I don't know how other people's relationships look from the inside out, and I am a big believer that how someone treats you in public or in front of your friends matters just as much as the way they treat you when you're alone, but I don't think I've ever had a functionally normal relationship until now. I can't remember loving someone I didn't have knock-down drag out fights with, emotional and verbal battles... I had to fight for every inch.
Here's the thing, I've been fighting this inner struggle, trying to figure out what's bothering me. And it came to me today finally. We always fought, yelled, made each other angry, pushed each others buttons, got jealous, made the other person want to scream and yell. We being the other relationships I look back on with a mixture of fondness and awe. Yes, I love Gary, and I love JP, and I've never been a big believer in one person for everyone. Although I'm starting to wonder about that one... maybe I didn't believe before because I hadn't found that person until FSU?
What is ridiculous about this scenario is that being the emotional and dramatic (over dramatic?) person I am, I think I thrived on that. The arguments, the disappointment, the pain, the making up. Maybe I'm a masochist. It turns out there's nothing missing between FSU and I, he just doesn't give me a reason to be angry, he doesn't give me reason to doubt, to cry, he never hurts me. Nobody is perfect, but learning to adjust my volatile and intense personality to someone who treats me so well is surprisingly difficult. The hard part about finding the person you want to be with forever, the one person who makes you feel whole and special and loved, is accepting the idea in the first place. You see there isn't anything to fight about! How strange.
There is still something to be said about feeling the most alive when your heart is breaking, but maybe it's less about feeling alive and more about a heightened sense of awareness.. of the way you feel, the things you want from someone else, the connection you have to another person. More than anything each of my relationships has taught me something about myself, and how people in love relate to each other. With Gary, I never felt more desperate for proof of love or cared more strongly for one person at the same time before. We fought often and made-up often, it was the same with JP. I'm not sure if I ever actually doubted their feelings for me but I always pushed them, tested them, maybe just to see if they cared enough to stick around. Obviously this is a recipe for disaster. If you spend enough time convincing someone they shouldn't be with you then they will eventually believe you and walk away.
You've got to let that one perfect person that found you against all odds love you the way that comes naturally to them. I'm still learning this. Don't push them away, don't test their feelings, just trust. This is much harder than you would think.