5 Unrealistic Relationship Stigmas I Had When I Was Single
A majority of my dating life has been spent dating…not in a relationship, but dating. The only thing my twentysomething single self could compare a relationship to was the one I had in high school. Sure – a “relationship” or two here and there – but nothing that lasted more than 6 months.
So, as you can imagine, I had certain expectations of what a romantic relationship was and how things would change in my life, as I imagine a lot of chronically single women have.
(And before I begin, I’d like to just say how incredibly patient my boyfriend has been with me on these. It’s taken almost a year for me to learn many of these valuable lessons.)
1. Being in a couple will automatically make you happy
The grass is always greener on the other side.
I don’t care who you are, we’ve all done this. When you’re single, being in a relationship looks like the best thing ever. (And sure, there’s perks single people have too.)
A common misconception for single people everywhere is that simply be being in a relationship will make you happy.
Definitely not the case.
I talk a lot about happiness, mostly because I believe it’s at the core of leading a meaningful existence. Being in a meaningful and loving relationship can certainly be apart of this happiness, but don’t misconstrue being in a relationship for automatically equaling happiness.
As many will tell you, relationships take work. Much of that work comes from you and the relationship you have with yourself.
In short, you control your own happiness; not someone else.
2. What it would be like to live with a man
Living with someone else is hard. When it’s just a roommate – and not much emotion is involved – it’s hard. Imagine how hard things get when you’re in a romantic relationship with someone.
Before living with my man, I imagined how it would be.
And guess what? It’s nothing like I imagined.
And you know why? Because each individual person is different. I didn’t know my boyfriend when I imagined what living with my significant other would look like, so I couldn’t have possibly have the right image in my mind.
We have different fights than I thought we’d have; he places importance on different things than I thought he would; and so do I.
So while I have a much different reality than what was in my mind, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because this is the man I’ve chosen to share my reality with.
3. It will all be easy
“You’re in love. What more do you need?” I thought.
Put aside opposite-sex relationship issues for a moment, and just think of it like this: two people with two personalities sharing a life together.
Of course it’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows!
Sure…there are many, many days where it is. (And that’s how it should be.) But some days are overcast. Some days are cloudy. And some days are downright stormy. But it’s those stormy days that make the sunny ones that much more amazing.
4. It’s OK to just “be”
As someone who is constantly looking for change, growth, and general betterment, it’s always been difficult for me to sit still. I don’t think many conversations are worthwhile unless they’re deep and meaningful. I don’t think it’s OK to be complacent in any form. And this kind of type-A soul searching, wheels turning, thought process is extremely hard for me to turn off.
One of the biggest – and most difficult – personal challenges I’ve had to learn and continuously overcome (with the help of my better half) is that it’s ok to chill the F out sometimes.
It’s OK to not be thinking constantly.
It’s OK to not be pushing for the next step in our relationship.
And it’s certainly OK to just chill sometimes.
This is a continuous struggle for me, but I’m getting there.
5. Soulmates exist
I always resented my parents (who have been married 30+ years, by the way) for telling me that they probably could’ve been happy spending their lives with a number of different people. I thought “No. No, no, no. Soulmates exist and I believe in them. There is only one true person for each of us.”
I’m not being cynical when I say that the people who made me – and who have had a successful relationship together for a greater part of their lives – are probably right. Though I’m blissfully happy with my boyfriend and I want to spend my life with him, we could probably both have found other people had we not found each other. But – and this is a BIG BUT – we choose to choose each other every day. That’s the difference.
We are in the right place at the right time to be with one another, and we choose each other every day.
In the end, every relationship is unique. (Think about all the relationships you have in your life with friends and family.) No two romantic relationships are equal, so they have to be worked on and massaged in different ways too. So here’s to continuing the work…and proving all my other single girl stigmas wrong. 😉