The Courage It Takes To End A Relationship

When break ups happen, I think the person who did the breaking up is often overlooked. The person who got broken up with must be so shattered, must need tons of support – but, no one stops to think about how hard it really is to break up with someone.

It takes a lot of courage to end something that has been so important to you. To cut ties with someone you loved, someone whose family has become your family, someone who knows everything about you. It takes courage to flip your life upside down because even though you’re not happy in the relationship, how do you know you’ll be happy outside the relationship?

And while it’s hard to get broken up with, it’s so hard to smash the heart of someone you care so deeply about. For a lot of people, it’s hard to be selfish and put yourself first and realize that the relationship isn’t making you happy anymore.

A lot of people would rather stay in a bad relationship forever than go through all that. They’d rather just settle than face the confrontation. I can’t blame them, especially if it’s just a fizzled relationship. Where there’s no reason to leave, but there’s also really no reason to stay.

I think it takes courage to end a relationship and start over. I admire the people who take this huge step because I know it could not have been an easy one for them. And I hope that everyone has enough self-awareness to get themselves out of something that’s making them unhappy.

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What I’ve Learned After 2 Years Of Being In A Relationship

Our two year anniversary of dating is next week! For a reflection of what I learned after one year, click here.

I learned a lot about myself when I was single, I’ve never been one to jump from serious relationship to serious relationship. I think self exploration can be done in a relationship, it’s just harder. The first year of our relationship involved a lot of learning curves for me, I had been single and independent for a long time and was badly burned after my last relationship. As we approach our two year anniversary, I was given more time for self exploration and growth. Here’s what I learned after two years of being in a relationship.

  1. It’s okay to be afraid of big steps. We moved in together, we got a dog, I freaked out. But that’s okay.
  2. Nothing has changed, communication is HUGE. If you are freaking out, you need to tell your partner. They should understand, they should be the one who is able to help you.
  3. Make time for your friends. There are just some things your boyfriend will never understand. It’s important to have at least one other person to confide in.
  4. Things will easily start to get boring in the relationship. The simple thing to do most nights is to plop on the couch and watch Netflix. Put in the effort, switch things up, don’t let it get mundane.
  5. It’s normal to have relationship doubts. Some people just have a harder time settling than other people. If you know yourself, you should know when your doubts are valid or not.
  6. Alone time is still very important.
  7. The longer you’re with someone, the more you think about the future. And the more the future becomes about “us” and not “me”.
  8. No one is as perfect as they look on social media. We bicker – a lot. It’s healthy.
  9. At the end of the day, love isn’t Romeo and Juliet and dying for someone. It’s choosing to be with the person who you like spending time with – every day with – who you don’t actually hate ever.
  10. Take everything at your own pace. It may seem like you NEED to follow the steps of getting engaged, moving in together, getting married, and having kids. But just because that’s the normal plan doesn’t mean it’s your plan.

Let me know how long you’ve been in a relationship for and your biggest piece of advice in the comments! ūüôā

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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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The Pressure Of Being In A Relationship In Your 20’s

Every other week someone I know is getting engaged, buying a house, or getting married. When you’re in your twenties, there are three kinds of people in your friend group. The single ones, the ones who met their significant other in high school or college, and the ones who met their significant other after college or a little later in their twenties.

I’m 24 and any friend who met their love in high school or college are now engaged. I fall into the category of the ones who met their love after college, so I feel a little behind. I feel deeply for my single friends, because no matter how happy you are being single, you still feel left out sometimes.

Now I feel a lot of pressure being in a relationship in this stage of my life because everyone automatically expects that engagement and marriage are a few short years away.

But a little over a year ago I didn’t really believe in marriage. I didn’t want it, I didn’t want a relationship, and now while I’m in a relationship I’m still not 100% on board with the idea of marriage.

When I mentioned my boyfriend and I are planning on moving in together, I was asked if I thought a ring was in the future and I replied, “god, I hope not.”

I’m just not ready, but I feel a lot of pressure when a lot of people my age are ready and have been ready. It’s just what comes with my age. When you’re single in your twenties, you’re pressured to find a boyfriend. When you’re in a relationship in your twenties, you’re pressured to get engaged.

As much as I know what I want, it’s hard to ignore that nagging pressure.

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You Could Have Met Your Future Spouse Before You Even Turned 16

I once read that 82% of people meet their future spouse before they even turn 16.

I tried doing my research on this one to find out where it came from and everything was unconfirmed. ¬†This is basically a made up statistic. Yet, it resonated with me and sticks with me to this day – you may have met the person you’re supposed to marry already, but you have no idea.

I think a majority of people meet their future spouse in college. It seems that in the four years there, everyone is in the same state of mind to settle down before or right after they graduate. So that debunks the statistic right there.

Then there are the people who stay with their high school sweethearts and end up marrying them. It’s not uncommon at all to see people who started holding hands in 8th grade end up kissing each other at the alter 10 years later.

But what about the people who moved back home after college. The ones who dumped their high school sweetheart (or got dumped, like me lol) and the ones who didn’t want to make the commitment while they were living it up in college.

There’s always the chance to meet new people at the gym, or at work, or when you’re out with your friends at the bar. But a lot of people from your high school also moved home after college. They’re all back in the same place and all the single ones are in the same situation as you.

I’ve heard of a lot of relationships blooming after college between two people who knew each other in high school, but were not necessarily friends. I can’t imagine myself ever dating someone I knew before I was 16. First of all, I was a completely different person back then. Like I was pretty weird and friendless. Secondly, I feel like it must be pretty awkward to just pick up where you left off 8 years ago.

But who knows, maybe I’m part of that imaginary 82%. Maybe most of us do meet who we are going to marry before we’re 16, we just have to keep an open mind.

photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/

We’re Always Changing And It’s Not Always Bad

I’ve been in this world for 22 years now. ¬†That’s approximately 1/4 of a lifetime. To some, it may seem like that’s nothing – like I’ve been here for an hour when they’ve been here for a year. To people my age, it’s a lot and time doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

In my lifetime, I’ve seen at least six different versions of myself.¬†I’ve gone from bubbly and weird to unhappy and introverted to secure and happy to insecure and kind of happy. I took on different traits and hobbies that I inherited from who I was with in the moment. I became someone I liked, someone I hated, and someone I couldn’t even recognize. ¬†But that’s part of life – we’re always changing.

I have a hard time believing in marriage and relationships because of this. ¬†I guess when you find the right person, you change together. ¬†But I find myself changing so often that I don’t know how anyone could ever keep up.

There are different stages of our lives that require different versions of ourselves. I was happy being a single girl who liked to party and socialize. That was fine in college, but that part of myself didn’t transfer well into my postgrad life. ¬†I can see myself changing, picking up pieces of my past and mixing them with pieces of my present, and it’s scary to know that something that once made you happy doesn’t make you happy anymore.

But a better word for change is adapt. We’re adapting, we do what we do to survive. ¬†Although there may be awkward periods of time where we aren’t always secure and happy with ourselves, you can work up to who you want to be and what fits into your new lifestyle. Change isn’t always bad as long as you embrace it instead of running away.

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photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nam2_7676/

I’m In A Relationship With Myself

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You’re supposed to go to college. ¬†You’re supposed to graduate. ¬†You’re supposed to get a 9-5 job. You’re supposed to be in a relationship. You’re supposed to get married. ¬†You’re supposed to buy a home. You’re supposed to have kids. You’re supposed to retired. You’re supposed to die.

They’re unwritten supposed to’s, but I’m kind of over doing what is expected of me when I don’t find it to be rewarding at all.

The thought of dating makes me really uneasy for many reasons. I’ve been in a relationship that crashed and burned and left me abandoned in the wreckage. ¬†I see people staying in relationships out of comfort and because that’s what they’re “supposed to” do. A lot of the marriages I encounter have either ended or should have ended a while ago.

I worry that I’ll settle. Or I’ll miss out on meeting and falling in love with the perfect person because I settled. I’m worried that someone will try and change me. And I’m sorry, I don’t want kids and it’s not because I’m “still young.” I worry I’ll sacrifice myself for someone else.

I also really just enjoy my alone time. ¬†I want to be the best version of myself before I even think of trying to make someone else happy. ¬†I can barely make a phone call without stuttering. I have a hard time waking up before 11 am if I don’t have to. I start a diet every week that ends in me binge eating pizza. These are all things I’m working on and I’m working on alone.

I’m trying to put all of my thoughts together and I don’t want to text someone 24/7. I barely want to be in my own head or talk to my mom as soon as I wake up. What’s up? The same thing that was “up” 20 minutes ago, I’m watching reality tv because I don’t like my current reality.

I’m trying to start my career – but I don’t want it to be a 9-5 that has me pining for the weekend and ultimately spending most of my life waiting for something else. It’s hard to find the job I want and I don’t want to have to worry about I’m wearing to my coffee date this weekend.

I’m trying to do a lot of things for me and you just look like an obstacle.