Relationships Should Make You Better Not Bitter

Relationships Should Make You Better Not Bitter

If they aren't empowering you, they aren't the one for you.
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Four months ago I took a trip to Mississippi. I originally went there on a best friend trip as a few of us hadn't seen each other in a few months. During this adventure, my friend introduced me to a blonde haired, green eyed guy. That guy stole my heart in a Waffle House (it was a had-to-be-there moment) and my life hasn't been the same since.

Well, that guy I was just talking about is now my insanely awesome one-of-a-kind boyfriend.

You could say relationships are a big deal for me, being as I usually keep that sort of thing at a distance. Normally, I have found them pointless as my life is not exactly stable being a college student working a part time job. A same-town relationship is one thing, but having a boyfriend that lives over 500 miles away is a whole new story. I have never been one for long distance as they seemed to only be a burden for my friends in the past.

It's funny sometimes how things change because here I am. The girl that never believed in long distance relationships actually in a long distance relationship. I agree, it's tough and at times frustrating when all of your friends get to constantly have date night and you're over there having date night through Facetime; however, a relationship with the right person is all you need.

I can wholeheartedly agree that a relationship with the correct person can change your life for the better. These past four months have been filled with more laughter and smiles than I could've ever thought possible. Sure, I have people constantly criticizing me for being with someone that doesn't live near me. What these people don't see is the hours we spend on Facetime, the support we receive from our families, and the motivation we give one another. Yes, I may not get to see him in person like most girls get to see their boyfriends, but I feel just as much appreciated by him if not more.

The time we have apart from one another is more than the time we have together. This makes the time we do share that much more special. As time goes on, you compensate. You learn one another's schedule to fit time in to talk. You understand that life takes multiple turns and sometimes your time may be cut short. Long distance isn't easy, but it can work.

A relationship involves trust and a little bit of faith. Trust one another's heart and have faith that God is helping along the way. Relationships should empower you. I am in a relationship because I have found my world a little brighter since he came around. I have never been more excited to share the pointless details about my day with someone before. I'm even more excited when I receive random pictures of giant spiders he had to kill while at work.

Be with someone that motivates you to be a better you. Be with someone that you want to help succeed. Push them to reach their goals and be proud of when they accomplish them. That is your partner. You chose them to guard your heart and share in the special moments of your life. If they don't bring out the potential you never saw in yourself, you shouldn't be with them.

Allow your partner to bring out the best version of you and allow them to thrive as well. Be patient, be understanding, and be proud. That is your person.

Don't be afraid to fully give your heart to someone over a plate of waffles. It might just be the start of something greatly unexpected.

Cover Image Credit: Joelle Giudice

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To Everyone Who Hasn't Had Sex Yet, Wait For Marriage, It's The Right Move

If you have not had sex yet, wait.

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Premarital sex is not a new concept, no matter how much people like to pretend it is. You can trace scripture and historical texts back thousands of year to see that lust and fornication have been a problem since… well, since we humans have been problems.

They tell you in sex ed that sex causes you to form a bond with someone. They throw some big chemical names at you that are apparently in your body and cause that emotional attachment to happen, then you move on (or back to) how important condoms are and why STDs are so scary.

As a middle schooler or teenager, you can't understand what it means to become permanently connected to someone as a result of a quick, physical act.

If you haven't even had your first kiss, you really can't imagine what it's like to develop such a complex and intimate connection with someone because you have yet to feel the butterflies in your stomach from a kiss. So you really don't know what it's like to have a whole different type of feeling in your stomach.

You never forget your first love. It's one of the most cliche things you consistently hear, but it's true. Ask anyone. I guarantee your parents can still spurt out their first love's name in a few seconds. And most people never forget their first time. I know all my friends can recount that often awkward and slightly terrifying moment as if it happened an hour ago. When you mix those two, especially if you are in your teens, oh boy.

You never forget that. No matter how hard you try.

Everything you hear about sex is true: it's amazing, fantastic, life-changing, etc. There's a reason people have done it as frequently as they do, for as long as they have. But every time you sleep with someone, you leave a piece of yourself with them. Every time you choose to take that final physical step with someone, you cannot go back and collect that piece of your dignity and soul that you left with someone.

So, imagine what happens when you break up with someone you've slept with. Or that you just hooked up with. You have given someone a little slice of yourself forever. And you can never get it back. And imagine what happens when you do that multiple times. You give a piece of yourself to five, 10, 15, 20 or more people. Then you meet the person that you want to spend forever with. And you no longer have that whole part of you. You've given pieces away, and you can no longer give those to the love of your life.

So, save those pieces for your future spouse.

If you have not had sex yet, wait. If you have, consider not giving more pieces of yourself away to people who are not your spouse. Sex was created to be between two spouses, nobody else. So we need to try to maintain its integrity.

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Long Distance Relationships Can Be The Most Rewarding

Sure, it may suck... But it may prove to bring you both closer.

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I'm no Dr. Phil. I can't provide statistical evidence, doctorate-level advice, or solid proof that this is an undeniable fact. I can, however, speak from personal experience. In some cases, that can be worth more than any psychological theory.

I'm here to say that long distance relationships can be incredibly rewarding. Take note that I did not say fun. I attend the University of Alabama, and Drew, my boyfriend of nearly a year attends a small school in Montana. If you do the math, we're approximately 1,407 miles away (but who's counting)?? Before beginning our freshman year of college, we spent nearly every day together. Now, I'm lucky if I see him every three months or so. Often, the closest we have to being together is a FaceTime call. There are some days where I would give anything just for a hug or kiss. This sounds horrible right?

Here's the thing. I honestly wouldn't trade this experience. Long distance forces couples to strengthen their emotional, mental, and spiritual bond; without putting effort into this, the relationship will fail. Long distance forces you to develop as an individual through trials because your partner isn't there in person to fall on. Long distance allows you to experience college as an individual in ways that you may not if you were always together. Even more so, long distance develops the relationship itself.

If you do not see a legitimate future with the person you are dating, please do not even consider an LD relationship. I personally date to marry, as does my boyfriend, and if this were not the case, I don't think it would work. There has to be an immense level of trust between the two partners. The temptation is real, always present, and easy to succumb to in college. If you can't trust your partner to not cheat when you're together, why would you trust them when you're apart? I have personally had individuals in LD relationships nonchalantly tell me about their inappropriate escapades and cheating behavior. This consistently damages the image of LD relationships and causes people to believe it could never work.

However, when you truly love someone, it can make your relationship flourish to new heights. When you completely remove any physical aspects, everything has to rely on the emotional, mental, and spiritual. We have come to understand each other better as individuals, and how to help one another in different situations. His understanding of my emotions and feelings has grown exponentially, and vice versa.

We spend more time in the Word together than previously, because we both believe the relationship can only flourish if it is rooted in Christ. We send texts throughout the day and call whenever we can just to remind the other that we're thinking of them. Long distance causes us to truly cherish the time we do get to spend together, and it makes reunions that much sweeter. So, yes, long distance sucks. But, I wouldn't trade the growth we've experienced for anything.

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