Found yourself stuck in a horrible relationship where the other person just doesn’t seem to care anymore? Are they playing mind games with you, knowing that you’d hang onto each and every word they say?
The weeks, months.. or even years after a breakup are pretty damn difficult. It’s the time you’ll most likely be clutching at straws to save every last bit of your relationship/friendship or whatever it was. I understand that it’s not easy to wean yourself apart from someone you’ve enjoyed many ups and braved even the crappiest parts of life (so far) together. No day would go by without you keeping in contact, or maybe you even saw them everyday. And you constantly pick at your brain trying to find out how exactly you’ll survive without them being a part of your life again.
The truth is, I wasn’t ‘selfish’ enough when it came to my last relationship. He kept hinting that our relationship was burning out, and I’d take those hints as a sign that I needed to put in more effort to keep the relationship going. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to want to hang onto something you’ve placed so much time, money, effort and youth into. All I’m saying is sometimes you need to be selfish – and by that I mean you need to take a step back and re-evaluate how the relationship has changed you as a person.
I would be lying if I said that I had my priorities in check whilst I was still in this relationship. I lost friends because of the amount of time I had devoted to physically being there for him. And although we both strived towards better grades at uni, the semesters went by and come exam period, we’d always find ourselves arguing until the early hours of morning. This obviously put a strain on our relationship because we were both ambitious people. We had the same goals (gym, uni, career, and at one point we even discussed the possibility of marriage and life together).
But we failed to prioritise each of these goals properly. I was scarred by the relationships before him, and insecurity was something I knew I had to overcome if it were to work. This insecurity did not help me become the person I wanted to be, I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do because I was so caught up in trying to make him happy. To this day, I still can’t pinpoint where exactly we went wrong… but I guess it’s safe to assume that I didn’t give him enough space to be himself, and ultimately – I had completely forgotten about “me time“. I’ve learnt that wanting and spending ‘me time’ isn’t selfish, in fact it’s pretty important for me to have this time to reflect on my life and goals and whether or not I’m actually heading the way I want to in life.
I have only just recently realised that it’s NOT selfish to go your own way about the things you want. Being in a relationship should not be restrictive. You shouldn’t have to leave your individual lives behind in order for someone to stay in love with you. You should be free to pursue the things you want, without getting shit from the other person about not spending enough time with you.
What I learned when I was with my first true love (my last relationship) was that a relationship is where two people work towards their individual goals (which may/may not be common goals) as a team. If she’s into make up and fashion, that does not mean he has to pick up her interests and get all into a girly magazines. If he’s into gaming and cars, it does not mean she should go out and read up on everything there is to read on gaming and auto. I mean… if they’re genuinely into it, then fine! Do whatever! My point is, you’re two different people and everybody has different ideals and you shouldn’t sacrifice your individual ideals to make the other person happy.
My apologies for the essay, these were the thoughts sparked by a conversation I had with a friend going through a challenging time. I could go on forever about this subject, and this is probably just a starting point. I’m not actually qualified to give ‘love advice’ … it’s just titled that way because, just because 😛 I just hope this helps other people realise that being in a relationship doesn’t mean being the ‘best’ for someone else at the expense of your own sanity.
Because sometimes… a it’s okay to be selfish. In order for two people to healthily co-exist, both must understand that expectations cannot always be met. Just remember to appreciate when someone makes the effort to do something for ya! x