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What I wish I knew about relationships when I was younger

Do you remember what valentine’s day used to be like when you were younger? I remember it as if it was yesterday. In highschool they would sell flowers, cards and teddy bears in the weeks before and would have it sent to your crush’s classroom on valentine’s day. It was absolutely adorable, puppy love was in the air. I remember getting my valentine’s day card and red rose in Spanish class. At that moment I could have sworn that I was in love. Little did I know, I had absolutely no idea what love was. I liked to think that I did, but in retrospect, I was just a know-it-all. There is so much that I would have done differently back then if I knew that love was a choice. It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement and ecstasy that comes with being infatuated with someone. After a while you might even start believing it’s always supposed to feel like that, because what’s the point of staying in a relationship if you aren’t happy. I didn’t realize that you won’t always feel happy, and that that’s exactly when you need to love harder. When you believe love is a feeling instead of love being a choice it’s easier to give up, because your feelings will change with time, but your commitment to love someone should be unmovable. In many ways, I feel like I gave up on my relationships when I was a teen, simply because my feelings changed. And since that was what I considered love it was easy to conclude that I had fallen out of love. Looking back I now know that there is no such thing as “falling out of love”, there’s only choosing no longer to love. When the hard times came, I started thinking to myself: “Maybe he’s just not the one”. Nowadays I know better, because I honestly don’t believe there is just ONE person made for you. I do believe however, that you will meet a number of compatible people along the way and you eventually choose (there’s that magical word again) the person you want to stick with. 

I always thought that the right person, “the one”, would fill the emptiness and heal the brokenness and that we would then live happily ever after. Because that’s what we see in movies, right? Now that I know better I realize that that’s an extremely unfair expectation to hold someone up to. Whether it be consciously or unconsciously, to make someone responsible for filling the void in your life and healing your brokenness is an expectation that no one can live up to. You will basically only set yourself up for disappointment and cause frustration. In reality no one can be held accountable for your contentment but yourself. That’s why it’s so important to first work on yourself, on being a whole and complete person all by yourself before you take on a relationship. The crazy thing is that a lot of teenagers grow up into adults and never unlearn some of these ideas involving relationships.  There’s so much I wish I was taught about relationships when I was a teenager, although I doubt I would have listened. I still believe that it would have probably spared myself and others a lot of pain and disappointment, but on the other hand I’m also content with where the broken road lead me. Unlike when I was a teen I realize I’m still learning. I’m learning about myself, my husband, about love, our relationship and what works for us. Because if there’s one thing I wish I knew when I was younger is that love is a constant discovery, a beautiful journey, with its bumps along the way. There will be some twists and turns here and there but as long as you keep driving and try to enjoy the view it will all be fine.  

 

Cici Isenia

Rotterdam, Netherlands

©2020 BY CICI ISENIA.