Hard work? Not so much.

Being on social media, my life (and my relationship) is always in the spotlight. Although some days are harder than others, I don’t regret it one bit. I have learned – both through triumphs and tribulations – important and valuable life lessons that I have had the privilege of sharing with you all throughout the years.

I have been in a relationship where I didn’t love the person nearly as much as they loved me, I have hurt people, I have been hurt even worse, and man, have I learned about what’s important to me.

Of course after going through probably one of the darkest times of my life, I met Austin shortly thereafter & so many of you have watched the growth within myself over the last year and a half. I often get comments like, “couple goals” or “omg I’m so jealous of your guys relationship” “I hope I find someone like that” etc. While I didn’t necessarily “do” anything for this relationship to blossom into what it has, I can tell you what I certainly did NOT do.

I did not change myself or become anything that I am not.

I was honest from the very beginning. About my demons, my struggles, my goals, what I had been through, I mean.. you name it. I was an open book. I didn’t hide any part of myself from Austin. I had done enough of that already in the years prior.

And to be honest with you, our relationship has ALWAYS been easy. I see people all the time on social media saying things like –

Relationships are hard work. You have to fight every day to make it work.

If I’m being honest? I don’t believe that. Prior to Austin, I had spent years TRYING to make things work. Trying to either change myself, change the other person, change the circumstances, or change SOMETHING because it just wasn’t working. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying our relationship is perfect! Nobodies’ is. BUT. What I will say is that our relationship is easy. In the year and a half that we have been together, we have never argued or become nasty with one another. We have never raised our voices at or spoke ill towards each other. Neither of us has compromised what we believe in for the sake of the other person. Generally speaking, our relationship has been easy.

We make the conscious choice to communicate with each other every day and express our love in different ways.. and obviously, life can sometimes just be, well, LIFE. So it’s not always rainbows and butterflies. But I certainly don’t sit there feeling exhausted at the end of the day thinking, “wow this relationship is really so much work and I have to try really hard to enjoy it”  It’s truly the opposite.

Austin + Manders
It’s easy. 

At the end of the day, I love the person that I am when I’m with Austin & I love who he constantly inspires me to be. I love that I don’t have to worry about trying to constantly make the relationship work every day. I love that we have a very simple view of love, trust, and our relationship in general. Maybe I just lucked out here, but I have been in a situation in the past where I constantly felt drained, or like we were running in two separate directions. I know what it’s like to have to do a lot of “work”  to make something work, and I don’t think that simply loving someone constitutes as work.

I truly wish that I would have learned this earlier on in life. Because growing up in a household where all I ever did was see chaos, arguing, crying and hurt from a relationship, I just thought that was normal.

Now I’ve learned that that’s not normal. Or at least, it will never be my normal.

xo

pictures by @Ironandlacephoto