“Why don’t you say ‘I love you’?”This is a question I ask my boyfriend on a weekly basis. Not because I’m in a dire need of the constant affirmation, but mostly out of curiosity. I just always figured that once you and your partner fell in love, it was something that was said every single time you spoke: “Have a good day! I love you”… “Goodnight! I love you”…”I just broke my record and ate three everything bagels in one sitting. I love you!”I don’t know if it was the household I grew up in or the movies I watched as a child, but not hearing those three little words every time my boyfriend and I spoke really started to get under my skin. Until recently.

This month, I turned 29.I wanted to be more upset or fearful of the number, but for maybe the first time since my 21st birthday, I was actually really excited about turning one year older. I think it’s because I actually feel the age that I am. When I was 26, what I consider the big “I’m an adult, now” age, I was a mess. Drinking almost every night, no money in the bank, and nothing in my life was stagnant. Now, at 29, I have my own apartment, a “big-boy” job, and a loving and supportive relationship. 

I never figured nine months ago that maintaining this blog was going to be harder than my day at a cross-fit gym. In the beginning, posts would come to me effortlessly. But now, I have to sit in front of my computer, drink a minimum of three glasses of wine, and scroll through our entire text history just for a semblance of an idea. So, since I don’t want to write a post about emoticons, I decided to write it on how we coped with being apart and essentially having a long distance relationship. 

I can’t believe that summer is almost over. As I sit here typing this article in my drafty and fluorescent-lit office, I can’t stop thinking about all of the trips I wanted to take, beaches I wanted to visit, and meals I wanted to eat. While I may have eaten 98% of my “Food Wish List”, I still had yet to leave New York and I didn’t even come close to visiting a beach – unless you count the patch of sand in Staten Island they call the beach, which I don’t.  As far as summers were concerned, I was pretty unlucky this year. 

I have to be honest; I never thought when I started writing about my relationship that I would make it to six months. Three months were even a stretch for me. This isn’t saying that I felt my relationship was doomed from the start, it simply means that since I am a relationship novice, I figured I would have fucked it up by now. But I didn't! When trying to decide what I wanted to write about for my 6th month anniversary, I knew that it had to be something encouraging, relatable, impactful and (most importantly) celebratory.

Growing up as an only child was amazing. I loved not having someone to share things with and I especially loved getting all of my parents’ attention money.   But now, as I venture into being an “adult,” there are a few minor qualities I never really had to learn until I got into a relationship. One is to always remember to flush the toilet. The other is to compromise. Since the mandatory toilet flushing aspect is pretty self-explanatory, I will instead discuss my findings on the importance of compromising.

Four has always been my favorite number.  You may wonder, “What’s the significance?” Well, there is none. It’s not my birthday, it’s not how many siblings I have, and it’s not the number that was sewn into my jersey the summer I attempted to play little league. It’s not how many pieces of pizza I can eat in one sitting and it’s not how many people I have slept with. It’s just a number. But, from as early as I can remember, four was – and still is – my lucky number. 

Yes! I am still in my relationship! Can you believe it? I know, sometimes I can’t either. Every day I wake up thinking “is today the day I fuck it up?” but so far the only thing I’ve fucked up is my Netflix queue and the only thing I’ve cheated on was my diet.Within the first month, I had a lot to work on with transitioning from a single socialite who went on at least one date every week (and ate whatever I wanted) to someone who has to share a bed with somebody and text every day. Although, I do still get to eat whatever I want.

My boyfriend and I have been together for a full 90 days, and in most scenarios when you are trying to get used to or adjust to something, many experts say 90 days is all it takes. For example, if you are quitting smoking, the first three days are the toughest, but after 90 days, your body – and you – start to become accustom to the absence of tobacco. Now, I know being in a relationship is nothing like quitting smoking (although both are stressful and your weight can fluctuate), but it is some sort of an achievement to make it to this benchmark.

On January 8th, I went on what seems like my thirtieth Tinder date. Like the preceding 29 other dates, we met up at a bar for a few quick drinks during happy hour. The evening went as well as a first date could (nursing your vodka tonic so they don’t think you’re an alcoholic, accidentally interrupting each other when you think their story about an 8th grade field trip is over, lying about loving your job and friends, etc).