Have you ever gone looking for love in all of the wrong places?
Have you ever gotten so caught up in someone that you’ve lost sight of who you are?
Have you ever held on so tightly to someone who you knew was so wrong for you?
Have you ever stayed in a situation you didn't deserve because you were afraid of letting go?
Have you ever been the reason for your own broken heart?
Jealous, selfish, ignorant, manipulative, and controlling are a few traits that come to my mind when I think about how I've hurt myself this past year.
Why can’t I take what someone tells me and be smart about it? Why can’t I see the huge red flags and slow down? Why can’t I protect my heart? Why do I keep trying to be the girl who thinks she can change a guy? Why do I get so attached and so clingy, so fast? Why do I keep trying to be okay with things that I know are going to end up hurting me? Why do I have to try to control how things will play out?
I am known to do all of the above. I’m known for getting really clingy. I’m known for making a guy my sole priority. I’m known for self-destructing and self-sabotaging. I’m known for getting worked up over (and causing) the smallest issues. I’m known for really, really rushing into things. I’m known for pushing the facts aside and trying to force and control things. All of this is toxic. You are being toxic to yourself. You will be miserable. You will feel lost. You will lose all sense of who you are. You will feel lonely. I did. I am stone cold speaking from experience. It’s time for some real talk to start off your 2019.
Hi there, nice to meet you! I’m Kristen, but everyone calls me Stubbe. For those who are new here, I got out of a really serious relationship in the middle of last year. I was engaged to someone I hardly knew. The break-up caused me to open my eyes. After it ended I realized the lack of self-love I felt, the total lack of life motivation I had, and my lack of common sense when it came to relationships and saving yourself from perpetual heartache. After that, I once again made some stupid decisions and went after guys who weren't ready to commit because I thought I could change them. I thought that if I showed them how great I was, that they would change their minds. I was not in the right mindset emotionally and I was selfish. I took myself for granted. I went looking for love I wasn't ready for, I was still trying to pick up the pieces of my life. I didn't think I was enough on my own, and went after things that were less than I deserved because I was lonely. I wasn't looking for casual, but casual is what I dealt with because I didn't want to "lose" guys who I had known for a couple of weeks, if that, because I had already dealt with so much loss. There is nothing wrong with a casual arrangement, but if you want commitment and aren't receiving it - it's time to move on. The pain and jealousy you will feel in a casual fling is comparable to an actual break-up, and it does not feel good. You deserve more if you want more. You can't change someone to want what you want.
“Old ways won’t open new doors.”
I read the above quote the other day, and it finally hit me. It’s the same thing my friends have been saying to me for forever. I can’t continue going through life the way that I am. I can’t continue to act the way I have been for the past couple of years. I can’t coast. I can’t just date to feel something or to feel less lonely. I can’t keep waking up hating myself and where I am in life. I have to do something about it, I have to change. I have to be the best version of myself. I am enough. You are enough. You don’t need another person to “be enough.” You don’t need another person to validate your feelings, thoughts, or opinions. You can be okay by yourself. Don’t date out of loneliness or boredom. Date because you want to. Date because you are ready. Date because you see how much you are worth and because you want to show someone what you can bring to the table. Date because you are whole and you want to love someone as much as you love yourself. Don't date because you need someone to love you for you to love yourself.
I broke my own heart. I thought I needed someone to love me for me to be worth anything.
I gave up interests, hobbies, friends, work, everything in my life I was passionate about - all because I just wanted to hangout with a boy all the time. Let me first say that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to hangout with your significant other, it would be a bad sign if you didn’t want to. What I lacked was a healthy balance. It got to a point where I would be miserable at work because I just wanted it to be 4 pm so I could go and see him. I was miserable hanging out with my friends because I just wanted to be with him instead. I waited by my phone for his every text, call, and Snapchat. I feel so stupid thinking about it all now, but it happened. When we broke up, I felt like I had lost my entire world because I had made him my entire world.
Writing that makes it all too real. I am still so mad at myself for letting it happen. I still get paranoid and scared that I’m going to make the same mistakes again. I'm scared I'm going to lose myself and destroy someone else in the process.
I’m grateful for the tough lessons I’ve learned in the past couple of months. I’ve finally learned how to be content being alone, and it’s been pretty great. I love being alone, I love writing, I love going to work, I love hanging with my friends, I love trying out new things, taking chances, and chasing my dreams. Not gonna lie, I do still find myself getting caught back up in boys every so often, but I can see when it’s happening now and I’m able to take a step back to re-evaluate. I have so much time to figure out my love life. I’m so young. I have the most amazing friends. I have an amazing job. I have a great family. I have so many amazing opportunities headed my way and nothing is going to hold me back, not even a cute boy. It's not healthy to make a boy your entire world. It will break you. Love will happen when it happens. Let it be.
Say it with me:
I am enough.
I am enough.
I am enough.
You already rock. You’re gonna be okay. You have your whole life ahead of you. Stop waiting for a boy. You don't need to go out and "find your other half." Learn to be whole and your love will find you.
Here are some ways you might also be breaking your own heart relationship-wise:
1. Clinging to someone or a situation that you know isn’t good for you.
I get lonely, just like everyone else probably does. I go looking for love and boys to occupy my time and then end up getting hurt because I deal with things I know I shouldn’t. See a red flag or a deal breaker? Probably shouldn’t keep going and grow more attached to the guy. You can save yourself from heartache right here. I keep situations going for months after I see my deal breaker or red flag and end up in more of a tight spot than there should have been. You know when you click with someone and it’s really great, but you’re not on the same page because you’re both at different points in life and looking for different things? Yeah, same. You can try your hardest to make it work, but it won't. If you want commitment and he doesn't - then boy, bye. I've been single for six months and am just now finding myself in a position to be okay with a casual arrangement. It can be fun and way less pressure when you have as much work stress as I do. Whatever you're looking for, you shouldn't have to compromise. No joke, I went on a date probably about two months after the break-up and when the guy kissed me - I had a major breakdown which included me driving to my best friend's house right after for a major sob session. It was not fun and I don’t recommend throwing yourself out there after a huge loss like I did. I don’t recommend having a no commitment arrangement with a guy who you have real feelings for. I don’t recommend doing things you’re not okay with just because you’re lonely. Trust me. I have been there and you definitely don’t want to be.
2. Not putting yourself first or not fully loving yourself.
I wrote an entire article on this one all about self-love and my last break-up and it’s right here if you want to read it. The short version is that if you make one person your sole priority - you will lose yourself, your values, your interests and you will end up miserable. Everyone needs their own things, and everyone needs some quality alone time. Take it from my own experience. You will feel broken after losing someone you made your whole world.
3. Not taking chances.
Don’t hold yourself back, and definitely don't let someone else hold you back. Don’t put your life on hold for anyone because let's face it - no one and nothing is worth putting your dreams on hold for. Go for the promotion. Go for the career change. Change your major. Travel the world. Life is short. Why wouldn't you want to be happy? Don't make decisions on your life based on a boy. Don't change your plans for a boy. But also - do put yourself out there. Date a guy you normally wouldn't. Take a chance and try something (or someone) new.
4. Changing yourself for someone else.
Don’t quit your hobbies and interests because you would rather hangout with a boy. Don’t become a workout junkie because the guy you like is one. Don’t start pretending to love football because the guy you like is obsessed with it. Don't change yourself for someone who can't be in love with all of you. You are perfect the way you are. You don't need to pretend to like or dislike things just to be more of a guy's "type."
Quit breaking your own heart. Take care of yourself. Choose you.
Alexa, play 'Love Yourself' by Hailee Steinfield.