The Pressure Of Long Term Relationships

My first serious relationship was 4 years long and when I say serious, I took it very seriously. I pictured marriage and kids. Planned where we’d live, where I’d go to college, and how our lives would be.

At that point in my life, I would frequently say “why bother being in a relationship with someone if you don’t think you’ll get married?” And that was at age 18 ish.

But I can now tell you I was wrong. Because relationships are learning experiences, sometimes it takes 2 seconds to know you don’t like someone and sometimes it takes 2 years. Why should we stop ourselves from diving into love just because we don’t know how serious it will be, how long it will last, or if we’ll get married?

Long term relationships can really apply that pressure especially when you’re in your mid-late twenties where everyone is starting to get engaged and married. It makes you think that the longer the relationship goes on, the harder a break up could be. Just because you’ve been together for someone for three years, does that mean you’ll marry them?

And if you don’t end up marrying them, did you waste your own time or theirs? Is it unfair to be in a relationship if you’re not sure you see marriage down the line?

As always, I preach communication with your partner because it’s honestly something they should know so they can decide for themselves the risks they are taking. Obviously every relationship doesn’t end in marriage, the one I thought that would ended in lots of tiny pieces set on fire. So you can’t base anything off of if you’ll be spending the rest of your life together, you just have to enjoy the time you’re spending together now.

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Moving In Together – 6 Months In

After about a year and a half of dating, my boyfriend and I moved in together and I wrote about my first impressions here.

Leading up to it, I wasn’t nervous at all. I was excited to be in one place, no more traveling back and forth to see each other and leading separate lives. Everything would be more convenient and it just felt like the next step. But the day we moved in, I freaked. The weight of all that could go wrong fell on me.

We’ve now been living together for six months and a lot has happened. We got a dog, we moved past the newness of living together, we’ve settled. We’ve had friends over, we’ve stayed in, we’ve fought, we’ve enjoyed our time together, and we’ve learned to give each other space.

It all really just happens naturally if you’re not forcing it. Nothing in life is rainbows and butterflies. You’re going to load the dishwasher wrong and he’s going to throw your dry clean only pants in the dryer and the dog is going to chew up all of your socks. Though social media doesn’t quite show those things, that’s just the way life is.

It’s basically nothing like the photo I used for this blog post. It’s not perfect, but that’s okay.

Six months in and we feel very comfortable in our little apartment together with our little family. It feels right for right now, but does have me thinking about the future a lot. Being together is great, but life has other factors and questions to consider. Do we want to live here forever? No, but when can we move? Are we on the right path for our careers? Can we follow those paths together? When’s the time to make next steps? Do we have to get engaged soon? Married? AH!

Everything is moving slow right now and I kind of just want it to speed up. But that’s no way to live and I’m way too uncertain about most of life’s decisions lately to be able to hop skip and jump to the future. All I can do is try to live in the moment and know that the here and now in our relationships and our little home is great.

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Adopting A Dog – Initial Thoughts

Two months ago I wrote about how we adopted our little monster named Kaya. I introduced her to you and told you the backstory of deciding to get her. So now that we’ve had her for a few months, I wanted to give you all an updated!

I have to admit, the first month with Kaya was so hard. All of our conversations were about her and our relationship definitely went on the back burner. She was chewing things up, being a little too rowdy, and taking up most of our time. As someone who has openly admitted to not wanting kids because I selfishly like my time, this was pretty tough for me.

I don’t want to equate getting a dog to having a child, I KNOW that there is a huge difference. But they are very similar in a lot of ways. Your puppy will wake you up in the middle of the night, you’ll worry about them all day when you’re away from them, they will have accidents and ruin some of your things. They will take up MOST of your time.

I wasn’t loving the experience of having a dog, even though I had wanted one of my own for the past 5 years.

But as we all settled in to our home together, Kaya calmed down a lot. She stopped getting too wild when trying to play and stopped chewing on my stuff. She adapted to waiting for us to wake up in the morning and does so well at the dog park. After the first month of basically disliking this dog, now I love her to death.

And I’m back to equating having a dog to having a child. I now understand how giving up most of your life is worth that love you receive back. Adopting a dog should never be a light decision, it was a huge change for us, but our little family feels so complete now!

I Still Think About My Exes

I haven’t had contact with any of my exes in almost two years. Luckily, I don’t think any of them care about my blog anymore because I know they’d just be tickled to know I still think about them sometimes.

Of course I do, how could I forget? I still think of the time I got way too drunk at a casual get together in college and the time my middle school “boyfriend” broke up with me through his AIM profile. I think about everything, including my exes.

It’s just here and there, I don’t really follow any of them on social media so that made it easy to escape them. But sometimes a photo comes up in my Timehop, or I tell a funny story that included them to my friends, or I drive by a place that reminds me of them.

And I think about the good times we had a lot. It used to be only bad things, sometimes it still is. Sometimes I still cringe when I think of how many times I drunk called my most serious ex or how I completely shattered the trust of another. But I try not to cling to those things anymore and choose to remember better times. Sometimes I think about how I made the first move and asked him to our sorority date party, how I used to draw all over one boy’s arms in high school during class, how another one used to piggy back me from the driveway to my front door.

But all of those thoughts are very fleeting, that’s the key here. It is of course okay to think about your exes, they were a huge part of your life. I dated one of my boyfriends from age 16-20, that is a very defining chunk of my existence, without him it would’ve been and with him it still was.

If you think about them more than just some fleeting moments, though, you may not be ready to move on. You may not be ready to build another life separate of that heartbreak. And that’s okay too. We can’t just bury our emotions and expect them not to rise from the grave like zombies eventually. We have to accept the things that made us who we are, whether we like them or not.

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The Yes Theory

As an introvert, I really struggle to find a happy medium of social and alone time in my life. Mostly because if it were up to me, I’d be alone ALL the time. But that’s not really healthy and there are so many people in my life that I care about enough to put in the effort of breaking free of my introvert lifestyle.

And it’s kind of frustrating because in a way I have all these dreams and aspirations to do more and I think my introverted personality along with sheer laziness just keep me in this boring middle ground of wanting more but not really wanting to do more. I wrote a post about it and was reminded of the yes theory by sparkle in my eye.

So now I’m saying yes (within reason). I said yes to a trip to Orlando where 90% of my time would be alone time in a strange place and traveling back home alone which I get very nervous about. I said yes to a whole lot of Instagram collaborations that required a lot of time and forced me to create a calendar and execute. I said yes to my first blogger event that I dragged my friend to because I was wayyyy too nervous to go alone. I said yes to talking in my Instagram stories and showing my face in a real way. I said yes to a new gym to help boost my fitness morale. I said yes to booking up my first two weekends in April even though back to back plans usually stress me out.

All these things I said yes to don’t seem like huge steps, but they are the steps that are going to get me back into the direction of doing more things that I love. And I’m going to say yes to more things. I made my spring bucket list longer than all of my other lists because I really want to push myself to do the things I love but am too apathetic. I’ve settled in a place I don’t want to be, so it’s time to motivate and move forward.

What’s one thing you’ve said yes to lately?

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My Monogamy Skepticism

I’ve been skeptical about monogamy for a while now. I used to be very gung-ho on love, having a family, and living happily ever after. But the older I got, the more unrealistic it seemed.

We are constantly changing. It’s hard for me to fathom that with all the changes we go through, we will like the same person for the next 50 years of our life. The only people that have even been in my life for more than 5 years are my family members and I’m stuck with them. Is that what marriage is? Making it work because you’re stuck with them?

It just seems odd to me that we force ourselves to be with one person for the rest of our lives when there are so many other places, other people, and other experiences out there. I see so many more bad relationships than I see good ones. I’ve seen the beginnings and the ends of marriages. And it just doesn’t seem like monogamy is natural for people who live 100 years.

I think it has a lot to do with my inability to live in the present, always looking towards the future. I look down the line and think that I couldn’t possibly be as happy as I am now in the next 10 years if everything is exactly the same.

It just seems weird to me that most people feel the need to anchor down to one person and they do it in their 20’s. 3 years ago I was a different person than I am today and in 3 more years I’ll be different again – can it really be that the person you marry will ebb and flow with your changes along  with their own? That it really does all just work itself out?

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