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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

I never knew what it fully meant to be in a relationship, a full-time, long lasting, healthy relationship, until I ended up in one. This relationship, that I am currently in, has been a journey, full of good, bad, sad, and exciting times but it hasn't been easy.

Growing up, I have always heard the term, “a man is going to be a man", meaning that I shouldn't put my all into one relationship and date as many men as I can. That was something that has never sat well with me. I'm that person who believes in true love, the kind of love that no one can break, the kind of love that only you and your partner will understand, but there was a problem, I didn't know how to get there, how to acquire that kind of love.

One day, it found me and I instantly knew that this was right, although I was going about it the wrong way. Looking back, I realized that the things that I did in the relationship weren't the best choices. The constant arguing, the telling of our business to others, who I now know didn't want us to be together in the first place, the lack of communication on my end to him. I realized that all of these toxic components were going to end my relationship before it can fully start. I knew that I wanted us to work, I was falling for him and didn't want to let him go. It was time for a change.

In order to change, I knew that I had to get rid of toxic things that were hindering our relationship from moving forward. The first thing I did, as hard it was, brought all of the problems with him to him. I cut out telling my “friends”, our business. Not only would it paint a bad picture of him but it will also reflect on me as well. Secondly, I learned how to open myself to him, I began to help him when he needed it and vice versa, I learned that being in an almost nine-year relationship will have its challenges, its ups, and downs, but you have to learn to get through it if you want to make it work.

The last part that I worked on as a testament of my growth in this relationship is cutting out the blaming, the arguing, and constant pettiness with the lingering “a man will always be a man" over my head. I knew that if I wanted to make this work with him, then I would have to block out all of the negativity that was around me and remain focus on us.

From then until now, I can honestly say that I have grown a lot, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. There has been some tear shed, heated arguments, not speaking to each other for days but in those moments, I gave me time to step back and look at things from his point of view. My growth also came from owning my mistakes and acknowledging when I did wrong which isn't easy at times, but it is helpful. Looking back at this journey, there's nothing that I would change because it helped me become the woman that I am today and it has also helped me realized that I am still growing as a person, woman, and girlfriend. Growth is healthy, it’s time to embrace it.