I am a huge fan of the independent girl era. I am also a huge fan of being obsessed with the idea of having an English boyfriend. Oh, how times have changed – I used to know how to love. In the more recent past, I’ve struggled with dating. And after being single for 6 months, I have now adopted a strong view on relationships. They suck. I came to learn that being alone is, in many ways, easier. You don’t have to be attached to your phone, wondering when they will text you; you don’t have to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of missing someone. Plus you have all this free time to play Animal Crossing. But as we all know, you can only be single and happy for so long before someone comes along and ruins it. Now, I am learning how to love (again).
The boy that ruined my life
I like to joke with this boy about him ruining my life. He feels the same. In December, I returned to Australia to see my family for Christmas. I’d been talking to this boy for about a month before my visit, but we’d met on New Year’s Eve 11 months prior in my hometown. The day we met, we only had time to say hello. Then, a few weeks later, I ran into him at a bar and we spent the whole night together with his friends and mine. At the end of the night, he asked me out on a date, but I had to tell him I was moving to London. And then I left. Out of the blue (as these things usually go), we reconnected a month before I came back to Australia. Upon my return, we spent two sun-soaked weeks together while failing to keep our hands off each other.
In that month prior, we spent countless hours on the phone talking. And when I say countless, I mean it. I never thought I’d talk to someone for half a day and then miss them as soon as I hung up the phone. It might then surprise you to hear that I can feel myself resisting. Last year consisted of me – a) dating someone emotionally unavailable and b) being single. I haven’t felt a strong connection to someone in a number of years – especially one that’s reciprocated. I have grown accustomed to eating alone and making myself feel better. And actually liking it. I’ve learnt to love only myself. So, the prospect of a healthy, meaningful relationship is kinda scary. Learning how to love someone else is scary.
Why I shouldn’t resist
I know what something good looks like when I find it. It goes a little something like this – he understands the parts of you that you hope to be understood; you are open, honest and communicate about how you feel; you allow yourselves to be vulnerable; you connect on a deep physical and emotional level. And I haven’t even gotten to the good part. He makes me laugh, teaches me so many things, and turns my legs to jelly whenever he touches me. He’s also made this post irrelevant. Need I say more?
Why I may be resisting
When I think about us dating, there is one part of me that feels so happy, and another that is screaming. Maybe it’s because I know that I’m 25 and shit is getting serious. The relationship choices I make now matter. If it’s just casual then I know there’s no pressure because it’s not going anywhere. Wasting time is easier than accepting the reality that time is closing in. Being in a relationship is also hard – it requires compromise, communication, honesty, vulnerability, and trust. Choosing and committing to a healthy relationship is a grown-up move. With all of this being said, they really are just excuses. A way to escape responsibility and reality. I am the world’s best procrastinator. It just means that I may spend more time avoiding my own potential happiness.
Learning how to love
I am slowly coming around to the idea of being in love again. Maybe I need to learn balance – how to be both in a relationship and be strong and independent. And shocker – the way to do that is by practicing it. Pushing people away will only get you so far. Sometimes you do need people. And sometimes you can just want someone, without needing them. And to tell you the truth, sometimes putting these ideas out there actually makes them seem kinda silly. Because while the feelings of missing someone and waiting for them to call are agonising, the positive emotions of being in a relationship make those things so small. Dressing up and having someone look at you in awe, sharing a view together while you drink wine, and making each other laugh so much that you almost cry – that’s special. And that’s love.
Cover photo by Polina Tankilevitch