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From Denial to Acceptance: A Tale of How I Learned I Am a Relationship-Kind-Of-Gal

Maybe it’s just me, but I thought at this point in my life, nearing college graduation, I would already know everything and anything there is to know about myself. Turns out I was wrong.

I recently learned (or I guess maybe the better term is “accepted”) that I’m the kind of person who is always in a relationship. I don’t necessarily look for relationships, but when they present themselves, I typically don’t shut them down.

Here’s the thing: In the last four years, I’ve been single for about six to seven months total (out of 48 months — yikes). I had a boyfriend in high school, and we broke up. Almost immediately after, I started dating someone new, then we also broke up. I gave myself about a three-month break, and then I started dating someone else and was with them for two and a half years; we also broke up. Now I’m dating someone new.

I constantly told myself I ended things with these guys because I wanted to be single, which is why I always assumed I wasn’t necessarily a “relationship girl” and just happened to find myself in them. Turns out, I just didn’t want to be with those people anymore, which was always so much sadder to tell them (and myself) than it was to say I didn’t want to be in a relationship in general anymore.

I used to judge the people I felt were always in relationships, until my roommate one day pointed out that I am one of those people, even if I don’t necessarily look for it.

I was taken aback when she first told me that. I thought about it – I had just gotten out of a relationship because I didn’t want it anymore; there’s no way I’m a relationship person.  I just wanted to be single and enjoy college with no one else to worry about except myself.

I spent the first two months of that relationship telling myself it wasn’t a relationship.

We were just hanging out, watching Netflix shows together, maybe going to the movies, but it was all super casual. It was too soon to be in yet another relationship. We were just having fun. That’s all it was. Until it wasn’t. Now here I am four months later, with yet another boyfriend.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m extremely happy with my current boyfriend, and we have so much fun together, but I was just like, “Sh-t, here I am again.”

I couldn’t deny it anymore, and the first step is acceptance, right?

So, what now? It’s not worth fighting it and being unhappy in the process, so I might as well embrace it.

What does it mean to be someone who is seemingly always in a relationship?

Well as with everything, there are pros and cons to being what I like to call a “relationship gal.”

Ideally if you’re a relationship gal, you almost always have someone to do fun things with, like go to the park, or hang out with in between classes just because you can, even get food randomly and not have to necessarily worry about awkwardly sitting by yourself somewhere.

You have someone to binge-watch Peaky Blinders with now ‘cause all your friends think British gangs in the 1920s are beyond boring. You have someone to take cute pics with. Someone to talk to throughout the day, who genuinely cares about hearing how your day went and would spend every minute with you if possible.

It’s not always fun and games, though. 

If you’re a relationship gal and find yourself hopping from one relationship to the next, it becomes very easy to get so used to being in one that you forget how not to be. You become reliant and dependent on always having someone there to talk to or spend time with that when you don’t, it’s really hard to handle sometimes. You can often forget that you had friends before him or her, often resulting in your friendships to suffer. You become much more distant with your OGs than you ever would’ve expected, and you don’t realize it until it’s too late.

Can you get out of the vicious cycle?

The way to maximize the pros and minimize the cons is to find a middle ground — the point in being in the relationship where you can still be your own person, spend time with friends and make time for your SO.

Finding a middle ground is all about trial and error, and a lot of it.

You just have to catch yourself when you’re spending way too much time with bae, or when you find yourself getting sad because they’re taking too long to answer, or because you haven’t seen them today. Just remind yourself: you’re a strong, independent woman, with or without your SO.

So, if you’re like me and constantly try to deny something that’s so obvious, don’t. Accept it. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with being a relationship gal, and I’m only just learning that. Don’t let it take you as long as it took me. My advice? Accept it early on so you can enjoy being the way you are and make time for all the special people in your life.

Christy is a University of Florida journalism grad with an outside concentration in psychology. Though she was born and raised in The Magic City, her end goal is to live and breathe all things Big Apple. She hopes to work in a magazine in New York City. When she's not binge watching a new show on Netflix, HBO or Hulu, she spends her time reading, writing or figuring out what millennial thing to do next with her friends. Follow her on Twitter @christypina_ and Insta @christymarie___.