November 23, 2015

Six Things I Learned From a Six Year Relationship

I'm extremely superstitious. As in, I consider spilling salt a near death experience, and there are certain shirts I just can't wear when the Ravens play because I don't want to be responsible for their loss.

My point is that I'm not one to make a hobby out of walking under ladders, or one who is interested in tails-up pennies. But one thing that I do like are Friday the 13ths.

Because Friday, November 13, 2009, is the day that 19-year-old Nicole and 19-year-old Derrick had "the exclusive talk." It was scary and awkward and wonderful, and was the first day of a relationship that will last the rest of my life. And what's a blogger to do in times of monumental milestones other than list all of the things we've learned from our experience?

Nothing. There's nothing else I can do. That being said, here are six things that I've learned from being in a six-year-long relationship.

1. You're not always right, even when you are actually right.
It was a hard day when I learned that I am actually not always right. But that was nothing compared to what I learned from a relationship: sometimes, even when you are right, it's better not to draw attention to that fact. Like when you told him that olive oil shouldn't be heated that hot; the subsequent fire alarm through the smoke-filled kitchen says that you were right, but pointing that out won't do you any favors.

2. Don't always keep score... out loud.
They always say that you shouldn't "keep score" in a relationship... But that doesn't mean that you don't anyway. For example, two weeks ago, I asked Derrick if we could watch a movie instead of the FSU game. At first, Derrick said no... but then he quickly and adamantly changed his mind, and demanded that we watch a movie. When I asked him why the sudden change, he said that he needed to "save his football game card" for a later date. God knows what other cards he's saved over the years.

3. Bacon is so worth it.
Before I started dating Derrick, I avoided bacon and all its butt-increasing glory. But it's only so long that someone can resist the smell of Sunday morning bacon, and I am only mortal. My butt is a little bigger but you know what? Life is so much better when you can just eat the bacon.

4. It's easier to just say it already.
When we first started dating, I'll admit that I pulled the "I'm fine" schtick all the time. But eventually, I got tired of Derrick's pretty unimpressive mind reading abilities, and learned that when he asks me if something's wrong, it's so much easier to just say yes.

5. You don't have to love what he loves... but you'll learn about it anyway.
The depth of my love for Derrick knows no limit... but NASCAR doesn't fall under that love umbrella, no matter how many Dale Jr. t-shirts Derrick buys. But just because I don't care who's still in the Chase, doesn't mean that I don't know who Kevin Harvick is. Because even though I don't care who wins, I care that Derrick cares... so when he talks about it, I still listen.

6. Sometimes, you need to let go of what you thought you knew.
Maybe you thought for sure you'd end up marrying an English doctor, or knew for a fact you'd live in Alaska. You don't need to compromise what's important to you... but sometimes, you find someone worth compromising for. Because even though you thought Friday the 13ths weren't worth getting up for, they could turn out to be one of the best days of your life.

(That still doesn't mean I'm playing around with overturned salt shakers though.)