Wednesday Wisdom: Finding Yourself In A Relationship

I hear about the concept of the “ideal girlfriend” or “perfect girlfriend” all the time. Girls want to try and be the chill girlfriend, the one-of-the-guys girlfriend, the low-maintenance girlfriend. Remember that super creepy movie Gone Girl? The premise of the entire movie was that the wife wanted revenge after her husband’s affair. Except the whole reason they apparently got married (yes, I may have briefly scanned the novel as well) was because she was the girl who could eat hotdogs and burgers without gaining weight, and be totally cool with watching the game and totally cool with her husband always hanging out with his friends. Here’s the big problem with that: There is no such thing as a perfect person, and there certainly is no such thing as the perfect significant other.

I’ve always assumed the end goal, relationship-wise, was to be that cute couple that hangs out in their pajamas on the weekends and eat pizza together— except that somewhere along the way, we need to find ourselves. Relationships are definitely all about compromise and understanding, but a large chunk of it also means that you shouldn’t feel the need to act any particular way in front of your significant other in order to be appealing. You are not characterized by your relationship status. While you may be someone’s girlfriend, you are also someone else’s friend, roommate, daughter or sister. “Girlfriend” is not your defining feature.

I’m thinking back to one of my first romantic interactions with boys in high school. We’ll call him Senior Athlete, for the purposes of this blog post. I remember always having to watch what I said to make sure he didn’t think I was weird, or trying to keep the conversation going because I didn’t want it to end, which it inevitably did since we ran out of interesting things to talk about. When I compare this to my current relationship, I honestly don’t think Senior Athlete and I would have ever worked out, even if I hadn’t been a 16-year-old girl hanging around him at soccer practice.

It has a lot to do with the concept of finding yourself in your relationships. You never really have to mince words or hide things in front of your friends, and it should be the same case with your significant other. In any case, conversations are a little strained when you first begin a new relationship, romantic or platonic. Silences are awkward and you don’t really know how to act. I do remember being worried before our first date because I thought my boyfriend would find me too loud, too obnoxious and too outspoken. The thing is, though, if a person is willing to invest his or her time on you, none of this matters. None of it matters to you because you are willing to invest your time on them as well, right?

On that note, being in a relationship does not mean, on any terms, that you will agree on everything. You have different interests, and that’s okay (like the fact that I am 200 percent aware that the boyfriend is currently playing video games in his room — at midnight). You’re going to disagree and you’re going to fight, but at the end of the day, it’s just something that happens. It’s kind of bizarre and strange for me to be the one giving relationship advice, but the important thing is this: Be yourself. Find yourself and know yourself, and relationships really aren’t too hard. There are things you enjoy and agree with and things they will enjoy and agree with, and these don’t necessarily have to fit together like a perfectly circular venn-diagram, and you shouldn’t try and force them to.

In theory, the concept of a relationship itself is kind of bizarre. We choose someone that we find attractive and decide to be nicer to each other. When I asked my boyfriend how he felt about the topic of this week’s Wednesday Wisdom, he said, “We were already kind of comfortable around each other already. You knew what kind of a moron I was anyway.” I guess the point is that to find ourselves in relationships, we should put less stress on ourselves to be perfect or ideal. It’s a lot easier to just discuss men’s Louboutin’s and baby porcupines if you’re less worried about how you “should” be acting.

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