BY RACHEL WONG
Relationships are tricky things. During the time you are in a relationship, you learn really quickly that selfishness does not fly. You’re not just thinking about yourself anymore – you need to consider another human being and all of their emotions, wants, and needs. Finding a balance between your life and your love life is crucial.
I am a fiercely independent person, especially when it comes to relationships of any kind. But growing up, romantic relationships have always tested this personality trait of mine. I have been single for almost 2 years now and every day I’ve learn to love it a little more. Like anyone else, I still sometimes experience loneliness and self-doubt. But in those moments of clarity when I do enjoy being single, I constantly evaluate and re-evaluate my expectations – both for my potential man and for myself.
I also try and learn from what I’ve experienced in the past. I have been in a few short relationships – some with incredible guys, and some with guys that I would never like to see again. The common thread that runs through all of my past relationships is my biggest nightmare: clinginess. Being an independent person, I hate being tied down and restricted.
When I tell people this, they instantly shake their heads and call me ‘unfaithful’ or a ‘player’. And that bugs me, because it doesn’t mean that I go and seek out other guys. All it means is that I want to make sure that I have a life outside of my relationship with my special guy – and that he needs to as well.
I have friends that see their boyfriends every day, punctuated with text conversations, phone calls, or even Skype dates in between. I know fully well that I can’t do that – not even during the honeymoon phase. Sure, I will think about him a lot and will enjoy the time that we spend talking to each other, but lately I have also tried to make sure that I am occupied with other things and still living my own life.
So maybe this is why I haven’t found the ‘one’ for me yet. There is still so much that I want to achieve, so much that I want to see. I want to establish my path without having the distraction of love. And while that sounds terrible, it’s something that I would highly encourage. There are people that can accomplish their dreams and still have a profound and fulfilling relationship with someone, and I admire and appreciate that. But I know that this is not for me, and I can bet that there are a lot of girls out there that feel the same.
The last thing I want is to get into a relationship just for the sake of being in one. When you don’t have a focus for your relationship, it becomes difficult to grow with your partner. By solidifying who you are and figuring out your path, everything else will come naturally. When you find someone who aligns with your goals and enjoys a life outside of your relationship, it enables you both to grow individually. A relationship only flourishes with growth, and by growing individually, your growth as a couple will be even stronger.
This isn’t to say that I won’t go out on dates with my special man and spend time with
him. But remember to have you-time too. Remember your family and your friends while you have him (or her). Don’t forget the ones that have been there for you all the while.
Rachel Wong is a Communications and International Studies student at Simon Fraser University. Aside from Speak Out, Rachel is also a regular contributor for the Student Life Network and SFU’s student newspaper The Peak. She loves going on foodie adventures, kicking back with friends and telling other people’s stories – all while writing her own. Her dream is to read off a teleprompter for a living one day. Rachel hopes to help change the way society looks at mental illness, one word at a time. You can find more of Rachel’s work at http://rchlcwng.blogspot.com.