I'm Too Young For Somebody Else To Be My Soulmate

I'm Too Young For Somebody Else To Be My Soulmate

You can go wherever you want from here.
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I believe in true love.

I believe that, someday, somebody will come into my life and I'll know that they're the person I want to share life's adventures with. There's a man out there for whom I will be willing to sacrifice time, ego and distance. There's somebody out there with whom I will spend decades of birthdays, Christmases and anniversaries. There will be somebody who makes me love them more than I love my independence.

Just not today.

Right now, I don't want someone who is "my whole world" or "my better half." I don't want a man who knows me better than I know myself. I don't want somebody I can't imagine my life without.

I want to feel whole on my own, be my own rock -- my own soul mate. I don't want to look back and see chances I didn't take because I was busy altering my future and my plans for somebody else. Because, right now, I'm not ready.

I have dreams and plans that only involve myself. There are things I want to do that I can't do if I have to stray from the path I'm on -- or the path I want to be on -- because somebody else is relying on me.

So I don't want to meet my soul mate today.

I am fiercely independent. My parents raised me to not rely on anybody or anything in the pursuit of what I want.

And, when I love, I love hard. There is no "halfway" with me. If I'm in a relationship, I'll never love somebody less than I love myself. And I've learned that, right now, I don't know how to love somebody else so deeply while also maintaining independence. I know several strong women who can, but I'm a hopeless romantic and wear my heart on my sleeve.

I've convinced myself that I can't imagine my life without a boy. I've made decisions based on their opinions, and I've left the same men for the same reasons--for trying to control who I am or who I become. I've also left men for trying to alter their plans to make me fit.

I've learned as I've grown up that, even when I do find my soul mate, I don't want to not be able to imagine my life without them. I want them to better me, foster my independent growth, love me for being able to function without them. Before I enter a serious relationship, I need to be complete while completely alone. I don't want a "better half." I want to be whole on my own. Then, as the inevitable happens and a heartbreak occurs along the way, it's not the end of the world. Then I have somebody to fall back on--and that person is me.

In your 20s, you're at a point in life where you can go wherever you want from here. There are no absolutes and, for the first time in your life, nobody's telling you who you have to be. You get to be selfish. At least for me, that's the most liberating sentence in the English language. I'm not ready to settle. I'm ready to wake up one morning and decide I need a change, and not run the idea past anybody before up and moving across the country. I'm ready to meet different people and learn the personalities that I resonate with most.

There are some people out there who do marry their high school or college sweethearts. I know so many people who have done so or plan to, and I think their relationships are healthy and mature. They've learned how to be independent and yet still grow together. There's absolutely nothing wrong with finding your person at 16 or 18 or 23. I just know enough about myself to know that's not who I am.

I want to imagine, try new things, go on adventures, fail, succeed. And I want to do it alone, so that way, I'll always be able to imagine my life without a boy, because by the time one comes into my life, I'll have already done it all alone.

I'm 20. I can't wait to find a boy whose eyes I can look into and say "I love you" and know it means "I love you for always." I can't wait to find the person that challenges me and helps me grow. I can't wait to have a family and to have somebody to share all of these great things with. Right now, I just haven't lived enough yet.

That day will come. Just not today.

Cover Image Credit: Her Campus

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Four Ways Jess & Gabriel Conte Taught Me About Relationships

Jess and Gabe, thank you for teaching me much more about love than any romance novel or television program ever could.

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1. You Don't Have To Do Anything Physical on the First Date

Honestly, with how television and films shape your knowledge on how dating in high school and college is, I am surprised there are boys in this world that know that "hooking up" and having sex isn't a requirement of the first date. Having Tinder and Bumble at the swipe of your fingertip isn't of any assistance with preventing that idea, however, you would like to think that more than two percent of the male population understandings that the physicality of a relationship isn't the entire relationship. Gabe, however, is a perfect example that there are men in the world that accept and respect that you may not want to even kiss on the first date! Coming from a girl with very little experience in the dating and romance area, I really respect and have a lot of gratitude for boys, men, like that, because I feel much more comfortable going out and building a real connection with them. I think more boys should be learning this idea.

2. Dating is Something You Do Forever

We have this idea that you "talk" to someone, you "date", and then you're official with the person and you have your titles or relationship status and move forward from there. One aspect of relationships that Jess and Gabe taught me is so important is that you date forever. We see on television shows and romance movies that two people will go on dates until they become an "official" couple, and then the date nights are rare and made for special occasions or if there is a rift in the relationship. Going out on dates and having date nights with your significant other will only build your relationship and your friendship (which is so important) and allows you to learn more about your partner to better love and understand them. I think that if you are only saving a date night for an anniversary or if there is an argument, you are going to set your relationship up to fall apart because then you are settling into behaviors that aren't going to bring you closer to your partner - you're going to stick yourself into a plateau and that is where problems arise.

3. Have Faith and Remember That God Has a Plan

Jess and Gabe have taught me a lot about my faith. College hasn't always brought me closer to my faith and my belief in God (understanding His plan for me and why things went amuck sometimes made me question my faith altogether - What was I believing in if what I tried to do and what I really wanted never happened?). It's hard to see the bigger picture when relationships and dating and sex are all around you, and your morals and desires in life don't include half of what most (or how it appears to be) boys our age want. Add your family into the mixture asking why you haven't had a boyfriend or why you don't like anyone at school, and the pressure to have a relationship now - whether the boy is a respectable one or not - is overwhelming.

Understanding all of that and every other pressure influencing my ideas on a relationship, I started searching and searching, coming up empty handed every time, and I felt really discouraged. I couldn't understand how everyone was having relationships or seeming to find a person that was the perfect fit for them, and I couldn't find a boy that would talk to me for more than a week because he learned that I wouldn't have sex with him after knowing him for all of five minutes.

Jess and Gabe taught me that God has a bigger plan for me and my life. All of these boys that I have come across, all of the ones that have been rude, or disrespectful, or not cared for me, are all one more closer to the person that will respect me and my beliefs and my wants to have in a relationship.

4. Good Men Exist, Even If They Are Few and Far Between

Peace Out,

From Caitlin (and the Conteam).

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