Monday, 30 January 2012
I had my first relationship when I was fifteen. Like many other high school relationships, we thought we were madly in love and were going to stay together through college, get married, and live happily ever after. I thought I had what every other girl wanted. In spite of my thinking this, though, I always felt the need to “compare” the relationship I was in to other couples that I knew.
Although I feel that it is human nature to compare ourselves to others to a certain and very minimal extent, I took this feeling and turned it into me wanting to have a better relationship than everyone else. I nearly obsessed over the idea of having the greatest relationship with my then boyfriend in my small bubble of a high school. What was making me feel the need to have that notion in my head?
Although I feel that I was undeniably at fault in my tendencies to compare with other couples, I began to notice that I was not the only one who was doing it. Some of my friends in school would always ask me questions about my boyfriend and I, and proceeded to answer with something about their relationship that would allegedly be better than mine.
They would do things such as compete on the lengths of their current relationships, flaunting presents that boyfriends had gotten them, and even comparing ACT scores of their respectful significant others. (Really?) It was a lot of pressure to live under in the world of dating for a 15-year-old, especially when those closest to you were trying to “one-up” you the most.
Looking back on it now, five years and another long-term relationship later, I realize how completely asinine it was for me to feel that I needed to prove something to everyone. I never had a defining moment when I realized that me having more comments on a picture of my boyfriend and me on MySpace (which was cool back then) than another couple or whether we were making our semi-long distance relationship work better than others didn’t make us any “better” than other couples out there.
It didn’t really matter if everyone felt like I had the dream relationship or whether every girl in my class envied me. It finally hit me long after I broke up with my then boyfriend that all that mattered was how happy I was with my significant other. It wasn’t a contest to see who could be the “best” in the world of dating; every relationship is unique in its own way.
In light of all of this, though, I continue to and always will value the opinions of my best friends on what a relationship is doing to me as a person and how they view us as a couple. Although they may not always be right, they will always look out for my well-being and will give me their honest opinions if I am being blindsided by something that they think could be a huge problem with my significant other.
Besides putting this faith in the ones that know me best, I am a firm believer that true happiness in a relationship does not come from everyone perceiving it as a fairy tale; it comes from who you are and what you see in your significant other, and that is all that matters.
Have you ever compared boyfriends or had other people around you do it?