I haven't written an article in a while because my summer has been insanely busy with work, vacations, and friends. This summer has been one of the best yet, filled with adventure and new experiences. However, my summer began on a low note.
The day I returned home for summer break my boyfriend of over a year broke my heart. Well, summer continued, and once most of the emotions and hurt passed, I began to really enjoy, love, and appreciate life in a whole new light. I've discovered new things about myself, experienced new circumstances, grew closer to Christ, and learned a lot about relationships.
For too many people, especially female college students, their world revolves around finding their significant other. Girls nowadays are actively pursuing guys in every moment of their life. I am not saying there is anything wrong with this, but do not allow it to dictate your life as you behave and dress in a manner to impress a certain boy. You will begin to lose yourself in the process. I know because I was one of those girls.
Even in my relationship, I found myself becoming more interested in what he liked and disliked and complacently agreeing with him rather than focusing on discovering who I was in the relationship. I was no longer Jamie Eiland. I was just a sad imposter harboring a fake identity for someone who in the end shattered my fragile exterior. But, I'm glad he did, or else I would not have discovered the strong, independent woman who had been suppressed as a result of my conformity.
Now, I am not saying that you shouldn't learn about your significant other's likes and dislikes or be interested in them. You should obviously find common interests with the person you're dating. However, a relationship is about two people who grow and learn from one another because of their differences. Trust me, it'll get boring really quick if you are both the same person.
To those of you in a relationship, I encourage you to find interests and hobbies outside of your relationship as well as in your relationship. This will significantly make the relationship healthier and happier! If you are in a relationship, I am happy for you and glad that you found someone to do life with! But, just remember that you are your own person as well. Don't conform to anything that goes against your identity.
For those who are single and just looking for a Pringle, keep being uniquely you! For those girls who are in their 20s, I encourage you to discover and explore new things about yourself. Go outside your comfort zone at times to learn and grow into the person God created you to be. This is a special time in your life that you won't be able to get back. We need to spend it drawing closer to Christ, not pursuing some guy.
Just be yourself, focus on you, have close guy friends, and God will do the rest. We live in a relationship driven world where girls are always thinking, "Oh he's cute" or "I need a boyfriend." There are so many greater things in God's creation to focus on. Please, do not create a tunnel vision that only focuses on guys. I promise, there is a lot more to live for. I love my life and discovering new things about myself and who I want to be, without being distracted by a relationship. I encourage you to do the same.
I am not saying that every day I feel empowered and amazing to be single. I am still hurt from my breakup and rediscovering how to be on my own again. But, I keep thinking to myself, "I am a strong, independent woman who don't need no man." Ladies, I cannot stress this enough: be the girl that no man can date.
I'm not saying completely shut yourself off from dating, but be the girl that is so confident in herself and her relationship with Christ that she doesn't need to change herself to find a boyfriend. Live your life independently and freely exploring all the beautiful things in God's creation and love your life as it is!