Today is a particularly special day for my relationship. Today, Albert and I have been together for 5 years. Neither of us is big on celebrating anniversaries or holidays and such, but I really feel like celebrating this one. We’ve overcome a lot to get to this point in our lives, both individually and out life together. Out meeting to begin with was pretty much chance. He took the day off work and I just happened to get out of class early that day. We met online, chatted a while, and then decided to get together and watch a movie. I drove up to Orlando (I had recently moved from Orlando back to where I grew up) and the rest… is, as they say… history. I was an actor at a theme part at the time and normally worked weekends when Albert was off work- so the chances of us meeting online again would have been slim. My gay friends ask me frequently how I’ve managed to meet someone and have stayed in such a successful relationship for such a long time for a gay guy my age. My answer is always the same: Never. Give. Up. Situations and obstacles are constantly trying to get between the two of us. But once we past them, we always reach for one another’s hands again. There have been rough times, and some of those I was unsure about our future together. But the key remains that neither of us ever, ever, gave up. To me, a relationship is an organic being, not a stagnant puddle of water. A relationship must continue to grow and develop in new ways, or, like a puddle of water, become unhealthy. I’m not the same person that I was when Albert met me, and he has certainly evolved in the past 5 years. It has only been by changing our very core foundation together that we’ve managed to stay together. We adapt, we respond to each other’s change and we move on. Not only have we bettered ourselves individually and bettered out relationship as a result. Is that not the entire point of being in a relationship? To bring out the best in the other person, and as a result, grow into the best possible version of yourself? When you encounter a hill, you climb it- together. When you run into a river, you swim it together- supporting each other in the rapids. And when finally, you reach the ocean, you sit on the beach, listen to the crashing waves and think about your journey to this point. And then you watch the sun set in the distance, the blazing colors setting the sky afire. No regrets are thought of- because you made the most of life, and you were lucky enough to find the perfect complement to yourself to share it with. And then… you know… you do it. And stuff.