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The Better Half of Me

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 , by
The Better Half of Me

I have never to this day (and likely won't again) seen somebody desecrate a scone the way you managed to. It still blows my mind a little thinking back on it; that somebody exists who takes apart a scone and pushes around the jam and the cream, and actively avoids pieces of it, and manages to get the cream on their nose.


That, somehow, I'm in a relationship with that person, of all people. And do you know something else? I wouldn't change it for the world.


You are, beyond any shadow of a doubt, the light of my life. There is nobody I can imagine myself being with - though to be fair I don't bother wasting time imagining silly scenarios like being with somebody else at all! - and there isn't a day of my life where I am not grateful for your presence in it. With considerably little effort on your part, you make me strive to be better than I am. It would probably be a bit drab and boring to call you the sunshine after a rainy day, but you don't seem to mind such clichés yourself and to be honest with you, it's completely true.


Any one of your quirks on its own would drive me to likely annoyance, which I suppose can be said about a lot of human beings if only because I have an awful habit of being quick to annoy in the first place, but when they are bundled together in the package that is you they gain a rather endearing quality to them. And don't ask me how they manage it, because I don't know how you manage to be endearing when you're second-guessing your life choices at seven o'clock in the morning and are muttering softly to yourself, as if you might find an answer that you previously overlooked, but they do. More impressive still is how these quirks manage to be endearing when there is a distance of hundreds of miles between us.


Relationships are hard in general, but I feel no shame in admitting that for me in particular they have been an absolute enigma. I see an elderly couple celebrating forty years together and I cannot even remotely fathom how they have, somehow, managed to stay together that long without trying to kill the other (and honestly that might say more about me and my cynicism than it does about relationships.) So the fact I'm in an online, long distance relationship is enough to boggle the mind. You hear all the time, too, about how hard long distance relationships are and about how they're almost always doomed to some sort of failure - often for the most asinine of reasons.


Yet, here we are all the same, falling asleep with headphones on our ears and wishfully thinking in terms of future-tense when we'll next get to see each other. Of when we'll get to be engaged. Of when we'll get to live together. I suppose some people might accuse us of being reckless for living in such a way, keeping our eyes on the metaphorical prize and deciding to tackle each hurdle of reality when we come to it with only the bare minimum of preparation possible. I suppose in some ways, those people might even be right. We're flying by the seat of our pants here, and it isn't like either of us are going to be getting any younger as we continue to scramble about this mad world and make the pieces of the puzzle fit together (and cursing very loudly when we come to the realisation we've been trying to put the right piece in the wrong slot for hours and oh my god, we've wasted so much time!)


But it's working, isn't it? I feel like it's working. I love you just a little bit more every single day, recklessness be damned, and even when there's an ocean sitting between the pair of us, your influence on my life affects me with every passing day. I go past a shop window and I see something in pastel purple and I think of you - it was the first colour I really saw you in. And by "you" I mean the mass of pixels that represented you, when I first met you on the online world, and I guess our parents were telling the truth when they say first impressions really do make a lasting impact. I go out in the morning and I see fog rolling in over the field, and I remember that walk we had together early in the morning before the sun could burn off the mist on the river. My legs were burning by the end of that day, and my left leg actually has been a little odd ever since (though I haven't told you this - and now you're going to be reading this and frowning and muttering to yourself as you have a habit of doing, and I'll surely catch an earful for it later) but I don't regret that walk at all, and I don't think I ever will because it was damn near magical and I loved every second of it.


I know that you doubt yourself a lot. It is one of your less endearing habits, I suppose; you talk down to yourself sometimes in less than pleasant ways, like an overbearing bully who wants to make sure you remember how worthless it thinks you are. But I want you to remember that whatever that shadow of yourself tells you, I love you all the same and I know that the things it tells you aren't true. If I could have any one wish - any one at all - it would be for you to believe in yourself as much as I believe in you, because you are so much more than what you make yourself out to be. Not that you're the next superhero or anything, and I don't think anybody would ever want you to be, but you are more than all of your insecurities and anxieties. You are so, so much more than they could ever hope to make you. And if you don't believe me, maybe just go stand in front of a big mirror and dance a little bit. I heard it once sung in a song that "hips don't lie" and frankly, my dear, your hips move like a dream. Have you looked at them?


Nobody that good at dancing deserves to lack confidence. It should be a crime.


I love you, very much. For all of your funny quirks, and for all too aware of your own flaws that you are, and for all of your strange habits that I could never begin to understand, you are a fantastic person and you make my life better for being in it. You aren't the most tactful or graceful (I might be preaching to the choir here about that) but that doesn't ever change the fact that the passion with which you live your life is an inspiration. And I firmly believe it's an inspiration to more than just me, too; I just get the privilege of saying I'm dating you. Which is, make no mistake, a real privilege that I'm glad I get to have. The dedication you have for the things you enjoy, the way you lose any shred of self-doubt when you hit up a dance floor... aw hell, even the way you just look absolutely fabulous when you decide to pretty yourself up with make-up and nice clothes. It's inspiring. You are, by far, my better half and I owe you so much thanks for that. And, one day Lilly, I'm going to help you see just how amazing you are for yourself, too.

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