Relationships, especially long-term ones, have a way of changing or altering lives for better or worse. Some people are lucky enough to find partners who add to their lives, by, for example, encouraging them to reach beyond the stars, while others end up with partners who make them feel insecure and crazy.
I walked away from a long-term relationship last year and since then, I can say with complete certainty that the past year has been the best time of my life, mainly for this reason—I am taking time to get to know myself. It has become a priority for me to discover myself, so I know exactly what I want, what I need, who I want, and what I won’t tolerate in my next relationship.
Here are three things that were quite surprising to me…
When I was with my ex, watching movies was our thing and I genuinely thought I liked it. But after the break-up, I discovered that I love TV shows a lot more. When you’re with someone, most decisions tend to be based on what will make your partner happy. It could be little things like going out every weekend, eating at a particular restaurant, or your choice of friends; or big things relating to marriage, sex, or happiness. Sometimes it takes being single to discover your likes, dislikes, wants, needs, and even identity.
It’s very natural for people in relationships to rely on each other but what happens when that commitment is no longer there? It normally goes two ways; some people panic and immediately replace the ex, while others dive in head first. I did the latter—I learned how to check my devices for technical issues, how to diagnose a car for problems, how to change a light bulb, among other things. It was in those moments that I discovered that my methods, all though quite slow and very questionable worked, and that I am more capable than I even realised.
Most people are stuck on the notion that once a person changes, they are no longer the same person they fell in love with. While some are all for seeing their partners evolve, others don’t handle change very well. There’s the all too familiar, “you’re not the same person I fell in love with,” and the ever-present, “we agreed to do this from the beginning of our relationship.” A true fact about life is that people change, evolve, and find ways to improve their lives.
You should never have to cut your wings to protect someone’s feelings. Find yourself, fly if you must, you have the right to want more. Being single is not a bad thing, I strongly believe that it is the point in your life where you pause to breathe, reflect and reevaluate.