A couple of you, my ladies have sent me messages and emails to share your relationships doubts, issues, fears and questions.
At first I was reluctant to respond, even though I am almost thirty I still don’t feel like I know enough about how to manage and maintain a happy long term relationship that I can responsibly share a good advise to young girls on how to act in these very specific situations you mentioned in your messages.
On the other hand, I wanted to help the best way I could, so I decided to write this post, as if I am advising my 23 year old self.
Personally, I believe that one of the most important aspects of happy serious relationship vs. relationships in younger age where you are mostly learning about yourself (what is that you really want in a man and where you learn how to give and receive, how to compromise etc.) is timing.
After you become independent from your parents emotionally, financially and move out of their house, the most important relationships are those you have with your friends, but most importantly with yourself. These are usually your college years and year or two after graduation when you are looking for your first job or going after your masters degree.
This also means that if your romantic relationship stands in your way to fulfill any of your important life priorities like for example taking a really amazing job in another city or attending once in a lifetime opportunity to attend the school on a scholarship which you couldn’t afford otherwise, you should probably focus on yourself and going after these amazing opportunities for you. If your romantic relationship is strong enough, it will survive a long distance arrangement, if not, it will be a good lesson, you will cry it out, survive and move on. We have all been there.
(Remember Summer camps in high school? You always meet that super cute guy during last couple of days of the camp. )
When I think back, I had three serious relationships in total in my life, all of which lasted from one to three + years and to be honest I remember crying more about fabulous shoes which were hurting me or I couldn’t find in right size then over men I dated in total. This doesn’t mean I haven’t cried much, this just means that I learned what kind of men I don’t want to date and eventually maybe marry one day and which I do. (I continued to wear super fabulous, super uncomfortable shoes and crying about them. Some lessons you never learn.)
After a while you realize that relationships which didn’t work for one reason or another were simply valuable lessons , there were good times and there were bad times (usually more bad if it came to an end) and that’s just that. As you get older you cry less tears, dramatize less and eat less ice cream per break up and you just move on.
The truth is, relationships can be messy and people’s feelings get hurt. Without knowing what hurt feels like and learning what you do not want in relationship you would not be able to recognize what you do want, who deserves your love and what really works for you and makes you happy.
Other six keys of a great relationship which has a potential to last are a friendship, freedom, honesty, trust, understanding and communication. Currently I am at the place in my life where priorities have started to change and when I look back I feel good about choosing career and education over relationships in that sensitive age of self fulfillment and testing my own limits and potential.
Today I put my relationship first, I have my career which I continue to build by learning and challenging myself daily but I also adapt my work to allow my relationship to prosper.
So far it has been working very well and I feel like I am juggling it both successfully, mostly thanks to being in a relationship with a really amazing man who cares about my happiness, helps me unselfishly and full heartedly every single day to make sure that I have time both for my work, Me time and Our time together. We try to be a team, best friends, lovers and give best version of ourselves when we are together, never relax and take each other for granted.
There is time in your life for everything, don’t try to rush it, enjoy it all as it happens and keep in mind that the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself, once that one is well established you will be able to give best version of you to other person as well.
What is your most valuable relationship advise you could share with your 23 year old self?
Katarina Štimac, fashion blog – LaKatwalk