At a wedding recently, someone I hadn’t seen in a while who follows my writing and social media etc, told me he was surprised I’d gotten into a relationship because he thought I was too head strong. When I asked him to elaborate, he stated ‘I just thought you’re so independent, that you can’t be doing with men and the whole relationship thing. I think everyone was surprised when you changed your relationship status on Facebook, because you were so happy and successful single.’
I was taken aback slightly. I mean, the response was overwhelming, for me personally, after I performed the cringeworthy act of changing my Facebook relationship status, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Honestly the reason I did it was to deter the amount of random (creepy) direct messages I get on the site, I didn’t realise it would be exposed on my timeline for my entire network unless it was ‘public’, which is wasn’t. I got messages of congratulations, questions asking if this was the end of the blog, old friends and family members asking for photos of him, protective friends asking if he’s worthy (LOL) and others genuinely happy for me.
So, how has my life changed? Well firstly, not drastically, but it has.
I no longer put myself first. I mean, I obviously still look after myself, but when plans arise I will consider him first before agreeing to something on the spot (more often than not, anyway). If I’m in a shop I will look out for things he likes, before I look for myself. Nothing major, but now if I’m in M&S on the way home, I’ll look for things he likes and grab them or ask him if he needs anything. It’s quite nice not just thinking of myself/ a good excuse to buy treats that I can share and feel less guilty about scoffing on my own.
It’s hard work, sometimes. Now there are two jobs to stress over, two busy lives who are constantly ‘on’, two sets of schedules, two sets of homes, two opinions on everything. But it’s also rewarding.
Two of my ex long term boyfriends were in the military, meaning I only really got the ‘good’ bits, because I was only on girlfriend duty at weekends. Yes I dealt with the not so easy bits, but with two days a week to spend with someone, you rarely make time to argue. I’ve always been used to having my own space, my independence, my friends when I wanted them. I still have all that, but now I have more, and I’ve also gained another 24/7 friend. So it’s not a bad thing in the slightest.
It’s more collaborative. It’s nice to have someone to vent to, to counsel, to share ideas with and although I do get really defensive at times, I know that’s because I’m not used to receiving constructive criticism from anyone except my boss.
I have stopped boozing so much. Really, I know, I can’t believe it either. Instead of midweek date nights at happy hours around Dubai trying to source someone to spend more than one date with, I’m happy with my weekly gym routine and mid week Netflix and chill sesh with him. I can’t remember the last time I went on a Ladies Night (for those of you not in Dubai, this means free drinks on a week night for ladies), I can’t tell you how nice it is to not have a raging hangover accompanied by a McMuffin on my desk at work on a Wednesday morning.
I’m happier and more fulfilled. This would make me vom in my own mouth if I ever thought I’d write this, about a year ago. But it’s true. I never felt lonely before, I loved my life, and now I love it more, and I laugh harder.
I’m absolutely terrified. Terrified I have now let my guard down and allowed myself the chance to become exposed to heartbreak, to tough times, to a potential future of complications and obstacles. But I’ve had to have a word with myself and take my own advice. If you don’t try something, then you don’t know what will happen. A lot of us don’t know what we want, until it’s happening to us before we realise it.