Scrolling through social media, one of the most popular things one will most likely find is yet another ultimate listing of what you deserve as a girlfriend/boyfriend, or “things only happy couples do”, or why you shouldn’t be upset after yet one more heartbreak.
Whether you want them or not, relationship tips and eye-openers seem to be all over the place.
And it is a good thing.
Because no matter what you have been through, you’re no longer alone.
Instead of one or two best friends we used to spill our guts to after a breakup, we now have a whole network of like-minded people with just about the same feelings. It reminds me of group therapy, but, unlike a real group session in a brick-and-mortar establishment, relationship sections on social media give us the great opportunity of keeping our privacy. You no longer need to get out of bed and go somewhere to express your feelings among people with similar issues: sometimes it’s enough to get on the computer and read some inspiring articles saying just the right things you were too troubled to put into words yourself.
Of course, this is not always enough, and, for what it’s worth, psychological problems deserve all the real attention and professional help if one feels like he or she needs those.
The problem is we tend to read a bunch of relationship articles, forgetting about our actual starting point.
If an unfair breakup, cheating or lying have broken our heart, all of the stay-single or real-boyfriend/girlfriend tips may be very helpful. Because the starting point is a fresh wound, lowered self-esteem and lack of motivation to keep believing.
If you’re looking for something more calm and mature, on the other hand, those might as well lead you in the wrong direction.
A person treated unfairly by a loved one needs all the attention and validation of their feelings, as well as some motivating content to picture a fresh start with all the hugs and kisses, rainbows and roses, “things only happy couples do” and so on.
When you’re already past this stage, focusing a little too much on the potential good qualities of your partner or the bad decisions of your ex might distract you from becoming a decent life partner yourself. We tend to be getting lost in all the a-girl-is-a-keeper-when’s and real-men-do’s to a degree we hardly analyze our own actions and readiness.
Don’t we tend to forget about the question: am I, myself, ready to work on a relationship?
How good am I at compromising?
Do I manipulate too much?
What am I ready to do for my potential partner’s happiness?
Relationships aren’t for “me-monsters”. Don’t get me wrong: it is extremely important to give yourself motivation to look for understanding, commitment, a deeply soulful relationship with a true other half. Because you deserve it. The important thing is avoiding addiction to the whole “prince/-ss” image made so detailed by Internet experts.
Relationship listings are simply not ultimately applicable, so there is nothing wrong with not liking cuddles or adoring a girl who looks nothing like the new Game of Thrones character everyone on social media is so into.
Recovering after a huge lie, cheating and such is a difficult thing. This is why social media content is full of praising committed relationships, not talking to other guys or girls, choosing dates in front of the TV over parties…
But let’s face it. The intimacy of being together 24/7 and limiting your outgoing schedule to seeing one person most of the time might not be what you want right now. There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying single and simply getting to know new people, hanging out and visiting fun events.
Jealousy is another thing underestimated in all of the faithful-keeper posts flow.
Do you really want the person by your side to be limited in their communication to just you, some family and best friends?..
Not everyone is an introvert. Some people need to go out into the big world to recharge, express themselves, gain some new knowledge and impressions… It’s even more fun to go to various events together from time to time.
Same applies to “talking to other people”.
You don’t need to cross everyone else out of your friend circle to maintain a committed relationship.
Running away from potential temptation can just as well be considered a weakness, while behaving like a committed partner with other people is a sign of decent will power and maturity. Having a partner who learns a ton from communicating with various people is actually a huge advantage.
No one can avoid getting out there and interacting with other people, some of them attractive and very nice. But pretty much everyone can inform friends they are seeing someone and show respect to their other half in front of others. As long as there is no flirting, lying and so on, you’re good.
All in all, can any of us seriously promise to be there every single day? Do any of us know what happens to us tomorrow or the day after? Promising eternal love is undoubtedly beautiful, but what it is really about is making a conscious choice to be with some and put maximum effort into it.
I can’t promise I won’t get transferred to a military unit a hundred miles away. I can’t promise to stay healthy. I can’t promise to not get arrested by mistake and spend a year in jail until the court figures out the truth.
Life is unstable, and I guess none of us can honestly promise eternity simply because it is not something in our power. What we can promise, however, is a well-thought-out commitment, support, love and honestly. If anything does change later – we will figure it out.
Hoping for never-changing stability in fact loses to adjusting to the fast-moving world together.
My ex-boyfriend and I used to live about a hundred feet away. We would spend all time possible together even though both of us had college and two jobs. Then we graduated and he suddenly got under a politically influenced criminal investigation that went on to illegally frame anti-government protesters. At the same time, I had to go in for an operation with a painful recovery and he just couldn’t be by my side, moving from town to town until the case was settled. After that, I was supposed to be transferred to another town or even overseas. My priority was his safety, but my need was having somebody by my side to help me walk and eat. Instead of being upset about him not being there for me, I gathered all of my ratio and will power and let him go so we could avoid the fighting and maintaining remote contact.
Sometimes there is no cheating and lying. Sometimes we just go our separate ways.
And when the time comes for a new loved one to come into our hearts, do we want to constantly remind them of the pain of our heartbreaks or the mistakes of our exes, or do we want to let go and simply be happy?
Because there is never a guarantee, which only makes the existence of love and trust even more unbelievably beautiful.