Go Where The Waters Push You

The moonstone ring I bought myself after the breakup

After Justin and I broke up, I realized that I was left with two decisions.  I could stay single, or I could get back into the dating game.  Seems straightforward, right?  But I found that everyone I speak to has an opinion on how and what I should decide on.

After such a long relationship, people want you to be single; to take time for you.  Sometimes they want you to start meeting other people and just have some fun.  But the very last thing anyone will suggest is finding someone you really want to pursue getting to know more and doing so.  And if that's what you decide- no matter how casual it really is or seems to be- you will constantly need to defend your decision.

I'm baffled by this whole phenomena.  I understand that relationships need time to settle and time should be taken to honor what a relationship meant, even if it wasn't meant to last.

But here's the thing:  you can't follow your life according to society's prescription.  In my case, I spent a year and a half of college essentially single because my significant other was not here and I wasn't trying to flirt or be with anyone else.  I know how it is to live in New York and go to college with a focus on getting to know myself.  What I don't know is what it is like to date- in this city or, to be honest, in general.

But the people who tell me what I should and shouldn't be doing don't consider this.  They see me going on dates not even two months after the end of a major relationship and they feel they need to tell me I should focus on being single instead of squeezing dates in late on monday nights.  Or people will encourage dating, but only if it's all casual and there is zero chance of things "getting more serious."  But that's just equally ridiculous!

I know myself, my feelings, and my experiences better than anyone else.  Not even just better;  I'm the only person who knows these things.  I appreciate that people care enough about me to express concern, but this trend of others giving their opinions unasked needs to stop!  I'm not even close to the only person who experiences this.  But what if instead of asking "are you sure you want to date someone already?" or "why don't you just take some time for yourself?" why don't people ask what I want to do?

If you go back into the dating world with all of these rules shoved into your mind, it's easy to become confused.  You think you have to keep things casual and non-committal even if you really just want to spend as much time as possible with someone.  But you can't be exclusive with them, because you don't want to turn into a serial monogamist.  And if that is the only reason you pass on a relationship, you're going to regret allowing other people to run your love life.  That's not a good enough reason to not follow your gut.

Everyone approaches a break up and a new start differently.  The most meaningful thing you can do for someone going through that is to support what they decide they need to do, if they're in a mentally healthy place.

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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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