(Editor’s Note: This installment is written by Lynette Matusik’s partner Rachel MacNab.)

June 23rd, 2016. I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but the chance to go see The Cure with someone cool presented itself.

It was then that I met Lynette, then known as a different name, for the first time. She was interesting and attractive, and we started spending a lot of time together.

Two weeks later, she told me that she had feelings of dysphoria and the intention to transition. We had countless conversations about what it meant to both of us, what it meant for our budding relationship and what her plans moving forward were. I asked her hundreds of questions about her history with dysphoria, what transitioning would look like for her, what I needed to be aware of and what I should and should not worry about.

I had never knowingly even met someone, never mind dated someone who had transitioned. I had also never been in a lesbian relationship and had, at most, considered myself bi-curious. I scoured the Internet for information about people in my situation. The information I found was a great starting point for our conversations and helped me know what questions to even ask. I also spent quite a lot of time with myself, deciding how I felt about the circumstances and side effects of this relationship.

Over the next several weeks, we discussed our options at length. We made an agreement that I would try to go as fast as I could, if she went as slowly as she could. To us, this meant that I would learn everything I could about transgender people and transitioning as quickly as possible to reach an informed decision about what I wanted from the relationship, and she would take her transition as slowly as possible for her. Around six months later, she began her transition.

Every step of her transition, thus far, has been incredible. Although there have been hard days, it has been an absolutely beautiful journey with her. I have joined her for doctor’s appointments, speech-feminization classes, pharmacy trips, blood tests and shopping trips. I get to watch the amazing person whom I fell in love with become even more confident and comfortable in her own skin. My already beautiful partner smiles more often and the dysphoria attacks are now nearly non-existent. We both get excited when we notice the micro changes happening to her body. Although I still don’t fully understand where I stand on the LGBT-Z scale, I am more attracted to her and more in love with her every passing day.

Communication truly is the key to any healthy and successful relationship. Through difficult days and challenges, we have sat down and talked everything out, so we are both heard and understood. In being honest and open with each other, one can be honest and open with oneself.