My parents got divorced when I was 10. Familiar story, no? As I have gotten older, I have had many conversations with my mom about relationships, love, and what exactly each of the respective emotions mean. Over the years, she has told me bits and pieces of her story, her struggle with the divorce. She and my dad were married for almost 20 years. After such a long time, when the relationship was gone, she found that she know longer knew who she was. She had lost herself in the relationship. She also found that she had been relying on my dad and their relationship for her own emotional stability; she no longer knew how to be alone and happy at the same time.
I find that this scenario plays out similarly in my own relationships as well as in most other adolescent relationships. When I am in a relationship, despite my better judgment, my boyfriend becomes all I think about. My friends and family seem to drop down to second and third on my priority list. You would think this would change when I am single, right? Wrong. All I can think about is the guy that flirted with me at the party and setting my sights on the current crush of the week. I have never stayed single for very long. I’m not bragging. On the contrary, I hate this aspect about myself. Each time I have been newly single, I promised myself I would take the time to spend time with friends and to get to know myself again. Each time, I have failed.
I think this – or something similar – happens to a lot of us. But I think that most of the time, we don’t realize or care to realize it. Even if we have things in our lives besides relationships – extracurriculars, jobs, hobbies, etc. – our thoughts are still filled with romance, and with hopes and dreams of love. What follows is that our actions are dictated by our emotions instead of by logic. This isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes, we are ready to throw away our lives for love.
We need to be aware of this. We
need to be able to be independent. We need to be just as ok when we are alone as when we are with other people. We need to learn how to attain happiness on our own instead of relying on others to “make” us happy.
I know that you’re probably thinking, “I don’t do that, this doesn’t apply to me” or “so what? My relationship is that important.” Either way, this applies to all of us, no matter what age or what you may believe. It takes an extremely emotionally mature and aware person to be so independent. And if you think your relationship is really that important, that it should be able to take over your life, consider this: what happens when it ends? Don’t tell me that it won’t. Everything ends. Your relationship will end at some point. There is no forever; either one person will walk away, or eventually, one of you will pass away. Either way, there will come an end. If you let love – or what you think is love – take over your life, then when it’s gone, you will be left broken beyond repair.
I have watched my mom go through this. I, myself, have gone through this. I, fortunately, had my mom to help me through it. She taught me how to remember who I was, and how important it was to stay aware of this and my independence throughout life. I want everyone to have the same awareness and ability to be emotionally independent. I want all of you to be able to stay emotionally healthy throughout your relationships, and to cope in a healthy way when they are finished.
I’m not from Philadelphia. I am from the Seattle area; the Pacific Northwest. Needless to say, I may hold a few different views that those around the Philadelphia region. Just a disclaimer. Yet, I think this is a good thing. I think too many of us are trapped in our little circles, forever thinking the same things with the same people, never expanding our thoughts and views; never growing as a person. So, take what I have to say as a tool to broaden your view of the world. Disagree with it, agree with it; it doesn’t matter. But do tell me what you think.