On Relationships and Being Your Best Self
I am dating one of my best friend’s brothers. It's something that I didn't think happened unless it was in a movie. Another friend Heather encouraged the match up when he and I first met at a wedding. I originally fought against it because I had experienced a bad streak with guys over the past year, including a relationship that had just ended.
In my past relationship, I had been with a guy who took gym selfies and posted them on social media. He also couldn't be bothered by texts through the week, unless it was to confirm weekend plans. He would curse at me as a joke and then expect me to laugh.
Why did I stay in this relationship? Why did I not run when I knew it was wrong? Great question!
My gut told me this was not what I needed or what I had desired from childhood when I thought of my Prince Charming. Yet I couldn't bring myself to acknowledge something was wrong until I found out he had made an effort to see his ex-girlfriend one weekend when I was out of town. It took something so obvious and dramatic to get my head out of the clouds and wake up to the reality of this relationship.
Everyone will tell you that the person you end up with will never be perfect. To me, that meant you were not supposed to aim high for the person to treat you well. (Looking back now, how sad is that?)
They’ll also say that the person you love will still get on your nerves and will potentially hurt your feelings, but at the end of the day, you extend grace and love to one another other. This is why I kept telling myself I could stay in the old relationship because he still did sweet things for me despite the red flags that kept popping up.
Throughout the two and a half months we dated, I kept telling myself lies over and over again, until my soul was exhausted and parched from not receiving anything life-giving from the relationship. That is when I realized two things:
1. Maybe I didn’t have to settle like I had thought when it came to a guy.
2. Maybe Mr. Right wasn’t perfect, but he could at least show me respect and kindness.
Now that I’m in a new relationship, I cannot help but reflect on all I missed out on whenever I was in the old one.
In my new relationship, my boyfriend is excited to see me every chance he gets. I might need to mention that this relationship started off long distance, and it’s continuing into the second month. It is still new, fresh, and exciting. We talk every day through text, Snapchat, and phone calls that we have fallen asleep on.
Perhaps it is distance making the heart grow fonder; perhaps it's because it's only the second month. Or maybe it’s just because it’s a different kind of guy I am dating.
Someone I can picture hanging with my friends. Someone my friends know about and are happy for me to get to know. Someone who has been kind to me every day since the day we’ve met. Someone who apologizes if a lame joke went too far. Someone who cares if I’m having a bad day to say something positive to encourage me. Someone who I can laugh with about stupid jokes that we could only understand. Someone who cares how I am treated. Someone I feel like I have known forever.
In my new relationship, I feel confident about offering affirmation because I know I’ll receive it back. No more have I told myself I need to be the one to sacrifice more time and words than the guy.
I am convinced now that a relationship is more about a partnership, and less about sacrificing who you are as a person. A lesson I had to learn the hard way in my past relationship.
A relationship should be one that brings you to life, and not one that detaches you from your daily existence. I wish someone would have told me a relationship should not be forced, but rather taken slowly. I’m still getting to know the person I am dating, and so far, unlike any other relationship I’ve ever been in, I feel whole and healthy from the start.
Something I believe now a relationship is all about—making you the best person you can be.
For that I am thankful for.
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