Being single after always being in relationships

I Forgot What It's Like To Be Single

Being in a relationship meant I always had someone to do things with. Now what?

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I am the person who has always been in a relationship. Not sure if that is something to be proud of, but it has taught me a lot about myself and the people I surround myself with.

Before I go into depth of what it has taught me, let me describe to you what my love life looked like. For the most part, whenever I wasn't dating, I was seeing someone. I sought out someone's undivided attention online, on the phone, and in person. The boys and men I consumed and became a deep part of were great in their own ways, and they're doing well on their own. I never saw anyone for less than a month, and my most serious relationships lasted for about two years.

I forgot what it's like to be single. Dating meant you instantly had a partner to do things with. When you're single, you have to choose a person out of your friend group to hang out with and that can be stressful to plan out.

In time, though, I noticed the dating took a toll on my social skills. I incidentally conditioned myself to only be able to interact with one person at a time and in a very calm setting. In my loneliness, I get to know more about my dates than the students in my class and the friends I have been so close with for years. I became sort of an extroverted introvert, a person who can easily open up but only to certain people I felt passionate toward or (somehow) by luck, these people had the energy to continue speaking to me. My lack of good social skills brought me to a small and disappearing friend circle. As sad as it may sound, that is how the world works sometimes, and in all togetherness, the people in life and I are doing our best with what life throws at us and our friendships.

Although I continue to meet new people, they continue to appear in my life as new people. Meeting new people is therapeutic — to know that whoever I met, I wouldn't see them again and that made me carefree in events where I meet a ton at once. Carefree me doesn't hold back on about the past which brings me to explain what this mess has taught me about other people in my life.

"Oh, you were that girl."

"Are you scared of being alone?"

"You're going to break your heart."

"This is too quick."

Most people think that the people who constantly jump into relationships are broken, and they're desperate to find any source of love because they have no self-love.

Yes, f*ck yes.

No. Honestly, I like the attention I get from using Tinder, who wouldn't? Confidence is a product of self-love. Who wouldn't dream about being in a healthy relationship? Relationships are really beautiful and they come in all shapes and sizes. Being able to passionately share memories with one specific person sounds like every fairytale in the book.

People learned to accept what I do with my life and that's awesome to have over your head. They openly express their opinions when they want and how they want, and I digest it willingly or halfheartedly. I'm not trying to endorse the idea that it's alright to jump into relationships. I have done plenty of stupid and regrettable things. You should enter at your own pace with a healthy mindset or know the person enough to explicitly warn them about flaws you carry from your previous relationships.

And if you're anything like me and want to break away from that relationship mold, take simple steps with entering the social scene. It will be tiring and almost drowning at first, but practice makes perfect.

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Why You Should Stop Chasing Him

You deserve better.
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They say “the thrill of the chase" makes someone more enticing. There's just something about wanting something you can't have that drives you crazy (in a good way). There is never a dull moment. Pursuing him is a challenge. Nothing comes easily. What's the fun in that anyway?

I'm going to tell you this: stop chasing him. Stop forgiving him when he forgets to answer your text messages and phone calls. Stop being the one to always make plans. Stop letting him bail on you. Stop waiting around for him. Stop being lied to. Stop making excuses when he doesn't make time for you. There is a difference between someone who is “hard to get" and a flat out jerk who doesn't give you the time of day. Stop letting him use you.

You deserve to be with someone who makes you fall asleep every night in the middle of texting him because neither of you want the conversation to end. You deserve someone who plans dates for the two of you. You deserve someone who asks you to hang out before midnight. You deserve someone who wants to spend time with you just as much as you do with them. You deserve someone who insists on paying for your ice cream. You deserve someone who won't deceive you. You deserve someone who is straightforward. You deserve attention. You deserve affection. You deserve a partnership that is mutual, not one-sided. You deserve to be chased.

You are better than 3 a.m. “Hey" texts. You are better than a night spent watching a movie just to fool around. You are better than trying to decode his vague messages. You are better than his shadiness. You are better than mind games. You are better than being ignored.

If you have to chase him, he's not worth it. Don't settle for someone who makes you beg for his attention. If he is genuinely interested in getting to know you, he will put in the effort. A relationship where your feelings are reciprocated is far more rewarding than one where you constantly feel like you have to drag him along.

Change your mentality. Become more independent. Be confident, be bold. Find happiness in being alone. Don't waste your time pathetically chasing after someone who doesn't feel the same, but doesn't have the heart or the courage to tell you so. Your self-confidence and positivity will make you radiant, and eventually, you will attract the kind of guy who is mature enough to not mess with your head.

Cover Image Credit: weheartit.com

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To The Person Staying In An Abusive Relationship

You have worth, and don't let anyone or their actions let you think differently.

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I was going to title this article "to the girl in an abusive relationship," but I think that it's important to note that relationship abuse can happen to any gender in any relationship type. So, with that in mind, here's what you came for.

Let's face it. You've probably seen movies, read books, and heard stories of people that have been in abusive relationships. You know the signs and you've read the pamphlets, but those things don't happen to people who are careful with their heart, right? Well, unfortunately, no. You can reexamine every decision you've made, and not be able to figure out where you went wrong, but still find yourself in a place where you're not happy. It might be a romantic relationship, it might be a friendship, or it might be a relationship with a family member. Either way, if there is a person in your life (male or female) that is damaging your health, I hope that you read these words carefully and do what's best for you. Let me start out with a story…

This is hard for me to write about, I'll admit. I was in a relationship with a guy named Jake recently and I thought he was the love of my life. We were really good friends, and he made me laugh like no one else. The further we got in our relationship, however, the more upset I seemed to find myself. When things were good, I'll admit, they were great. But when Jake did something that upset me, somehow the blame always came back to me. After being together for a while, Jake actually downloaded Tinder (an app predominantly for dating and hookups). He told me he did it, and that it was all just a joke to "mess with people," but the more I thought about it, the more upset I got. I tried talking to him. I tried to tell him that this made me really uncomfortable, and he brushed off my comment saying, "it's just a joke, it shouldn't matter this much to you." If it was just a joke, it shouldn't be that hard to just get rid of it right? But maybe I was overreacting.

I'll also admit, that at the time I was dating Jake, my mental health was in a really bad place. My anxiety was at an all-time high, and balancing school with a relationship isn't an easy feat for a person in the best shape—let alone someone in my position. Because of this, I got overwhelmed very easily. I really tried to explain this to Jake. I wanted him to know that when I cried, it wasn't because I was trying to manipulate him. Things sometimes just got too intense for me, and I started to think the worst. There was nothing I could do to convince my brain otherwise, and things soon started to become a battle both against myself and Jake. I felt ashamed for crying at things that upset me, and I would try to hide it. Because that's what a good girlfriend does. Don't put him through more than he can handle.

One of the hardest things for me to handle in my relationship with Jake was the way he would talk about other girls. He would get on Instagram while we were hanging out and show me pictures of other girls with big butts or tiny waists and say, jokingly "is this going to be you someday?" He didn't mean it to be hurtful, but I've always struggled with body image. From an early age, a close family friend of ours had always commented on my weight. He would come over for meals and tell me I needed to eat less or tell me my shirt was too tight and didn't look good. I revealed these things to Jake early in our relationship, but I think he thought that telling me he thought I could look like those women one day would help me feel better about myself. Either way, it upset me, but I didn't want to upset Jake so I tried to hide my tears and hold my tongue when I could. Maybe I would look like those girls one day because maybe that was what he wanted.

When Jake and I ended up breaking up, I knew it was for the best. Even though I had fallen in love with his family, and my heart was shattered, I knew that I would piece myself back together, stronger than before. I knew while I was in the midst of that relationship that there were things that just weren't right. That wasn't what love looked like, no matter how hard I tried to squint and disfigure what I was seeing. Looking back now, I don't blame Jake for what happened between us. I wasn't in a good place with my mental health, as I've mentioned before, and I know I contributed my fair share of problems. I write this not so that you'll think less of Jake and feel sorry for me, but for anyone who finds themselves in the same situation. Do you find yourself trying to hold back your emotional reactions in attempts to please someone in your life? Do they make you uncomfortable, but after being shot down multiple times for expressing your feelings, you just try to make it bother you less? If you feel deep down inside yourself that something isn't right, then you know that more than one thing is probably wrong.

Emotional abuse doesn't come with outside bruises that physical abuse does. Yes, there are women out there being told that they're useless and getting shoved into walls because of it, but that doesn't mean that your problems are any less important. It's going to be hard to remove yourself from the relationship with an abusive person, no matter what role they play in your life. It'll probably break your heart some, but time heals just about all wounds. You need to do what's going to be best for all aspects of your health in the long run. Surround yourself with people who love you unconditionally, and if you need to cry, do it. There is nothing wrong with experiencing your emotions and being a little selfish to take care of yourself.

**I want to add a note to any family or friends who might know Jake. I don't hate him or wish him ill, and, again, this article was not meant to put him in a bad light. It was simply a bad relationship and we both contributed to its final destruction. I'm happy now with the person I've become, and I'm making my way to a better place day by day. That's all that matters and I thank everyone for their love and support**

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