So lately a lot of my close friends have been coming to me asking for my advice on their relationships. Silly right? I am not even in a relationship so how the heck is it my place to give that kind of advice? Ha. I do not know. These guys seem to trust me, so I mean, I must be doing something right.
Well after thinking about this time and time again in the different conversations I was having with my friends, there was a lot of overlap even between the different kinds of relationships. The most overlap I found was so interesting to me I just thought I would share with you! So here are the things that I learned in the past couple weeks.
Signs are hidden in plain sight.
If you are in a relationship, chances are you are not going to see everything holistically. You will probably only see the bits and pieces you want to see. So it makes sense that you will miss the signs that are literally staring you dead in the face. You might be overthinking every detail or reanalyzing what you said or did, but that only will cloud your judgment on what is really going on. Overthinking things will make it so much easier to miss the signs. You might be too close to that relationship to think holistically about what the other person wants and needs and ultimately that is what a relationship should be about. What the individuals need right? They could literally be telling word for word what they mean and you might misinterpret it into something you want to hear. For example if someone blows you off time after time, take the hint. They are probably too busy or do not want to hang with you. Maybe they just are not ready to be with someone else and so they will tell you they do not know what they want. Most of the time when someone tells you they do not know what they want, they are basically telling you in a subtle way YOU are not what they want. If they wanted you, they would tell you that they wanted you. The signs are obvious, so just look for them in plain sight because they are there.
Reassurance has become the new idea of love and care.
This topic really gets me fired up because we have changed as a society who loves completely different than how the generations before us did. This whole idea that we need reassurance from our S/O to give us confidence, love, and comfort really bothers me. We have become so “reassurance driven” in our love lives that we honestly do not know how to truly love anymore. We are so wrapped up in the idea that our S/O has to tell us that we are looking good to feel beautiful or handsome about ourselves. They have to tell us that we are smart to feel intelligent. They have to literally tell us that we are strong, powerful, independent, etc. to even feel all those things. Like NO DAMNIT. We ARE all of those things. We already are who we are for a reason and no one can tell us differently. Just because someone tells us, we are something does not mean we are that. No one can define us. We define ourselves. We have used reassurance so much these days that we have mistaken this for care and comfort. Our S/O should not have to tell us those things for us to be sure about ourselves and to give us definition. But we do it, we look for that reassurance to make sure that they care about us, to make sure that they really truly love us. That is not where we should be looking for love. We should look for love in the way we act towards one another. Which leads me into my next topic.
Actions speak louder than words
I do not know how many times I have told my friends this and they do not understand it. They keep looking to the things that a person says rather than how they act. “But they said this… they said that.” NO. Actions speak louder than words. Actions speak LOUDER THAN WORDS. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. I cannot emphasize that enough. Someone can say something and genuinely mean it when they are saying it, but if their actions do not follow suit… then what does that really mean? Nothing. Their words are now meaningless to you. They can say all the things in the world but when someone does not physically act the same way as their words, what they have just said becomes demeaning. It also makes things confusing for the person whose being told all of these things because they are telling you one thing but then showing you another. It is so contradicting and baffling. But people’s actions are straight forward. If someone loves you they will physically show it along with saying it. They will not just say it. If someone neglects to act their words out, that should be a good indication that their words are just w.o.r.d.s.
People want more out of our hook-up society.
This new age love crap, is well… crap. I hate it. Where is the modesty? The respect? The passion? The chivalry? Where is the real romance? All of these “things” seem to have vanished. They are gone. It is so hard to even date anymore due to this new hook-up era. All anyone looks for nowadays is a one night stand or someone to be f***buddies with because they do not want the commitment. Tinder and Bubble have fed the shark with that too. You will see on many user’s Tinder pages “Just looking for casual hook up” “Not looking for anything serious” “Just want to have fun.” UGHH! It drives me insane. Seems that modern relationships stem from sex rather than pure attraction. There are hardly any honest-to-God real dates anymore. It seems that relationships mostly begin with sex these days. And if there are people out there looking for real relationships –I see you. You are the golden ones.
I was talking to my grandfather about this the other day and he asked something along the lines of dating, like what we do for dates these days. I took one look at him and I was baffled at the fact I did not have an answer for him. All I rendered off to him was that “I cannot remember the last time that someone had even asked me on a date and even worse, I cannot even remember the last time that I was taken on a date.” It has been a “Come over and watch movies with me” or a “We can just Netflix and chill” kind of ordeal. It is never “I want to take you out to dinner and a movie” anymore.
Now that was sad. Maybe it was just me, maybe the guys steer directly away from me, I don’t know. But what I do know is this: our society has settled with this idea and is okay with only hooking up and not making anything of it. Even love in general is tough to find now. It has changed so dramatically to the point that even dating has become difficult. I also believe that the more that this changes, the more we realize it. We envy the days where our grandparents were asked out on dates and it was mind-blowing to even get a kiss on the first date. To be honest, I think our generation longs for that kind of romance, but we cannot fix it or even if we could it would take great effort. We have become this “hook-up then relationship” or “only hook-up” society and now it has become hard to dig us out of that hole. And now that we see what we are missing out on, we genuinely miss the real romance we hear about in old fashioned films.
SO let’s bring back old fashioned love:)
Now to my last point…
We engulf our lives into the person we love so much that we lose ourselves.
This happens in all kinds of relationships, even the healthiest of relationships. This topic is very interesting to me because of the fact that people do not understand that it takes two completely independent people to come together for a healthy relationship but still be able to be complete individuals. Now that kind of sounds confusing, so I like to think of a healthy relationship as a Venn Diagram. You have your two separate selves in which you have things that you do not share together which are the two circles. Those circles contain attributes about yourself that you should never lose. Then when you are together you have some overlap and those are the things that you do share together. That is how I think a relationship should be, but it is not always this way. Some of us lose sight of ourselves because we are revolving our world around our S/O and their circles mesh together to make one whole circle. In those cases, they deteriorate their own lives because they are so caught up in making the other person happy. And more often than not, they will not even realize they’ve meshed their circles together.
What really matters though, is that you take care of yourself first because if you are not happy or fulfilling your needs and desires, then how can you make someone else happy? Answer: You cannot. You must see your relationship as two individuals who do their own things to make themselves happy, but can also come together to make each other happy. It is all about balance.
If that does not make sense to you, think about it this way. Your S/O should be your best friend. You do not hang with your best friend all day, every day and you definitely do not revolve your entire life around taking care of them and making them happy, no. You spend your separate life making yourself happy so that when you two are together you have things to talk and laugh about. You can have your own life as well as the one with your best friend in a relationship; that is okay. The thing about this is that your best friend still knows everything about you, but still has room to learn more and more about you because you are both growing independently but also together.
Anyways, my takeaway from all this… and I hope you learned as much as I did these past few weeks: Learn the signs and do not mistake them. Do not look for reassurance as love because that can be mistaken so easily. Watch people’s actions rather than listening to their meaningless words. Stop hooking up and thinking that you are going to find true love from it. Last but not least, engulf more into your own life and fulfill your desires that way you have much more to offer to your significant other.