Expectations Vs. Realities; Don't Be Your Own Worst Enemy


No one ever has it the best, every stage in every personal life is different and unique.

At sixteen, I had convinced myself from the educated sources of television and movie portrayls that I was at the 'right' age to begin dating and make my virginity a thing of the past. I didn't care to listen to any suggested advice that directed me towards waiting for the 'right' person. Instead, I did what most young ladies do when they begin venturing into the realm of young couplehood, I fell for whoever had the best script at the best opportunity they were given. Having no boyfriend, in my mind, meant that I was a loser and a hideous beast with no prospects. And if you can believe that, even after over a decade of muddling through one disastrous relationship to the next, I believed that self created reasoning until only late last year.

That's a ridiculous amount of time to carry around unnecessary and horribly draining bad self esteem. Like in November a year prior to when I walked away from a four year long stretch of abuse, a light bulb flashed upstairs and I thought, "What sense does it make for me to continue putting some guys needs above my own happiness when everyone I that have been choosing has adamently refused to put MINE first? This isn't right at all. If I'm ever going to get my personal life on track, I need to be comfortable with who I am ALONE first. I am worth being happy too damn it!"

I know I'm not the only person to at one time believe that being Single is one of the worst burdens of the world. When you're dateless/companion-less/spouseless, everywhere you go seems to make you feel like a stranded reject on the Island of Misfit Toys where everyone else has a rightful place. But the ironic thing is, at certain times when we've been in a relationship or marriage for so long that we had once spent so much energy and hopes in finding starts to endure bouts of boredom and the romance temporarily dwindles, those fun and carefree Singles suddenly look to have it much better with their ravishing freedom of late night excursions and lack of rules and obligations that come with being tied down. Everyone goes through these motions throughout their lives, so expectations of who has it better or worse is a moot point. You're going to have times of incredible happiness, anger, sadness, disappointment, and moments of, 'What-the-hell-was-I-thinking-when-I-said-yes-to-dating-that?!'

Even the most seemingly put together couples have off days just like any Single, so we should know better than to put others on unnattainable pedestals. We're all flawed and imperfect. As I've personally been without a certain someone, married, divorced, and spoken for, all over the last eleven years now, it's simple to piece together under each title the outlandish expectations of each status hold and compare them to the realities they actually cast. These findings are as follows:

When You're Single

The Expectations:

*endless nights of constant fun and freedom
* dates lining up around the block
* answering to no one
* feeling pity for your coupled/married friends (their lives must be so mundane)
* regular girls/guys night out rituals
* massive dating pool of winners at your disposal
* lots and lots of sex

The Reality:

* Nights of fun and freedom that often involve alcohol and stupid decisions

* Lack of as much dates you wish/thought you'd be having as a carefree Single

* Answering to friends about your latest date that was yet another flop, and to your families worries and concerns over what you may be doing that is keeping you single so long to begin with

* Regular girls/guys night out rituals are more often an infrequent occurrence as we get older due to the
natural progression of everyone settling down and creating families

* Smaller dating pool once you accept that the grand majority of your dating life is going to be full of everyone that isn't right for you, as finding 'The One' right away is rare. There's nothing wrong and unnatural with having to suffer through a few (or sometimes, a lot) of losers first before you find and appreciate when it's absolutely right

* Lots and lots of sex (or lack thereof) which can be unfullfilling, embarassing, regretful, addicting, and entirely overrated

In A Relationship/Married

The Expectations:

*long and steady honeymoon period
* guaranteed sex
* little to no fighting
* perfect balance between your partner, friends, family, and work
* never lonely
* do/share just about everything with each other
* pity your Single friends for 'not having what you and your better half have'
* constant happiness

The Reality:

* Long and steady honeymoon period followed up by the slap across the face reality that you're human the first time they do something insanely stupid that pisses you off to the ends of the Earth

* Guaranteed sex....that can dwindle, be amazing/horribly bad/too long/too fast/too little/too much, or straight up withheld by your partner once you've done that something insanely stupid that has once again, ragingly pissed them off

* Little to no fighting that becomes either regular or intermittent once the newness of your union wears off and you're completely comfortable showing your different sides and occasionally pushing the wrong buttons since being perfect and walking on eggshells to avoid any confrontation EVER becomes fucking exhausting

* An imperfect and ongoing struggle to balance your love life, your work life, and all of that time in between for friends and family. Being there for everyone and doing everything right all the time is just an impossile feat. Some days, you're just going to want/have to say No and make everyone else just a little disheartened. It's not the end of the world.

* Even with someone to share a couch, bed, and home with can't promise you'll never feel lonely. Especially as a woman, there are things a man just can't understand and help solving as the romantic savior in the story. We are all alone with our own personal thoughts/concerns/worries of the