I love my boyfriend more than I can put into words, but the one thing I’ve struggled with in our relationship is learning to think in “we” terms.
I’ve always been a very independent person, and have tried to do things on my own and in my own way for as long as I can remember. My boyfriend has told me that he loves that about me, but it can be frustrating at times. When he told me it frustrated him at times I didn’t understand why being independent could be a problem, especially in a relationship. I thought he loved my independence because it meant that I wasn’t needy or clingy and that I can take care of myself. I didn’t realize that it can come off as “I don’t need you” at times. I also didn’t realize how hurtful it is to him when I only think about how a situation is affecting me and don’t stop to think about how it affects him. When I was struggling with a bad job I kept thinking “how can I get through this” when he was thinking “how can we get through this”. It didn’t even occur to me that my situations were hurting him too. Perhaps it’s because I’ve never had a partner like him, someone who I can truly depend on and who wants to be with me through all the ups and downs. I’ve realized that with the right person, you become deeply involved in each other’s lives. When they’re happy, you’re happy. When they hurt, you hurt too.
It took me a while to realize this because I had spent so much time on my own and had started to think that I could never become a “we”. I used to hate when I heard couples say “we love this” or “we always do this” or “we blah blah blah”. I thought, “Don’t you have your own opinions? Your own plans without your partner? Your own life?” I didn’t understand how two people could merge into this one unit…until I fell in love with my boyfriend. I don’t want to only think about “me” anymore. He is a huge part of my life and I want him to be involved in my mistakes and triumphs just as much as I want to be involved in his. When you truly belong with someone, your lives intertwine in a way that you can’t imagine what it would be like without them. But the key is that you both have to feel that way. It takes two to “we”.
While I still believe it’s important to keep you own identity outside of your partner (I still get to think about just me from time to time), I now realize how important it is to say and think “we” instead of “me” in a committed relationship. It was certainly an adjustment switching from “what am I doing this weekend” to “what are we doing this weekend”, but it’s something I do automatically now. When you find the right person and reach a true level of comfort and commitment, you won’t think twice about saying “we”.