"A woman has got to love a bad man, once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one."
I've been wanting to do a relationship post for quite some time now, but thinking of what to write exactly has been really difficult. Primarily, it's been difficult because I'm a really private person when it comes to that part of my life. I don't like to share the really good and happy moments on social media or even with the people I'm close to because I have this irrational fear of having to explain to people what happened if something goes wrong. I also don't like to share the not so pleasant experiences I've had because well, it's not a good thing to air your dirty laundry and I never want to be that person who has nothing but negative things to say about someone she once cared about or dated etc.
In my attempt to find a happy medium, I actually contacted someone from one of the first relationships I've ever had. Like so many others, what we had started off great but then it got ugly... really ugly. We're obviously on much better terms now, but he gave me this idea for a topic. Without going into the really messy details, here are a few reasons, from my own experience that I feel exemplify why bad relationships make you stronger in the end.
1. The First Cut Is The Deepest
I would say that this one has been the most significant reason for me. The first time you are hurt by someone, it doesn't feel like that hurt will ever go away. I literally remember thinking about this particular guy, "I will never want anybody more than I want him." Well, I was in high school and that was a lie. Eventually, you do move on and you find someone else. It doesn't mean that the next someone won't hurt you too- they probably will! But the difference is that this time, even when it feels like you'll never be happy again, your rationale will kick in and prove to you that this isn't true. You can remind yourself that better days will come, because you've been through this before. You know the drill.
2. You Can Recognize The Signs
Again, I was really naive the first time I fell "in love." Of course I'd watched more than my fair share of romantic dramas and comedies growing up, but still ... for some reason I just believed that I would have better luck. When the person I was with told me he would "never hurt me," I genuinely believed him. This isn't a joke. I actually, truly thought that if he said it, he OBVIOUSLY meant it and therefore I was safe. I'm not that silly anymore. Now I know that if that person isn't making time for you, they don't care about you. If you always have to initiate any kind of conversation, they don't really care about you. If they won't go out of their way to see you and are only willing to come over if they're already in the area, they don't care about you. Obviously there are more signs than these, but you get the point. Recognize when the relationship you want is not the relationship you have.
3. You Realize That You Can't Make Someone Care About You (and you respect the realization)
I've been in relationships where I knew that I wasn't a priority in the other person's life ... but I just wanted to hang onto them so badly that I was willing to overlook it. I'll admit, I've been guilty of thinking that if I change this about myself or do this for them, they'll learn to love me. This is the absolute worst mind set you can have. You can't make someone love you. Period. I know that now. I know that I'm a great person and that I'm a good person and that I care about people and that I'm nice (sometimes) ... but if someone doesn't love the person I am, nothing I do will change that. It's better to respect that, because then you can be happy and live your life, not worrying about pleasing that person. It's way too draining trying to persuade someone to be in love with you. It takes far less energy to love and appreciate yourself.
4. You Start Embracing All Your Flaws And Quirks
I'm an awkward person. Especially when I'm around someone that I'm really into... I can't help it. But that's me and I'm okay with that. I ask a lot of questions and I ramble at times. I'm that person who sends three separate texts, instead of combining my thoughts into one. I can be moody a lot of the time. I bump into things because I'm just not that graceful. Once, I even walked out of an interview with a "Hello My Name Is: Jennifer" sticker on my butt by accident. I'm so weird, and I'm also annoying. But I'm finally okay with it. I had to learn to be okay with me so that I could focus on being the best version of me. I'm still working on getting better everyday, but I am who God made me.
What's the point of all of this? I guess that I've learned over the years that relationships can suck. I'm going to get hurt a lot, and I've hurt other people as well. The hurt won't last forever though and it's worth it to hurt a little bit because I really do believe that everything has shaped me into the strange but stronger person that I am. Maybe one day, I'll find someone just as strange to share this little life with :)