My Long-Term Relationship Ended And I've Never Been Happier

My Long-Term Relationship Ended And I've Never Been Happier

It took losing you to find myself, and for that I am thankful.

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Trying to navigate relationships through the awkward stages of college is hard. Some of your friends are getting married right out of high school. Others are mindlessly 'swiping right' and sliding into strangers DM's trying to catch that quick, meaningless hookup. Tinder, that awkward 'talking' stage, the concept of 'cuffing season'; how is dating in college supposed to work?

I fell into the category of people who went off to college madly in love. Fresh out of high school, the young, naïve, helpless romantic that was 18-year-old me thought without a doubt that I would be marrying this person sometime in the next five years.

Boy, was I wrong.

If you've ever been in a long-term relationship before, at some point, you find yourself asking "are they the one?". After months of long distance, I found myself asking "is she the one?" far too often than anyone in a healthy relationship should.

Countless nights out with friends and family given up, doing things I didn't want to do, transferring schools to avoid more long-distance, I was sacrificing my happiness to make someone else happy. I thought that the long nights waiting for a phone call and the weeks I would wait to see her over school breaks would all be worth it. Why? Because I cared about her and I saw our future together. You're supposed to make personal sacrifices for the people you love.

At least that was the version of love that Nicholas Spark's portrayed it to be.

Just because you two have been through a lot together; have grown to love each other's families; have made a lifetime worth of memories, or have talked through what your future as a couple may hold is no reason to stay together if you are unhappy.

It's easy to become dependent in a long-term relationship. I became so reliant on my partner that I was willing to sacrifice my happiness out of the fear of being alone.

Who would I have to talk to, to take to family events, to walk around campus with? Who would I take to see that new movie or try out that new restaurant I've been dying to go to? We have so many jokes and memories together, who was I supposed to make new ones with?

Regardless of all of these 'what-if's,' to no one's surprise, my long-term relationship ended. For the first time in months, I was alone, with nothing or no one to worry about but the future that was ahead of me. At first, I was scared. However, as the months after our separation passed, I began to rediscover who I was before this relationship.

I made new friends and new memories; walked around campus alone; joined a gym; started making music again, and even treated myself to that new restaurant and movie that I'd been dying to go to.

I fell in love with my single-self and became okay with being alone, and I've never been happier.

Moving on from a relationship with someone you've loved for a long time is hard. At times you miss the comfort and security that this person once brought you. However, these new relationships and experiences will bring you a lifetime of memories that you may have never experienced if you had continued to let your relationship hold you back.

Check out to that new restaurant alone. Go out and make memories with your new friends. Put yourself out there. Love yourself.

Your identity is not tied to the people you once dated. You don't need a boyfriend or girlfriend to give your life meaning and purpose.

In typical Ariana fashion, to my ex, wherever you may be, thank you. Thank you for the memories, the jokes, the countless new experiences. Thank you for showing me all the things that I truly deserve. Thank you for teaching me how to stand up for myself and put my happiness first. Thank you for loving me. I wish you nothing but the best.

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28 Reasons Why You Should Be Single In College

To all of the single ladies, put your worries to rest. You're right where you are supposed to be.
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No matter what college you go to, there is an occurrence people tell you will happen during your four years of "education." College is the time when you will find yourself. As a senior, I cannot agree more with this statement. There are so many qualities about myself I have discovered during my college experience. I have realized who I am, what I like and what I want to do with my life. This doesn't always happen for everyone, though. There is something you have to be in order for this all to come together, and that is completely and utterly on your own.

This is the time to be single, and here are 28 reasons why.

1. You are still figuring out who you are, and you can't do that unless it's just you, your goals, your dreams and that's it.

2. Nothing should ever be holding you back, whether it's studying abroad, going out to the bars Saturday night, or hanging out with friends.

There shouldn't have to be another factor to consider. "Well, I'll miss him," or, "What if we can't spend time together," blah blah blah, you don't need that.

3. If you want to make out with someone at the bar, you can do it.

4. If you want to go on a date with five different people in a week, you can do it.

5. You form a special bond with all your other single friends, and these are the ones you'll stay close with forever.

6. If you want to go somewhere, you can, and you don't have to blink an eye if your significant other wants to go or not.

7. Focusing on you and building yourself is a better way to spend your time than figuring out why he hasn't texted you today or if that rumor of him kissing someone else is true.

8. You don't need self-doubt or wondering what it would have been like to experience these years on your own.

9. If the relationship is really worth it, it can wait.

Put it on hold, let each other do whatever and know when you do get together, you'll never have any what-ifs.

10. You can have a Tinder or a Bumble and use it seriously or just as hilarious entertainment.

11. That queen bed you have? Yeah, it's all yours to sprawl out on.

Still in the dorms? Yeah, you definitely don't even want to try to share that. Then again, maybe you do want to, but the option is all yours. Amazing.

12. Part of being in college is being selfish.

Spend your money, time and energy discovering who you are.

13. You get to be the lead role in your own movie.

14. This is the perfect time to fall in love with more than one thing and more than one person.

15. Oh, and girls, did I mention the endless amount of free drinks? And the front of the line admission into bars and clubs? That should be a selling point on its own.

16. You can flirt with the nerdy guy in your class, the frat guy at the bar, basically whoever and whenever.

17. You won't need to apologize to anyone for the ridiculous and downright questionable actions you made at the bar this past weekend.

18. Your best friend can be a guy or a girl, and there is no drama that comes along with it.

19. Your self-worth comes from you and no one else.

20. You can have as many girls' nights as you please.

21. You don't need to make sacrifices.

Want to go out all night? You can. Want to cry over "The Bachelor?" You can do that, too.

22. You are not someone's property.

You don't have a label.

23. You can go to Vegas with a fraternity one weekend, a date party the next with another and take someone completely different to your barn dance.

Who doesn't like options?

24. You're looking for your bridesmaids in college, not your groom.

25. You're not depending on anyone else.

Your happiness is your own.

26. You're more confident and less psycho (well, hopefully).

27. You get to go out and be excited over the fact your night can end in an endless amount of ways, it will always be a new experience.

28. Freedom – let it ring.

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5 Signs Your Boyfriend Might Be A Dirty Rotten Cheater

Now that we have Valentine's Day behind us, I finally feel comfortable bursting your precious love bubble and giving you the real tea on how all of those things you're questioning about your boyfriend are probably just signs he's cheating on you.

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I just spent the last week with my jaw on the floor after the discovery that my best friend spent the better part of 2 years with a guy who was actually cheating ( a lot ) basically the entire length of their relationship. And now that we have Valentine's Day behind us, I finally feel comfortable bursting your precious love bubble and giving you the real tea on how all of those things you're questioning about your boyfriend are probably just signs he's cheating on you. If you encounter any of the following 5 signs, then girl you better get the hell outta dodge.

1. You NEVER get the invite to family gatherings.

Holidays

Brunch with the fam? He's not calling you. Christmas Eve at Aunt Sheryl's? He's not calling you. His sister's birthday party? He's definitely not calling you. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but if he has met your mom, your dad, and your cousins and still isn't inviting you to come along, it's probably because he doesn't want his mom to get confused that he had a totally different girl over last week.

2. He can't stand you being anywhere near his phone.

Cheater's Phone

I would think this one is an obvious red flag, but you'd be surprised how many people believe guys who say they just want you to "respect their privacy." If he is constantly texting, snapping and shoving his phone into his pocket immediately after hitting that lock screen, you may very well be in for a world of hurt. If it's going off at 2 AM, well girl, I shouldn't have to say more to convince you he's cheating.

3. You rarely go out in public.

Dating

I know, I know, he's told you a hundred times that he's just a homebody and would rather be snuggled up watching "Catfish" with you than going out anywhere, but that's probably because he is just scared you guys will run into his other girlfriend. If you do end up going out, it's always out of town or something loud and crowded like a concert where you guys would be hard to spot.

4. He NEVER wants to post about you two on social media.

Cell Phone

He says stuff like "Oh, I just don't feel the need to publicize our love." or maybe "I have a crazy ex and I don't want her to harass you online." Those are both actually just lies. What he really wants to say is "I just don't want evidence and time stamps of our relationship in case I get caught." The best is when they tell you about how they like girls who are off the grid. Sounds like a cheater to me...

5. He's constantly accusing you of cheating.

Accusing

Most girls I know will chalk this up to him just being a jealous guy. But let me tell you something honey, nothing makes you more paranoid than a guilty conscious. If every time you two argue, it divulges into him saying he's not sure if he can trust you or that you have too many guy friends or that he wonders what you're doing on nights without him, well he's probably just manifesting his own fears.

There are no promises here that he is definitely cheating, and if you really trust your man then more power to you. But if any of these signs had you thinking about your own relationship, then I highly recommend that you move on to the next one girl. There are plenty of other fish in the sea, even fish who won't cheat on you!

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