Hindsight is 20/20

My life has been sort of a whirlwind the past few months, but I have finally reached a surface.

A lot of strange things happen to the human body and mind when undergoing emotional stress. When you’re living through it, you don’t think the things that you’re doing are irrational. You don’t realize how tightly you are hanging on, how frantic you’re being, and that all of these irrational behaviors were pushing a lot of people away.

The best description I can give is it feels like a bubble, at first. Your mind has slipped into a “denial” mode without you realizing it. You know you’re stressed, obviously, but you think you’re handling it. You continue to live in your world and act the way you think you normally do, but you’re not – you’re willingly turning a blind-eye to reality. Then, a trigger – a song, a photo, a feeling across the hairs on your neck – shatters everything.

And this is what happened to me.

I went through a rough few months. Graduation, an end of an important relationship, job prospects: I was fighting to hang on to everything I knew and everything I was instead of accepting the change and becoming the person I was supposed to become – an adult, dare I say. Graduation was looming over me, threatening to take away my college bliss; my relationship with someone I had strong feelings for disintegrated; jobs and the idea of moving away – all of these finally pushed me to a breaking point, where I wasn’t able to hold on to who and what I was anymore. The person I was, shattered.

But, now, seven months later, I’ve found a surface; a beginning of a new(er) person with different values and a different outlook. I’ve let go of the fact that I probably won’t be close with the same people I was close with in college. I loved someone enough to let go of an idea and future and instead be happy for the success and journey he is taking instead. I loved myself enough to let go of the past and dive in to something that I hadn’t yet experienced. And now, with baby steps, I’m making it.

The hardest thing I learned was to let go of grudges and things I couldn’t control.

It’s easy to say all of this now. Easy to sound wise and mature, once you’ve lived through the sloppy mess it actually was.

hindsight is 20/20.

Apathy – It’s destroying your relationship, and you.


Indifference. Lack of passion. Emptiness. Giving up.

The. End.

What is the reason for these feelings? What happened to the greatness of the relationship, the sparks of passion, the happiness that caused the two of you to form a romantic bond?

After reading a great post by Barrie Davenport, I found the answer I always knew was there – apathy.

And the main problem? You might not know it’s even there until it’s too late.

Apathy is hard to overcome in a relationship because, by definition, apathy replaces passion and motivation. It is an empty feeling that can take over your entire being, turning your once feelings of strong, deep love into a pit of nothingness. Maybe you have suffered so much in your relationship, maybe he stopped trying, maybe the feelings are just gone (or were never there to begin with – different subject.)

Apathy is controlling you. And it is destroying you and your relationship.

The first sign of apathy is the most common experience; being or taking someone for granted. Your significant other’s uniqueness no longer interests you. You expect him to fall into his “role” in the relationship. He no longer wants to put effort into the small things – the signs of affection and affirmation you need – because of the routine the relationship has fallen in to. And when one partner is apathetic, it quickly affects the other and spreads through the entire relationship. The disconnect can lead to the end of even the strongest and longest of relationships.

Then you might experience the other signs – lack of emotional and physical intimacy, lack of communication and declining quality time – all of which tear down your relationship. Conflicts, if they arise at all, are not discussed and resolved properly, and one or both members of the relationship can feel like their interests are not important. This can lead to feelings of resentment or loneliness, which can damage future relationships.

The worst kind of pain is emotional pain. And apathy is the queen of emotional pain.

All of the self-help articles will tell you that you need to communicate openly and honestly, but what if you have tried and it doesn’t work? How can you make your partner respond to your invitation for communication? What if you want to salvage what is left of the relationship you once had but the task seems impossible? Is there a way?

Is there?

Lessons I’ve learned from being on both sides of a romantic relationship

There are always those relationships that you’re just kind of in.

You know. The one where you’re just sitting on the couch ignoring each other.
Or the one where he doesn’t seem to get that you’re really just not interested.
OR the one where you honestly don’t care whether you guys are together or not and constantly question why you are even in the relationship at all. Et cetra.

The rut.

I’ve been there.

And when I did get into a relationship I actually cared about, I saw all of the warning signs that I, myself, had given off when I was on the other side; the “not texting back for hours because I don’t actually care if you know what I’m doing” scheme, the “I don’t try to change you so why do you try to change me” guilt trip, and the general selfishness, assholey-ness and don’t-give-a-crap attitude.

Call it karma, but it sucked being on the other side.
The side where you give your all for nothing.

You perform selfless gestures to show your affection and are taken for granted.
You plan your day around that person not because you “need” them, but because you enjoy spending time with them and have the flexibility to do so. But they don’t do the same for you.
And you stick around because you’re hoping for some glimpse of them that you saw at the beginning.

And I know you think you love the other person – why else would you be doing all of these things for them?

But I am here to tell you that you deserve better.
You deserve to be treated equally within a means.
You deserve to be appreciated, to be wanted and to be loved.

And they don’t love you back.
Or they would be doing the things that make you happy, just because they want to see you happy. Especially if you have brought up the fact that you aren’t happy.
And they wouldn’t care that your legs are prickly from not shaving for two days.
Or that you don’t feel like wearing your hair down sometimes.
And they wouldn’t let you continue to feel like you’re not important even after having a mature discussion about the relationship.

You do deserve more. Even though that honeymoon phase can fade sometimes, there is still a certain level of passion that is above everything else. It isn’t all rainbows and sunny skies, but it is a mutual respect, a mutual understanding and a mutual passion that you should share with each other that holds a certain beauty.
It’s a good morning smile and kiss even though you have morning breath.
It’s noticing the imperfections that you may not like but you love them anyway.
It’s a back scratch, a foot rub, a massage just because you know they love it.

And it’s okay to want these things. Because it’s okay to want to be wanted.

So don’t let them confuse you about feeling wanted and being needy – there’s a distinct difference between the two.
Want to know what it is?

Whether they love you or not.

Reasons why your girlfriend steals your favorite jacket

She’s at your house, and you are about to go out for a night on the town when you get the look.

No, not “the look,” but the look.

She waited for you to gather all of your things, waited to see which clothes you would pick out and what shoes you would wear; waiting for the opportune moment. You reach for a jacket and see her eyes widen right as your hand touches “the jacket.” Your favorite jacket. You wear it all the time. It’s warm, comfortable, fitting for chilly nights. It has the perfect cut off length and the white stripe down the sleeves.

Problem is… she likes it, too.

And she wants to wear it.

Why? The reasons aren’t that complicated.

1. It’s your favorite jacket.

She likes it because you like it. You wear it all the time. You probably met her while you were wearing it. It smells like you. When she sees the jacket, it’s a reminder of you, and that’s nice to have when you guys are apart.

2. It’s probably a little bit big for her.

She likes the way your jacket swallows her. She likes when the sleeves are too long for her hands to stick out. It’s roomy, comfortable and completes her messy look when she is not in the mood to dress up.

3. It lets other people know that she’s taken.

This probably doesn’t cross your mind, but some girlfriends are proud of their relationship status. She likes when people see her wearing your jacket because she likes being with you and is perfectly content with everyone knowing it. At the same time, it can send a message to other females that you are taken, as well. Territorial instict at its human finest.

4. She’s happier when she wears it.

If you are in a healthy relationship, she probably associates you with positive things in her life. The brain is wired to attach events to emotions, so you are probably associated with increased dopamine levels. People compliment her on her smile and her friends ask her why she seems so bubbly today. You can thank your jacket and science for that one.

So the next time you get annoyed when you are searching your closet for your favorite jacket and instead find her wearing it, think about the positive effects it has on her.

Science.