I’ve been through the ringer the passed few years, gaining and losing love more frequently than I ever thought I would. I had relationships that lasted 3 years and I had relationships that lasted only a few months. While some were longer than others, all of my relationships have showed me the different ways that people show love. I have learned it is best to be open, honest, and understanding. I have learned that insecurity and jealousy make people do crazy things. I have learned that there is a difference between love and dependency. I have learned that you must be happy with yourself, in order to make others happy. But what I am the most grateful for is how I felt love in such a genuine and honest way because of the men who were part of my life, even if it was for a short while. I wouldn’t change the relationships I have been in for anything in the world because they have made me the person I am. Being young and in love has taught me how to work through pain and face problems head on, but it has also taught me, that you can not rush into love before you are ready.
When people are young and in love they always think of it with an “all in” attitude. They think it means that, in an instant, friendships will have to end, jobs will have to be changed, lives have to be picked up and moved, and you have to rely on the other person to be there at all times. I blame texting, partially, for the idea that you can always have someone at the drop of a hat. But the problem, really, is that when we are young, we are still adjusting to becoming independent, and often rush into things as a way to cope with change. Graduating college and becoming an adult, we realize that people in our lives come and go, and we begin to get scared of commitment or latch on to something familiar, knowing that not everything in life will stay the same. As we grow older and our maturity starts to develop, we realize that it is a part of life to lose people, and we start to become more independent and rely on ourselves for consistency. If we realize that we don’t NEED another person, then we don’t need to give up friendships, jobs, or anything like that, because we have parts of our self that exist outside of the relationship. We have stability in certain aspects of our life, and instead of NEEDING to be with someone, we just WANT to be with them. The things they do apart from us do not make us feel insecure, because we are comfortable knowing we can stand on our own two feet. That is when, I believe, that love is able to blossom and grow.
Certain people who need relationships as a way to cope or as a way to avoid the inevitable changes in life will not be able to stay in a lasting relationship. When you have an “all in” attitude, you make your whole life about another person and any outside factors that can interrupt that will cause fear and stress. Jealousy and trust issues only come in to play when you think that someone is going to leave you, or you don’t believe them when they say they’ll stay because people have not stayed in the past. To me, those things are road blocks that stop you from really being able to love, and make it seem like you have to give up parts of yourself to make the other person happy, or make them feel secure.
It’s important, for me, to remember to never, ever give up the important things in my life for someone else, including friendships, career goals, and family. I am a strong, secure, and independent person, and my sense of self, along with my goals in life, are the parts of me that make me who I am. A secure person will be able to understand that things outside of the relationship are equally as important as the relationship itself. You do not need to rush into love, because a secure relationship will last, and there will be no need to rush or put pressure on the relationship.
As a person who has been in many stressful relationships, I have learned that rushing into love will not keep someone attached to you, and your fear that you will inevitably lose someone will be realized. But love is not something that should be filled with anxiety and fear, where you feel like you have to give something up or change who you are to make someone else happy. Love is much more freeing, and not restricting. If you find yourself holding on to something that makes you feel restricted, let it go. Stressing the less important issues, like what the other person is doing when you are not around, just means someone has not reached the maturity in which they accept that each person in a relationship has a life different than the other.
If someone is mad at you for being around other people, or having a life outside of theirs, they are not ready to be in a relationship. If someone is more worried about what you are doing, than what they themselves are doing, they are not ready for a relationship. If someone is avoiding change by surrounding themselves with what is familiar, and expecting you to change in order to accommodate their lifestyle, they are not ready to be in a relationship. If someone does not have anything in their life that makes them truly happy apart from one other person, they are not ready to be in a relationship. The only people who are ready to be in a relationship are the ones who are mature enough to know how to make themselves happy first, and do not put themselves “all in.” It is okay to make sacrifices for the ones you love, and to take risks when it comes to moving or jumping into a new career. But sacrificing things should not give you anxiety. You should sacrifice things when you are ready to do so and not let someone tell you otherwise.
You may lose a lot of people that you truly love because they are not ready. But you must remember, that people who are not ready are not able to truly love you. I know I have lost so many people to readiness, whether it was not knowing if I was ready, or them not knowing if they were ready. It’s a hard thing to accept, but the one’s who are truly ready will show you that they are, and it will feel right. You will know if the person you are with is not ready because you will feel anxious. You will know if you yourself are not ready, because you will get defensive if someone questions your intentions.
Readiness is simply about timing, maturity and security. Remember not to take readiness personally. It is not a reflection of you, but an indication of the mental capacity of who you are with. Don’t try to hold someone down because they are not ready for you. Don’t try to convince them to be ready, because they won’t be. Don’t put yourself back in the place that they are in, because you want to wait for them. As long as you know who you are, there’s no need to pressure someone else into being ready for you. If you try to pressure them, you may just be waiting for something that will never happen. Just let them figure it out, and you figure out what you need to do. It is hard to accept that maybe you will lose this person to readiness, but I would rather be happy, then stuck with someone who was not ready for me.