I decided to write this post about my relationship not because I am crazy ga-ga in love with my boyfriend (although I am), but because I have been in a healthy, supportive and loving relationship for the past four and a half years. Because we started dating when we were so young, we have grown together, but we managed to keep separate interests, social lives independent of one another and still we can consider ourselves our own best friends. Maybe this sounds preachy to some, and maybe some of you think that I am too young to share any perspective about love and relationships, but I decided to publish this post because I find myself realizing how lucky I am that things have turned out the way that they have. I am an impulsive, driven and independent young woman who often likes to spend her free time with a levelheaded, intelligent and independent young man. He listens to my opinions, challenges me and encourages me to pursue my passions. We both go to school, intern and work part-time jobs and recognize how important those things are to not only our shared future but to our futures independent of one another. Disclaimer: We fight. Every couple fights (Although there is never any screaming involved so if you asked my boyfriend he would tell you we have never had a single argument). Our relationship is by no means perfect. But because it is the way it is I am happy, and not just in my relationship; my happiness has leaked into all aspects of my life and helped me to achieve all of my current goals. Which brings me to the real reason I am sharing this post. Life is hard: it brings you down, it piles on top of you and then it sits on the top of the pile while it laughs. But I am grateful that I found someone at such a young age to help me out from under the pile, or at least sit there and talk to me until I can climb out myself. And I think that is what is really important. I know that if I didn’t have my boyfriend, I have a few fantastic friends that would be there for me every second of the day if I needed (as I hope I would be for them), and I have a wonderfully supportive family. Your relationships should help you see the best in yourself. On those dark days when you’re at the bottom of the pile and you can’t remember why you’ve got to get out of there, you should have some healthy, wonderful, supportive relationship with a person who is going to remind you.