Monday, 2 January 2017

Blog Challenge: Day 2: What Relationship?

Today's challenge was to talk about "your relationship" - with the kind, sympathetic addition that "if you're single, you can write about being single." How understanding, how kind, how thoughtful.

If you haven't guessed it yet, I don't have a relationship. I don't even have an almost relationship and I am not currently discussing being in a relationship. There don't appear to be the first throes of romance - and if there were, I am really not the sort of person who would post about them on my blog.

If I were in a relationship, however, I'm not sure I'd want to talk about that either. I've referenced boyfriends in the past on my blogs, but I feel like to actually talk about the ins and outs of a relationship would be kind of like talking about these people behind their backs. Even if they agreed to it, they still wouldn't get to tell their half of the experience. It's all a bit of a conundrum to be honest - and a danger when perhaps you might feel one way about a person and then change your mind when  it's already online.... FOREVER.

In a way then, the only thing I can talk about is being single - but I don't think it's really much to talk about at all. I'd feel like someone who commented on a social media post: "who the hell cares about this?" - if you don't care, why comment? Being single, for me, is just the absence of a partner (not, I might add, that anything is lacking), so therefore there isn't really much to say on the subject. Being single isn't really a thing that you do, or a specific interest, and for me it's not an important category I fit into, so what would there be to talk about? I'm aware that this isn't the case for everyone, but allow me to remind you that I am twenty years of age. My biological clock is hardly ticking. I already have four people to live with so I don't need to find another one. In fact, I don't even know where I am going to be living in six months time, so choosing someone to share my life with, when I have no idea what that life will entail, is not at the top of my list.

I am, however, no longer adverse to a relationship. I am not one to take these things lightly - dating casually can be fun, but a relationship is something I think some people don't take seriously enough, and shouldn't be entered into without a serious level of commitment and willingness for things to work out. A year ago, I ended a relationship that wasn't making me happy and since then the idea of being in any kind of relationship or commitment at all has made my stomach turn. "Love" is a lot of pressure. I have a big heart (believe it or not), so actually giving love to someone is a positive experience. I love looking after people and trying to make them happy. But being loved, being the object of someone's love, can be quite a difficult thing for me. One reason is that I feel they put me on a pedestal and I have to somehow live up to this vision of me that isn't... well, real. I also feel like there is a lot of power to handle when you are the object of someone's love: you are able to hurt them. And that's something I really don't want to have to deal with. Presently, however, it is the first time in a year where I believe that if I did happen to meet the right person (may God have mercy on their soul), I wouldn't run screaming in the other direction. That's the most positive thing I can say on that matter.

This post, whether about relationships or "singledom", has actually got me thinking about other things I have learned about myself both while single and in relationships. Therefore, if you want to be as fabulously successful (and fabulously single) as I am, you might like to read this unsolicited advice.

  • Don't try to be the "cool girlfriend." I'm not saying you should be a nag, but if you do have an issue you shouldn't feel afraid to speak up. If you try to be "cool", your boyfriend will shave his head before your graduation and you will regret not throwing just a small hissy fit. 
  • If you "feel like you've known someone all your life" - you haven't. Don't be fooled. This can be in a very positive way - it takes years to really know someone as a person... sometimes, though, that's the funnest part.
  • There are so many kinds of love and attraction. Platonic love, romantic love, sexual and non-sexual attraction and many more all exist on a spectrum, and everyone feels a mix of these in totally different ways. Don't assume everyone experiences this in the same way you do. 
  • Underestimating yourself and your worth is not only harmful to you but also to others. You might mean more to them than you think.
  • Especially as a girl, people are going to judge every single thing you do and don't do, in and out of relationships. If it feels like the right thing and makes you happy, and it's not hurting anyone, do it. If not, don't. 
  • Never assume - and make sure other people aren't assuming either. Often, clear verbal expressions of disinterest will leave your mouth, but they might enter other people's ears as "let's get married!" Don't worry too much about this, but be aware it's a possibility. You meet all sorts. 
  • It is not your job or your responsibility to feel the same things someone feels about you back to them - but you should always be honest about this, it's kinder in the long run. 

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