Who Needs A Label?

This week, staff writer Stephany Salinas discusses the topic of relationship labels. What are YOUR thoughts?

 

In the last few years, I’ve dated a lot. It’s to be expected from a girl who is in her early 20s. As I approach my mid-20s, I’ve noticed more and more how women, and some men, have become almost desperate to find their “soul-mate”. I’ve seen women date men for the sole purpose of having a boyfriend and being able to switch their relationship status on Facebook from “Single” to “In a Relationship”, and change their profile picture to one of them and their significant other.

 

I’ve been single for the last year, and the reason why is because I’ve become quite picky in men. Frankly, I don’t want to waste my time anymore. I don’t feel the NEED to be in a relationship just because I’m in my mid-20s. When people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, I don’t get emotional and cry because I’m alone. I’m a 24-year-old woman living in the beautiful city of Chicago, with a steady job, making good money, surrounded by awesome friends. There is nothing to be sad about. Do I like having a boyfriend? Absolutely, it’s always nice to have someone you genuinely enjoy spending time with. Do I feel like I NEED to have one in order to fit in? Not at all. In fact, for a short time, I was very back and forth about the whole “title” thing. I’ve seen a guy, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, who has treated me better than my official “boyfriends” have.

 

In time, I became okay with not having the title. I mean, as long as we’re exclusive, who needs a title, right? However, recently I’ve been thinking about this more. Something felt like it was missing. And I know what it is. That damn title. (And no, not the Facebook relationship status change. I’m honestly not too crazy about telling the world who I’m dating, especially when that changes often.)

 

So, why do we care about titles and labels? Why is it that we want so badly for someone to make us their girlfriend or boyfriend? After reading “He’s Just Not That Into You”, I realized exactly why. As Greg puts it, “A man who’s really into you is going to want you all to himself. Why wouldn’t he?”

 

And he’s right! >.<

 

If you want something bad enough, you go after it. This applies to all aspects of your life. If you want a certain job, luxuries, or goals, you set out and make it happen. So, wouldn’t the same apply for a relationship?

 

If you spend your time with one person, and you’re into them, and you wouldn’t want anyone else to touch them, what’s stopping you from making them “yours”? When you like someone, you ask him or her out. THAT’S WHAT WE DO. People can sit here and say they don’t believe in “labels”, but it’s all a pile of crap (in my opinion). A pile of crap that has been told by some dude who says that he doesn’t believe in labels, and then ends up dating some skanky half-witted girl who works at a scummy bar in place of a career, or wifes the next random girl he meets at the gym.

 

And some of us, myself included, sit here and try to act like it’s okay. We don’t “need” the title, I’m totally okay with us being unofficial. But, are we really? Are we really okay with the fact that Mr. I-Don’t-Want-A-Girlfriend is pretty much saying “I don’t want to be tied down…with you”? Because that’s exactly what that means.

 

Pay attention, because this one goes out to all the women out there. You are all beautiful. We are all beautiful. Yes, we’re a bit nuts at times. We’re emotional, we think with our hearts, and we overanalyze everything. But we also are programmed to love, nurse, and care. We give birth, for Christ’s sake. Every woman is beautiful in her own way, no matter how big, small, short, or tall. And every beautiful woman deserves a significant other who is PROUD to call her their own. Every woman deserves to have someone who isn’t comparing their relationship to others, saying “We have it better even without the title”. No. You two should be so happy with each other, that you don’t have time to compare your relationship to others.

 

So the next time you’re in a “relationship” and you have to question whether or not it’s going anywhere, ask yourself if you want it to. If you don’t care where it goes or if it escalades, then hell, keep on keeping on. But if you’re unhappy, even slightly, with the situation, communicate that to him/her. STAY AWAY from the ultimatum (read from my post last Thursday!). Ultimatums are never a good idea. Just communicate.

 

And if they have something else in mind, and are unwilling to make you theirs, move on honey. Move on, because somewhere out there, there is someone who is DYING to show you how special you are.

 

The Ultimatum

Staff writer Stephany Salinas covers the topic of ultimatums in relationships. Have you experienced a relationship ultimatum either giving or receiving one? 

 

As a girl, my patience in relationships has been tested in almost every single form. Whether it’s waiting for the guy to make the first move, waiting for him to make it official, or waiting on him to follow through with one of the 93473 promises he has made. I’ll admit, I’ve been a fool before and have stuck around when I shouldn’t have, and although back then I would have considered it a waste of time, I know now that none of it was. When you wait for someone and are willing to be patient and stick it out, it’s a sign that you genuinely care about him (not to say that giving up means you don’t care). There has been a few times where I have left someone behind, not for lack of interest on my part, but for lack of effort on his.

That being said, I’ve heard girls constantly talk about “ultimatums”. As in, “He needs to decide what he wants now or I’m out!”

Granted, at first, I understood where these girls were coming from. Hell, I was there a few years ago. The guy I had been dating for almost a year was at a point where he was unsure of what he wanted. So, I did what these girls were talking about and gave him an ultimatum. You either love me and want to be with me, or you don’t. I put him on the spot, and when he took too long to answer, I told him we were done. Granted, I was 18 and there’s a very good chance this wasn’t the guy I was meant to spend the rest of my life with, I will admit that it wasn’t the best way to go about things. I cared about him a lot. He was my first love, and I threw that away because he took a few seconds too long to answer my question. It was mainly out of anger and annoyance that I put him in that position in the first place. But the fact that I was able to so quickly throw that ultimatum out there made me question myself:

If I “loved” him so much, why would I risk throwing our relationship away?

When you’re a girl who is pursued often (and honestly..most girls are often pursued), it’s sometimes easy to want to call it quits on the guy who isn’t making a move or putting forth effort and go on to the next. However, that mentality is also a sign that you’re most likely not into this guy in the first place. If it’s that easy to give someone an ultimatum, that goes to show that you’re not as into him as you think you are. If you were, would you be willing to risk what you do have?

Trust me, if you’ve been seeing a guy for a while, and he shows no intentions of making it official, there’s a very good chance it’s not going to happen. A light bulb isn’t going to suddenly go off in his head, and he’s not going to all of a sudden realize he needs you to be his girlfriend. Here is when you decide whether you’re okay with that, or not. If not, then move on sweetheart. No ultimatum is needed. A man would move mountains to be with the girl he actually wants to be with. If he wants you to be his, he will make sure that happens. By giving a guy an ultimatum, you are A) forcing him into breaking it off with you (no one really wins), or B) forcing him into a relationship with you.

Honestly, would you really want to be in a relationship with a guy who you basically ordered to ask you out? I would hope not, because that’s already a rocky start to a relationship.

Ask yourself this: Do you want to be in a relationship with this guy, or do you want to be in A relationship…period? If it’s the latter, that’s the reason it’s so easy for you to give him an ultimatum. You’re chasing a relationship, a title, and whether or not it’s with this guy isn’t really that important to you. NOW, if you genuinely want to be in a relationship with HIM, then why are you in such a hurry for him to make a decision? Are you unhappy with the way things are going right now? Is the title the only thing that would change if he was indeed your “boyfriend”? Is it the title that you’re actually going after?

This is something I’ve been back and forth about myself. As much as I want to have the whole, “titles shouldn’t matter” attitude, I’m only a woman. Having that title means a guy wants you to be his, and is proud to have you as his, and that’s what most women want. I’ve been tempted myself to give men ultimatums and make them choose whether or not they want to be with me. It’s easy to fall into that type of mentality. HOWEVER, the reason I haven’t done it since age 18 is because I’m never willing to throw away what I do have with someone. I’m telling you right now that pressuring him into making a sudden decision is NOT the way to go about it. Personally, and this is just my preference, I would rather be with someone unofficially that I genuinely enjoy being around, than having a title with someone I don’t care about as much. As much as being someone’s girlfriend is great, I’ve been in some pretty terrible relationships where the “boyfriend” title has meant absolutely nothing. I’ve also been in “non-official relationships” that have been better than the “official” ones. The dating world is completely different nowadays. If the “title” was taken off the table completely, I bet more people would know exactly what they wanted, and whom they wanted.

That being said, instead of telling that guy you’ve been seeing that he needs to choose now or leave you alone, you should express what’s on your mind. Honesty and communication, darling. I can’t stress that enough. When and if you’ve reached the point where you think what you have is a waste of time and would like to have a chance to be with someone who would like to be official with you (and it’s not wrong of you to think that way. You deserve to be with someone who wants to call you his or hers), then communicate that to him. Tell him that you don’t feel like he’s as into it, and that you’re looking for more. A couple things will happen at this point. 1) He’ll realize you want more. He may have been waiting for you to say something this whole time. 2) He’ll know he can’t give you what you want, and will be relieved that you aren’t making him out to be an ass for not wanting to be in a relationship. This isn’t an ultimatum; this is you giving him a chance to think about what he wants without putting pressure on him.

 

At this point, if you’re still convinced you NEED to give him an ultimatum, consider this question before you do: Are you willing to risk throwing away whatever you do have just for a title change?

 

Man: The Literal-Minded Creature

Staff writer Stephany Salinas‘s  post of the week focuses on the necessity of being literal and highlights this through the bad habit of assumption. Men, we understand your annoyance. Women, pay attention and this could make dating and relationships a lot smoother for you.

 

The other day, I came across a quote that inspired the topic of men being literal minded:

“Sometimes I wish I could find a guy who would know I’m not okay, even when I say I am”.

*Cue facepalm -_-

This is probably the number one thing I’ve heard men complain about when it comes to their girlfriends. What she isn’t saying. Many times, a girl will use the “I’m fine” phrase, even though she’s fuming on the inside. Why do we do this? Why do girls feel the need to cover up problems that are obviously bothering them?

At this point, if you’re a female, you’re thinking one of two things; 1. Girls are so dumb; I see that happen all the time, or 2. Hey, I do that!

If you’re thinking the latter, it’s okay; I’ve been guilty of this as well. Women have this tendency to want to be figured out. It might have to do with the fact that we are so analytical ourselves that we assume everyone is the same way. Our girlfriends happen to always pick up when we’re sad or upset, so why can’t men?

Wrong. So, SO, wrong.

Honey, if men had the same mindset as women, the entire dating world would most likely be non-existent. The simple and literal mindset that men naturally have is actually a gift, believe it or not. It balances out the crazy that women are born with. And don’t say it’s not true, because every girl has had her “crazy” moment. Sometimes, most of the time, you have to think like a man to understand him.

“Men aren’t really complicated, honey. They are very simple, literal creatures. They usually mean what they say. And we spend hours trying to analyze what they’ve said – when really it’s obvious. If I were you, I’d take him literally. That might help.” -E.L. James

Literal creatures. Literal- being the primary or strict meaning of the word or words; not figurative or metaphorical.

Some women may jump to the conclusion of thinking that this is another phrase for “dumb”. Men are “dumb”. Sometimes, yes, they can be. Most of the time, no. Actually, men are logical. Think about it. We sit here saying, “No, it’s fine. Everything is fine”, and then expect our significant other to just have a hunch that no, actually, everything is not fine, even though we just said it was. What the hell kind of sense does that make? Who looks dumb now? That’s right, we do.

Now, I understand that when something is bothering you, there are times where you just don’t want to discuss it at the moment. So instead of saying anything, you shrug it off…for now. Until something else happens that triggers that emotion again, and an event that happened days, weeks, even months ago suddenly becomes relevant and most likely takes part in an argument. For example (I say this because I’ve literally witnessed this happen in front of my own eyes), you and your boyfriend are watching TV, and he mentions that he finds the lead actress in the show to be attractive. At the moment, it bothers you, but you let it slide. Then, at a later time, he says something else that bothers you, or you two happen to be in an argument. Then what happens? “Well maybe you should date (insert attractive actress’s name here) instead! You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” You may be laughing now, but I’ve seen this happen, and it’s extremely scary how crazy girls can be. If it bothers you when your significant other makes comments like that, TELL HIM. Otherwise, he thinks what he’s doing is okay with you. OH, and don’t get me started on the drunk girls who suddenly have the guts to tell their boyfriend about everything that bothers them. That’s probably the worst/scariest thing I’ve ever seen.

Now that you have a better understanding of how crazy a girl’s mindset can be, I want you to imagine being honest. Practice it, and embrace it. Mark Twain said it best, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything”. It’s quite a beautiful concept, and I know from first hand experience that it makes any and every relationship SO much easier. If your boyfriend spending 3 hours a night playing video games bothers you, tell him. Don’t sit there and let him think that you’re the “cool” girlfriend who is totally okay with it. If you’re not, talk about it. Who knows, maybe he has a legitimate reason. Maybe it relaxes him. Or maybe he’s unaware that you miss him and want to spend time with him. Perhaps he doesn’t know that him choosing Xbox over you makes you feel inadequate. You can’t blame him for this, unless you’ve already made it clear to him. After that, there’s no excuse, right?

If your significant other is a huge flirt, and it bothers you, tell him. Maybe it’s his flirting that bothers you, or maybe you just need reassurance that you’re the one he’s going home with, so you shouldn’t worry. Either way, talk to him. Communicate, because failure to communicate is one of the biggest perpetrators of failed relationships. If it bothers you that he hasn’t taken you out on a date in a long time, tell him that. If it doesn’t change, then that goes to show that he really doesn’t care. But if you don’t give him the opportunity to fix things, they will remain unchanged, and you will continue to be unhappy.

For the love of God, ladies, SAY SOMETHING. Don’t sit there and expect a man to know what you are thinking. Talk to him, and I guarantee you’re relationship will be a hundred times easier, and he will GREATLY appreciate it. And if you can’t be honest with your man, why are you even in a relationship?

 

Avoiding the Inevitable-Part 4: Fear

This week, staff writer Stephany Salinas continues her “Avoiding the Inevitable”series.

So far, I’ve covered familiarity, guilt, and love as far as the excuses go for not wanting to breakup with someone, besides the obvious fact that break-ups just plain suck.

This week, I want to cover fear. It’s going to be short and sweet, because it’s really a simple concept. And I don’t mean fear as in domestic violence or anything. If you’re in a relationship where you are fearing for your physical safety or health..leave. No questions asked, get out of it ASAP, no excuses.

The fear I’m talking about is a selfish one. The selfish fear of the unknown. If you are in a relationship with someone who is absolutely crazy about you, there’s a good chance they’re treating you like a queen/king. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, or that you don’t deserve it, but you have to ask yourself if it’s mutual. Are you treating them as well as they’re treating you? If the answer is no, then it’s become a one-sided relationship, and that’s unfair.

So why stay in it? Why do you continue to let this person basically make a fool of themselves when you aren’t even that interested? What is it that you fear?

Losing The Royal Treatment:

There’s a good chance that you’re afraid you’re not going to find anyone else who’s going to do the same for you. In all reality, it’s extremely hard to find someone these days who is going to treat you like that, so I don’t blame you. I dated a guy who basically moved me in, cooked for me, washed my clothes, and even bought me tampons. No joke, this guy went out ON HIS OWN and bought me my female necessities without me ever asking. Unfortunately, the relationship became unhealthy one, and things were falling apart fast. He became increasingly jealous, and we were heading in a lifestyle that I wanted no part of. I was 19, he was 27, and we wanted two completely different things in life. So why did I hesitate leaving?

Selfishness. I knew that finding another guy who was willing to treat me like royalty was going to be extremely difficult, so I tried dealing with all the flaws in my relationship. I justified his poor actions by remembering that he cooked me dinner the night before, or bought me my favorite movie to watch. It suddenly became okay that would get drunk and angry, because he took me out to dinner last weekend. It almost goes along with the guilt reasoning in one of my last entries. This is part guilt; mainly fear of losing being treated like royalty. Because, in all honesty, who doesn’t want to be treated like a king/queen?

Not Finding Love Again:

This is one we are all guilty of. Alright, maybe not all, but more than 90%. (Yay for making up statistics!). At the end of almost every bad break-up, you hear the phrase, “You’re never going to find anyone who loves you as much as I do”. At that moment, you hesitate. I did. I remember thinking what any young woman, and possibly man, would think. What if they’re right? What if you don’t find anyone else who falls in love with you?

Knock it off. Stop right there. There are 8 billion people in this planet. If you CAN’T find love again, it’s your own damn fault. There are so many kinds of love; it’s almost impossible not to run into it at some point. It’s all about what you want. If you’re not finding it, there’s a good chance there’s a good reason for that.

So before you continue to stay in a relationship because you’re afraid of never finding love again, stop and ask yourself if being miserable with someone is really worth it. Would you rather be miserable with someone, or be strong enough to be happy on your own, and let love find it’s way in when you’re ready?

Bottom line: Never let fear keep you in a relationship you know damn well you shouldn’t have any part in. Remember that you are strong, and that you WILL find someone someday who is going to treat you exactly how you deserve. Be patient, fearless, and keep your head held high.

Avoiding The Inevitable-Part 2: Guilt

This week, staff writer Stephany Salinas continues her “Avoiding The Inevitable” series with: guilt. Most of us have tried to avoid an inevitable break-up because we didn’t want to be the bad guy. But did we feel guilty because we didn’t want to cause our significant other heartache or because we didn’t want to be the target of an emotional hell storm?

 

Last week, I wrote about the familiarity aspect of a relationship that holds you back from doing the unfortunate task of breaking up with someone. This week, I’ll share with you yet another reason why people find it hard to break-up; Guilt.

At one time or another, most of us have been in a relationship where we just didn’t reciprocate the feelings of our significant other. They may have been crazy in love, head over heels for you, but the it wasn’t mutual. Yet, we continue staying in relationships like this because they make us feel better about ourselves. Who wouldn’t want a relationship that’s based around them, right? Wrong. It gets old, quick. When you become someone else’s world, you soon realize that the pedestal you’re on is pretty lonely, and boring.

It starts off great. You meet someone, and they’re so sweet, it’s unbelievable. In reality, it IS hard to find someone who is genuinely doing things out of kindness of their hearts and/or because they care about you. Let’s face it, the dating generation of today can be quite selfish, clueless, and careless. That being said, when you DO find someone who is willing to cater to your every need, you’re drawn to it. It starts off small and normal, with surprise lunches, cute texts saying how much they miss you, and all that adorable fun stuff that everyone shamelessly likes in the beginning of a new relationship. You see them constantly, because being without them sucks. You still get those funny feelings when you’re around them, because everything is new and exciting. You’re still learning about this person, and it’s fun. This is typically known as the “Honeymoon” stage. The stage every couple goes through.

Then, of course, the honeymoon stage is over. At this point, you ask yourself if you really like this person, or if it was just the thrill of meeting someone new that was exciting. Unfortunately, this is where things USUALLY get messy. Who knows, maybe you both decided, “Meh, it was fun, see ya later!” In a perfect world, all break-ups would be like that. Alas, we all know this world is far from perfect.

At this point, you’re still wondering if this is something you want to continue. Because you’re unsure, you’d rather stay in the relationship than potentially lose something you actually wanted to keep. As you continue through the relationship, for however long, you start to notice certain things that are suddenly annoying or unappealing. Whether it be physical traits or characteristics, you find yourself wanting to spend less time with this person. If you make it clear that you’re bored or unattracted to them, they try even harder to get your attention. That’s when you realize that you’re just not into them.

This actualization, like the realization of familiarity, may be sudden or gradual. For me, it was gradual, and a complete accident. Not only was I falling for someone else (a friend at the time), but I started realizing that I didn’t care about him anymore. I didn’t want to see him everyday, and I didn’t want him to accompany me when I went out with friends. His quirky literary imagination suddenly became annoying, and his obsession with wanting to be with me every chance he got went from being romantic to creepy. What’s worse, is every time I wanted to say something, I thought about all these romance novels and movies, and how what this guy was giving me was what every girl wanted. So why didn’t I want it? Why was I so different?

I wasn’t. I wasn’t different at all. I just wasn’t in love. At this point I realized that this guy was nuts about me, and I didn’t even remotely feel the same way. Now, I find myself to be a pretty nice person, and I try my best to never hurt anyone’s feelings, so I found myself stuck in a position where I was just clueless. How do you go about bringing up a conversation that you know is going to break someone’s heart? And this isn’t just a “maybe”, no, it’s a sure thing. His heart was going to be broken, he was going to be in pain, and it was going to be my fault.

So I did the worst thing possible; I waited. I waited and pushed it off as long as I possibly could, because for a moment, hanging out with him for a couple hours a day was bearable, compared to the heart break that I was eventually going to have to put him through. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the other guy I had started to get feelings for was still around, but we never did anything behind future-heartbroken boyfriends back. Cheating is for cowards.) So, I spent my days trying to avoid hanging out with my own boyfriend. I would make up excuses and say I was busy or had a lot of work/cleaning to do. After a few weeks, I realized what I was doing was even worse than breaking his heart. I was letting this guy think that everything was okay, and that I still loved him. I was leading him on, and that’s one of the worst things you can do in any relationship.

After I grasped this concept, I knew what I had to do. However, I was still struggling with how to bring about such a painful conversation, until our very last argument (as a couple).

I remember the exact moment it happened. I was outside tanning, and had been trying to make plans with my family. When I tried discussing these plans (that didn’t involve him) with him, he got upset. He was catching on. He asked why I had been MIA lately. I was concerned about leading him on and him thinking everything was okay, when, in reality, he was confused. That part of the relationship where you don’t know if everything is okay and you feel hurt and confused, that’s what I was putting him through.

At that moment, I knew I HAD to do it. I didn’t care about breaking his heart anymore, because what I was doing by procrastinating was even worse. So I called him and did what I had to do. Over the phone, it’s not too bad. It’s when I saw him in person a couple of hours later that was difficult. Looking into watery, heartbroken eyes is not an easy task, but one that you may have to endure during a break up. So we talked for about 45 minutes, which mainly consisted of him asking “why?”

Why? How do you tell someone you don’t love them? It’s tough. It’s extremely tough. Honesty can be extremely painful, but it’s a huge weight off of your shoulder, and a soon-to-be open door to happiness…with someone else.

So after a couple hours of dealing with the questions and anger from him, I finally felt free. I was happy. And honestly, that’s what matters most.

Never let guilt prevent you from ending a pointless relationship. The only way a relationship will be successful is if YOU are happy. If you’re not, realize that it needs to end, and that prolonging the break-up process because you feel sorry for the other person actually makes you pretty thoughtless.

Avoiding the Inevitable Part 1: Familiarity

This week’s post by staff writer Stephany Salinas is the first in a four-part series discussing the messy emotions that can delay an inevitable break-up. What are your thoughts?

Break-ups suck.

We all know that. This isn’t news. Break-ups are awkward, sad, terrifying, and above all else, not the easiest task to follow through with.

Why is that? In the big picture, what it comes down to is not wanting to be with another person anymore. So what is it that makes break-ups so hard to do, when, in reality, they’re almost always inevitable?

Honestly, there’s a few different reasons; Familiarity, guilt, fear, and of course, love. I’m sure there’s other reasons, but these are the culprits I see all too often in friends and society in general. Hell, I’m guilty of all four of these, which is why I want to share my personal experiences in hopes that maybe someone will actually learn from them. If not, it was worth a shot. Sometimes you gotta make your own mistakes. This week, I tackle familiarity.

Familiarity

By the time most people have reached their mid 20’s, they will have had at least one serious relationship. The relationship that convinces you that this is it. He/She is the one I’m going to spend the rest of my life with. You’ve already spent so much time with this person. You know everything about them; their mannerisms, favorites, and more. There’s a good chance you know them better than themselves, and that gives you a sense of comfort. You have finally reached the point where you can be your complete self with someone. You did the time. You are so set on actually marrying this person. Hell, you may even have a wedding date picked out.

But then, something goes wrong. Whether it’s a sudden or gradual thing, SOMEthing is wrong. Maybe they broke some meaningful promises? Perhaps trust was broken somehow, and has become irreparable. (Sidenote: If trust has been broken, and has reached the irreparable stage, you have no business being in a relationship,. This will only lead to more unnecessary bumps in the road). Maybe, you  just fell out of love. Whatever the reason may be, you no longer feel the same way about this person. That’s when the game changes. You start acting different, and begin to notice things about them that you hadn’t seen before. It gets to the point where you don’t even know how to act around this person that you know everything about.

At this point, you know what you have to do. I did. In my case, trust and promises were broken, and I no longer knew what to believe. I’ll spare the messy details, but what it boiled down to was I could no longer trust him. Someone who I had discussed “our” future with. This was someone who I dropped everything for. I lost friends, lost out on networking opportunities, and a lot more, all because I thought I was spending the rest of my life with them. I broke my #2 rule: Never make someone your everything, because if/when they leave, you’re left with nothing. Suddenly, everything that I had dreamed about became something I wanted nothing to do with. At least not with him. I knew what I had to do.

So why did I hesitate? Why, if I knew what I had to do, did I go back and forth with my decision?

Familiarity. I was comfortable. This was the first guy I could ever see myself actually spending the rest of my life with. We had gone through so much together. He was there when I first moved to the city. We went on vacations together. He was at every family party. I was crazy about him. I loved him. And it wasn’t that puppy love, I had already gone through that. It wasn’t the marriage goggles either, I had already gone through that as well. I was genuinely in love with someone who loved me too. I knew this person, inside and out. Did I really want to start over again? After investing almost two years (which at the time seemed like forever), did I really want to throw myself back in the ocean of dating?

Sure, you see these Hollywood movies where the girl ends up with the love of her life, because she’s the exception. But does that really happen in real life? Most likely…no. So I asked myself if I was just going through a lull. I mean, I shouldn’t have expected the butterflies to last forever, right? That’s crazy. I wondered if all couples went through this. The more I contemplated it, the more I realized this wasn’t normal.

I was comfortable and familiar with what we had, but I wasn’t happy. Something felt wrong, and when I tried to communicate that to him, it would be blown off. I had a choice; to continue this relationship that I was comfortable with, and have that uneasy feeling in the back of my mind, or to end it and deal with the post break-up pain. Comparable to slowly taking a Band-Aid off, versus ripping it off quickly. Both choices sucked. It was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, but after about a month of that uneasy feeling, I got tired of it. I was mentally drained from being constantly worried about what he was doing. So I finally broke things off, cried myself to sleep for about two weeks, went out and partied to get my mind off of everything for about 3 months, and eventually, got over it.

Yes, it was a process. It wasn’t anything formal, but the end result was what I NEEDED. To get over it. Relationships start..and most are going to end. It’s life. I promised myself to never be that weak ever again. Familiarity or not, it was an unhealthy relationship (for more reasons than I talked about, but again, sparing the messy details), and one that I needed to get out of. Having the strength to do so didn’t happen overnight. It took time, which I’m not completely upset about. I just wish I had realized it sooner.

If I could leave people who have a situation similar to this with any advice, it would be to have strength. Have the strength to know what you deserve. I’ve quoted this before, and I’ll quote it again, only because it applies to every relationship situation; “If [[someone]] is treating you like they don’t give a s–t, [[they]] genuinely do  not give a s–t. No exceptions”. Whether you’ve been with this person for a few months, or many years, if you aren’t happy….leave. Relationships take work, and that I completely understand, but when you have to justify your relationship to yourself, realize that there’s a problem. Be brave enough to leave something/someone who isn’t treating you the way you deserve. Whether you’re 22, or 62, remember that you can start over and get what you deserve whenever you want.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. there’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. we can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of few. I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again”. – Eric Roth

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