Growing up, I never had a good example of what love was. My parents had an incredibly rocky marriage and it made it really hard for me to understand how a relationship is supposed to function. Thus, as a child, I turned to movies and T.V. shows to show me what love was supposed to look like.
I came up with this ideal version of what a relationship was supposed to be in my head and I considered that version perfect. My vision included getting surprised with gifts every week and being given flowers on every date. I thought it meant romantic dinners every other Saturday and never having to be away from your partner for too long. I thought it meant my partner understanding every aspect of who I am and me being able to easily empathize with them.
I thought the right relationship was ideal and problem free.
I know I sound like one of those overly romantic girls right now, but when you grow up watching two people like my parents act towards each other, it really confuses you on what love is and how it is displayed between two people. For me, watching the couples in movies have their happily ever after made me feel like there was some hope left for love in this world.
As I got older, my version of what a relationship is definitely became more realistic, but a small part of me held onto the version I came up with when I was a little kid. And by held, I mean still holds on to.
Recently, I have come to an understanding with myself that I hold unusually high expectations within my current relationship. It sucks because I know exactly why I think the way I do but have no idea how to stop myself from having these expectations. On an even more personal note, it sucks that I have to deal with the repercussions of my parent’s relationship with my own even though I’m now 20 years old and a sophomore in college.
I guess I write to show that I know deep down inside I have a lot of unresolved feelings toward not only my parents but the effect that their relationship has had on me. I am well aware that those feelings will take time, maybe years, to work through because childhood trauma is not something that can be overcome with a couple therapy sessions. However, I am committed to not allowing some of the things that I have gone through in my past to affect the wonderful relationship I have now.
It’s really hard for me to write about this because it acknowledges the fact that I am coping with the events of my past; these events which I so deeply want to shove in a corner of my life and never look back on. However, I know that is not healthy and won’t help me or my relationship in the long run.
I guess I am writing this article mostly for myself, but I hope that if you are reading this and you too have things from your past that are potentially unresolved, that you take the time to do some soul searching. Growing from your past is never an easy thing to do, but hopefully it will provide you with some clarity in your life. At least for right now, a little clarity is what I am looking for.