Grace and I are two very different people, in a lot of ways, but particularly when it comes to relationships. Since the age of 14, I have had back to back, long-term boyfriends -- 1.5 years, 2.5 years, 3 years, then a year hiatus as a single person and then another year-ish. Grace on the other hand loves the single gal life. She has always rocked here independence with pride and confidence.
Now, we have found ourselves in the rare, situation reversal. I am single and readayyyyy to mingle. Grace, on the other hand has found herself... wait for it... in a committed relationship.
As some of you might know, Grace and I spend quite a lot of time together. Yes, of course for Poize, but we are also roomies. As you probably can imagine, we talk quite a bit about relationships. I love to pretend to give Grace relationship advice and she loves to tell me about how awesome single life is (don't read this wrong, she loves her boyfriend but she also loves to reminisce about her crazier days).
From our chit chats, I have concluded that there are at two main types of ladies: The Relationship Gal and the Singal Gal.
1) Relationship Gal: The lady who is always in a relationship and freaks out when she isn't (myself)
2) Single Gal: The lady who is never in a relationship and freaks out when she is (Grace)
OKAY.... so now that you have gotten through my long a*s intro, I am going to give you my thoughts on how to not freak regardless of which situation you're in.
Let's start with the SINGLE GAL.
This lady loves the single life. She's loud, proud and independent. She loves to hang with friends, work, and workout. She knows what she likes, she has high standards and her #1 priority is herself. No shame in that game. #bossbabe
But here's the catch, because this single gal loves single life, she often doesn't really know what to do with a significant other in tow.
As THE SINGLE GAL, here are three issues you might run into in a relationship and some tips to help you not freak the F out:
Fitting them into your schedule. When you're used to doing things on your own time, the adjustment to multiple schedules can be rough-- especially if those schedules don't align. Rest assured, this is not a reason to give up on relationships. Because I am sure you are multi-tasking master in your work life, all you need to do is transfer this skill to your new-found relationship.
Having to deal with someone else's emotions. Grace hates this part of a relationship more than anything--she barely can handle her own emotions. 🙊 No shade, just saying what she would say if she was writing this article. Sometimes it can be infuriating to handle other people’s emotions, particularly when they have different ways of dealing with situations than you. The only "advice" I have for this is to try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. The way they were brought up and the way they were taught to communicate makes a huge difference in how they deal with problems. Because you're part of a team now, it takes team work to grow.
Allowing yourself to depend on the other person. To be clear, I am not saying you should become dependent on them but rather that it is okay to allow them to support you. If you're used to doing everything yourself, it can be hard to let someone in. Being able to share yourself, your thoughts and your feelings with another person and having them support you 110% is really a new unique experience. Cheesy, I know but worth it. Although I know our Poize ladies are the type that could totally go it alone-- why would you, when you can have someone to help you along the way?
Now onto the RELATIONSHIP GAL.
This girl feels most comfortable in a relationship and bounces effortlessly from one to another. She always has a significant other, is in touch with her emotions and loves the responsibility of being in a relationship. She is a multitasking master and can juggle a relationship, a social life and work effortlessly.
The catch is, the Relationship Gal can get a little too comfortable with being in a relationship and can struggle with taking "me time" and/or being alone.
As THE RELATIONSHIP GAL, here are three issues you might run into while being single and some tips to help you not freak the F out:
Being alone. Being single can be tricky because you are used to the comfort of having someone to brunch, watch Netflix and cuddle with. As someone who has always been in relationships, I find myself relying on the relationship to define who I am and to boost my confidence. In the last few months (being recently single), I have been forced to do these things on my own.
So you ask, how am I doing this? Well, I think in a relationship, I get comfortable... maybe too comfortable. Being single has forced me to reassess my daily routine and add things that I was missing and remove things that aren't serving me anymore. Two things that I have added/subtracted that have really helped me are 1) getting up earlier and going to the gym and 2) not checking Instagram until 11am. The culmination of these things has allowed me to take ownership of the way I spend my time.
Not having someone to support you emotionally. When you are used to having someone to run ideas by, someone to turn to throughout the hiccups, it can be difficult to know how to navigate issues by yourself. Rest assured, you can do it and you will be stronger for it. This is a great time to turn to friends and really work on developing your network of gal pals.
Having to deal with the friends & family breakup. If you've ever been in a long term relationship, you probably have gotten to know the in-laws and the friends of your significant other. If you were as intertwined with their family as I was it can be hard to move on from these relationships. My only "advice" here is that eventually you'll meet someone new and with that new person will come with a new set of in-laws and of course friends. If your friend groups are tightly knit, it is okay to take a step away so you don't have to interact with an ex on a daily basis. To take it one step further, it’s okay to unfriend or "hide" (the best Instagram feature ever) the posts/stories of not only your ex's but also their friends.
Here are three things THE USUALLY SINGLE GAL can learn from THE USUALLY IN A RELATIONSHIP GAL:
1) You are a crazy, awesome multitasker and you can use those multitasking skills to organize your schedule to include someone new.
2) You are part of a team now, it takes teamwork to grow. Oh, and you're not the only one who has emotions.
3) It is okay and can even feel relieving to depend on someone other than yourself for emotional support.
Here are three things THE USUALLY IN A RELATIONSHIP GAL can learn from THE USUALLY SINGLE GAL:
1) Being alone is not a death sentence. It will give you time to grow as a person and get in touch with yourself.
2) You can emotionally support yourself.
3) Investing in friendships is always a good idea. It is important to have a network of friends and family that will be there for you independent of you being in a relationship or not.