ANCHOR RELATIONSHIP

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Submitted Date 02/17/2020
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I will admit, I am a hard-core lover. I have always, always, always been a hopeless romantic. Throughout the years I have only grown into a silent and invisible type of hopeless romantic. Over time I quickly learned to put a mask on and try my best to be a bit of a liar and show others that I do not care about love or typically anything. Lots of trial and error in relationships growing up taught me valuable lessons that I only shaped into the wrong kind of growth by putting on that mask (which maybe is a topic for a different post later). The point is, I am a big romantic and I would really do anything for the one I'm with, so much so that many times now I have to stop myself and really evaluate my emotions and almost-made actions. Have you ever been in a relationship that later, when it ended, you looked back at everything and wondered how different your life would have been had you not been with them because of the things you gave up? I have done the sacrificing for the wrong people too often.

I like to think of this issue as maybe a anchor, I guess. Not in the type of positive way people sometimes say that their partner is their anchor, but in the anchorage way of keeping you from reaching a certain potential or exciting new horizons. But I'm not talking about abusive and manipulative relationships that forcefully keep you from great opportunities, instead it's just your mind keeping you from it all. Almost so drastically to the point that you really truly are the only one to blame for all that you've missed out on. I sometimes feel like I don't have the right to regret anything I missed out on, because I chose to stay stagnant with someone rather than embark on a new journey for myself.

There were many times I would never even confide in my partner on new opportunities and just decide that the best thing for us and our relationship was to turn them down. There were many times that when I was offered a new opportunity, I did not think of myself first, and excitement did not come first when it usually would have as single me, but I thought of my partner. And of course, that's not a bad thing, you should be thinking about your significant other too and their feelings with big decisions as such, but I always turned down everything no matter what. When in reality, it wouldn't have hurt to talk to them about change, new opportunities, etc. I just felt like I was guilty if I was not choosing the option that would benefit us or wouldn't leave them lonely, ie: opportunities that would make us long distance.

See, the issue is that no matter how many times you think that you are choosing the right choice because it leaves two people happy rather than one, and convinced yourself that in the long run maybe you won't be happy because you wouldn't be near your significant other, or have enough time to be with them, or would start having two too different lives and routines, the person you're dating might not have this same thought process when they are offered an opportunity, and you can't really hold that against them. I think doing what's best for the relationship and two people are clearly important and as a hopeless romantic, of course I want to always put that first, but I have to remind myself that that's just me. That's just me and my opinion and if my partner decided to really pursue an amazing opportunity miles away from me or take up something that might draw us distant, I of course would be happy and excited for them. Of course, I would be selfishly bummed out a bit, because I would understand the potential strain change could put on our relationship, but in the end, you can't keep someone stagnant by your side forever, and you shouldn't encourage anyone to be stagnant or follow you around and give their lifestyle and dreams up for you. I realized I was doing that for other people, and it became such a downer after getting out of relationships and daydreaming about how different my life could have been at this very moment.

I once hated the college I attended and was so ready to try and transfer to a place I knew I'd love with a major I knew I'd enjoy but I decided not to for a guy I met during my second year of college. How silly is that? I've passed up many opportunities for others. I almost left for two to six months out of country to study something exciting and travel, but I had just gotten into a new relationship with someone that I had known for so long and our lives finally lined up for it to work, so I didn't. Months later and I feel like maybe I should have gone anyway. It would have been a lot of money, but I would have been an experience I would have never forgotten and would have taught me so much. And in the end, I have no one to be resentful towards but myself. I try my best to get myself out of the mindset of trying to choose love over myself, because people leave and things happen and even this relationship I passed up traveling for could easily end. I'd hope no one else would find themselves in a circle of sacrificing their life for comfort or future dreams with someone they are with, because as upsetting as it might be to acknowledge that someone you love dearly could walk out of your life, I think it's more upsetting realize how much of your life you missed out on and turned down by trying to keep a relationship alive.

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