This is a love story

I have a relationship that helps me thrive. My relationship is strong, loving, and everything I could have asked for. My significant other treats me with the upmost respect and care. My significant other motivates me to be the best version of myself that I can be - This person holds me accountable for my actions, but also helps me when I've been pushed down. I feel safer than I have ever been with this person, and who they are fits perfectly with who I am. I think that's rare, and I am lucky to have a love that makes me look forward to getting up in the morning.

If I had written the previous paragraph with "he" and "him", no one would think twice about it. My family would probably nod with approval, and my friends would ask me questions about him over coffee before class. But, if I wrote about a woman in that paragraph, I would imagine peoples reactions being different. I could see people being confused, or disgusted. I could see people in my life distancing themselves, or leaving, which is pretty annoying actually. It irks me that something so small as the word "she" could make a difference in how people perceive my relationship, regardless of how phenomenal that person may treat me.

I've spent my life looking for something that I believe 100 percent of the rest of the world strives to find - love. We live in a world that is still ignorantly blinded by race, gender, sexuality, rank, etc, but I think the one common ground we stand on is that we all want to feel loved. People have ended their lives over this primitive want to feel love and acceptance, and I think that no matter what you believe, or what color your skin is, or what gender your partner is, everyone deserves to feel that euphoric feeling of having someone to call your own.

I grew up having a lot of boyfriends, and a few girlfriends. I'd like to think that I was pretty fearless in high school, mainly because I didn't care if I was dating a girl or a boy at the time, I was still going to hold their hand as I walked to class and kiss them goodbye when I left to go home. People's opinions on my relationships had little affect on me, and it aggravates me that I am now a 22 year old adult about to obtain a degree, and I feel more terrified to write this post now, than when I was 16 years old and in high school. What is it that prevents me from feeling secure within myself at the age of twenty two? Aren't I supposed to have it all figured out by now? What has society done to the people like me who choose to love all people, rather than one gender?

If someone asks me "do you like boys or do you like girls?" I usually answer with "I just like people" because that's the most honest answer I can give. I sort of pride myself on this, because I try my damn hardest to see what a person is worth beyond their physical appearance. Isn't that a part of love? Falling in love with a person's personality rather than their looks? I just happen to notice a person's characteristics internally before their outer appearance, or their gender; and I am 100 percent okay with that, because it has led me to where I am today.

Today I am happy, healthy, and living a great life. I've got good friends, a supportive family, and an amazing relationship that embodies everything I said in the beginning of this post. I am incredibly lucky to have found that person for me, and it's okay that people will question it. I am happy. I have a real love. That's what we're all striving for, right?

When I decided to introduce Jess to my family, I was flooded with positive responses. I have a mother who welcomes her into our home with open arms, and a father who has stood by me the entire way. When I introduced her to my dads side of the family, my aunt and uncle hugged me and thanked me for feeling comfortable enough to tell them, then they turned to her and said "welcome to the family". That was a reaction I would never have predicted. It was so positive and so welcoming, that no amount of hate could take that away. The positive vibes didn't stop with blood, because my friends joined my support system. Jess is probably the first person Christina has actually thought was right for me! As a person with only a few close friends, it's comforting to have their stamp of approval. This sea of positive light has helped the confidence I had as a 16 year old resurface today.

My point is, I have a rare thing, and I'm not going to suffocate it because it doesn't fit everyone's definition of "normal". It works for me. And yeah, maybe I'll get a bunch of nasty comments about my relationship, but the reality is, the people who want to be a part of my life will accept this. If you're one of those people that is reading this and is ready to walk out of my life, don't let me stop you - because I've got what I need. I've got friends and family who have literally thanked me for introducing them to Jess, and who are rooting for us, because they see what I see. They see that this girl treats me exceptionally.