Some books never get finished. They get started then thrown off to the side to read later. It’s so easy to pick up where you left off…but then there are the loose ends. You forget what you read, rewind, maybe even start over. It gets harder after awhile to keep restarting…when does one get to that point where the book should just be closed? You’re clearly not reading it. Or is it too good to just not finish? Does there have to be an ending? …or can you just keep reading that book one bit at a time, never really rushing to finish? It won’t be long until the book becomes worn, tattered, and fading. If it could speak it would be telling you not to read it anymore because it just keeps getting hurt. So, do you decide to close the book forever; you’re just “leading it on”? Or do you open it all the way, start from the beginning; forget the old ways and actually finish what you started?
If you didn’t catch this, I was using books as a metaphor for relationships.
Hopefully it was obvious enough for you to catch on.
I’m no expert on relationships, heck, I don’t even come close, but this post is for the little piece in all of us that just can’t figure it out. I don’t know about you guys, but the majority of my Facebook timeline is babies and engagements and weddings. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for all of my friends, I’m just not there yet.
So I’m going to share with you thoughts I’ve had for years. Time to get a little deeper with this blog by writing about different types of relationships and why its perfectly normal to be “behind”.
Society has typically demonstrated that you go to college, get a four year degree, have a career, find the love of your life, get married, have babies, and BOOM. Instant adulthood. Like in the movies. For some, they’ve got that on lock. Good to go. For the rest of us, we might find ourselves feeling slightly delayed or behind if we haven’t accomplished that by 25. However, that is what our generation is changing. We aren’t putting a timeline on things, especially when it comes to relationships.
I find that most people nowadays are Zac Efron in the movie That Awkward Moment (before he decides he loves Ellie). They have a roster, they don’t settle down and when it comes to the “so”, they’re out. If you haven’t seen this movie, basically, Zac and his friends meet lots of girls, take none of them seriously, and when they ask questions like “so, what are we?” or “so, where is this going?” they get them off of the roster and move on to the next one.
For most or these types of people, they’re never in one place long enough to even think about a relationship and when they are, they think about how they won’t be in a few months so that’s why it could never work. These people are in crazy denial. They’re the ones who literally find flaws that aren’t even there. They make excuses and usually end up pushing away things that could potentially mean everything. At the end of the day, most people want the romantic love story (eventually), they’re ready to fall in love and just be with one person long enough to find out if they are physically capable of being in a relationship. They’re ready to be taken seriously.
There have been too many times when these people have been the fun-one-who-can-be-one-of-the-guys, but when when they finally turn into the girl/boy they actually are physically and they approach the topic of “so”, they become the one who’s out. It’s like the tables have turned.
Once they’ve hit that point, they begin to over analyze and think about how it’s not always about them and there are things beyond their control. It sucks but sometimes people make decisions that affect you without them even realizing the potential aftermath. Once we’ve found out, It inevitably changes things and ultimately makes us wonder about what could’ve been. Looking forward becomes difficult because you end up obsessing about that moment in the past, questioning the choices you made which all stem from that one person who didn’t give you the options you deserved.
It goes both ways.
So what happens next? They typically avoid showing that side of themselves so when they do let their guard down, it’s serious. Like a big flipping deal. So they just don’t do it. They don’t let themselves get emotionally attached because it backfires, and it has literally 87% of the time. They’re “different” or they’ve “changed” and “they thought they weren’t that serious” are all things that have been said to them and they’re all things they’ve said to others. The truth is, people aren’t always honest and when they do follow through with what they’ve said, people get all testy about it. For example, if someone says “I’m not looking for anything serious” and then a couple months later finds someone new to be with, you really can’t be mad. They said they “weren’t looking for anything serious”. What did you expect? Deep down everyone (including myself sometimes) wants that to be a line and hopes they don’t actually mean that, but that’s life. It’s hard to like someone and have your emotions toyed with (trust me, I’ve been there) but at the same time, not everyone will think the way you do the same time you do. Not everyone will feel the same as much as they try to. Not everyone will want the same things that you want. So you can’t force it, you either get hurt and struggle to find a way to push through that pain, or you stand tall and say “even though that didn’t work out, I still had fun, and I’m learning from the whole experience.”
Sometimes people are with someone in the “talking stage” (ugh this phrasing bugs me, but there’s truthfully no other way to put it), they like them, but they know it’s never really going to be serious due to the fact that they don’t actually want it to be. They hang on to them because they don’t want to be alone. They don’t have someone else that wants to be with them right then, so they stay with them. We all like to have someone that cares right? It’s not like they don’t like them, they’re just not in a place where commitment is a thing they want yet. The feelings are there, they’re just not strong. They know that they can be a tease, they don’t mean to, but they can be. They can also be the one that breaks the heart so that they don’t risk their own pain, but they can also learn about what they like and dislike and things about people they might not have realized before.
There’s nothing wrong with being one of those people.
Yes, at the end of it all, it sucks for the other person, but you can’t help how you feel. You can’t force emotion. Eventually, you’ll have to be honest about your feelings and while that might be unfortunate, your significant other will be able to learn from you and you, them. There’s nothing wrong with you for being the one who pushes relationships away. The one who hides emotions. They one who just isn’t ready, as much as they say they are. There’s nothing wrong with stopping to see the world, or focusing on other projects. I’m not saying go out and break everyone’s hearts…no. I’m saying that it doesn’t make you a bad person for being with someone and then realizing you don’t want it to work. This is a new age where relationships are different. Every person is different. Some relationships are fast, some are slow. Eventually, if you really want to, when you feel ready, you’ll let yourself fall. It will be beautiful.
Everything in life is about timing. Sometimes it’s good and in sync and sometimes it’s bad; but there’s nothing you can do about it, so you might as well go with the flow. There will come a time when you find someone who balances with you and will want similar things, but it won’t be everyone all the time. Be patient. If you take flings and relationships and spend time reflecting on them rather than pining for or whining about them; you might find that most of the things about them will be good rather than negative and truthfully you can learn a lot about yourself.
The relationships I have been in, for the most part, have ended on my account and have always been me simply saying “I can’t do it”. Giving up because I usually end up over-analyzing thinking about how there are so many people in the world, is this the one I’m supposed to be with??
Seriously, so many people exist.
I totally believe that you can be in love multiple times. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart but I don’t necessarily believe that you will only have only one “great love”. I do believe in finding someone that you love so much that you don’t want it to ever go away. That’s who you’ll be with for the rest of your life (ideally). A great love, but not necessarily the only one you might have in your lifetime. For some, it’s an age related struggle when it comes to relationships. Those high school relationships. At the time, those people are the most important part of your life and for the lucky ones, they still are. There are people who are holding on to something they once loved with all their heart, but couldn’t hold on to forever, as much as they wanted to. They were too young to make grown-up decisions about the future. They wanted it to work and tried so hard that they forgot about other things in my life.You can’t do that. You might think you’re doing the right thing and being a supportive significant other, but you can’t push other important things behind you because when or if that relationship ends, what and who will still be there?
For others, including myself, we can’t ever seem to close the book on our past. I’m still friends (or try to be) with all of my exes; my theory is, if we were friends before, why can’t we be after? Most will disagree, but depending on the type of past relationship, I don’t think this is a problem. I understand that is can be hard for new relationships but I push past the awkward and make it work because I can’t stand letting people out of my life when they once meant so much. Again, this all depends on the seriousness of the previous significant other, but it’s difficult for me to erase someone who I share amazing memories and adventures with. This doesn’t mean I’m hanging out with them all the time, but it means I don’t feel awkward telling them happy birthday or texting them when I’m near where they live and asking about the best place to get donuts. It’s great to move on, and it’s great when the other person moves on. I just find it hard to sweep under the rug, what was once a piece in my life puzzle. I don’t think it’s ever too late to make amends with people you care about and it’s never to late to pick up where you left off. Sometimes old habits and memories can make you realize what can be changed for your future relationships. You have to live with the choices you make, and sometimes there are regrets; but you can’t be bitter. You have to learn and grow with every person you meet.
The point of establishing relationships isn’t just to be in love. That’s a bonus. Relationships are for growth emotionally, physically and spiritually, for memories and for genuinely just growing up. They can be fun, they can be serious, and if you’re lucky, they can be both. Not all endings have to be bad either. Like I said, relationships take work and they have to be maintained. Relationships and friendships go hand in hand. I think that once you turn 21, or once you graduate college or university, you start getting asked about babies and marriage and engagements. I don’t think there needs to be a time limit on these things. I’ll get there eventually, but what I’m realizing as I get older is that you can’t meticulously plan for these things. If you’re happy where you are and doing what you’re doing, why force anything?
I am a little curious and sometimes wonder (and I’m sure my family is too) at what point will I think in weddings and floral arrangements instead of seasonal jobs and what’s for dinner? Who will be my game changer? I think there’s a game changer for everyone. Mine will be someone who will challenge me. Someone who will force me to stop being so lazy even though that is my best attribute. Someone who will share in my carefree attitude but will tell me like it is when I need it. Someone who will understand there’s a time for jokes and a time for seriousness. Someone who will notice little things about me and appreciate them. Someone who will (cheesy alert) literally love me with everything they have, and will mean it even if that’s all they can give me. I’ll know him when I find him, but for now, I’m learning to take my own advice and not rush life. I’m different, and it’s okay. That’s the way I like it; except when a really good rom-com is on and I lose my composure wondering “where’s my Zac Efron?”, but hey, it happens to the best of us.
I hope that this post inspires you, if anything, to relax and enjoy where you are, relationship or not. You don’t have to live with societal pressures.
Oh wow, I didn’t realize that I had so much to say on this subject, I just kept writing and writing and writing and writ-OK STOP THEY GET IT.
Anyways…thanks for hanging in there, if you are still here? Crickets?
I’m figuring it all out, I’m just taking baby steps.
Relationships? So far, so good.