A few weeks ago, on the 11th of January, me and Gareth 'celebrated' our five year anniversary of being a couple. Whilst we didn't get to celebrate the day as we had planned too (due to me being ill, yet again!) we did thankfully get to spend the day together, and reflect and reminisce on the past five years we have shared together.

It's safe to say we have been through a lot over the last five years, but we've worked through the obstacles and have found ourselves here five years on. Still in love with each other, still wanting to marry each other and still at times wanting to run away from each other - if you don't ever have this feeling in a relationship, are you even in a relationship!? 

 We've battled issues in our relationship caused by one of us, and we've battled issues in our relationship caused by others - because it seems that you can't be over the age of 25 and have a drama-free life, not when other's want to stick their noses in. Thankfully we have matured in our relationship and now know how to resolve things when one of us annoy each other, and as for drama with other people, thankfully there are no more stalkers or exes to contend with.

For me, a long term relationship was never on the cards, I was happy being single and having fun. Even dating was a commitment, but if the restaurant was good or the date on offer sounded fun, and the facts about not wanting anything serious was taking seriously by the proposed dater then I was down.

Some people judged my actions as being 'whoreish', some people may have read the previous paragraph and thought the same. I was just a 'young' single woman, who knew exactly what I wanted, and what I didn't want - and I wasn't hurting anyone, so where's the issue!? It seems to be if you're a woman, the 'fun' not settling down lifestyle isn't allowed, well screw you to anyone who thinks that, because those years (yes YEARS!) of me being single was some of the best years of my life, and a time I will never forget OR regret.

Gareth and I were seeing each other as sex buddies otherwise known as friends with benefits - though we weren't friends or buddies in any way shape or form. We had nothing in common, we was keeping our arrangement secret (so my brother didn't find out) the only thing that was good between us was the banter and the sex.

This arrangement was something I made clear from the second night of our meeting up (well technically the third). Gareth said he was totally happy with that, he wasn't looking for a relationship, nor was he not seeking one, but he was happy with my decision and respected that fact. The arrangement was going just fine...

Until a couple of weeks later when he declared his feelings to me on a little 'date'. He didn't just declare his feelings to me though, he had 'asked' me out in the most unique way, and I'm a sucker for unique things! Gareth turned to me and said 'your my girl now' to which I responded with a 'pardon!?', Gareth repeated himself, to which I asked him what he actually meant, and that's when he told me he really likes me, like... really really likes me, and what do I say to being his girl?

I felt myself blushing, and without any hesitation, I told him I felt the same and yes - I'd be 'his girl'! We kissed and parted ways as I had to collect Spud from school. I remember walking to the school in a happier than normal state, and then texting Gareth when I got home to just double take on what had happened. I wanted to make sure it wasn't something that had happened in the heat of the moment, and then he replied saying of course he felt that way, and how happy he was feeling that we were now a couple.

Then a feeling hit me, it was like something out of a film, with two little people, one each stood on both my shoulders, with the good side telling me to embrace the moment, and the bad side telling me how much of a fool I was being, and how the single life was the life for me. 

The next couple of weeks passed in kind of a blur - at least that's how I feel when I look back now, I suppose I was getting used to being in a relationship again after spending five happy years being single. I can't remember the date but I remember being stood in the kitchen - my kitchen, and Gareth handing me a Swizzels Love Heart sweet saying 'I love you' on it, and I completely freaked out. I think we must of been together for around 6 weeks by this point and it just wasn't something I was expecting at all.

We didn't spend that night together, as I really needed to think about where things were going. I didn't love Gareth at this stage, I don't even know if my feelings were strong for him, all I knew was I was enjoying the stage we were at, and love, or even stronger feelings hadn't even crossed my mind.

I ended up speaking to Gareth about using the word love, I tried shutting down his feelings telling him he couldn't possibly love me after just a few months of being back in contact with each other (we had a past fling years before), but when he told me he genuinely did, I could only respect his feelings and hope he could respect mine. I was asking Gareth not to say those words to me again, not just yet anyway, maybe in the future I explained.

Now, that memory makes us both laugh our heads off, Gareth often reminds me of the time with the Love Heart sweet, which leaves me cringing and my face as red as a tomato. Looking back, I know now I was just naturally keeping my guard up, but it was only a few months on until he said I love you, and I replied with an 'I love you too'.

Our romance blossomed, as did our relationship, with Gareth proposing just five months after being in a relationship with me, I happily gave him a yes answer, as I knew I would love to be his wife, and I still do - five years on. In fact, I want it more now, more than ever, but patience is a virtue, and I know when we do finally tie the knot, all the waiting would've been worthwhile!

Jada x
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