Because I will have to wonder for the rest of my life why I wasn’t enough…

The scariest part is not feeling the loneliness or the darkness that fills you despite the looming pain of emptiness. It is the realisation that you’ve completely lost yourself. You lay there all hours of the night not being able to sleep and you cannot cry because you’ve lost the ability to care. Not enough words can string together to describe all of the pain, the guilt and the self-doubt I have suffered through.

 
Heartbreak is breaking down in the middle of a busy street, seeing their face in all the people that pass you by. It’s feeling okay for weeks at a time and then all of a sudden, you feel the ghost of them upon you; around you and the memories begin to choke you up. Heartbreak is waking up from dreams of them coming back into your life and your chest begins to ache. You learnt my secrets, my scars and all my flaws and then used them against me. Sometimes I want to wake up not remembering anything about you!

 
I still struggle knowing that I loved you to the point I sacrificed my own happiness for you. I became a watered down version of myself, fading into the background of your life, afraid of saying the wrong thing. All I craved was effort, to feel appreciated and to be shown affection. The treatment I deserved! I gave my time, effort, patience and love into something that felt like situational hell in the end. I was trying to be good enough for someone who was comfortable mishandling my heart. It’s a lonely feeling when someone you care about becomes a stranger.

 

Somewhere along the way I gave up. I got tired of always trying to make everything okay and apologising, because I wanted you in my life. I was hoping for things to go back to the way they used to be , then I realised you didn’t care. But then came the point when I drew a line and I made a decision for both of us. Moving past it all is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to endure, especially when I saw our future. I’ve had to allow myself to be sad, I’ve had to allow my self to be angry (for which I still am) and I’ve had to learn to love myself again. Time will heal those wounds and rather than avoiding the bruises, it’s about collecting the scars and fighting to become a better version of myself.

“I’m never going to be the girl who’s okay with being controlled, and I’m never going to to be the girl who’s okay with being half loved… I’m also never going to be the girl who apologises for those things, ever again.” – Cici. B | The Crimson Kiss

I stood by your side; I didn’t walk away, you pushed me away. Somedays I still have to take a deep breath and remind myself that not everyone will break me like you did. Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.

Things I have learnt to keep a relationship alive.

Things I have learnt to keep a relationship alive.

Yes, I know I’m currently single but man have I learnt a lot from past relationships. Who hasn’t?! Some people think that being in a relationship in your early 20’s makes no sense at all. They assume you’re wasting away your youth; however I couldn’t disagree more. During this time it’s fun (and always should be no matter your age), you learn valuable lessons and you truly find what you need in a partner and what they need in you. Dating & Relationships should be an exciting time and you should never stop making effort for one another.  Here are some things I have learnt…

Making time for a “Date Night” 

Everyone is busy, I get it! Between being over-worked, having  family and social commitments, there is hardly time to fit in an episode of Netflix, let alone have quality time to spend with your partner. When was the last time you and your partner had a Date Night, just the two of you or put away your phones and switched off the TV to have quality time together? I love getting out of the house; I get cabin fever being cooped up all the time. But now and then I do also love a good night in with a movie, doona, a few bevvies and snacks. Date night doesn’t have to always be out of the house nor do you need to spend a fortune. Just carve time out to be focused on each other, once a week or fortnight. I saw on Pinterest this amazing Date Night idea, it a Date Night Jar. What an amazing way to avoid the “What do you wanna do?”, “I dunno, you?”
All you need is a Mason Jar, coloured icy-pole sticks and a Sharpie. Point to note: colour code to identify different categories and make a key on the inside of the jar lid. Make 100 date ideas; include what you love, what your partner loves and what you both love doing together. Better yet how about adding in a few of those Bucket List things you’ve always spoke about wanting to do. Now to categorise the dates; categories can be: Out of the House, Free, Indoor Activities and Outdoor Activities. For some amazing ideas click on link at the bottom of the page.

Set honest expectations from the start

Over the past 7 years of dating and relationships this would have to be in my opinion the most important rule when it comes to any kind of dating and that is to be clear on what your expectations are with the relationship. If you see it lasting for the long run, then make sure that your partner knows that. If you’re looking for someone just to have sex, then say that as well. Being honest with your expectations is fair on both of you, it shows confidence and respect. Too many of us by-pass this whole rule to avoid the awkwardness of not being on the same page and ending up alone. But I know I would rather be honest than to find out weeks later I have wasted my time and energy with someone who did not have the same feelings. Or even worse to actually be that person that lets the other cruise along, all the while they have more feelings on where this is heading.

You can still have friends

Never exclude yourself from your circle of friends to hang out with your partner 24/7. Your partner isn’t the only thing that’s important in your life. You still have other people who want to spend time with you. Be sure to keep up with your friends and do fun things together. They have been by your side for years and you need to give your partner space to keep the relationship fresh.

Nagging isn’t cool

We’ve all been told ‘chill’ and ‘stop nagging me’. If you’re anything like me I like sh*t done yesterday not tomorrow. I’ll admit it; I can be nag if I feel I am not being heard. Your partner will do things that piss you off, as you will to them. Don’t nag. This is immature and you will lose your partner’s respect for doing it. Openly and calmly discuss your opinion and why you feel the way you do. Say things when you think of them before they build up and you explode at your partner.

Keep your relationship semi-private

It’s ok to post a couple of cute pictures here and there on Instagram and Facebook, but the reality is that people really don’t want to see pictures of you kissing multiple times per day *cue the spew bucket*. While people may be happy about your relationship, they don’t want to hear about it 24/7.

Always be yourself and let your partner do the same

Let yourself and your special someone be themselves. You were attracted to this person for a reason, and there’s no need to try and change them. Never let someone try to change you; you are who you are, and if that’s not good enough for either of you, then lets be honest this isn’t really a relationship that’s going to work.

Communication is important

Open communication is critical in a long-lasting relationship. Each night, talk about your day, your concerns, your thoughts and your dreams with one another. There is nothing I love more than to reflect on my day with my partner, all the great things to celebrate and even the shitty things to help you wind down, re-focus and move forward. It can start to feel lonely not having someone to talk to at the end of the day, even just to be asked “How was your day babe?” can go along way. And always remember that when the other person is talking, be sure to listen and communicate your interests and feelings.

You need trust, but don’t be naive

Trust is the backbone of all relationships. Don’t hack your loved one’s phone, this isn’t going to solve anything. If you feel you have to do that, then question yourself “Why?” If situations arise make sure you trust only reliable sources and openly communicate with your partner.  On the flip side, don’t be naive about the situation either. You both deserve to be happy, and if things don’t work out, they don’t. Yeah, it will hurt but why put yourself through the pain and anxiety. There is someone out there who will treat you right.

Excitement

A relationship should inspire passion in both of you no matter what’s going on. When your partner walks through the door, are you excited to hold them in your arms? To kiss them? To want to do nothing but run your hands all over their body? Successful relationships turn on the passion at the start and never turn it off. Yes, of course it might cool slightly for periods of time – like after children are born – but it never dies completely, and it can always be rekindled.

Finally… be adventurous and enjoy your time together

You’re still in your 20s and you should be having as much fun as possible. Take time to do both of your favourite things. Be adventurous and try something new that you’ve both never done before. *cue the Bucket List dates from your Date Night Jar*. And remember don’t take yourself all too seriously.

DATE NIGHT JAR LINK

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Aside

hard truths about dating in your twenties.

hard truths about dating in your twenties.

Cue that awkward point in your life when most of your friends have been in a serious relationship for years and you’re still yet to find that person you’re ready to settle down with or even find someone you’re remotely interested in. For those who can relate, you’re not single because you couldn’t snag someone; you are simply holding out for someone better, that someone who can really connect with. Don’t worry you’re not falling behind, it’s just not your time.

Many people would argue you have to date around to truly discover what you want, while others know what they’re after.  And if you’re the more guarded and picky type like myself, finding that special someone could take some time, but I know it’s going to be completely worth it. I have only had 3 “proper” relationships; I do not dive into these things lightly.  For me, the first “I want to date this guy” moment happened in my last year of High School. We grew up together, shared highs & lows, were compatible & comfortable with one another and fun; it was the idealistic love, the love that looks right. We spent our late teens to early twenties as ‘on-again – off again – on again’ but there’s always something special about our first love, something you can never truly let go of. After that I always seemed to date older guys; something has always intrigued me about an older partner. I guess I feel they will be more mature, at my stage of life, experienced etc. Then there is the ‘in-betweeners’, the ones you casually see for a few weeks or even months; the might-have-beens, the players and the Tinderfellas.

If we’re single for too long, we joke that we need to buy a cat. Or we think that Tinder is essential in our day to day routine. We start hoping dates include going back to someone’s place where they live alone in this amazing house,  you wake up wearing their button-down shirt looking cute AF and then you can go home and gossip about it at brunch with your friends. Almost none of this is true, except for the gossiping. Most of the time the one-night stand is awkward; you’re laying there thinking do I leave now or in the morning, what do we talk about now, did I even enjoy that, will I look like sh*t in the morning, god forbid will I fart in my sleep?!

So lets get real – here are some hard truths to dating in your 20s.

  1. It feels like the pickings are getting slim the more you travel through your twenties.
  2. Secondly only some dudes get more mature as they get older. Only some!
  3. As you and your friends get older, serious relationships become more serious, people actually go out and get freakin’ married. Some friends will start to slowly fade out of your life. It’s tough, but keeping up friendships is work – and you find out the ones that are worth it.
  4. Going to events without a plus one is low-key hard in your 20s. It’s certainly not the end of the world, but it’s definitely lonely. Try not to get too drunk at all those birthdays, engagements & weddings.
  5. At some point, you will become obsessed with the idea of the future and you won’t understand why. As the people around you get engaged, get married, have kids, and start adult lives, you feel the pressure, whether you want to or not. You’ll have days where you don’t give an eff, but you’ll also have days where you care. A lot. But you can get through it!
  6. You’ll do stupid things, stay with people you shouldn’t stay with, and get totally screwed over. It will happen to you too and it sucks.
  7. Ever seen He’s Just Not That Into You? The basic principle is that if a guy likes you, he will try for you. If he doesn’t call you back, it’s because he doesn’t want to. If he doesn’t make effort, he doesn’t want to. It’s harsh, but you have to be exposed to these harsh truths when you’re in your 20s. DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS THAN YOU DESERVE!

Dating in your 20s is hard and can usually be heartbreaking. It’s also an exciting learning experience.  I do not regret any of my relationships, casual flings nor would I trade my single years for anything. They have shaped into who I am and I now know what I want from my future other half. Looking back on my past and current single years I had the most fun ever, I focused on me, achieved a lot at work, partied, I travelled and I really bonded with my friends and family. Don’t fret if you’re still single, love yourself first & everything will fall into line.

‘You don’t need a boyfriend, you just need sunshine & tequila’.