I Devote A Lot Of Time To My Relationship And I'm Not Sorry

I Devote A Lot Of Time To My Relationship And I'm Not Sorry

No, it's not a bad thing. I promise.
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"You're young, you should focus on yourself."

"Serious relationships in college never work out."

"You're missing out on so many things by focusing so much on one person."

If I had a penny for every time someone had a comment to make about my relationship, I would be able to pay off my student loan debt. It seems as though everyone who isn't in a serious relationship in college has something to say to those who are. From people my age to people in their 40's or older, I've heard it all from every age group. Maybe it is because I am young and people tend to think that young relationships do not prosper or they hold young people back from their full potential. But why? Why do people believe that devoting time to someone you care about isn't healthy or is a "waste"?

I am currently in a long distance relationship and any of you who have ever experienced one know it takes a lot of effort. Between finding time to FaceTime among both of your busy schedules and planning when you will see each other next, it takes up a lot of your time. Relationships that aren't long distance take a lot of effort too. But what does being in college have to do with how serious your relationship should be or how it affects your life?

I still go out with friends and have a good time, I always make time for myself and doing things I enjoy such as working out or drawing, and I focus on my schoolwork and get good grades. But I also devote a good chunk of my time to my relationship and here is why: It makes me happy.

These days, it seems as though everyone has something to say when it comes to the things that make people happy. People have the mindset of, "Well, if it doesn't make ME happy, why do other people do it?" I devote a lot of time to my relationship because I love to. I love putting effort into something that I get a lot out of in return. Because I put in so much effort and devote so much time, I have a best friend who I can count on 100% of the time. He's there for me during my best and worst days, he makes me laugh when I want to cry, and running into his hugs every time I get to go home makes it all worth it. He's my best friend and so what if he's my boyfriend too?

I focus on myself, my health, my grades, my family, and everything else that needs attention in my life. But I also devote a lot of time to someone who means a lot to me. I don't "spend too much time" talking to my significant other or "get too caught up" in trying to make something I care about work. I put time and effort into the person I care about most and I don't regret it for a second.


Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The 20-Year-Old Girl Dating A 45-Year-Old Man, From The Child Of An Age Gap Relationship

Please know what your getting into.
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Recently, I've seen a few stories on the Odyssey discussing age gap in relationships.

They all seem to be written by girls who are dating men who are 20 years or more their senior. The articles talk about how love is love, the heart wants what it wants and that no one will change their mind about their relationship. I respect everyone's right to their opinion and their happiness. If you really think it works for you, then go for it. However, you should know what you are getting into completely before fully committing to this.

I am a child of parents with a large age gap. My dad is 23 years older than my mom. They got married when he was 50 and she was 26. My dad was 65 by the time I was born. I love my parents but here's why I think we should be wary of large age gap relationships

Disclaimer: my parents both know and understand my feelings on this. They know I wrote this article and that they are mentioned. I wouldn't trade or change them or their relationship. My parents have provided me with a wonderful life full of love, family, and happiness. Because of them, I've been given financial stability, a safe environment, an education and a huge, loving family. Things have worked out for our family, especially given the circumstances. However, that doesn't mean I would recommend a large age gap relationship. It may seem like nothing now, but the years between you and your significant other will catch up to you.

My dad is now 86 and struggling. He has trouble taking care of himself.

He needs help with almost everything. He can't be left alone for more than an hour or two. He has nurses come three times a week to help with his care. He needs someone present when my mom leaves the house to work part-time. His memory is fading, his health is declining and it seems that he slips out of lucidity more often these days.

My mom is now a full-time caregiver more than a wife.

She does an amazing job making sure my dad is content and taken care of. However, it is draining. She is still young enough to want to go out and do things. She wants to go on vacations and hang out friends. But most of the time, she is at home watching my dad. She is following her wedding vows to a tee but that doesn't mean it is easy. She struggles with guilt sometimes over the entire situation.

Then there is me. Because of my parents' age gap, I have been put in a difficult place.

I've had to watch my dad slip away physically and mentally for a good portion of my life. I try to help out but it is not always an easy thing to do. I will go watch TV with him so my mom can get out for an hour. Unfortunately, I usually end up calling her home because something arises that I can't handle alone. I have gone over to their house many times to help pick my dad up because he fell and refuses to let someone call the EMTs. I have changed college and life plans in order to stay close to home. I have known since I was little that my dad most likely won't be there for my wedding. He won't meet my children. I have struggled with my relationship with him due to the immense age gap. It is all I have ever known but it is something that still greatly affects me. I love my dad with everything I have, but that doesn't make the situation easier.

So my warning to you is this; be prepared for what is down the road.

Know that your age difference of 18 and 40 doesn't seem like anything now but it will at 60 and 82. It will be difficult for everyone involved. As a wife, you will slowly watch the man you loved slip away. Your kids will have to deal with struggles that no one else will understand. It is a lonely and painful situation. Before you make any drastic decisions, please understand what is coming.

If you decide that is what's right for you, then, by all means, go for it! but just understand the consequences of your choices.

Cover Image Credit: PX Here

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When People Leave

Otherwise known as: the end of all good things.
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There she goes. Her car pulls out of the driveway, he picks up the last box and walks out the door, they leave you with a chaste kiss on the cheeks and, whoever it may be, is completely, unequivocally, gone.

“I’ll call you every day, you won’t even notice I’m gone!” These words were like a heavy sedative to your panic. Every day? Every day. Good. As long as I know you’re still somewhere, it’ll be fine! Everything’s fine, goodbye and now a proper congratulations because I mean it. As long as you call me, I know you’re not gone.

Then the smile leaves your view, all you see is a head of hair getting farther and farther away till it’s not there anymore. Not right next to you, it hurts when you’re wrong. A phone call—even a regular every day one—is not going to cut it; you know it’s not going to cut it, how could you be so stupid?

Not that you couldn’t stop them from leaving anyway, but come on, you could have tried begging. That might have worked. Just one more day, maybe a week? A month? A couple of years? Never leave, I don’t think I could take the sight of seeing you go. But you just did, and who would have known you’d be right! You can’t take it! Not at all. It hurts being right, too.

Alright, enough with the poetry stuff, it’s really not my thing if you haven’t noticed.

Very edgy. Not into it.

From you reading the title and getting this far I’m guessing you’re in a pretty intense level of angst. Seeing that title and being like "yeah, that relates to me"? Heavy stuff, man. I’m sorry for your loss. I think I almost understand? I mean, I really did when I started writing this but then I started feeling better, unfortunately for you.

So, I’m now here to tell you to chin the heck up. Seriously. There are more people in your life besides this one yahoo, and they all care for you so much and cannot stand seeing you this upset. You’ve indulged in your sadness and they are suffering for it; they’re worried for you. Do you really want to put them through the same emotional turmoil that you’ve had to suffer? Of course not, so put on a front, for their sake, at the very least.

Also, if you’re going to keep going like this, finishing off your cycle of grief, you should know first that it’s a long cycle. I’m just saying, if you thought you’d be sad for a little and then be happy immediately after, then you are certainly misinformed. Grieve, sure, but push yourself. Push yourself to get better, to heal. It’s true that time heals most wounds, but you also need to do your part, too. It’ll be okay, as long as you try to make it that way; then it will eventually be okay.

Also, pro-tip here: write bad poetry. Very therapeutic.

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