Three Things I’ve Learned About Love in Nine Years

Happy Thursday everyone and happy NINE YEAR anniversary to Josh and I! I’m not sure if anyone else out there still counts the anniversary they first started dating when they’re already married, but we do! (I still count months sometimes lol)

On this day, nine years ago, Josh asked me to be his girlfriend in the parking lot of our high school. I actually remember the exact light pole we stood under. And yes, I insisted that he ask–it wasn’t official until the question “Will you be my girlfriend?” was asked.

In just a few days we’ll celebrate ONE WHOLE YEAR of marriage! Over the past nine years,I’ve learned quite a bit about myself, love, and relationships.

You Learn to Love Them

Hear me out. Of course I pretty much loved Josh from the start. When I love, I love hard. As a senior in high school, I didn’t go into this relationship thinking we would break up (who does?). I went into it thinking and somewhat maybe knowing that we would get married one day. I guess we’re the lucky ones.

Josh didn’t tell me he loved me until we had been dating for two years. It was Valentine’s Day, before a fraternity date party, on his futon couch thing, when he gave me this David Yurman ring (affiliate link) and said the three words I’d been waiting to hear for what seemed like forever. I love you. Love is patient am I right?

And since that day, I’d like to think our love has evolved. I’ve learned to love Josh in the way he wants to be loved. His love language is different from mine and he doesn’t respond the same way I do when people  give me gifts, tell me I’m pretty, and play with my hair. He enjoys quality time above all, words of affirmation and physical touch.

You Learn to Appreciate Them

It’s SO easy to take the people who are in your life day in and day out for granted. But over the years, I’ve learned that I’ve got it good. No, I’ve got it great. Josh is a hard-working man that I can’t wait to come home to in the afternoons. He’s reliable, smart, and kind. I can’t wait to see him be a father to our future children because I know he’ll be so great with them (I mean look at him with our dog-child).

When he goes out of town, I miss him. When he helps me clean the house or do the laundry or even hang the Christmas lights, I get ALL of the heart eyes. Our anniversary (both of them) is like a husband appreciation day. Because more than just loving him, I truly appreciate the way he cares for our little family and the little things he does for me.

You Learn from Them

When you’re with the same person for nine years, you learn things from them and even start picking up on their mannerisms. Because of Josh, I’d like to think I’m more athletic and have better hand-eye coordination. Because of me, I’d like to think he has better style and grammar.

From tossing dog toys back and forth, to playing football in the yard–it adds up people. And sometimes I surprise myself. I know more about sports than I care to, I can drive a boat, and know more football facts than I really want. He truly makes me a better person because he calls me out when I have a bad attitude and when I’m being petty about something.

Today, I’m counting my blessings and all of them have Josh written all over them.

What have you learned from being with your S/O? Let me know!


  • Happy anniversary! I totally count our years with the time before marriage: together for 11 years, married for 1 and a half 🙂 I totally agree, we learn so much from each other. My husband and I have totally different ways of viewing the world, which can open up so many more possibilities when looking at a tough decision together. I have to agree with you on the other points as well. You learn to truly appreciate a person and to accept them as they are. Fantastic post!

  • shootingstarsmag

    Happy Anniversary! I think it’s great you count from the time you started dating and not just went you got married – no reason to cut those years out! They are worth celebrating! I don’t have a S/O but I think these are all spot on regardless.


  • Happy anniversary to you two! I think learning each others’ love languages is such an important step! It really helped my husband and I get to know each other and learn to show our love each other in the best ways, yeeeears before we were married.

  • Ashley Stephenson

    Awww Happy Dating Anniversary! My husband and I still celebrate our dating anniversary too! We started dating in July and married in November so it is just an excuse to get dressed up and go to a fancy dinner!

  • Shannon @ Lady’s Little Loves

    Ahhhhh so sweet! I love the 5 love languages book and have learned how to love my husband better from it as well!

  • Happy anniversary! My husband and I will have been married for four years in December (together for eight years as a couple), and we learn new things about each other every passing day. Most of them are great, some are questionable (for the lack of a better term), but the good always outweigh the bad. 😉

  • Happy anniversary! I think it’s fun to celebrate all sorts of special days as a couple. Beautiful photos!

  • Happy anniversary! I just started looking into the love languages book and its really interesting!

  • Nikki Gwin

    I do count the years that we dated, which were 8, along with the years we’ve been married, which is 9. I love remembering every single day of our time together. I think the main thing that he has taught me is to enjoy the ride, not just the destination.
    🙂 gwingal

  • happy anniversary!! I love this post! I’ve learned so much from my husband that it would be a short novel haha but probably appreciation is a big one!

  • 9 years – wow!!! Happy, happy anniversary! We’ve been together for 7 and we are CONSTANTLY learning from each other!

  • Neely

    I feel like the biggest thing I have learned is patience. I am a very impatient person and my husband is VERY patient!

  • This is such a nice post that made me feel so warm and fuzzy. Congrats on 9 years! My boyfriend and I are pretty opposite (I’m incredibly high strung, very type A and he’s one of the most laid back people I know) and one of the biggest things I’ve learned from him is how to take a chill pill and one of the biggest things he’s learned from me is how to bring some organization into his life. I think we all become more like the people we spend our time with, especially our significant others.

  • Love this! Happy dating anniversary! I definitely think it’s ok to keep counting them even after you’re married!

  • This is so adorable! Nine years seems like an eternity to me – congratulations on such a milestone! Your two are too cute. It melts my icy heart aha.

    Christie’s Take on Life. xx

  • Happy Anniversary to a beautiful couple! Your thoughts on love and marriage are spot on. Wishing you many more happy years!

  • McKennableu

    This is so sweet! Happy Anniversary! So happy for you.

  • nicole simonetti

    my favorite thing about love is what it teaches you about yourself. it puts you through the greatest tests, and not all of them are good…& how you work w/ your S.O. is essential to how your relationship works. congrats on 9 years, here’s to many (many) more! x, nicole //

  • So sweet and yes to all of this! I’ve been with my fiancé now for over 9 years, and you definitely learn a lot!

  • Laila

    This is so cute and inspiring! The pictures in this post really show how much you love each other! Happy Anniversary!

  • adorable!! my husband and i don’t count our dating anniversary anymore but we acknowledge it! it’s hard to keep up with all the different significant dates now! but my husband has taught me to be better with budgeting and money 🙂

  • Audrey Knizek

    This is so cute! Happy anniversary! I’ve been with my boyfriend 3.5 years and it’s amazing the things we learn about and from each other, and how every day I love him more than the last.

  • This sounds JUST like Ryan and I! He is never afraid to call me out, and he is SO good with helping out when I need it. The best relationships are the ones where you give and take and learn things from each other. Nine years is a long time, I hope you have many many more anniversaries together! <3

    Kayla |

  • Thena Reading-Franssen

    Happy anniversary! So cool, congrats on this! Such an exciting time!

  • Aww, I love this! You two are so cute.

  • It’s so important to appreciate the one you’re with! Congrats on 9 Years!

  • Logan Elizabeth Abbott

    Your first point is so important!! You can love someone right away, but people change as they grow up or their lives change, and you have to constantly learnt to love who they are in that moment instead of holding on to the person they were initially.

    This post was so beautiful, and congratulations on nine years together! I wish you all the best!

    Logan |

  • Yes yes yes to all of this! I feel like I couldn’t have explained it better myself! Such a sweet post <3