To Be Or Not To Be...in a relationship
I'm not a relationship expert by any means, but I have been around the block a few times and will pass on some of the wisdom I have learned…
There’s a long list I compiled not too long ago which states whether or not two people should get into a relationship. It's a big pro and con list if you will. I’ve basically come up with two scenarios / two types of people.
The first scenario: when someone needs to build their own life first, and then they can welcome someone else to their life.
The second scenario: when someone wants to build a life with their significant other.
Before you jump into any relationship you need to ask yourself which scenario you want to be a part of, in order to avoid any excess heartbreak in the future.
It’s super easy to meet someone one day early on in your life (usually high school sweethearts, first loves, childhood friends who became something more, etc.) and think that you have found “the one” who you are meant to spend the rest of your life with. I think the reason we think this (yes, I myself am included because I swore I was going to marry my first boyfriend) is because we have nothing else to compare it to. We think that the way things are working out between the two of us is how it’s supposed to work out between any two people, and it’s amazing getting to know more and more about that person along the way. And then when you two fight, you think it’s normal because everyone says relationships are a lot of work. And then you think about leaving that person but you don’t, because you already have so much history together how could you ever give that up. Being in love for the first time is extremely beautiful, innocent, pure, and then when its over, it’s extremely painful. What we don’t see until much later is that it’s also one of the best things that can happen to you because it’s helped you realize what you can tolerate.
After your second, third, maybe even fourth love, you start to ask yourself what you are even dating for. Heartbreaks are not something fun to go through and can really shake up your world. You either you date for marriage or you date for heartbreak. But what the heck are we supposed to do with the time we have in between that!? I personally don’t want to wait around until I’m in my 40s to date someone because I still have to take time to get to know that person. But on the other hand I don’t want to date someone, give them all of my love and attention and most importantly my time, if I know that I don’t have the idea of marriage planned for anytime in the next few years. (If you haven't guessed it, I'm part of scenario 1).
So what happens when you are genuinely interested in someone, and you don’t want to let them go, but you don’t want to commit to them? Sure you can think about an open relationship (I have no experience in one so I can’t speak much on it) or you can just live in the moment. Living in the moment is the ultimate way to neglect reality. Is it alright to neglect reality if it means we get to be happy even for a little bit? As Alfred Lord Tennyson famously wrote, 'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”. Your experiences with relationships whether good or bad, will shape your future ones and that’s something you can continuously be learning from.
I don’t recommend everyone go out there and jump into relationships just to get your heartbroken so that you can continuously become a better person every time. Between scenario 1 and scenario 2 there is a big grey area that only you will know what feels right. Any time you get to be happy is time you should take without hesitation. Being loved and loving someone is one of the best feelings in the world and its nothing we should take fore-granted. Kristen Mark, a sex and relationships expert with a PhD said, “Although romantic regret is difficult, it lingers more when we regret not doing something than it does when we regret doing something”.