Being Told How To Be In Love

If you have had a significant other since you were a teenager and are still with that person in your adult life, especially if they are the only serious partner you have had thus far, you have probably been told by someone who is completely uninvolved in your relationship that you should “see what’s out there” or “experience the world.” Someone who thinks they know better than you has probably tried to convince you that staying with one person is unhealthy, unintelligent, or that you are not really living your life. These are just some of the scripts people automatically revert to when they hear that you have been with someone for a certain amount of years, and they are all false statements.


Chances are, whoever is feeding you these unoriginal lines is someone who is bitter because their track record is nothing to envy, and there is no reason for you to feel as if you need to take that advice. By all means, if you agree that you are being held back or that your relationship has run its course, you should feel free to own that and put an end to things, but it has to come from you. If you’re someone who has been with your person since high school and then created a real life together with or without taking a break at some point, be proud of that! Do not let anyone else make you feel bad about the fact that you have not “dated around” or “experimented,” as there is no set of rules that one must follow to make a relationship work.


I have been with my partner since the age of 17, as a junior in high school, and I am now a sophomore in college. For every person who thinks we are adorable together and can’t wait for us to get married, there is someone making comments about why they don’t foresee our relationship lasting. My best friend and her boyfriend have been together since the sixth grade (courtesy of yours truly) and are still together, doing the long distance thing, and are stronger than ever! And though it was a different time, my grandparents got together when they were 13 and 16 and are 56 years strong. These are only a few examples of people who make it work and did not go the route of seeking out other people. While I can’t make anyone stop talking about my relationship, I definitely do not have to listen to them or even defend myself. I just ignore it and laugh to myself. I won’t lie, sometimes the things people say get in my head and make me start to worry, and then I remind myself that the person spewing that negativity is not the master of relationships and really has no credibility. If for some reason, my boyfriend and I are not endgame, that’s fine. However, I can guarantee you we do not and will not be basing our decisions on what others tell us.


The only people whose opinions should have an influence on a relationship are the people involved. It is about you and your person and what works for you. Everybody’s path is different and the only one you need to follow is your own. You’ll find it. When you find someone to share your soul with, the rest will come and you will know what to do. Never forget, you have options! You can stay together for some time, take time to yourselves and then reunite, or see other people for a while and eventually choose each other again. You can date on and off, or you can stay together exclusively until death do you part! Whatever makes you happiest is what you should be concerned with, and not what your great aunt twice-removed tells you about what you “should do” when she sees you once a year at the family reunion.