As a perpetual optimist I never think anyone’s relationship will ever end. Even if it should, even if it’s inevitable, I still think just maybe trouble will work itself out. That was 2010.
As 2011 approaches, I still am the seeker of relationship sunshine but with a little clearer perspective. I still feel that every relationship has the potential to work out, but that there is definitely a time to stick a fork in it and call it done. When a relationship has reached its end, whether it’s a romance, a friendship or work-related, all that’s left to do is take the lesson learned and keep moving forward.
Friends, family and strangers all share with me their relationship highs and lows and from them (and from my own) this is what I’ve learned:
10. Depending on what stage of life you are in, ‘settled’ can either be a word of great relief or a word of great fear. It feels nice to be settled in. It’s not good to settle. Then, there’s the ever popular and very cringe worthy: When are you going to settle down?
9. Apologies require sincerity to be valid.
8. There's always room for an upgrade.
7. Some people are scared, unknowledgeable or just too lazy to obtain things that other people strive for like success, happiness, and love. Instead of reaching for the good things in life, they will try to bring you down to the level of misery they’re feeling. An exertion of energy wasted on their part. This is based on several true stories.
6. When someone is yelling at you, they typically don’t like it when you laugh.
5. In terms of work and career, surround yourself with people whose advice you can respect. I can’t value an opinion regarding my career from someone who is bad at their job. I can’t take seriously an opinion about what it takes to succeed from someone that can’t tell the difference between money and value.
4. Some things really are meant to be…temporary.
3. Love isn’t a guessing game.
2. The seesaw was maybe my favorite playground apparatus; up until I was on it with someone who made it too unbalanced or who barely pushed on their turn. If this went on for too long, without warning I would just hop off my end leaving the other side to crash. Take that for what you will.
1. Honesty is essential. With honesty comes bravery. Be honest enough to admit when a relationship is over. Be brave enough to start something new.
2010 has taught me about relationship ‘sampling’ and relationship ‘settling’. I’ve been led through the mind of the mature male and through the mind of the truly shameless. I’ve learned that honesty feels like a trick to those who are used to lies. I’ve learned the internet has changed the face of relationships, in some cases for the better, although some things still are meant to stay offline.
Relationships are always interesting because they’re ever-changing. Sorry to break the news that January 1 does not provide a clean slate as we’re led to believe. We have the battle wounds to prove it. However, we take what we can from the relationships we’ve lost, embrace and appreciate the ones that we have and seek excitement in the ones that are to come.
Here's to a whole new year of relationship fun...