.

12. Thank you for letting me put my cold feet on you. I'm pretty certain you absorb the sun's heat, because I can always guarantee that your skin is abnormally warm once it has set. This is very beneficial to me, Mrs. Constantly-Cold-Feet, and you never ever complain when I use you as a radiator.

13. Thank you for letting me win at Monopoly. I know you have a strategy, so how come you don't stick to it when we play? You might say you don't let me win, but you definitely do.

14. Thank you for the random acts of PDA. Even though I opened this post by saying I don't like PDA, the little things you do, like hold my hand, give me a swift peck in an empty aisle in a shop, or even secretly squeeze my butt, make me realise that you are proud to be seen with me, which is a real boost to my compliment. However, this is not an excuse to go crazy with the PDA!

15. Thank you for understanding my anxieties. I feel like it must be challenging to live with me, as I find it physically difficult to make phonecalls, go to shops on my own, answer the door and speak to strangers. I've definitely improved over the years, but there is still work to be done and you understand this. You help me where you can without pushing too hard and it's probably one of the nicest things you do for me. It makes me feel safe and secure, knowing that you have my back if I get stuck.

16. Thank you for saying "I love you" at least once a day. I can't think of a day where we haven't said "I love you" at least once to each other, apart from right at the beginning of our relationship. There have been times where I've been in a totally different timezone and we've still managed to say it to each other, and I know some people aren't given this sort of luxury, so I feel extremely lucky.

17. Thank you for being patient. We're both stubborn, there's absolutely no question about that, but when I'm being a particular nightmare, you're always so patient with me. There's no arguing or shouting, just you waiting for me to get over myself. This thank you also applies to the amount of rants and bitching you've had to listen to. Saying "what an idiot" at the appropriate times when I'm telling you who annoyed me at work, or shaking your head when I tell you who tweeted something nasty means a great deal!

18. Thank you for understanding how my period works. I'm pretty certain you know my cycle better than I do, so you always know when to be a bit more gentle and when to stock up on the chocolate. You're also amazing because you don't bat an eyelid when I ask you to fetch me some sanitary towels in the supermarket. Seriously, it's so cool of you to be so chill about it.

19. Thank you for bringing me a glass of water in the morning. There's not much more I can say about this, other than it's absolutely lovely.

20. Thank you for being my biggest fan. It means so much to me that you support the things I do. Never once have you slated my blog, the projects I work on or even my Uni work when it wasn't that great. We both believe in each other, but there have been times where I certainly haven't believed in myself, yet you always fly the flag for my corner. I've definitely become so much more confident because of the support system you give me, and I can't thank you enough.
And lastly, thank you for stumbling into my life and turning it on it's head. Things have become so much more colourful and brighter since you came along, and I've really needed it. You are my muse, my inspiration and the love of my life. You are selfless, kind, generous, loving and strong with a warm heart and a beautiful, old soul. You are my best friend in the whole world and I know that you'll always have my back. Please don't ever stop being yourself.
J, J Bean, J Bird, Jean Spook, Squirly Head - I love you with everything that I have and will continue to for as long as you'll let me.

Love, Olivia.

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