When It’s Over, It’s Over

A friend of mine [let’s call him Bob] is currently seeing a girl. Every time I speak to Bob, he never has anything positive to say about his relationship. He’s frustrated, she’s frustrated, and they’ve basically become roommates instead of a live-in couple. They broke up for a short period of time and then recently got back together but nothing had changed.

When I asked Bob why they were still together if they were both unhappy, his response was “We’re used to each other. I’d rather be miserable with her than try with someone else and find out I don’t like them either.”

Bobby. Best friend. I love you. But that’s a no-no. 

Familiarity and comfort zones will kill any chance for growth and will stop better relationships from forming. Think about it. Your soul mate is out there, looking for exactly the person you are, and you’re wasting time with a person who is some one else’s soulmate, who in turn is wasting their time with you while their soul mate is out there looking for exactly the person they are. [catches breath]

It’s just an unnecessary cycle of unhappy people making other people unhappy. Don’t hold on to a dead relationship to avoid being single. It doesn’t need to end badly but it absolutely needs to end. 

Understand that toxic relationships are not exclusive to ones in which abuse or infidelity is involved.

A relationship where both parties are unhappy is unhealthy. Passive aggressive comments, eating in your car instead of upstairs in your apartment just to have a moment of peace [I’m looking at you Bob], and overall discontent with your significant other soaks up a lot of your energy. Energy that could be put into other endeavors and other people.

Being an adult is already difficult enough without having to expend a great deal of time, attention, and effort to a dead-end relationship.

You’re tired. You’ve had a long day at work. All you want to do is come home and relax, maybe have a good cry [don’t act like you haven’t done it], and go to sleep. Only now, you know the second you come home, you need to first tend to this person that you’re not even that fond of. There goes your stress free evening plans. All for the sake of not being single? You’re literally taking years off your life [insert charts and data to support this outlandish statement].

As the age-old saying goes: I can do bad all by myself [playa pleathe].

Get out. Now. While you still have a chance. Sit this person down and point out the facts.

“This sucks.”

“This isn’t going anywhere.”

“Your feet smell and you have a bad attitude.”

“Stop crying. You know you don’t really love me anyway. You just need someone to pay half the rent.”

You’re gaining nothing from a relationship with no future [except maybe cheaper living expenses]. Relationships have their ups and downs but know when it’s down and not getting back up. Make a clean break [or a messy one if that’s what it takes to get the job done.] and say hello to your new freedom.

Then proceed to read my previous posts to get you through the process

SS

Look To The Future

Even though this blog is about being proud of your singularity, I do believe that this time is the best time to reflect on what you want from future relationships.

I am a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic. [Too many episodes of boy meets world I suppose.] So I constantly need to remind myself to set realistic standards. Of course I’d love to bump into the man of my dreams on a subway platform, lock eyes, and see fireworks shoot off behind him, letting me know that this is the guy I share forever with. But I know that’s not realistic [as fireworks in a subway station would be fire hazard, am I right?] Though sometimes I do find myself holding out for that defining moment, I know that the person you meet is far more important than how you meet.


Setting Realistic Goals

“Relationship Goals” are fun. You see it all over social media. Couple’s doing silly things, cute things, fun things and in your mind you go, “Awww, relationship goals!” But ultimately, they’re dumb [sorry, not sorry] and they are the downfall of most relationships today.

Stop aspiring to pictures you find on the internet. Stop it. You see a picture of a couple playing on the beach at sunset? It’s literally just that. A picture. People in real relationships don’t have time to hire photographers to follow them around all day to capture these moments. If they do, you don’t need to aspire to that type of narcissism anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with people being in love and wanting to share that love with the world. But please remember that people will only show you what they want you to see.

So Jack & Diane post the most disgustingly beautiful photo, proclaiming their love for one another, promising forever. And you think to yourself, “Gee, I sure wish I had a relationship like that.” Meanwhile, behind closed doors, Jack has to deal with Diane’s jealousy; Diane has to deal with Jack’s anger issues, and they’re both about two seconds away from murdering each other [that got dark pretty quickly].

Set realistic goals for yourself. Stop thinking about what the relationship looks like on the outside and try thinking about the actual foundation of a relationship. Focus on the qualities of the person rather than quantity of all the gooey romantic things you can do together.


Seek The Person, Not The Relationship

Too many times, I hear people say, “I want to be with a person that’s gonna play video games with me and eat old Chinese food with me on the couch and go on wild adventures, etc.” And while all of that seems cool or whatever, there’s more to a relationship than video games and junk food and adventures.

Are you even looking for a relationship? You can do any of those things by yourself, with a good friend or with a perfect stranger. Join a club or something. But don’t go searching for these simple things in a relationship, as this is not the foundation of a relationship.

Can you confide in this person? Can you communicate with this person? Is this person slow to anger? Does this person respect you? Does this person value your opinion? How does this person treat others?

Always start with these questions first. You can work out all the minor details later. When you’re with the right person, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. More importantly, it won’t matter what it looks like to other people. It’s not their business anyway. Be confident that the next relationship will be a healthy one based on realistic aspirations.

Look to the future!

Yes, you’re single now. But this is the time to think about these things. Not six months into the relationship when you realize the person you’re with is not the person you want.

SS

Love In All The Wrong Places

I do believe love and human connections are detrimental to a healthy and fulfilling life. After all, we are put on this earth to love and be loved in return (cue the violins). But I also believe in the ability and importance in finding these things outside of romantic relationships.

When you start to break down the meaning of love, you’ll realize that romantic love, while amazing in it’s own right, isn’t the only kind that’s out there. You can miss a lot of great moments and interactions with people who care about you, making romance your only source of affection.


Platonic Love

Love your friends!

And I’m talking REAL FRIENDS. Not the people you shoot the breeze with at the water cooler during your lunch break. Not the people who like all your tweets and snaps, and IG memes but never ask you how you’re doing. 

No.

I’m talking the people you have history with. The people who really get you. Whether you grew up with them or know them from college. Whatever. These are your people. Connect with them as often as possible.

Alright, I know we’re all busy. We’ve all got lives. With the ever failing economy, most of us are working, sleeping off the work we just did so we can wake up and work some more. There’s no time to dote and and swoon and fawn over our BFFL’S.

But check in with your circle when you can. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been having a day from hell, and getting a random text from a close friend brings me back full circle. Or on the flip side, I’ve sent out random texts and got positive responses.

I miss you!”

“Hey! I know we haven’t spoken in a while but I hope you’re doing well!”

“I was having a horrible day and needed a laugh. Thanks!”

They may seem insignificant. But little interactions like these do wonders for the soul.


Self Love

Cheesy, right? But it is the most important. Remember in my last post, I mentioned soul searching? I’ll just piggy back off of that

You shouldn’t need a significant other to tell you you’re beautiful, you’re handsome, you’re smart, you’re funny, or that you’re worthy. You are all of those things right now! As a single! Go figure.

It’s nice when other people can appreciate you in all of your glory. It’s nice when people can appreciate all of the things you have to offer. But validate your own worth. Wanna know why? Because all the worth you find in yourself through other people, will leave you the second that they do. And then you’ll have nothing.

Love yourself! (Justin Bieber thinks you should)

The second a significant other starts acting like an idiot, you won’t hesitate to walk away because you’ll remember who you were before them and know you’ll be equally as awesome when you leave.

Romance is wonderful. If you get to experience it, you’re one of the lucky ones. But love isn’t centered around romance. The love you receive from a friend, family member, even (and especially) yourself is just as important.

Let it fuel you when you’re running low in other areas.
SS

So, You’re Newly Single.

A friend of mine recently broke up with his girlfriend of almost seven years. Fortunately, it was a clean break so there were no hard feelings involved. When I asked him if he was ok, he said he felt weird. He said since he started dating in high school, he hadn’t been single longer than two months before being in another long-term relationship and he didn’t know exactly how to be single.

“I work so much so it’s not that bad. But when I finally get a moment to breathe, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing because I did everything with her.”

Does this sound familiar? You spend all of your free time with a person and now that it’s over, you get anxious. You get that feeling of, “What do I do with my hands?”

This feeling often leads to us searching for companionship, sometimes in the wrong places. We hook up with people we know we shouldn’t be hooking up with. We complicate things where there should otherwise be no complication. If that is where you are, I encourage you to keep reading.

Here’s what being single is NOT. It is not a curse. It is not a negative. It is not a circumstance that needs an immediate change.

In fact, it is an opportunity! Instead of seeing it as a problem that needs fixing, try reprogramming your thought process and try seeing the bright side of your situation.


Freedom

Wanna check out the hot guy behind the counter at your favorite coffee place? Check him out! Wanna finally wear that hideous shirt that’s been collecting dust in the back of your closet? Do it! Wanna binge watch that Netflix series this weekend? Go ahead! Wanna join your friends on that spontaneous bar crawl? Be my guest! Your life is all yours again.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice spending nights coupled up, doing all kinds of couple shit. However, there is a responsibility that comes with being in a relationship. A lot of your decisions are made out of the consideration you [should] have for your significant other.

Being single, you’ll realize that the only person you really need to concern yourself with is you.

Scary, isn’t it? But it shouldn’t be! Do you and take enjoyment in the fact you don’t need a permit to do so.


Alone vs. Lonely

Don’t get these two words confused. Yes, you are technically alone. But you’re not really alone, are you? Unless you were in some type of horrible, creepy, isolating relationship (in which case, congratulations on your new-found freedom; you made it!), you should still have some great people in your circle.

Call them up! Have a guys night out, [respectfully] trolling the town. Have a girls night out, whatever that might entail. Just because you’re no longer part of a couple, doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself. Get out there. Show your face. We’ve missed you.

On the other side of the spectrum, however, is learning how to be alone. If you’re one of those people who hate to be alone, this might be difficult for you. But I want to encourage you to really get into the habit of having some uninterrupted alone time. Which brings me to my final point.


Soul Searching

Relationships can be draining. Putting all of your efforts into something, only to have it fall apart, is tough to get through. Maybe you’ve developed new habits, adopted new ideas, taken on new hobbies, and now that it’s over, you are struggling with your identity. 

It’s okay. It happens to the best of us.

But don’t set up camp in your identity crisis for too long. Take this time to find yourself. Or even better, reinvent your self. It’s hard but you must remember, you were a person before entering a relationship and you are still a person outside of one.

It’s all about resetting. Think about who you are as a person and who you’d like to be. Think about what your previous relationship lacked and what you want from the relationship that follows (after giving yourself a break).

I recommend taking a year to explore, find productive ways to spend your days (hey, that rhymed!), and remember that people change. Relationships end but the world doesn’t have to.

Have a glass of wine. You’ll be alright.

 

SS