Monday, 22 October 2012

Okay, so this post is a bit different to my usual narcissistic beauty and fashion posts - this one is about love and relationships. So yeah, if you're not into all that - probably best not to bother reading this! 

I am a hopeless romantic. Truly, completely, unashamedly; I'm a fool for love and a constant believer in 'happily ever after'. I think growing up infatuated with fairy tales and Disney films is probably to blame for this love affair with love, but yes, I can admit I possess a constant need to be loved and I have always dreamt of meeting my 'dream' man, however ridiculous that notion may seem.

Growing up, I went through stages of yearning for my handsome prince, to hating boys altogether and refusing to admit that I would ever even kiss one, to falling completely, hopelessly in love with (the idea of) having a boyfriend. Now, I believe I've found a happy medium. Yes; I am completely in love with my current boyfriend - but I understand that he is not the be-all and end-all. There are millions of people in this world - and I respect myself enough to know that ultimately, it is only me who can make myself happy.

I think this is the problem with love nowadays. So many of my friends rush into relationships, get married, and then it all falls apart. Not to say that it never works out - I know people who have found their soulmates and married young, and have, so far, lived happily ever after. But too many people rely on love as their only source of happiness. There is a big wide world out there, the person sitting next to you is as insignificant as a grain of sand to the rest of this planet.

When I was in my teens, love was all I thought about. I wanted to have the perfect boyfriend, and I spent the entirety of my teenage years in relationships. I never had a break - splitting up with someone would mean a drastic hunt to find another 'Mr. Right' (it turns out, they were all very much 'Mr. Wrong') and then the process would repeat itself. I didn't really know how to make myself happy - it is a very strange thing. You go from being a young girl, who can make herself happy for hours with a thing as simple as a daisy chain, to a glorified grown-up, with feelings and a strong sense of feeling incomplete, needing someone to make you whole. It's a horrible time - but I think it's a time we need to have, to thoroughly appreciate who we are and how we should value ourselves.

When I was 17, I got into a relationship which would teach me huge life lessons. I was in this relationship for four years, when in reality, I should have only been in this relationship for 6 months, a year, tops. But I was afraid. Afraid of being alone and hanging on to the notion that I would regret it so much if I let him go. But he wasn't right for me. He didn't respect me, he didn't treat me how I should have been treated. I gave, and I gave, and I gave, but I got nothing back. Yet I put up with it, for years. Now, I'm a smart girl. I have my head screwed on and I KNOW that if someone else had explained the exact same situation to me, I would have told them to get out of it, sharpish. So WHY couldn't I listen to my own advice? Because I thought being unhappy and with him was better than being unhappy and alone. Because there were no 'REAL' problems - he hadn't cheated, he hadn't done anything unforgivable and so I held onto it even though it was slipping through my fingers.

But being unhappy and with someone is NOT better than being unhappy and alone. When you're with someone who is making you unhappy, you are only hurting yourself. You are making yourself completely unavailable to anyone else, yet all you really want is the 'ideal' man. How can you find him when you're stuck with Mr. Wrong? It will hurt like hell to begin with, but you'll learn that leaving the Guy Who Could Never Give You His All is the best thing you ever did.

Being single is a good thing. You open yourself up to so many more opportunities when you're single. You turn into a bit of a 'Yes Man' - the friends who go out for drinks every Friday night, but you turn down because of your rubbish boyfriend, are now making plans with you. You're dressing better because you feel better - you know that you deserve so much more and you know that looking good makes you happy. You appreciate those around you more - you make time for your family and friends that perhaps before you overlooked. You can enjoy your own company - being single made me appreciate how much I do enjoy being on my own. It made me fall back in love with writing, with films and literature, and understanding the importance of being by yourself, and making yourself happy.

If I had stayed with Mr. Wrong, I wouldn't have been able to do those things. Being with him had made me lose all sense of who I was - I became a miserable, crying mess who was constantly upset with or angry at the boyfriend who would never give me any of his time. I didn't like who I was - I wasn't me. A relationship shouldn't do that to you - it should bring out the best in you, not wear you down until you don't know who you are anymore. So I finally had enough of it - I ended it, and it was honestly the best thing I ever did. I just wish I had done it an awful lot earlier.

That's not to say being single wasn't hard - it was. I felt lonely, I would walk into a busy place and all I would see were happy couples, I would spend nights wondering what I had done, why had I ended it, when at least being with him meant I had someone to cuddle at night? Those moments of absolute despair pass though, trust me. You can learn to make yourself happy being single, and one day you might stumble across your handsome prince, and yeah, he will be a lovely contributing factor to your life. But he won't BE your life, remember, you make yourself happy.

So, I think I've found my prince. I could be completely wrong - in this life it is never good to get complacent, and you never know what's around the corner. But for now, I'm happy. I've learnt a lot about love and I've learnt a lot about myself - but most importantly I've learnt that I deserve more than a half-hearted relationship. If you want to be with someone, you should be with them, completely, 100%. I wanted a love that was all-consuming, a love that was passionate and magical, a I 'can't live without you' kind of love. I settled for 'can't really be bothered' love for so long and I regret it so much. But maybe it happened for a reason - because I do believe I've found my all-consuming love, the man I'd always dreamed about. I'm not saying it will be forever - I'm not saying it should be. But I am so happy that I am experiencing the magical, breathtaking love I'd always wanted to experience. The true, fairy tale love that so many of us crave. I couldn't have had that if I'd stayed with my ex. Who knows, I could have ended up marrying that guy if he hadn't have given me that one last push into saying 'It's over.' But then what kind of life would I have? I'd never really know what real love was like. And I think everyone deserves that kind of love, at least once in a lifetime.

I'll leave you with my favourite quote of all time - let me know if you enjoyed this post (if you even read it!) and let me know your thoughts....

'Unless it is mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it is a waste of time. There are too many mediocre things in life. Love shouldn't be one of them.'