How many times have you asked the opinion of someone close to you, who’s opinion you truly value and trust, but when it comes to your relationship you feel like they are completely out of touch? After all, they don’t really understand your feelings toward that one person, and they don’t really understand the connection you two have. They aren’t there to experience that passion, so what right do they have to tell you your relationship is toxic? When you two are good, you’re good. But what about when things are bad? When you’re calling your best friend for the 500th time, asking for a different answer to the same question you’ve repeatedly asked… Why do we so quickly brush their opinion off as irrelevant? Why do we somehow doubt that our friends and family have our best interests at heart? I’ve found in the past that if the answer I was searching for, and the answer I was receiving were not the same, I typically would dismiss their opinion and carry on as I did before because clearly I knew what was best for me, right?… and that way of thinking my friends, got me nowhere. So, by ignoring the opinions of loved ones who have nothing but our best interests at heart, are we just cheating ourselves by carrying on in a bubble of make-believe happiness?
From the lack of self-awareness I have experienced in the past, the opinion of my friends and family on any type of relationship has quickly become one of my top priorities. My weakness of trying to fix someone is a continuous struggle and without the opinions of my friends I would have been caught up in certain relationships long past their expiry dates (not saying I didn’t ever push that expiry date to the very edge.) Sometimes I had found myself so blinded by what I considered as passion, that I forgot to take a look at the cold hard facts. Some relationships had become so skewed, and my views so distorted, that I lost sight of who the person on the other end of the relationship had either become, or possibly had been from the very beginning. I could never understand that someone could say one thing, and do the opposite. That not everyone’s actions followed their words, and that some people were able to flat out lie to your face without thinking about it twice. I guess I considered myself an optimist when it came to certain relationships. I was always trying to pretend the bad wasn’t as bad as it really was, and if I just held on for a little bit longer things would finally get better. I tried to salvage relationships that should have been left in the past where they belonged, all because I had a hard time seeing I deserved to be treated better. One minute I would be complaining to a friend about how I was so frustrated, and then the next I would be pretending that everything was coming up roses. Clearly, I could not be in control of my emotions, but you know who always could point me in the right direction? My friends.
By continuously living in my fairy-tale land, allowing certain people more importance in my life than they had proven to deserve, and allowing toxic people to control my mood each day, I continuously found myself in situations that brought me nothing but heart break. I had created an anxiety filled world wondering if I was going to get ghosted, ignored, or forgotten about. I was attracted to fixer-uppers and no matter what anyone said, I could never find myself able to throw in the towel until that person was put fully back together. I’d ignore the opinions of my friends, yet I would keep complaining to them about the type of guy I seemed to always date. Have you ever had a friend tell you the cold hard truth about the fact they think you deserve to be treated better and yet you still continue to disregard their words of advice? You claim to know what you are doing and dismiss the opinion you blatantly asked for? I had done this so many times I don’t think I can even count anymore. I had found myself some days so far down the rabbit hole that I didn’t know which was up.
There is something so addicting about certain types of emotionally unavailable men, or men we deem as fixer uppers that it’s like a drug that just can’t be quit. Something about them keeps some of us always going back for more, and slowly the glass we could so clearly see through before becomes cloudy, distorted, and scratched. I know that if I wouldn’t of had the support of some truly amazing people around me I would have kept myself in some situations that were less than optimal for my emotional health. On the days I couldn’t see clearly, they were always there to lead the way. Even though I sometimes think I know better in certain situations (which I don’t, btw) I have made sure to take the opinions that they given to me to heart. It’s a breath of fresh air to know that the only agenda they have is clear, and that they only want what’s best for me. By surrounding yourself with positivity in friendships and familial relationships, you are not only allowing yourself to start growing and setting boundaries in romantic relationships, but it allows you to see how healthy and functional relationships should really be. A huge step for me was realizing that I would never let my friends be in a relationship like the ones I was putting myself through. I valued their well-being way too much to see them upset over a boy. So why did I not hold myself to the same standard? Somewhere along the road I had forgotten my worth, I forgot that I deserved someone who cared enough to really care. That’s one of the many perks of having genuine friends- they are always there to continuously remind you just how much more you deserve, not only in relationships, but life in general. There are some people in life that make you laugh a little longer, smile a little bigger, and live just a little bit better.
I’ve truly been blessed with an amazing group of family and friends. I thank God each and every day for every single person who He has brought in to my life. Everyone who I keep close is someone who has done nothing but stand by my side and support me through every mistake I’ve made (sometimes multiple times) and has walked with me through every valley I have ever created for myself. I know there have been days when dealing with my bad choices in relationships, or the repetition of the same old story on repeat, that they have felt like banging their heads up against a concrete wall. I am sure all the eye rolls and “here we go agains” when I would try it my way “just one more time,” were more frequent during certain months over others. But what I have learned through everything is that true friends will stand by you, love you, and do nothing but try and help you get through a sticky situation that you may not be seeing clearly. Someone who truly cares about you, will never put themselves into a position to lose you. Valuing the opinions of loved ones who have the ability to see situations for what they really are and allow you to see the bigger picture should be something we strive for in life. Having genuine people who support you and continuously outpour their love are the true blessings that are sometimes taken for granted. Whenever you hear something about your relationship from someone who’s opinion you truly value, try to see the truth in their comments. Take off your blinders and accept that they love you and only want to see you happy.
So a huge shout-out to everyone who has spent uncountable hours talking with me late into the night whenever I needed them. All the endless supportive texts telling me what to do, even when I decided to do it my way, and all the countless hours spent discussing boys over endless bottles of wine. I appreciate every one of you more than you will ever know!