Figuring Things Out: The Search For Balance In New Relationships

Figuring Things Out: The Search For Balance In New Relationships

Dating is beautiful, but you still have a life, and it's not going to be the same.

I believe there are people who are genuinely happy to be single. I was not one of them.

Not that my life was an unhappy one just because I wasn't dating anyone — I am thankful for my life and acknowledge that I am blessed no matter my relationship status — but I never stopped desiring romance, and my recent relationship has confirmed my suspicion that I am far happier to be with someone than not to be.

Though I am by no means an expert on relationships after having been in one for just over a month, I still feel that I've learned a thing or two.

I've learned a lot about him; I know all about his likes (soccer) and dislikes (golf), his timetable (late to bed, late to rise, late to pretty much everything), his values (conservative), and his family (fun and very close), just to name a few. And I guess I've learned about myself, too. I've learned that I will never compromise on important standards (like my faith), but that some of my more arbitrary and unrealistic expectations of a significant other were just that— arbitrary and unrealistic.

But something that I'm still figuring out is whether or not anything else about my life ought to change now that my relationship status has. What I mean is, so many things feel different to me now, and I'm not sure if they should. Probably the most difficult question is how much to involve this new person in the various existing aspects of your life. Obviously, you want to be with them and want them to enjoy the same things you do, but you know you still ought to have your own space. So where's the balance?

One area where this question is relevant is in existing friendships. Naturally, you want your new boyfriend or girlfriend to get along with your other friends, but you don't want to allow a new relationship to change or distance an already-strong bond.

This seems especially challenging in regard to single friends. Having been a single girl who tended to feel self-conscious around more demonstrative couples, I know that I never want my relationship to leave anyone feeling awkward or left out. But at the same time, I want my friends to be involved in this new aspect of my life, too. While I would hate for my friends to dislike my significant other or feel like they didn't know him, I would hate even more to grow gradually apart from my dear friends and find myself distant from them in the future. This, too, requires balance.

Whether single or dating, the proper management of time, commitments, and friendships takes work and practice. Even though I feel I've already learned so much about what it means to add another type of relationship to the mix, I realize that I haven't perfected this balance just yet, and probably never will. But that doesn't mean that I can't still enjoy this new, imperfect, and exciting season while admitting that I'm still figuring things out.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Why I Spend So Much Time With My Boyfriend

And I love it!

Many people think that spending too much time with your significant other is a bad thing. I think that wanting to spend time with them is a blessing. Don't get me wrong, we do not spend every waking minute together. We make sure that we save time for our friends and family, but in the end, we cherish our time together.

He brings out the best in me. When I first met my boyfriend, I knew he was something special. I didn't know what it was, but I knew that it would be important someday. I found out that when I am with him, I am an all-around happier person. I look at things in different ways, and I now know a whole new world of people. He has helped me overcome obstacles that have been holding me back for quite some time.

We enjoy each others company. I can't even begin to tell you how many times we have just sat in silence simply knowing that you are in the company of someone who loves you is comforting. He makes things that would usually be boring a lot more fun. When we do homework together, he makes the work seem like it's not work, and things like a simple trip to Walmart ends up being a comedy show.

We are best friends. Many people say that they are best friends with their significant other. For us, it's true. I can tell him anything. There is no hiding things in our relationship; we come right out and say what we want to say.

He pushes me to succeed. Whether it is with weight loss or homework, he holds me accountable. When I start a new workout, he keeps me on track to be whom I want to be. We make sure that we put homework before going out and that helps us in the long run. Giving up that pizza can be easy when you are spending time with someone you love.

He makes life seem not so hard. College can be hard and make life difficult. It seems that I always have something new happening or another meeting to attend. When I get stressed or overwhelmed, he makes sure that I take the time to put into perspective what really matters and focus on that. And when that fails, we go get McDonald's.

He supports me. He has never once told me that one of my ideas was stupid or out of reach. Whenever something new comes up that I think would be exciting, he is the first one to rally behind me and let me know that it is a good idea (even if it's not).

I love him. Love is a strong word, but I can honestly say I have never felt like this before. Between everything that he does for me, I do just as much for him simply because I love seeing him happy. Spending so much time together isn't hard to do because we love each other. If somewhere down the road we decide to split ways, I will still love him and he will still love me. That will never go away.

Cover Image Credit: Hanna Hartman

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Is Social Media Killing Romance?

In a modern era filled with technology, are the communication outlets we rely on destroying our ability to connect?


I have always been a girl that has been stereotypically obsessed with romance novels and movies. Honestly, I enjoy the concept of romance in and of itself. I have always dreamed of a passionate, deep romance of my own complete with a meet-cute, dates, and affection. However, it seems as though the concept of romance has skewed dramatically as social media continues to flourish.

So many romance movies are shifting to acknowledge how time-consuming social media is in teenagers lives. Even so, social media seems to be such a minuscule part of the relationships while, in reality, social media outlets tend to be a major form of communication in our society.

It seems as though our entire lives are digital and relationships are no exceptions. Meeting people the "old fashioned way" is almost obsolete now thanks to dating apps and other mediums of communication. We seem to be taking away the basis of relationships; intimacy and connection.

Additionally, social media has been detrimental, especially pertaining to self-esteem and self-image. Social media allow self-scrutinization to become the norm. Comparison is almost a reflex while scrolling through social media so why would romance and relationships be any different? Social media can create ridiculous expectations for relationships. Apps like Instagram are a media for sharing the best of your life, so everyone seems to have a perfect life on there. These expectations and comparisons seem to be a deteriorating factor for relationships.

Another phenomenon that I have noticed, thanks to social media, is that meeting people is easier than ever. This is not a bad thing per se. However, since it is so easy, it seems that all the effort is gone. Flirting with someone who "slid into your DMs" is exponentially easier than flirting with someone in real life. Apps like Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram are simple methods to communicate and therefore, our communication has become simple.

Hookup culture is another thing that has become increasingly popular with the rise of social media. According to statistics, correlation does not imply causation but, at least to me, it seems that there are entirely too many aspects in common for them to not be related. Since communication is exponentially easier, so have "booty calls." Late night texts. or "snaps" have diminished the chase and allowed for actual relationships to be foreign to our generation.

In conclusion, social media has provided us with an unbelievable amount of benefits. However, it also may be draining our generation of connection and emotion. It seems as though social media has driven us into an age of simplicity and complacency.

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