If you’ve been following me anywhere on-line for the most part of the last eight years, you’d know that I was in a long-distance relationship for six years. We broke up in 2013 and I’d have to say it was probably the best thing to happen to me. I didn’t know it then, but I was very unhappy with the whole situation and it reflected on my attitude and how I interacted with the world. I was an empty hateful person on most days— bitter about the relationship and the lack of progress, and very jealous of the happily coupled people around me. Can you imagine being like that for six years?!?!
Thankfully, things turned around and I am now at my happiest because I feel like my life is finally headed somewhere. Today, I thought I’d share three of the most important things I’ve learned since I ended my last relationship.
It’s okay to let my guard down.
A decade ago, a boy emotionally destroyed me and a friend with good intentions gave me advice: be spiteful, not sad. It’s unhealthy and damaging, but that’s how I’ve been dealing with things since.
I don’t have the best history with men, so staging emotional distance is my defense mechanism. I viewed showing emotion as a sign of weakness and that I had to be cold and hard if I wanted to win/have the upper-hand. When I felt that I was going to be hurt or disappointed, I would feign disinterest and act like I didn’t care (until I actually didn’t care). And you know what? I still got hurt LOL. And because of all those years of repressing my feelings, I now have trouble connecting with people.
I still struggle with emotional honesty but I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to feel hurt and it’s okay to admit to feeling these things. We don’t always have to be tough as nails.
Anyone can start over.
The major reason I stayed in a dead-end relationship for so long was because I was afraid I wouldn’t find someone else if we broke up (obviously, I was wrong because Joey and I got together shortly after). I was never good at dating and I always thought: Who would want me? So I stayed, even though I was unhappy and even though it wasn’t the kind of relationship I wanted.
I’ve gotten several messages from people scared to end their current relationship for the same exact reason I had, asking for advice on how to leave. It’s easier said then done but you just have to be brave and just say good-bye. It’s never too late to find someone worthy. My mom started over around the same time I did and she’s in her 50s!
Simply being loved isn’t enough; we have to be loved the way that we want to be loved.
(SAY LOVED ONE MORE TIME, HELGA.)
I can be a better person.
It’s true that the person you’re with influences your behavior. Joey’s this super good guy (nobody hates him!) who always puts others first and that inspires me to do the same. I’m not saying that I’m a good person (Joey calls me bratty and self-centered whenever we fight and it pisses me off because I’m really not!) but every day, I remind myself to make kinder, better choices.
People also say they like this version of Helga: happy, nicer, more positive, in love. I’ve always liked who I am— nasty attitude and all— but I like who I am now better.