My thoughts on my past relationships and what I’ve learnt being single

I think the first photo on this post really sums up how I’ve felt for the ‘majority’ of the year I’ve being single. I’ve been happy.

The reason I wanted to write this post was because I haven’t been single for this long since I was about 14. And also because I’ve been replaying Ariane Grandes new song ‘Thank you, next’ which kinda got me thinking about exes and relationships in general. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So, my first relationship was when I was 15 and I was in it for about 3 years. It was my first ‘proper’ relationship, not like the primary school or year 7 kind where you don’t see each-other outside of school and instead base the so called ‘relationship’ on holding hands in the playground. Surely it wasn’t just my school where the ‘popular’ kids would always be going out with someone new each week and would stand in a circle holding hands with their ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girfriend’ but never even communicate with eachother. Those were definitely the simpler times.

Anyway back to my first relationship at 15.  It definitely taught me a lot about myself, and relationships in general. I think when you are that age you end up feeling as though you have to give your all to the person you are with, you want to spend lots of time with them, neglecting this thing called ‘alone time’ which you end up having to fathom out later on in life. This relationship ended when I was 18, and had been fizzling out for some time before as I started to become a little more headstrong. I ended things with the thought that I wanted to now be on my own and have less of a weight on my shoulders as I started to go out, meet new people and overall decide what I wanted in life.

I didn’t even have much time being single between that and my next relationship, which was actually only the second relationship I’ve ever had. Things were so different this time around. I knew who I was becoming and what I wanted and fancied this guy to bits and kinda always had done. We saw eachother for a while before actually making things a little more serious.

I was so different at the start of that relationship compared to at the end, which I think happens as we start to mould into the person we are today. I definitely saw myself in a different light back then; I compared myself all the time to other girls, I’d let people walk all over me, I would overthink things like when he’d cancel plans or when he wasn’t particularly nice I’d let it slide without even confronting him. Now, if anyone treats me in a way that’s any less than what I know I deserve I won’t ever hesitate in calling them out on it, or removing them from my life all-together…which I did a couple of months back with the worst ‘fuck-boy’ I’ve ever come across in my life.

Anyway that relationship ended last year, around September and at the time It was truly heartbreaking for me, but when I think back to the last year of the relationship I’d realised I’d lost myself because of the amount of effort I’d put in to trying to fix the relationship. I’d let him cancel plans, left, right and centre. I’d let him treat me like shit in front of his friends and go home crying wondering what I did to deserve that. I had completely lost who I was and was starting to turn into someone I didn’t like. I had lost all confidence in myself; I felt unworthy and that nothing I did was good enough. Even my parents started to notice I was unhappy and that I’d just let it slide without doing anything about it, because that’s what you do when you are head over heels for someone and are unable to see the effect it’s having on you as a person.

Coming out of that relationship I spent a lot of time, and have been spending more time giving myself the self love I deserved and still do deserve. I know that because of that relationship my head hasn’t always been in the best of places and has caused confusion a lot of the time but people have to understand that you can’t go back to something that’s unhealthy for you. And you also have to learn YOU CAN’T FIX PEOPLE, and it shouldn’t be your place to feel like you have to and to loose yourself in the process.

So what have I learnt being single:

PEOPLE WILL HATE ON YOU FOR BREAKING SOMEONES HEART:

It’s no way a nice feeling when you break someones heart, but what happens when they broke your heart first and the simple facts are that it took them too long to realise what they had when it was gone?

I had this exact scenario happen to me. I spent about 5 months heartbroken and not fully over my ex before I met someone else and within an instant things changed and I realised I had moved on. Before that I was pretty much messed around again, unsure whether my ex wanted me back. He’d go from saying he missed me and wanted to get back with me, to treating me like shit again and pretending I didn’t exist. He’d talk about other girls in front of me when he knew how much I was hurting and wouldn’t even apologise for any damage he’d caused me. His friends just turned a blind eye and instead blamed me for a moment not so long ago when I got caught in a drunken confusion and it was as if world war 3 had broken out. People do things when they have had a few drinks, we kiss people we wouldn’t when we are sober, and we do things without thinking of the consequences. However when I think about it, do I regret it? No. I’ve learnt that if you do something in the moment and in that moment it was what you wanted…then there is no point regretting it as you’ll only drive yourself crazy. Life is to short to regret every questionable moment.

Another thing I have learnt from this is that there will always be people out there that choose not to see all the good you did, and the pain you’ve gone through but instead choose to base their opinion of you on the one ‘mistake’ (in their eyes) you’ve made that ends up hurting the person who hurt you a hundred times over.

DON’T FORCE FEELINGS:

Ever start speaking to someone, who’s so lovely, attractive and just genuinely a really nice person altogether, however you feel like there is something missing? That so called ‘spark’? You keep putting it off telling them as you think ‘I’ll give it another chance’ until you get to the point you are like ‘okay I really don’t like them’ better call it quits now. I was speaking to my friend the other day who is literally going through this exact thing at the minute, in fact I have two friends who are. They both think the guys are super lovely and get on extremely well with them and carry on speaking to them because they feel like ‘maybe’ something could work out, however they don’t have the initial attraction. I think when situations like this occur it’s okay to give someone a try, go on a date and see how you feel, you’re more than likely gonna know ‘YES I FANCY THE FUCK OUT OF THEM’ or ‘hmmmm I’m not sure’ and if you’re unsure it probably means no. So don’t force it.

BEWARE OF FUCK BOYS :

I should have saw the signs from the get go from kinda dating this guy. For starters he called me ‘b’ which my sister explained to me a few months previous is often used by guys who are ‘fuck boys’. Anyway he seemed relatively nice at the start, which I guess was his tremendous acting skills and ability to win you over with saying the right things. However I soon noticed he was possibly only after one thing, and when I noticed he’d follow about 20 new girls on Instagram a day, liking their pictures from months ago (which he did to me when I first matched with him on Bumble) I thought hmmm this is weird…especially when he was going on about wanting to make me his girlfriend. Anyway, silly ole me, ignored the signs and ended up being fucked over by someone who couldn’t even pronounce the words ‘penne pasta’ (inserts face palm emoji).

DON’T TRY AND PLAY IT COOL FOR ANYONE:

There’s girls who are just effortlessly ‘cool’ in life (especially with guys) and then there’s girls that constantly embarrass themselves in front of guys by trying to be ‘cool’. I am 100% the latter. The amount of times I’ve tried to play it cool on dates by trying to a) show someone I can wink which resulted in me blinking and them laughing at me because I’m incapable of being normal. b) attempting to walk down the stairs like I’m the next Naomi Cambell and ended up slipping and having to hold onto the rails for dear life. c) trying to hold in a cough because apparently ‘cool’ girls don’t cough (what was I even thinking) and then basically spitting out my food and having a horrific coughing fit.

Why do we feel we have to fall into the category of effortless cool girl? When the chances are half the guys we talk to or meet aren’t as cool as they may seem. I know guys who are looks wise beautiful and have amazing personalities, they play sports, they have muscles, tattoos, a beard (amen) and from the outside you look and think ‘shit I’m gonna have to be really cool’ but it’s really not worth it when you want to have a laugh with someone… even if that involves laughing at how uncool you are in reality.

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH CASUAL DATING:

I used to always believe that the sole purpose of talking to guys and going on dates is with the aim that you want to end up in a relationship, and while that’s all well and good not everyone is after that. Some people want to be open to experiencing new things, travelling and building their career which sometimes means the shift gets pushed away from wanting a relationship and instead on casual dating and meeting new people. I’m not saying you can’t do any of those things while being in a relationship but when you want to experience it all on your own but still be open to dating then this is an option…so long as you are clear about this from the get go. It’s easy to tell someone straight up that you aren’t looking for a relationship at the minute but would like to spend time with them, I don’t understand when people pretend they are after so much more and end up messing you around…just be honest and the chances are the person won’t hate you for it.

Photos by Ryan Johnson

2 Comments

  1. Holly White
    December 8, 2018 / 9:57 am

    Lovely post Caitlin! You’re totally right, we can’t fix people! I’m sorry to hear you had to go through some of that – I completely know where you’re coming from and it’s the worst. Love the advice you’ve included at the end too – so so true!! xxx

    • caitlin
      December 10, 2018 / 1:55 pm

      Thank you so much Holly! Lots of love to you xxxx

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