At some stage in our lives, we all have that fantasy idea of love and a happy ever after.
But once you actually are seeing someone or in a committed relationship, the cold hard truth hits. Being in love can be hard work. It can be tough. As well as the good stuff, there can be arguments, misunderstanding and tension.
Sometimes a relationship just isn’t meant to be. Perhaps for the first year or five, things were amazing, but now you’ve realised it’s descending into constant fighting and sniping. Cue a difficult period of decision-making, a bad break-up and heartache for you both.
At times like those it’s easy to swear off men forever. Why on earth would you want to put yourself out there like that again? What’s to be gained by finding The One? Sure, falling is love is great, but what about the pain that comes after?
In theory, closing yourself off from romance can seem like a great survival tactic and a solid long-term plan. The thing is though, love can come in many forms. By shutting down that openness and hopefulness within you, you’re losing a big part of yourself and it will probably end up affecting other parts of your life too.
Being in a committed relationship, although it can be stressful at times, is one of the main ways we begin to learn more about our adult selves. We’re not just looking out for Number One anymore, now we have someone else in our lives too. Being in love lets you see how you adapt to co-existing with someone, it lets you see just how far you’ll go for someone else’s wellbeing, and it lets you see exactly what you really care about.
Numbing past pain by closing yourself off to the dream of The One won’t make you any happier. In fact, you may find it even harder to process those issues if you don’t let yourself move on properly. Just because the partner of your dreams isn’t in your life right now, doesn’t mean he won’t pop up next year, or the year after that. Why miss out on the chance of true contentment just because of one bad experience?
As well as allowing you to learn more about yourself, love really can make you a better person. It makes you want to do right by other people, it makes you kinder and more caring. Yes, a previous relationship might have ended messily, but try to focus on the good things you got out of it, and how you can use those mistakes to help you later on.
Opening yourself up to the idea of The One might seem like a big risk, but it is actually one of the best decisions you can make. What have you got to lose? Even though it mightn’t feel like it at times, life is short. So get out there and embrace everything it has to offer – the good and the bad.