Up until August 2014, I was in a committed relationship with my first real boyfriend. We were together a total of 4 years, over which I convinced myself that happiness was tacky, overrated and honestly somewhat unattainable. Indeed, I was completely delusional.
We have been apart just a few short months, but during this time I have found the person that lost herself in a relationship that was emotionally draining. My ex was very good to me; he showered me with compliments, gifts, attention and affection. I loved him, but I was not in love with him—something that took me a long time to realize. The relationship was emotionally draining for one reason: he relied entirely on me as his source of happiness. Being that he was a somewhat negative, glass-is-half-empty-kind of guy this was a pretty heavy burden to bear. But I loved him and fought through it to bring him joy when I could. Little did I know that putting all my energy into bringing one single other person happiness took all my time away from making myself happy and nurturing the other relationships in my life. This turned into a vicious cycle because the truth is, you can’t make others happy unless you are truly happy. As much as we loved each other, we took each other’s happiness away.
For two (long) years we remained in this limbo of unhappiness. This isn’t to say I don’t have wonderful memories with him. It was like a marathon of unhappiness with a few short spurts of happiness. So why did this last so long? One word: fear. We became each other’s security blanket, which is why it was so hard to break away. It was only once I hit rock bottom, once I was so undeniably aware of my unhappiness that I mustered up the courage to break away.
I’ve never, ever been happier.
I’ve found this light inside me that was overcast by the relationship for so long. My friendships have improved; my family life has improved, every day I find it harder not to smile. I never knew that this kind of happiness was even possible and I'm so grateful for the life I have. The risk might have felt huge, but the reward was greater than I could have ever imagined."