Despite the seemingly universal opinion that 2020 has been a shit show, it has proven to be my year of optimal growth. Considering this is a dating blog, I won’t get into too many off-topic details, but I feel that my growth is grounded to me being more self-aware; in turn, enabling me to have a better idea of what I do want in a partner. Literally on New Year’s Eve of 2019, my boyfriend of a year and a half and I officially broke up; fortunately, I had been prepping for it mentally, since we had an impending long-distance relationship ahead of us and neither of us wanted that. Luckily, there were not and never will be harsh feelings between us, but it was very difficult since we didn’t stop loving each other; we just knew it was probably the right thing to do. In the ensuing weeks, I spent more quality time with my friends and reflected on the relationship. It really does take being out of a situation and taking a step back from it to notice all of its faults that I blinded myself to.
I will not trash my ex; he does not deserve that, but I will go into where I went wrong in the relationship and what I learned. For starters, we were in a full-blown committed relationship within weeks of meeting each other, and this process was only expedited because I was to be studying abroad for the upcoming semester. Knowing this and already looking forward to being in the same country again put our eyes on the “destination” rather than the “journey.” Cheesy but true. We would talk about our future and he would tell me things that I wanted to hear, even if he didn’t have the intentions of following through. After my high-school boyfriend went to Wing Wednesday at Hooters with his friends instead of celebrating our 2 year anniversary, I learned that setting high expectations only leads to disappointment. I am a fantasizer, so it is extremely difficult for me not to dig my own wellbeing’s grave sometimes by looking wayyyy too far ahead. Lately, with my recent dating endeavors, I really have to stop myself when I find myself fantasizing about a life with one attractive guy that literally sends me a mere “let’s get drinks sometimes.” Like, will our kids have those big blue eyes too??
Another thing I’ve learned about myself is that I need to put myself first and not give too much energy into the relationship. All of my free time in between graduation and my upcoming career start-date has provided me the opportunity to do what I want to do and to put my needs first. Looking back, I realize how much of my contentment was contingent on how much attention I was getting from my boyfriend, and was forgoing my hobbies to spend time with a person that only wanted to see me when it was at his convenience (towards the end of our relationship after we temporarily got back together lmao). That said, I’ve been spending time reading, tap-dancing, golfing, hiking, hanging out with friends and family, dating (obvi), writing, listening to podcasts, educating myself about politics, etc, etc. Doing more of what brings me joy inevitably strengthens me as a well-rounded individual; in turn, making me more of an interesting, independent woman to date.
Next, I learned that I need someone who knows what is important to me, and is willing to put on a happy face to join me in the things that I want to do. Unfortunately, BOTH of my past boyfriends hated to dance and refused to dance with me at events, knowing that that is my favorite thing. I need someone that isn’t too selfish in his own interests and that will do things to make me happy rather than just saying he will do them or doing them unenthusiastically.
The greatest thing I learned from my past relationship was that the highest of highs are not worth the lowest of lows. We were like drugs for one another and when things were good they were really good, but the anxiety that I felt due to my perception that he was being inconsistent with his relationship involvement was not worth that. Sure, we had the absolute best of times and I 100% would not take anything back, but we almost had an unhealthy obsession with each other which led to an unspoken possessiveness over one another (hence why we temporarily got back together after his friend saw me on Hinge and then the bf inevitably got jealous) and many tears. Aside from simply understanding each other better than anyone else and being each other’s best friends, we were also alike in terms of our negative traits. Both of us could be petty, impulsive, impatient, and quick to react. We would also respond similarly to situations and not always think rationally. That said, you could see how situations would escalate- ESPECIALLY when alcohol was involved (which it most always was for our larger fights). With that in mind, I now know that just because something is “drama-free” doesn’t mean its bad. You want compatibility in a long-term partner – NOT one where you always feel that things could change in a heart beat.
As I am on the cusp of starting my career and the hamsterwheel of life, I don’t think that I have ever felt so stable and content. After putting my guard down and being more tolerant, I finally have accepted and begun to enjoy my mother’s fiancé; I know what brings me joy; I am living with girls who never fail to motivate me and entertain me; I regularly am in communication with my best friends from home and my family; I have a good self body-image and healthy eating habits; I am enjoying all of the little things in life, like feeling the sun on my skin as I read on my outside hammock; and, I am ready for my upcoming adventures. I am happy with myself, so technically I don’t need a man by any means. However, your girl needs a snuggle buddy for these cold af days.