Okay. Admittedly, there was one major reason that I wanted to make this blog, and it’s for everyone who needs a resource I don’t really have. In order for this to make sense, I have to admit something that I don’t really feel too proud of; it’s not that I’m embarrassed, it’s just something that someone my age doesn’t normally deal with or experience. In my first post, I mentioned that I was in a happy, committed relationship, which I most certainly am! My boyfriend’s name is Ed, and we’ve been together for about 7 1/2 months, but were best friends for about 2 months before that. Ed makes me happier than I’ve ever been; he takes care of me, makes me laugh, and still gives me butterflies (I know!!!). He’s the most handsome man I’ve ever met and he puts a smile on my face without me even knowing. He’s chivalrous and insists on opening the door for me and holds my hand wherever we go – he also lets me be the little spoon and will willingly give up his share of the blanket if I get cold. Pretty much, I’m the luckiest girl in the whole world. On top o that, as I mentioned before, we were best friends before we started dating, so we got to know each other really well. We would spend countless nights on the phone with each other until two, three, four in the morning somedays, and others we would drive around and goof off and enjoy each other’s company for hours, simultaneously doing everything and nothing. He really is my best friend and the love of my life. I know I’m only 18, but I’m quite certain I found the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with; the most amazing part of that revelation is that he feels the same way about me.
All fairytales aside, our relationship has its share of ups and downs (somedays it feels like we get more than our share). There are a few things that make our relationship more complex and/or mature than other relationships, especially considering that we’re only 18. When Ed was a sophomore, he and his girlfriend of a few years at the time had a baby, a boy named Noah. Winter of our junior year, Ed and his girlfriend broke up and went on to see other people. Ed is still very much a part of Noah’s life, and loves his son more than anything in this world. I was not the first girl Ed dated post break-up, we started dating almost a year after they split up. He and his ex (who’s name I’m intentionally omitting because she would freak out if she found this, lol) have had custody battles and parenting classes and agreements, but recently Ed and she have gotten it pretty much set in a routine, in that he gets Noah every Wednesday for a few hours and every other weekend, Friday evening to Sunday evening. I met Noah when Ed’s family celebrated his 18th birthday, one Saturday in January. I think Ed and I were both nervous – Noah was only two at the time but I still wanted him to like me, or at least not hate me – but I think the night went relatively well. Since then, we’ve taken quite a liking to each other. He calls me Rachy, jumps on me, and although he won’t admit it, loves when I tickle his stomach.
Our relationship is very different than most relationships that people our age are in. In most relationships, the couple compromises over dates and dinner options. Ed and I compromise over whether or not we can go to a graduation party if it’s on a weekend that Noah sleeps over, or if it’s doable to attend a concert in February, when he’s not sure if he’ll have Noah. He’s had to miss some concerts of mine because they fell on a Wednesday, and sometimes I’ll turn down the offer to have dinner at his house because I don’t want to infringe on his “Daddy-Noah time” as he calls it. I know that he wouldn’t extend the invitation if he didn’t want me there, but it’s hard not to feel like I’m intruding sometimes. There are times when I feel like an outsider in my relationship, or a third-party. As much as I hate to admit it, his ex-girlfriend and he are always going to have to be around each other, at least to make Noah’s life as easy and painless as possible. Does it upset me? Absolutely. I don’t think Ed would take to me constantly calling or texting any of my ex’s, and I know that it’s a completely different situation, but it still bothers me. No girl, no matter the situation, likes when their boyfriend is talking to his ex.
There are other aspects to this side of our relationship, but this post is getting a bit text-heavy, so I’m going to continue it in a follow-up post. The focus of that one will be more guided help for girls (or boys) who are in my situation and are not sure how to cope with all the feelings (both expected and unexpected) that come with dating someone who has a child with another person. For now, enjoy these cute pictures of Ed and I (and Noah, as a bonus!).