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.
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.
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 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.
I was looking at my blog stats and saw someone searched “letter to myself at 25” and found my blog post. I didn’t even remember that I had written a post to myself two years ago (I was on the verge of 23) and I can’t believe that I have been blogging that long. What a blast from the past to see a long lost version of myself give me advice now as I turn 25 next week.
When I turned 23, I went to Toronto with my friends and had just started a new job. A new job that I have now been at for two years. I was coming off a high of moving out of my parents house. I was single. And everything felt really uncertain, the strongest bond I had at the time was with my friends and even then it was hard to be the only single girl in the group.
Thank you, 22 year old self, for having faith in me. It turns out you were right and had the strength in you all along. A lot less things are uncertain. I have a steady job, I’ve moved in with my boyfriend, and we have a pet dog and gecko. There are less question marks surrounding my life.
But there are still challenges and you were right that I have disappointed people. Myself included. I think that all just comes with growing up. Sometimes you have to make yourself a priority, sometimes you won’t see your friends as much as you’d like to, and sometimes you just can’t live up to the expectations you’ve set for yourself.
Thank you so much for your kind words, 22 year old self. I will write a letter to my future self again and will remember that there’s no need to put pressure on myself and to be kind. What happens, happens.