Three reasons why a romantic relationship won’t fix you
I have achieved the rare feat of being in a committed relationship for nearly fifteen years. I have been married for over a decade and have three kids. I’m still in my early 30s. As wonderful as that is, it also means a lot of my friends are single and dating. Many of them often look at my marriage longingly, thinking the rest of their life would be a happily ever after if only they could find their soulmate.
But relationships just aren’t that simple.
Fairytales don’t tell the whole story. The real hard work begins after you find the “one.”
When you find that perfect match, you’ve also found someone that can see you more clearly than anyone else on earth, all the good and all the bad. For me, that meant having someone draw attention to the laziness of my “intricate filing system” of nondescript piles around the house and having that person be completely honest with me about the steady stream of trash I called a diet. I’m still working on correcting those behaviors.
For you this could mean someone tallying the hours of time spent playing video games that could be better spent on activities that add to your life or pointing out all of the ways you dishonestly interact with the world.
Regardless, being in a relationship should never be about someone else’s love being the Band-Aid you put on all of your personal demons.
Here are three reasons why that will never work.
It won’t validate you
If you are looking for a person to cosign your every word and decision, a spouse or partner is the wrong place to look. A good spouse who genuinely wants the best for you will put honesty first and not hesitate to tell you when you’re dead wrong. This will definitely make you a better person, but that is only because it pushes you to examine yourself rather than selfishly believe that you are already perfect.
Relationships are not evidence that you are better than single people.
Furthermore, your worth and your truth can only be found within you. A ring, certificate, or commitment doesn’t have the power to magically make you a better person.
It won’t erase your demons
Along those same lines, a relationship will not make you a new person. If you were a liar and a cheater before, you’ll still be one after someone takes a chance on you. Same goes for laziness, cooking talents, and any other thing you might wish would be transformed with a love mate.
Real change comes with hard work and dedication to being the best version of yourself that you want to be, no matter your relationship status.
Anything else is hustling backward.
It won’t fix your finances
I fell hard for this lie. I used to think that two incomes and one household would equate to savings that would have my bank account swole. This is not true. Sure, getting with someone with money could brighten your financial outlook, but it won’t fix your spending or saving habits. It won’t erase your loans or credit card balances. If that is the reason you go into a committed relationship, you’re doing it wrong.
And no matter how much we may want to think otherwise, money is still a limited resource. Whatever savings you may achieve within a relationship, some new expenses come too. Your best bet is to get your 401K, IRA, savings, stocks, and bonds up now.
Being financially independent is not a relationship level up. It is critical to being a responsible adult.
A long term relationship gives you someone to face life’s troubles with. But, then, you face the troubles of two people (or more depending on your agreement) instead of one. And that’s before you add kids into the mix. Then you’re really challenging yourself.
The best relationships are healthy relationships, and those are forged with healthy people or at least people who earnestly want to get healthy.
Don’t wait for bae to right all your wrongs and get your life together. Become the best you possible right now. Do it for yourself.
If you are lucky enough to find someone who loves you, you’ll be all the more prepared to fully enjoy that person and keep them around a little longer.
Photo courtesy Pixabay
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