It’s hard for me to write about relationships because, until I met my boyfriend this year, I had been single my whole life.
I am 22 years old and in my first, official, committed relationship. That being said, I’m highly experienced in the art of being single. Being in a relationship is new for me, but a lot can be said about what I’ve learned from the new experiences. I can’t help but compare the two lifestyles. Being single is something you do alone while being in a relationship is something you do with someone else. I didn’t completely dislike being single. I mean for the most part it did suck, but I was never the type of person to settle for someone just so that I could be stripped of the title. I will say I am happier and less bitter now that I’m in a relationship. I don’t, however, believe being in the relationship has necessarily made me happier. It’s the person I am with that has changed my outlook.
Being single is easy and hard at the same time. It’s easy in the sense that not much work goes into staying single. On the outside being single is uncomplicated, but on the inside it is quite the opposite. The first thing that comes to mind is the loneliness, which in my opinion is probably the worst feeling in the world. Loneliness is sadness and desperation combined with the feeling that everyone could care less.
On the contrary, being in a relationship is different. It’s hard on the outside but oh so easy on the inside, at least that has been my experience thus far. I’ve always thought of relationships as a job you love, it’s a lot of work, but you should love doing it. Dedication and loyalty is a requirement. There of course will be fights and disagreements but you’ll get through them. Time will move and it’s your responsibility as a couple to keep up. This is the hard work. The easy part is the love, the emotions and all the feelings. Those things should come naturally. They should be the easiest feelings you are going to feel. Feelings are strong and powerful, which is why they make even the hardest stuff bearable.
I feel guilty sometimes for being in a relationship. I try to imagine what my single self would have said about the relationship I’m in now. I feel as if she wouldn’t have approved of it because she was bitter and never believed it was possible for a relationship to last. Single me would have thought that I spend way too much time with my boyfriend. Single me would have thought the PDA was excessive. I don’t think single me would have been happy for me, which is the reason I tend to feel guilty. I feel as if other single people could never be happy for someone in a relationship.
Why couldn’t single me ever be happy for someone in a relationship? Single me is the same person as relationship me, but they feel like two completely different people. The only thing that has changed is, now I have a partner. The titles have little to do with it. Does being in a relationship really change you? Single me was always afraid that relationships change people.
Maybe what she didn’t realize was that sometimes change can be good. Single me was rooted in her beliefs about relationships even though she hadn’t even been close to being in one. Single me always thought of relationships as an entity. Single me always just wanted to be happy and now she is because she’s in a relationship. Little did she know the titles have nothing to do with it.
The ideas and beliefs I have about relationships come from the two months I’ve been in one. My relationship is still fresh and I know that I’m lacking the experience. Will I fail at this relationship because of my lack of experience? Do I even need the experience? I was single for a while, but not once did I ever feel like I knew what I was doing. I will admit I don’t really know what I’m doing while in my relationship either. Does anyone actually know what they’re doing or is the key to a good relationship based on who you’re in it with.