About a month ago, Tim (the boyfriend) and I had decided to split up. While we didn’t break up for lack of caring about each other or anything necessarily wrong, we each had things we wanted to work on. Well…. that break up didn’t really work. Within a few weeks, we were back together. Albeit things were a bit different. We had gone back to the beginning in a way, minus all the awkward getting to know each other parts. We’re both trying to work on the things that we wanted to work on while we were apart while now being back together. Honestly, the hardest part is now having to tell people that we’re back together after the fact. My best friend had sent me chocolate strawberries to help me get through the break up since I was a little upset, to say the least (I owe you, Bree!). It’s through all of this that I’ve determined that relationships are fucking weird. There’s no getting around it. Every relationship has something to teach though.
Here are some of the lessons that I’ve learned over the years when it comes to dating.
Do What Is Best for You
During any part of a relationship, do what is best for you. Period. End of story. Even if you’re married and there is something that is putting you on edge or in a bad space, do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You can care for your partner, why wouldn’t you. Know when you have had enough though. On the flip side, if you’ve broken up with your partner and things ended where you can still talk and you need to talk, do it. For Tim and I, I made the first move after the break up. Knowing how bad both of our mental health can be, I texted him after a few days to make sure he was okay. That quick text lead to calls and lead to us sitting on the bus to work together again, and now we’re back.
Don’t Care What Other People Think*
At the end of the day, a relationship is between two people. It isn’t about your friends. It isn’t about your family. It is about the two of you. Other people may talk but if you feel confident and happy in your relationship, don’t worry about what they might say. Do what you can to make things work. Communicate. Spend time together. Learn each other’s love languages. Grow together.
Now you may have noticed the asterisk in this heading. Sometimes you do have to care what people think. Like when you’re too afraid of being alone to leave despite all of the warning signs that your partner is going to ruin your life. If your partner disagrees with you on a fundamental level and thinks the Clintons are going to personally have him assassinated (true story…), care what your friends think and leave. Immediately.
Communication is Key
I can not stress this enough. Talk. Text. Call each other. Talk. Make sure that you aren’t just having superficial conversations but going deep. What do you want to do in the future? Where do you see yourself living? Do you want a family? Is family important to you? Talk about everything. Talk about things that make you happy. Talk about the hard things. Help each other. Be there for the good and the bad.
No one is perfect. Making someone perfect can be the most stressful thing. The second they aren’t perfect, they can be shattered for you or themselves. It is better to realize the imperfections. Make life a little easier too. If your partner has a problem or if you have one, recognize it and figure out what to do. Don’t just ignore it. It won’t go away or get better that way, I promise.
You Are Worth It
I spent years of my life settling for someone because I did’t think I was worth other attention. I didn’t think anyone else could possibly want to be with me. I though I was resigning myself to being a house wife with four kids (I don’t even want kids!) who would only ever be able to travel within driving distance of home. That was a life that I never wanted and yet that was almost it. Instead, I realized that I was worth it. I found someone who thought I was worth it. Now, I’ve found someone who will come see me any time and not make excuses. Who wants adventures as much as I do. Who can do all of the things that I want to do. Who holds many of the same beliefs and wants as I do. Who gives me a huge confidence boost. I wouldn’t have found that without realizing that I am worth it.
Relationships are hard. And weird. They teach us lessons and help us grow though. What lessons have you learned while dating? Share in the comments!