It feels like relationships have become a secondary necessity. It’s as if no one sees the value in holding themselves accountable to work things out. It’s either happy fun times all the time or nothing. There’s no in between, there’s no possibility for compromise, and it’s always the other person’s responsibility to make you feel good. It’s a sad reality to live in.
I am one of the lucky ones. Everyday I think about how lucky I am. Not in a bragging way. Just, I understand how hard the dating world can be. The hard part is the priorities people have these days and the expectations that are put on relationships. You scroll through social media and see perfect smiling faces, people overcoming battles together, and people moving forward in ways that others don’t think they ever will.
Instead of helping you recognize that it’s okay to want a relationship, people like to shame the idea of wanting a relationship in the first place. They like to say that it’s superior to choose yourself and forge a career instead of prioritizing a family and relationship. In the end, are you really going to look back on your life and think, “I’m really glad I focused so much on my career”?
I hope that’s not harsh, I’m just trying to be real here. If that is you, that’s totally fine! Today I’m speaking to those of us who have a fear of saying out loud, “I want to be married and have kids instead of building a career.” We need to be told it’s okay and have access to advice on how to make that happen and what creating a life with someone really looks like. So if you’re in a tough spot in your relationship and you just don’t know what to do, consider these three things before moving forward.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT BEFORE BREAKING UP
IT’S ALWAYS GOING TO BE HARD.
I hate on TV shows when there’s a couple that is 100% in love but are choosing to break up. This happens for a number of reasons: one of the characters are moving, some big change happens in another’s life, or I don’t know.. it “gets hard.” I hate that. I get it’s a TV show, but it still sends the wrong message and people do this in real life too. People are afraid when relationships get too hard. It’s like we believe that the right relationship will never have any hardships or obstacles to overcome. The thing is though, relationships are hard. Even the most perfect people in the most perfect relationship will wake up thinking, “I can’t do it today” and maybe even sometimes, “I can’t do it anymore.”
That’s the reality.
Even when you’ve found the perfect person, you will still question sometimes if you made the right choice. It’s natural. You’ve committed yourself to someone and you’re basically saying, “I trust you to not ruin my life.” It’s intimidating and yes, when things are not going perfectly it’s very easy to have the question floating around in your head, wondering if you’ve done the right thing or not. Just know, everyone feels that. Everyone has that feeling of not wanting to try anymore. It’s not easy all the time and that’s when you really know if it’s worth it or not. It doesn’t mean it’s not right, it just means you’re human.
YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME.
On the other hand, sometimes they say on TV, “I’m just not happy right now.” Ugh, get over it. If you were single, would you be happy every day? If you were with anyone else, would you be happy everyday? What if you were with Mr. Absolutely-Perfect-Does-No-Wrong-Ever? Would you truly be happy everyday? Absolutely not. People are not meant to be happy 100% of the time. We are not meant to be happy with another person 100% of the time. The important things to think about are:
◦ you been happy with this person before?
◦ Does your current unhappiness have to do with an unsolvable problem between you and this person?
◦ Would removing this person from your life solve the problem?
I just think sometimes, it’s very easy to make our bad feelings someone else’s fault. You feel bad about something and it can seem like the person you’re with should be responsible for fixing it. 9 times out of 10, it’s us that need to fix ourselves. It’s far too easy for me to have a bad day and feel like Ian needs to work 110% harder to make me feel better. Really, my bad feelings are my own or they are brought on by a situation that is out of his or our control. So being unhappy is not always a reason to leave.
CONSIDER WHAT YOUR FUTURE LOOKS LIKE WITHOUT THEM.
This is the number one question that reels me in when Ian and I have a major argument. During some of our toughest times, Ian and I decided that divorce has to always be on the table. We have never actually contemplated divorce, we just know that if one of us did something terrible enough, we’re not afraid to consider that option. Not in a looming over our heads way, just in a we need to remember what we’re fighting for way. To us, it simply means that we can’t slack. No, we’re not going to get divorced over trivial things and we don’t have to walk on eggshells with each other. Honestly, I’ll explain all this in a later post.
The point is, we have to try.
Because of this, if things ever get really hard, I take a second to look at my life without Ian. I think about what my day would look like and I think about the situation we’re in. Is it something I can live with it if means having Ian in my life? Does my life actually look better without this if it means being without Ian? Obviously, at this point nothing so terrible has ever happened where I’d prefer a day without Ian. There are very few things that could happen that would make me choose a life without him, but I think it’s an important thing to consider so you can put things in perspective and really think about the true significance of the problem at hand.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE LOOKING OUT FOR YOURSELF.
The only compromise I will never make is myself. I am kind, I am forgiving, and I never ask Ian to compromise himself either. A healthy relationship is one where you don’t have to change yourself for the worse or give up something that is crucial to your happiness. This is an area where only you know best. Give people chances though, express what you want and what you need as truthfully and honestly as you possibly can. It’s always best to give the people you care about the chance to show they care back. Being honest about what you need is the best way to know if someone’s looking out for you.
I’m an advocate for honesty.
Whether it’s you being honest with your significant other or you being honest with yourself. No one wants to be alone and sometimes, we don’t have to be. Relationships that force us to take responsibility and teach us that there’s always a better way are some of the best ones. Of course you’re going to feel bad sometimes. You’re not going to be head over heels in love all the time. But don’t be fooled into thinking that is wrong or that it’s always the other person’s fault. Growing up is hard and our relationships are not shielded from that.
What are some things that have helped you through a hard time with a significant other? Let me know in the comments!
Photo by Toa Heftiba