It isn’t a secret, but it also hasn’t been made into public news: I am now single. After four years and an engagement, my life has completely changed and in all honesty, I sometimes feel as if I am living a roller coaster. Some days I could not be happier, and others I am a sniffling puddle of a woman.
In time my wounds will heal, but as I wait I find myself becoming more aware of what my past relationship truly was and was not. I have never had to go through a heartbreak before, but I have begun to learn some very valuable lessons during my emotional recovery — sometimes love just ain’t enough.
The end of my relationship left me feeling lost and confused. So much so that I have found myself grasping to any fringe of hope connected to the past. But no more! It is time to break from the repeated lies I have been telling myself and honestly try to move on with my life…
1. “I shouldn’t have said anything.” This is the most deceiving lie I have been telling myself. Relationships require good communication. If I have to be scared of a blow-up every time I bring up a concern, then something is wrong. Rip the Band-Aid! The quicker you allow fresh air into the wound, the quicker it can heal.
2. “I can fix it.” I have always been one to over-analyze things, and this has led me to over-analyze the broken pieces of my relationship. Was it a simple fix? Was it something I could have managed? Was it a complete wreck? Well, guess what? The truth is, it was still broken. And when it comes to a relationship, when something is broken it takes BOTH parties to mend it.
3. “Things weren’t as bad as I thought they were.” He likes Chevrolet, I prefer Ford. I love country music, he listens to rap. He goes drinking with other girls and I have never been to a bar. Opposites may attract, but I know my deal-breakers. Twenty years from now, will I look back on our difference with admiration or contempt? I used to think those differences were what made our relationship so unique — they were small and insignificant. In the big scheme of things we agreed to a T. However, I definitely know a relationship has no foundation without trust, communication, and commitment. Without these three, things can never be great, and I’m worth more than settling for good.
4. “I’m going to end up alone.” Staying with the wrong person because I’m afraid I’ll be single displays nothing but fear and lack of self-love. I have come to respect myself. I have quirks, but that’s what makes me an individual. It has also become apparent that the more I come to love myself, the more people are drawn to me — because self-confidence is a trait others admire and people enjoy being in the company of a person who loves his or her life. Even if I may not be ready for another romantic relationship for a very long time, growth in my friendship pool has been a wonderful experience.
5. “All relationships have these kinds of issues.” No, all relationships do not prioritize other women above their fiancee, dismiss their partner’s new dream job as being “under par” to their pay standard, or allow their family to emotionally beat up their girlfriend. (Bit of a rant, sorry guys…) Great relationships are never forced. They are not forced to look perfect, fun, or loving. Great relationships simply are. They are magical and empowering and hungry for passion. This doesn’t mean effort isn’t needed to keep a relationship strong, but you should never have to question whether you’re with the right person when you’re in a healthy and successful relationship.