Her Guide To Life

An Unofficial Guide to Staying Sane(ish) in your 20s

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Blogtober #12: Is being 'in love' enough to save your relationship?

I've been thinking recently about what I want this blog to be to me. I think I want it to be like an online diary, where I can talk frankly and honestly about my life, my opinions, and my take on subjects and topics that life throws at us. Part of the reason I want to write all of this down is because recently I've been thinking about how our stance and opinions on things can change over time, and why it's actually totally fine if you don't think about something the same way when you're 23 as you did when you were 16. That's why my blog's called 'Her Guide to Life' - these are just my experiences, and I am just one person, talking about how I see the world, trying to be as honest as I can.

I digress.

When I was younger, like a lot of other people, I COMPLETELY believed in 'The One'. I was completely secure in the fact that I thought, at some point in my life, that I would meet this completely perfect person who I would fall instantly in love with, just somehow 'know' that this person was my One, my soulmate, my missing piece, my other half, we'd ride off into the sunset, get married, have babies, and live happily ever after without any problems at all. Because that's what falling in love does, doesn't it? It fixes everything.

This sounds pretty unlikely, right? To meet 'the perfect person'. The person who you completely adore every single part of, whether it's their music taste, their family, the subjects they did at school, what football team they support... Complete, total, utter perfection, with absolutely no faults at all, and who (bonus!) actually thinks that you're pretty great too.

Reader, I met him when I was sixteen.

I was completely, utterly besotted, and to this day, it's the strongest emotion I've ever felt for someobdy else. It's something that I still can't fully explain. He was just me... but in a boy form.

Of course, the bad thing about being young is that we tend to try and we bend things or only see them one way in order to believe something that we desperately want to be true, is. The tiny little things that we convince ourselved are signs that this person IS our soulmate. We both dip McDonalds chips in our milkshake. We were at the same Red Hot Chili Pepper concert with our dads in 2005. We were both drama kids. We were both Libras. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I 'went out with' this guy for a couple of months, briefly, (to my hyperbolic sixteen year old mind, tragically) until life, exams, friends, and the fact that we were relying on our poor parents to ferry us to and from each others houses after school got too much, and we called it quits. This, to me, seemed comparable with Rose and Jack, or Hazel and Gus. It was life or death, pretty much.

Sixteen years old and very, very heartbroken.
But you know what? Now that I'm 23, I've been to uni, I've had other boyfriends, I've been travelling and met people and done things, I can finally see the truth... that we were never right for each other anyway.

The problem with falling 'in love' at sixteen is that, despite how much you want to believe that you're all grown up, you still haven't really found out who you are yet. I still think that that doesn't really happen until your twenties. It's only then that you start to work out your values, work out what is truly important to you, and what you want out of life. And I'm sorry, but if those values don't align, he's not right for you, honey.

After we broke up, he dropped out of sixth form to smoke a lot of weed and hang around skate parks talking about 'enlightenment' and 'the system'. And look, none of us are perfect and plenty of us go through a rebellious stage, but if he thought I'd spend my nights at 19 years old hanging around outside Tesco drinking Special Brew, well, he would've had another thing coming.

Love isn't enough if you're not compatible.

Now, I'm in a relationship that is the honestly the best one I've ever been in. Me and my boyfriend just work, we love each other, of course we do, but apart from that, we just really, really get on. I didn't feel that heady, crazy feeling when I met him, but I don't know if I'll ever feel like that again. I do know that I am completely in love with him though. He brings out the best in me - the cook, the self-carer, the writer, the Sunday morning bacon-pancake maker  - whereas First Boyfriend did the absolute opposite,

Hannah Witton says in her video 'The Truth About Being Single' that falling in love is a feeling, but staying in love is a choice. I think I believe that. I also believe that, as much as you love somebody else, you should always love yourself more. Even if me and First Boyfriend had rode off into the sunset, it would have never lasted. Seeing the type of person he is at 24, I would've had to have broke it off with him. Because what we're doing with our lives just don't fit each other. And that's why I think love just isn't enough, if you don't work together well.

Thanks for reading, and I'd love to know what you think about love and compatibility. Drop me a comment, tweet, DM or email - I love speaking to you and getting to know you all better!

Hannah x

Feature image © Hannah Billie Perry

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  1. Absolutely loved this post - so relatable.
    I've thought I've been in love once before, with my ex boyfriend. In retrospect, he was more in love with the idea of a girlfriend than he ever was with me and I was left heartbroken. A year on, much like you, I'm in the best relationship I've ever been in. It's made me realise that love is so fluid, I still believe I was in love with my ex, but in a completely different way. Ahh you've inspired me to write something about this! Your honesty and no bullshit style of writing is so refreshing x

  2. I'm 17 and in a relationship right now and reading this (did kind of scare me a little bit haha but mostly it) felt really relatable. Even now I think we both know that our feelings as teenagers are constantly changing and as individuals we still have a long way to go in bettering ourselves and figuring out who we really are. But we are used to viewing things in the most mature way possible, we take our future into account and know that the whole relationship thing is a matter of choice and commitment, not just sparks and emotion, you know?
    I absolutely loved reading through this though, thanks for sharing!

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

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