My ex and I were really young when we moved in together. To our family and friends, we were known as the “old married couple” despite the fact that we were only 23. At first, we laughed it off but eventually, it wasn’t so funny anymore. It became our reality and it broke us.
We hardly went out or did anything. Everything was so much effort in our relationship. From having to visit his mom on her birthday to deciding what to have to dinner that night, everything was a chore for the both of us. We found excuses not to go out on date nights and with friends like normal couples do, like saying that we’re broke or too tired from a long week at work, and instead we just stayed in most of the time.
When we did go out, it wasn’t exciting. On the rare occasion that we did leave our house, it was to go to the same old places that we’d always been to. I’m not talking about the grocery store (thank goodness!), I’m talking about the times where we didn’t have any dinner in the house and it was easier just to grab a bite elsewhere. But because we never ventured anywhere further than a few miles down the road or did anything new, our relationship soon became a total snooze-fest.
We bickered constantly. We fought a lot and over very little. The arguments started over ridiculous things, like whose turn it was to empty the dishwasher, but then escalated into full-blown screaming matches where you start bringing up that little thing that they did to annoy you three months ago. It wasn’t big and it wasn’t clever on either side, but we were both so miserable.
We got stuck in a rut. We were living life according to the same routine, day in and day out, and it eventually became incredibly mundane. We’d get up, go to work, come home, eat, shower, watch TV in separate rooms, and then go to sleep. Then weekends were spent running errands and catching up on life admin. Rinse and repeat. I remember thinking, “Is this what the life of a 23-year-old is supposed to be like?”
We never had sex. Gone were the days that we were at it like rabbits—at that point, we were lucky if we had sex once a month. I wish I was exaggerating. It’s not like I expected to be at it 24/7, but come on.
When we did have sex, it was as if we’d rather be doing anything else. Where was the passion? Where was the fire? Well, I’ll tell you—it was nowhere to be seen. When we did have sex once in a blue moon, it was more like a job. Get in, get out, and get on with your day. There was no connection and no intimacy.
We didn’t really talk about anything substantial. As well as the physical side, we were also missing the emotional aspect of the relationship. We hardly spoke. When we did speak, it was all just small talk—”how was your day?” or “do you want peas with your potatoes?” We used to have long, deep, and meaningful conversations, but it soon became apparent that those days were long gone. Our relationship was all business and no pleasure.
Our lives lacked excitement. There wasn’t anything ever going on, never anything new, and nothing to tell my friends when they asked how our relationship was. “Same old, same old” would be my default answer. We were so young with our whole lives ahead of us and some very exciting things going on with our jobs as we were taking our first steps on the career ladder. But, there was an absence of thrills in our personal lives.
We became too comfortable with each other. Sure, it’s great to get to that comfort level where you’ve taken your make-up off and you’re in your sweats, you’re both laid all over each other on the sofa, and he’s telling you how beautiful you are. But, in my relationship, it got to the point where we were casually using the toilet in front of each other just to make getting ready in the bathroom quicker on a morning. It was almost too comfortable because we both simply didn’t care anymore.
We both knew we weren’t happy. It became blatantly obvious that our relationship was over, but we didn’t want to admit it to each other for a long time. We’d fallen out of love because we were acting in a way that you’re not supposed to act as a couple, especially at 23. It actually came to a head one day after a particularly nasty argument about whose turn it was to take out the trash. I know. Learn from my mistakes and don’t ignore the signs for so long. Make a change as soon as you realize you’re unhappy and don’t settle for a relationship that’s anything short of amazing. Because you deserve the best.
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