Dear Nicholas,

As I'm writing this, I'm smiling to myself, thinking about you. If there's ever a way for me to describe "us," it's that. Even on a day like today, when I'm so entirely mentally exhausted and burned out, I find happiness in you.

Since the moment I met you, you have brought nothing but love into my life.

When I think back to the beginning, I remember how truly bad I felt at that time. I knew what I wanted, I knew what my dreams looked like, but the harsh realities of the world had toughened my heart and made me cynical. I felt like true love was a lie, or at the very least, that it was unattainable for me. And because of that, I was in this weird form of limbo, where I was going through the motions of life but was numb to it all, and had no idea what to do with myself.

And that's when you came in... right when I least expected it. You, with your pure heart, your good intentions, and your beautiful personality. You told me that you only dated to marry, and that you wouldn't be with someone you couldn't potentially see as a wife. You felt unreal, too good to be true.

But you were real, and you were there, standing in front of me — everything I could ever want and more.

There are times in life when you meet someone and you feel like you've known them for years. And that's how it was with you. We had an instant spark, an instant connection. But we also had that instant comfort and ease. I knew immediately that you would be someone important in my life, whether that be a best friend or a boyfriend. I'm lucky enough today to be able to call you both.

As much as I did want to jump right in, I had reservations. I was so scared of being vulnerable and getting hurt again. I didn't know if my heart could withstand that. But during your whole trip over that winter break, you gave me constant reassurance. You texted me and called me as much as you could. You complimented me. You still worked on getting to know me, despite the distance. You made it obvious that you were 100 percent in with me, and that I could trust you. Bit by bit, my walls did come down. Your consistent words, along with your consistent actions, showed me that you were an honest, kind-hearted person. And I fell in love with you.

I'm lucky enough to say that our story didn't stop there, or fizzle out as the months went on.

Truly, as time passes and we continue to check off more months and more years together, we only continue to grow with love. And I want to take this time to thank you for the amount of time, effort, and dedication you continue to put into our relationship.

Even two years and three months later, you continue to pursue me. You take me out on little food dates and adventures. You dress up for me. You flirt with me. You still message me all the time. You don't act like you already have me. Instead, you act like you have to do everything in your power to keep me. That makes me feel so special and so wanted. And every day, I fall even harder in love with you.

I'm so proud to be with a man who is self-aware and is willing to work on himself when he notices things he isn't happy with. You are so mature and responsible. I look up to you, I aspire to be more like you. And in this time that we live in, where so many people put on a front and act like they don't care or that they aren't so attached, you constantly prove to me that you do care so much. I never have to worry about how you feel or where we stand. You still give me reassurance every day with your words and actions.

You love and support me, even when I'm unbearable to be around. (And trust me, I know I can be a handful sometimes).

You have stuck by my side, through the good, the bad, and the ugly. You have been my rock. I know you will never give up on me, and Nick, I will NEVER give up on you. And that's what I believe true love is really about... two people, who, despite the harshest realities of the world, refuse to surrender. You are worth every ounce of time and effort.

I know the last several months haven't been ideal, but we've really been doing our best to make the most of it, regardless. And I think that's beautiful. It has shown me just how strong our relationship is and just how much we mean to each other. I have no doubt that whatever life throws at us in the future, we will be able to tackle it together, as a team.

I will never be able to thank you enough for the impact you have had on me. You give me so much life, you make me feel alive. You give me purpose. I would not be where I am today without you, that I am sure of. You are everything I need. You will always be my number one priority in life. I am so excited to continue our journey together and make all of our dreams come true. We have so much to look forward to. Our future is so beautiful and bright, my love.

I love you. I love you fully. I love you always. In a world full of variables, you are my constant.

Forever and always,

Nicole

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