Categories: Relationships

It Took 10 Years To Have Another Serious Relationship And It Was Worth The Wait

10 years ago I was in high school and experienced my first serious relationship. It was my first love and I couldn’t have imagined being with anyone else. Being so young, it didn’t work out with a happily ever after. Instead, it was a nasty, heart-crushing break-up that took a long time to get over. I still remember ripping the promise ring off my finger that he had given me and throwing it on the floor while bursting into tears.

After that, I learned to be more careful when dating someone. I knew myself well enough to know that when I say the word “forever” I actually mean it and want to devote myself to having a life with someone. But not everybody is trying to have that serious of a relationship at such a young age, so I needed to be more careful about who I dated and pay attention to how the relationship is going.

It Took Over A Year To Start Dating Again

I wasn’t comfortable moving on right away, I was still mentally dealing with the fact that the relationship that had been my world was gone. But eventually, I got myself together and came to the realization that having a serious relationship isn’t about making it your whole life. You need to have your own life first and be open to sharing it with someone else.

I Did Want Another Serious Relationship

I didn’t go into a phase where I was closing myself off from guys and only trying to hook up with them. At least not at first. I did want another serious relationship but I was more cautious about it. There were plenty of times when I met a guy and was so into him. But things would get messy, most of them had serious self-esteem problems and didn’t want someone who was willing to be serious with them.

Contrary to movie romances, when somebody thinks they don’t deserve your love and affection, they’ll treat you with such disrespect so that you’ll go away. It happened to me many times and it took a few experiences to realize that’s what was going on and that these weren’t going to turn into serious relationships. It hurt because at first, you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough for them when really they’re not good enough for you.

I Found Myself Craving A Serious Relationship

The longer you don’t have something the more you want it. Even though I wasn’t willing to say forever to any of the guys I started dating, I was more thrilled about the idea of experiencing a relationship with them. I was so determined to be with them that I ignored major red flags from the beginning. Flags so red and bright that if I had just acknowledged them I wouldn’t have ended up crying hard into my pillow at night.

I Finally Took A Step Back From Finding A Relationship

After five years of the break up from my first serious relationship, and chasing guys who treated me like dirt on their shoes, I finally decided to take a step back a seriously reevaluate my life choices. I knew that I wanted to be in a serious relationship, but I also knew that I wasn’t trying to find somebody to rush into a marriage with. So what exactly was I trying to accomplish here? What was I rushing for and ignoring red flags for if I knew I wasn’t ready for the end game?

So I stopped dating. I stopped looking for guys to pursue a serious relationship with. I stopped allowing myself to get treated badly, being disrespected and made to believe that I wasn’t good enough. As cliche as it sounds, I started working on myself. Learning more about myself and focusing on school and building confidence.

Once I Found My New Confidence I Put It To The Test

I wasn’t ready for a relationship but I was ready to start flirting again. And that’s what I did. When I saw a cute guy I’d talk to him, exchange numbers, and talk a bit until it eventually died out. It made me feel better about myself knowing I was able to have a hook up with a guy and not worry about crying into my pillow at the end of the night because it wasn’t serious to me either.

It was an experience I had never had but definitely needed. And it was even better if the guy and I ended up being friends because it showed me that I didn’t have to be crazy about a guy to hook up with him. I could do the no strings attached and come out completely fine, something I had never known about myself.

After Three Years Of Self Discovery, I Was Ready To Jump Back Into The Dating Pool

Eventually, I felt better about myself to be open to dating again. The end game was to have a serious relationship, but I was going to take my time finding it and getting there. Guys came into my life that I took an interest in but took it slow. I was careful to observe their behaviors and personality so that I didn’t miss any red flags or rush into something I didn’t want to be a part of.

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And let me tell you the first couple of years were not easy. It just kept not working out with anyone. Some guys where just jerks who didn’t take me seriously and others were just getting over someone else. I learned from my previous relationships that you can never be with someone who is still hung up on someone else, let that go real quick.

Eventually, I agreed to start dating someone that only lasted five months because I realized I didn’t feel for him as strongly as he felt for me. Even though a lot of my friends and family were trying to convince me that he was good for me and I should stay with him. I couldn’t do that because I didn’t love him and I knew I wasn’t going too. He was a very nice guy who wanted to have a serious relationship with me but I just didn’t feel the same way and actually felt relieved when I broke up with him.

10 Years Later And I Am In My Second Serious Relationship

A few months after I had broken up with that guy, I walked into a house party drunk just to see what was going on. Not even a minute after being there I made eye contact with a cute guy who looked back at me. Being nervous, I smiled at him and he came up to me say hi. And we have been together ever since.

We’ve been together for over a year now and I only grow to love him more every day. He is my best friend, we spend the most time together and we do a lot of things that we like together. We have fights but there isn’t a relationship that doesn’t. He respects me and wants to see me happy. Most of all, I feel comfortable with him. It’s a serious relationship where we share our lives with each other and still have time for ourselves.

He just gave me a promise ring, but the promise that comes with it is that we love and care about each other. Because even though I would like a future with him, I still can’t say the word forever, at least not until I am engaged. And that’s okay because we’re experiencing this relationship and figuring out our future together with no pressure.

Have your own serious relationship story? Share it in the comments below!

Featured Image Source:
Gabrielle Smith

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