Many people believe that relationships are all rainbows and butterflies. They don’t realize how far that is from the unfortunate truth. When I was twelve years old, my cousins had little middle school boyfriends and wanted to help me get one. However, I never really desired a relationship until I started ninth grade.
My first boyfriend showed me a lot of attention since eighth grade, but I never reciprocated feelings until ninth grade. He started to appear more charming and intelligent during that school year. I decided to begin messaging him over the popular texting app at that time, called KIK.
I started getting butterflies in a different way than I did before then. The butterflies hit harder because I knew he already had feelings for me. My mind and body felt weak around him. I just wanted to spend time with him all day long. Our relationship caused us to lose focus of our academics that year, which was the first negative outcome. Relationships can overwhelm all of your focus - if you let them. You have to learn how to balance it with your daily life activities.
After my first relationship, I reflected on the ups and downs of being coupled up, and made a pros and cons list. This isn’t a message to, or not to, get into a relationship. Nevertheless, if you are deciding to become intimate with someone, and have a real romantic relationship with them, please take baby steps into that new journey of your life. Relationships are far from easy, and I messed up thinking it would be a piece of cake when I got into one.
Let’s start listing the pros. Your significant other can become your best friend. For my current relationship, this is a big pro. My boyfriend and I were friends for at least five months before we got into a relationship. This is something I recommend when you are getting into one. Friend-zone is not always a bad thing. It gives you time to decide if you want to be with this person or not. It will reveal your compatibility and common interests. Remember – relationships take time. It is not ideal to rush into a relationship without getting to know who you are planning to spend all this time with.
Another pro is that you both can explore the world together. Since my boyfriend and I have gotten together, we’ve been to Aruba, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. We are always looking forward to visiting a new state or traveling out of the country. These are beautiful memories that you and your significant other will never forget.
Another pro of being in a relationship is discussing your problems and listening to each other. One thing you cannot forget is that your significant other is not your therapist. They cannot always advise the right or wrong things to do. They can reassure you and walk with you through your problems, which is nice to have. My boyfriend can be a great listener, and it’s always nice to tell him what’s going on with me without interruptions. You need that one person in your life that you can vent to, and it can sometimes be your significant other. If it’s not them, it’s usually a best friend or a close family member. For me, it’s a variety of people, and my boyfriend fits perfectly in that category.
Being in a relationship can promote mental and physical wellness. While you don’t need a partner to be content, this intimate connection can help you embrace all of life’s obstacles. A relationship that doesn’t make you happy is not one you need to be in. I have been there before, and I knew when it was time to walk away. Personally, I needed someone who can make me laugh, even during the dark times in my life, and that is what my boyfriend does for me every time. There’s nothing more reassuring than having that special someone who always turns your frown turn upside down.
Now, here are the unfortunate cons of being a relationship. First, relationships can be time-consuming. When you walk into one, you instantly want to give your all to that one person. I mistakenly have done this and regretted it. You have to learn to give each other space and make time for yourself as well. You matter more than your relationship. You have to know when to step back and make time for pampering yourself. I’m just now getting to a place in my relationship where I am giving myself more me-time during the week.
One big thing to remember when you get into a relationship is loving yourself as well. You cannot begin to love someone else if you don’t have any love for yourself. This means you have to make time for yourself. Loving you is so important in your life. If you don’t love yourself, you start to resent all the love you give to others. I arrived at this crossroads plenty of times before because I am still on a journey of loving the person I am. My boyfriend tries to help me on my journey, but I know I am the only one that can fix the issue. I struggle with body positivity and social anxiety daily, which keeps me from loving who I am inside and outside.
To conclude, if you are in a relationship, please take precautions when it comes to loving someone else. Please remember to give time for yourself and don’t lose who you are for your significant other. It’s easy to stop doing things for ourselves because we can get so caught up in loving the person we’re with.
If you are not in a relationship, don’t feel rushed into getting one. As I said, relationships are not always what they seem – social media can fool you into thinking they are great all the time. Learn to love who you are before you let someone into your world. Loving you is the most important thing you can do for yourself in life!
Written by: Audre Arnett