6 years ago I lay in a bed and asked the question “do you want to be with me?”. I was quite young and quite inexperienced in relationships. Honestly, I had absolutely no idea about relationships. At the time, I thought it was something beautiful and I wanted to keep something that felt beautiful. That’s why I wanted this relationship, because it did me good.

Much has happened since then. And many things felt anything but beautiful and fluffy and soft. I got hurt and I hurt. I’ve suffered a lot and changed a lot. I have lied and was several times afraid to say that I don’t want any more of this. I got to know myself through you, the real me, not the person I once pretended to be or the person I thought I had to be. I have endured the pain of change. I almost broke up on it. I have experienced what it means to endure truths and felt how difficult it can actually be to be honest. I was very scared. And I’m still scared when I think about how important you are to me as a human being.

The last 6 years have been anything but easy and I think that I am only now slowly beginning to understand what it actually means to be in a committed relationship. We have not changed magically and by magic, this was not a self-explanatory process. Loving someone is a lot of work, I had to understand that bit by bit. In fact, I had to learn because loving someone is an art. To open up and confide is to get naked. There is no place to hide anymore, I can’t get around seeing myself and that can be so scary.

The truth is that love is a challenge because I love people I love as they are, with all their desires and dreams and needs. But that also means for me that I want to support them to become the way they want to be and to develop into the people they want to be. Expressed in John Welwood’s words: “seeing and loving them for who they could be, and for who we could become under their influence”. I believe that loving relationships, in whatever form, help us to develop in a certain way. To open up to another person is like being held up to a mirror. I have to be honest with myself to be honest with others and this is how I get to know myself. You helped me to find myself or, to put it in bell hook’s words, “we are committed to being changed, to being acted upon by the beloved in a way that enables us to be more fully self-actualized”.

I now know that I cannot rely on relationships remaining the same and that it will always be beautiful or simple or fluffy and soft, but I know that I can rely on us to be respectful to each other and invest work and time to love each other. I don’t want to hide or run away out of fear of too much intimacy because I would end up fleeing myself. I believe that we first have to get naked to change ourselves and I’m not sure if this kind of change is possible without a loving, close, intimate and familiar relationship of any kind. That’s why I’m grateful for the last six years with you. Thank you for helping me become the person I want to be. With all my strange and annoying qualities. Thank you for loving me as I am and for letting me be a part of your life. Thanks for the last six years.

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