So, I have never been in a long-term or serious relationship before now. Up until now I thought the only response to having a big fight was to break up. It’s safe to say that I am not exactly qualified to navigate through the murky waters of a relationship changing from fresh and new to beginning to change into something serious. Those awkward few months are challenging to say the least. What was once easy and breezy, something that was new and different, has now begun to turn into something that could become a long-term partnership. It’s fucking scary falling in love. I’m not talking young love; I’m talking love that could lead to life-long memories and milestones. The problem is when you begin to legitimately picture buying a house with this person, getting engaged, travelling the world, or believe it or not picturing babies with this person, you begin to worry about the shit that could go wrong.
Over the past few months I’ve noticed a pattern developing between my partner and I. The pattern goes:
- Go a few weeks with no sex.
- Work long hours and get irritated at anything because we’re sleep deprived.
- Have no time or energy to break the slump developing.
- Argue because we haven’t been intimate for a while and booking in times to have sex isn’t working because we both live at home and it’s not always predictable.
- Finally promise a night of being together but having a lame argument about something that doesn’t matter.
Safe to say this pattern is unacceptable. I couldn’t understand why this was happening. We’d have an awesome date, drink and laugh, go home and then realise we’re tired and drank too much so we’d be disappointed that we hadn’t had sex and go to sleep awkwardly (well I did anyway). Eventually this kind of behaviour comes to a head and you both snap and have your first actual real adult world fight. It dawned on me that from my end of things I was arguing with him more because yes I was tired, but also I had never had to make the move from single girl to someone in a committed relationship. It’s kind of scary making the move from ‘I’ to ‘us’.
I was a single gal for quite some time and got very used to being alone and doing what I wanted and when. My decisions didn’t factor in a possible future with someone else, if I wanted something I bought it, or if I wanted to go somewhere I went, there was no thought. As a single woman, you learn how to be alone and how to be enough for yourself. It’s such an important time in any woman’s life because you learn what you want and what’s most important to you. You become safe in the knowledge that you are enough and that you can go after anything you want. The safety net of singledom is knowing that no one else can hurt you except yourself. Guarding your heart and your dreams becomes effortless, it’s almost too easy closing that part of you off from the world. Dates become disposable, merely something to pass the time. So, when someone comes along unexpectedly you must learn how to open yourself up again. It will take a while and your partner needs to be patient. For any girl that’s been hurt and lied to it’s inevitable that when you begin to show your feelings you also begin to second guess your partner’s feelings for you. Little fights or arguments or bad moods lead you to think that they’re going to leave you because that’s what always happens. This doubt happens because you have been so used to protecting yourself that you go into overdrive because now your feelings are in someone else’s hands. So, naturally the arguments start happening because you’re convinced that this person will hurt you. But they don’t, yet anyway.
Making the change from being an independent single girl to one of two is terrifying. Even more terrifying is actually taking steps together to begin planning for your future and setting up plans for living together and building a life together. Some steps seem small at the time but every step is a huge one in hindsight.
I suppose everyone adjusts to relationship life differently. The most important thing I’ve learnt to do is to be honest with how I’m feeling without fear of the other ‘deciding’ to leave.