I am blessed with amazing girlfriends. Although I love my boyfriend dearly, I also enjoy my girl time. It is easy for two people to become submerged into a relationship and loose their individual identity. Recently I have had a few of my close friends get back into the dating scene after being in serious relationships for years. I know it is a weird adjustment, going from a dynamic duo to rolling solo, and I know the feeling,I have had my share of heart break; however, a few of my girlfriends seem completely lost without a male companion. While as a friend it is my responsibility to be the shoulder to cry on, I have noticed, what I feel is, an unhealthy pattern with some of my girl friends.
Find an Active Interest
Tinder has created dating monsters. I won’t lie, I am obsessed with playing with that silly app. Whenever I see my single girlfriends, I ask to do a couple swipes, it is highly addictive, but it has also made dating a game and a complete time suck. Being in a relationship is hard, you have to juggle so many hats and when the relationship is over, that person who was taking up so much of your time is gone.
I had one of my hardest break ups a couple years ago. I needed to keep busy. I was pretty over guys at that point, I sat down and decided what were the things that were important to me. I had always wanted to work more with children, so I signed up and volunteered as a Big Sister. An experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I am an avid gym goer but I felt like it isolated me too much. I decided to sign up for Crossfit, so I could stay active and still have a social aspect to my life. Instead of wallowing, I would make plans in advance and organize short weekend road-trips to give me something to look forward to. Eventually I started to feel less like there was a something missing in my life. I thought less about my ex-boyfriend and I was more excited about the freedom I had in my new life. Trying to replace your old love may help keep your mind off things but it also may lead to more hurt feelings if it doesn’t work out. I wish more of my girlfriend took their single time to figure out what they are interested in and what would make them feel more fulfilled.
Creating your Own Happiness
I highly recommend that you be just as thoughtful with your significant other as you are with your friends. It really shows the people in your life that they are important to you. After getting out of a relationship, the hardest part is acknowledging that there isn’t that person in your life that is actively going to make you feel special and vise versa. I found that being thoughtful is valuable in all relationships, romantic or otherwise. When you go out of your way to make your friends feel special, they can’t help but to reciprocate. It doesn’t have to be big gestures but once in a while I pick up a coffee for a girlfriend before we get our nails done or if I see something she would like I buy it for her. Good friends lift each other up.
Wanting a Label
I don’t know if this a societal influence or a gender norm but it has become a common thread where girlfriends that are casually dating need to label their relationships. They want to know if the guy they are dating is serious about them. They want him to make a commitment to them right away. I will ask them questions like when is his birthday? What is his last name? Would you feel comfortable to call him just to talk? and most of the time they are unable to answer these basic questions. If you don’t know anything about this guy, how do you know you want him to be your boyfriend? I hear my girlfriends all the time after three or four dates wondering where things are going. Sometimes the relationships that I never thought would be serious relationships turn into long term relationships. Sometimes the relationships where I saw a future fell apart. There is no crystal ball in dating, it is best to be patient and see where it goes. It takes time to get to know a person, this is what dating is for. How can you want to be “official” when you don’t know someone’s values, political views or hygiene habits. I am telling you, there is still a lot to find out after a couple dates.
It took me a while to figure out what was important to me and what was going to make me happy. I am giving my girlfriend pep talks all the time on being strong and independent. I hate seeing my friends get hurt. Once I felt more comfortable in my own skin and knew exactly what I wanted out of my relationships it is like the storm in my head had cleared. I knew what I was willing to put up with and what my non-negotiables are. My girlfriends who are career oriented and have their own interests are the ones that have the most satisfaction out of their lives. My girlfriends that are chasing boys spend a lot of time feeling lost and wanting to be with the person more than their counterpart wants to be with them. It is hard to watch. All my single ladies out there, take control. Every one of you is a wonderful person and you don’t have to wait around for a man to tell you so.