This year, me and my boyfriend celebrated our four year anniversary. A great milestone for any couple. But when you’ve been together since you were still at school, it’s just that little bit extra special.
Full-disclaimer; I’m using the phrase high-school sweetheart, but in reality I’m from the UK so have never described myself as being in high-school (secondary school sweetheart’s just doesn’t have the same ring to it does it?) plus, we didn’t even go to the same school. Bit awks.
But for the sake of a catchy title, I’m going to roll with it.
I met my boyfriend when I was sixteen and he was err…fifteen, through some mutual friends. We chatted for a few weeks on Facebook (so 2K13) until we decided to meet up in person. To cut a long story short, he asked me out on the very day I met him and then a week later told me he loved me.
I know. Who even is he? Nutter.
Fast-forward four years later and we’re still very much together and have started our journey into adulthood.
So what’s it like to still be dating your HSS?
You’ve basically dated about five versions of the same guy
Obviously a big part of dating your HSS well into your 20’s, is that you’ve been with the same guy the whole time. A question I’ve been asked in the past is, “don’t you get bored of being with the same guy for so long?”
In all honesty? No.
The thing is, I’m not the same person as I was when I was sixteen and neither is he. We’ve both evolved, grown-up and developed a stronger sense of who we are. The only difference is that we’ve both done it together and have been around each other to experience the changes. So I don’t think of it as ‘I’ve been stuck with the same guy for four years’ because it doesn’t feel like I have.
When I was sixteen, I went out with a guy that was fun but very immature when it came to considering my feelings. When I was eighteen, I went out with a guy that was excited to be starting University, yet was apprehensive about how little we would see each other. Now, I’m going out with a guy who is sweet, loving and kind, driven to start a career he’s passionate about and who wants to move in with the girl he’s been with since he was fifteen.
You receive opinions from people you hardly know
I didn’t quite expect this at first, but when people find out that you’re still with your HSS, it can conjure up a range of different reactions, despite whether you know them well or not.
Once, I had someone in a LUSH store tell me how ‘cute’ it was that we had been together for so long and that hearing about it ‘made her want to cry because it was so sweet’. On the flip-side, I’ve had others baffled over the notion that I’m STILL going out with the guy that I had a crush on when I was sixteen, who then go on to try and convince me that I’m ‘missing out’ on things by doing so.
Over-time, I’ve come to realise that some people will have an opinion about it and that’s ok. The way I see it is, you can’t choose how old you are when you meet someone you ‘click’ with. People fall in love at different stages of their lives and that’s ok too.
You are unashamedly comfortable around each other
You know what I’m talking about right? EVERY relationship reaches this stage at some point. The stage when you’ll happily spend the evening with your hair scrunched up into a top-knot without a scrap of make-up on, binge watching Netflix. Or when you’re willing to squeeze that spot on their forehead or spend the evening plucking away those stray eyebrows.
The great thing about being in a relationship for a really long time, is that you don’t have to worry about all those silly things that mattered at the beginning of the relationship. When you find someone you feel comfortable around, it doesn’t matter if you accidentally burp really loudly in front of them, it doesn’t matter if you act like a total weirdo when you’re with them, it doesn’t matter if actually all you want to do this weekend is stay indoors and play video games in your dressing gowns.
Going out with your HSS means that you’ve probably already seen each other at your worst. I mean; spotty, hormonal and badly-dressed teenagers… Need I say more?
You can reminisce about some of life’s biggest moments together
It’s weird to say that I was there when my boyfriend got his GCSE results. I was there when he was choosing which University to go to. I was there to help him get his first part-time job.
On the flip side, he has been there for some pretty big moments for me too. He helped me weigh up the pros and cons of going to University and was there when I got my first full-time job. He was there to help me deal through any drama I was going through growing up.
Sometimes my mind gets blown when I think about how much we’ve actually experienced together. That’s one of the coolest things about dating your HSS. You can say “hey remember when we both picked up our exam results together?” Or “remember when you got tipsy at dinner on your 18th birthday?”
You know each other inside and out
Naturally over the last four years, we’ve developed a whole catalogue of inside jokes, weird faces and funny memories. We basically talk in our own language at this point. He has this great ability to make me laugh with just one word or a certain facial expression. Sure, it’s great if you want to laugh. Not so great if you’re trying to be mad at him for something.
Another thing is that being together for so long means that you know how the other person is feeling without them needing to saying a word. You can communicate with each other, just by giving each other a certain look. You know what makes each other tick and if the other person is feeling down, you know exactly the kind of thing that will cheer them up again.
Like every single couple on the planet, we argue. We’ve had small, petty arguments, as well as some pretty big, make-or-break arguments too. Having a HSS doesn’t automatically mean we have a fairytale relationship filled with rainbows and unicorns. But, what we do have is a relationship that has been nourished overtime. A relationship that has grown and flourished with unconditional love and respect. A relationship which has meant that I’ve always had someone to rely on growing up and who has been there through all the good times and the bad.
To me that’s better than a fairytale.