Story Time

Relationship Anxiety & Growing Up

As an almost 30 year old, it may be difficult for some people to understand how and why I am not ready for a serious relationship. I have found that many people can’t seem to admit that they aren’t as well, either because they still crave companionship (without obligation) or because it’s simply too hard to articulate. Here is my attempt at articulating exactly why I am not ready to give someone what they would need from me in a relationship without taking something away from myself.

I love my life now. I have an amazing group of friends, family, & co(space)-workers, an exciting career, and an adventurous travel life. In my mind, I am the epitome of #blessed, #gratefulAF. Letting someone into my world is a big deal to me. What if I let someone in and they throw off this beautiful ecosystem that has taken years to establish? Any infiltration will involve a slow infestation as to not disrupt the balance!

I have baggage. I am not walking onto the plane with a small check on. I am willing to not only admit this but be  totally honest and open about it, as I find that is the most cathartic way for me, I am happy to pay extra for multiple bags as soon as I buy the flight ticket instead of at the gate. My history involves an incredibly narcissistic/alcoholic father and subsequently, ex-boyfriend. I was emotionally and verbally put down the last year and a half of my life and inevitably convinced that I was the cause of his infidelity and alcoholism. People asked why I put up with it for as long as I did but it was a situation I was comfortable with given the relationship I had with my father growing up. My confidence is currently shot and I am spending time focusing on bettering myself to become a stronger person in every way. It is incredibly difficult to do that when you have butterflies in your stomach wondering if the person you like, likes you back just as much. I have committed a summer to focusing on myself in this new city with the help of therapy and wonderful friends.

I am divorced. I got married too young with too many ambitions and goals in mind for the future. He is a wonderfully kind and sweet man that wasn’t meant for a wildly eager, anxious, and antsy girl like me. I honestly feel that I have grown so much from ending a long-term relationship like ours but it doesn’t mean I am ready to get myself back into another. We were codependent, confused, and basically lost as to who we were towards the end. I am so thankful that he and I are still able to have a good friendship but most reactions to my nonchalant mentions of ‘my ex-husband’ aren’t positive. So it’s a situation that needs finessing.

So, what do I want? I want to establish a strong sense of independence and to be able to stand on my own two feet in most every capacity. Coming into single life for the first time as an adult in my late 20’s means that I am starting later than most and still have a lot of learning to do on my own as an individual. Who am I? What inspires me? What makes me smile? Who do I want to be remembered as? Do I want to have kids? Etc. It has been very exciting to be open minded to meeting new people and friends with innocent intentions. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am still pursuing dates with hopes of simply finding good people but any real potential relationships I entertain will be entered into at a snail’s pace because I am still picking up the pieces of my broken heart….

With that said, for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I am moving forward to becoming a person my brother and mother would be proud of, a friend people would be happy to call theirs, and a person strong enough to not let the negativity of toxic people infiltrate me. We picked up a new term since we’ve been here and use it often…. GVO – standing for ‘good vibes only’. It’s more than a lazy millennial acronym, it’s our new way of life and being.

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