At 24, I prefer the more realistic view of love and relationships I have now as opposed to the fairytale one I had in my head as a kid. I have always been the rom-com loving, love song listening, prince charming wanting kind of girl and with that comes a lot of unrealistic exceptions that I had to unlearn throughout the years. Lessons in love, in the form of my own heartache shut those fantasies down real quick.
Long lasting relationships are less about date nights and flowers and more about patience and compromise.
BUT FIRST, SELF LOVE
I've mentioned this a few times on the blog, in my last post I discussed why it's important to heal and practise self love before expecting someone else to do it for you (read more here). Self-love plays such a huge and delicate part in relationships and is sometimes over looked. It's very important to know who you are outside of your relationship and to not let it define you.
I am very sarcastic, I cherish my relationship with everyone in my life, I am a very fair person sometimes to a fault because I won't take your side just because you're my people. I like a glass of prosecco with my friends, I like being in nature and I usually come home after a night out and fall asleep to The Notebook because that's what makes me happy.
That's who I am and I have learnt to love all parts of myself, even the anxious, hasty and impatient sides to me because it is who I am and it is exactly who I will still be without my relationship.
I've struggled with self-love in the past, mainly around the time my mental health wasn't great and it had an impact on my relationship. If I didn't love myself how could I believe the love that someone else claimed to have for me?
Self love isn't easy but it can be worked on always, make it a priority and see how much of a difference it makes.
GROWING & CHANGING
Being in a long term relationship isn't easy, and being in one in your 20s can prove to be even more testing. I'm at a time in my life where I am growing and changing every day. I almost don't even like voicing my opionion too much anymore because I know it will change and I cba to be called out on my difference of opinion next year.
Sometimes in relationships you grow together and other times you grow apart. Although it can be so hard to admit, it is a natural and beautiful process. I've realised that you absolutely have to let someone grow and change and become the person that they've always meant to be. If that means you no longer click like you you used, then as sad as it is, you have to accept that.
I have defintely changed a lot in the last 5 years, some changes have happened subconsciously and others not. I am extremely grateful to be with someone who has embraced my changes and grown with me.
This version of myself may be here for another 2 years or she may be gone tomorrow but I cannot stress enough how important it is to let yourself flow into different chapters of your life. You should always feel like you are unapologetically yourself with the person you love.
Trusting someone is not as easy as it sounds, trust me I know. I have personally struggled with trust after being lied to in the past both romantically and not. Naturally I am a very trusting person because I like to see the good in people and I like to believe that people are being honest with me. Sometimes it back fires and I put my trust into the wrong people or situations but it also allows me to feel free and not like I am always hunting for lies.
I've always said that someone will lie to you whether you trust them or not. So I always trust until someone gives me a reason not to. I always believe in the power of the universe and I know that whatever is done in the dark will always come to light.
One of the worst things you can do is not trust someone because of your own insecurities or when they haven't given you a reason not to. I almost found myself spiralling into an untrusting web once upon a time, it was because I had been lied to before. 'If others have lied to me, then so will you.' I thought, but that only harmed myself in the long run.
Today, I am as trusting as I can be but take my message with a grain of salt because while I am trusting, I am always following my gut and instincts. I follow my heart but I lead with my head.
I love the feeling of having a partner and a support system but as I mentioned before, it is so important to keep your own identity. I am a very loyal person but I need my independence before anything else. Maybe it's the Aquarius side to me, I love the idea of love and togetherness but I also crave being by myself and making my own decisions.