Hey you,

People assumed our "fling" would only last a few short months. It's what everyone assumes when your first love happens during your sophomore year of high school. Yet here we stand, three and a half years later, more together than we've ever been. Although we've had our ups and downs, we still managed to keep our relationship going and to remember why we're together in the first place.

Many say loving isn't easy, but you make it a walk in the park.

You respect me in more ways than one, and you make me feel beautiful, inside and out. For a long time, I never noticed the beauty and strength I have within myself. I didn't see what others would point out to me, and at times I still find it hard to acknowledge my worth. However, you came into my life at a time when I felt I had no one, and you helped me to see all I have to offer. You helped me to open my mind to the thought of loving myself for who I am, and although the road is long and I'm not completely there, you've made me see how worthy of love I truly am.

Having you as my best friend, along with being my boyfriend, is the most rewarding feeling in the world.

I think the reason we rarely fight or stay angry with each other is that we truly are best friends. We could spend all of our time in deep conversation about any topic in the world and still feel engaged and ready to hear more from one another. Every single day I learn something new about you and vice versa. We can be ourselves in each other's presence and have fun doing absolutely nothing exciting. I am easily annoyed by a lot of things, but you are not one of them. Being with you for hours, even if we just watch TV the entire time, never gets repetitive or boring.

You treated me with the respect I deserved before I even realized I was worthy of it.

In many ways, I don't respect myself. Whether it be body image or letting "friends" walk all over me, I let many thoughts and people control my life. You, however, were the saving grace I needed. You've shown me how I deserve to be treated and how I should think of myself. Often I wonder how I got so lucky to end up with someone who loves me unconditionally and who values everything I have to offer. I say all the time that I don't deserve your heart, your kindness, your love, but you always remind me that I do. And I'm starting to realize that you're right, I deserve every bit of love, kindness, and respect that you have to offer. I can only hope that I award you with the same love and selflessness you give me every single day.

Three and a half years with someone may seem extremely long, but I feel as though we've been together a lifetime. It's hard to remember a time when you weren't right there beside me, and I would never want to imagine a future without you in it. There are so many more laughs, adventures, and memories to be made with you, and I only hope that I can be at least half of the person you are.

Thank you for pulling me out of the darkness. Today, tomorrow, and always.