Throughout my thirty-something years on this earth, I’ve been in many relationships—my first being at the age of 14 when I barely needed a bra, but somehow thought I found the love of my life. The relationships that followed had blossomed, each one bringing a different set of challenges, lovely memories and ultimately ending because of one thing or another. Some got under my skin. The ones that made me give my all eventually dwindled into uncertainty, boredom and routine. Nobody tells you that part. Nobody tells you that the carefree, love-struck feelings start to fade and life gets in the way—and whenever it hit that point, I always felt the urge to run.
When bombarded on social media with pregnancy announcements, engagement ring selfies, heart emojis and future teary-eyed aisle walks, I’m not too proud to admit that it all gets to me. I moved countries at age 25 after another one of my relationships ended. It was complicated, and it hurt me more than I ever thought it would. However, you know you genuinely care for a person when they’ve found happiness, and that makes you happy. That is ultimately what you should want for them.
Few of us dissolve a relationship unscathed. Nobody is shopping at Ikea with their S.O. thinking they’re going to have to fight over their table and chairs in just a few year’s time. Nobody is expecting to be sat at a lawyer’s desk sobbing because the latest judgment didn’t go their way. And nobody expects to be calling the police to get advice when love turns to fear and you have to carry hairspray in your handbag. Yet, people make the commitment every day—because you never think the love of your life could ever be so terrible to you.
In my later years, I went from picking a ring to packing my bags. Nothing is broken and life continues with the reassurance that I am capable on my own and will strive, regardless of who’s beside me. Is this another tragic singleton having a meltdown putting fingers to keyboard, you ask? Far from it. This is me reassuring others that love isn’t enough, even for so-called soulmates. So, work on being your own first and last love—one you cannot be bad at.
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