What I Love About Being Single

What I Love About Being Single

In a recent post, I opened up about the difficult parts of being single. I’ve noticed those feelings come in waves. I’ll go weeks or months feeling great, and then suddenly get hit with a wave of sadness. And I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling a little more sad this week due to Valentine’s Day, when other people’s happy relationships are plastered all over social media.

However, there are also many things I love about my relationship status. Instead of complaining about the fact that I’m single, I thought it would be nice to make a more positive post and share what I LOVE about it!

I love the chance to focus on myself

I’ve always been a very selfless person, and I often find myself paying more attention to my partner than myself when I’m in a relationship. Being single gives me a chance to focus all my attention on my own wants and needs. It also allows me to discover new hobbies and interests, and really figure out what I enjoy doing with my free time, without worrying about what my partner wants to do.

I love spending more time with family and friends

One of the things that stresses me out the most when I’m in a relationship, is when I have plans with my boyfriend and I have to turn down spending time with friends or family, or vice versa. Being single has given me the chance to get extra quality time with the people in my life, since I have more free time than I do when I’m in a relationship! My family and friends are the most important part of my life right now, and I’m so happy about that.

I love having one less thing to feel anxious about

Relationships, or even casual dating, can bring up a lot of anxieties for me. I’m a classic over-thinker, and I constantly find myself worrying about little things the person said or did, wondering if he is “the one”, etc. Frankly, I have enough to feel anxious about without an added stress of a relationship. Whenever I hear dating horror stories from friends, or have to give advice about their relationships, I often think, “Man I’m glad I’m single!”

I love being independent

If I want to plan a spontaneous vacation with my friends, or decide to make a big life decision, I can do it without worrying about how it will impact my partner, because I am my own partner. Learning how to be okay being alone, and making decisions for myself, has been such a gift for me. I haven’t had the option of relying on a boyfriend for emotional support, so I’ve been forced to learn how to take care of myself and be my own biggest support system. I think this time alone will make me an even better person in my next relationship, because I’ve learned and grown so much.

Were you single or in a relationship this Valentine’s Day? What do you love about your relationship status? Leave a comment and let me know! ❤

Opening Up About Being Single

Opening Up About Being Single

In one of my recent posts, I talked about wanting to be more vulnerable, both in my personal life and on my blog. For me, blogging is all about sharing my experiences and aiming to help others. If I can touch even just one person with my writing, I am happy. Lately, so much of blogging and social media in general has become about this facade of perfection. But that’s just not me. I’m not going to pretend for a second that I’m perfect. I’d rather be authentic and share the real parts of life, in the hopes that someone else can relate to me.

With all that said, today I wanted to write about my experience being single. It’s a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, and I even opened up about it in a Facebook post which you can read below. Yay, vulnerability!

Screen Shot 2018-10-29 at 6.15.58 PM.png

To give some background, I’ve been single for a little over a year. Before that, I was in relationship that lasted for over two years. This past year I have actually genuinely enjoyed being single. I like having independence and being able to fully focus on myself and what I want. I’m planning to write a blog post all about the perks of being single, because I do feel like there are definite perks. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t difficult times too. As I mentioned in my Facebook post, it can be overwhelming to constantly be surrounded by couples. Though I know none of my friend’s relationships are perfect, as no relationship is perfect, seeing all of them happy and in love makes me covet what they have.

Having been in a long-term relationship before, I can remember what it was like to have someone by your side, and I want that again. I want that person who I can call and vent to when bad things happen, or get excited with when good things happen. I want someone to travel with and experience new things with. I want someone who will always support my dreams and help me be a better version of myself. Sunday morning I woke up thinking about all of these things that I want and that I feel like I don’t have, and then it hit me. I do have those things, just not in a romantic partner. I am really lucky to have amazing friends and family. They love me, they support me, they make me feel more confident in myself, and they even travel with me. Realizing this doesn’t diminish my desire for a romantic partner, but it does remind me that love is not absent from my life.

I’m writing this from one of my favorite Austin cafes, Cenote. I was writing outside, but then I got bitten up by mosquitos and had to come inside. I’m adding this in here because I realized it has a parallel to what I’m talking about in this post. Mosquito bites suck. It isn’t fun to have itchy bites all over your legs. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I’m having a great night at one of my favorite places, enjoying good food and a nice glass of wine. Sure, I could choose to focus on the mosquito bites and let that ruin my night, but I am choosing to focus on the positives.

Being single sucks. It is not always fun. It can be lonely and make you doubt yourself. But if you look around you and take everything in, you’ll realize there are still wonderful things you can focus on. This past year has given me so many gifts and offered countless lessons. I’ve been able to focus on myself and my goals and dreams, and it has lead to some amazing memories. I started a new job, I’ve traveled to three new places, I’ve made many new friends and reconnected with old friends, I’ve started learning to play the keyboard, and so much more. By all accounts, this has been a great year. And it all happened without a boyfriend by my side.

What I want and what I need are two different things. When I see my friends in happy relationships, I want that. But if this year has taught me anything, it’s that I don’t need that in order to be happy and successful in life. It doesn’t meant that I don’t still want it or think I will have it eventually, because I definitely do. But it does mean that I am choosing to focus on the present and what I currently have, instead of being sad about what is missing.

If you take anything away from this post, let it be this: Focus on the love you have in your life, not the love you feel you’re missing.

 

Long Distance Relationships

Long Distance Relationships

 

11145003_761401513976339_4274260513039503654_o

Hi everyone! I’ve been wanting to write a blog about long distance relationships for months now, and this finally felt like the right time to talk about it. After about nine months of long distance, my boyfriend Brian and I are finally going to be living in the same city again in a couple of weeks and I couldn’t be more excited!

A little background on our relationship for those that are curious: Brian and I went to the same college and were friends for years before we became boyfriend/girlfriend in December, 2014. We had an awesome five months together, and then I graduated in May and decided to move back home. Brian still had another semester of college, so this put us in a long distance relationship for about nine months. Which brings us to today. Brian just got a job in Austin and will be moving here in a few weeks!

Long distance has been very difficult at times, but although I couldn’t be happier that it is ending, I do feel like I learned a lot from the experience. I also think that it made our relationship stronger in a way, because it forced us to learn to have good communication and to never take time together for granted. Because of this, I thought I would share some advice about long distance relationships (LDRs) that will hopefully be interesting or helpful to some of you.

Commitment

Before even considering an LDR, you and your partner need to really think about whether or not it is worth it. The level of commitment the two of you have for one another is one of the most important indicators as to whether an LDR will work out. You need to make sure you care about this person enough to want to end up in the same place eventually. Brian and I avoided the topic of whether or not we would stay together after I graduated for as long as we could, until we finally went ahead and discussed it. We both agreed that an LDR would only be worth it if we were both equally committed to ending up in the same city as soon as possible. We determined that we were, and from there all we had to do was plan to make the long distance as easy and enjoyable as possible.

Communication 

Communication really is the key to a happy relationship, and it becomes even more important in LDRs. Because you can’t see each other frequently in person, being able to still feel connected emotionally can be difficult, and becomes even more difficult if the lines of communication are not strong. For my boyfriend and I, different avenues of communication really helped. Although we texted throughout the day like most couples, we also sprinkled in extra modes of communication such as emails, phone calls, Skype calls (almost every night), Facebook messages and even the occasional letter in the mail. This variety adds excitement and creativity to the relationship. Which brings me to my next piece of advice…

Creativity

Although LDRs are very difficult and may seem impossible at times, there are certain perks. They allow you to utilize different communication styles such as the ones I mentioned above. They also allow you and your partner to use your creativity a bit. Brian came up with lots of fun ideas for how to make our time apart more bearable. On Skype calls we often play a game of Hangman, and make up words and phrases that have to do with our relationship. He also created a crossword puzzle for me, and all of the words had to do with the two of us. Another fun idea he had was to create a Spotify playlist which included all of the songs that have had an impact on his life, from his childhood to present. I loved all of these ideas, and I really think that they allowed us to stay connected in a unique way. When I was missing him I could turn on the playlist, or take a look at the crossword puzzle he made, and it was sure to put a smile on my face!

Compassion

Lastly, I want to talk about the importance of compassion. Understanding your significant other’s needs and feelings is very important. If they seem extra stressed or irritable one day, it is likely not your fault and may very well be stemming from the fact that they miss you and wish that you could be together in person. Listen intently when your partner talks to you, and make sure you are giving them everything they need emotionally to be able to continue with the relationship. They may need you to communicate better, or open up more about your feelings for them, or even try your hand at being creative. If there is not a good foundation of compassion in the relationship, I don’t think it will stand a chance.

 

Well, there you go! Those are my top four categories that I think are important to remember in long distance relationships. I’d love to hear your opinions, advice or personal stories about long distance relationships or just relationships in general, so please leave your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂