I Said I’d Never Stop Having My Own Life Even When I Found Love And Then I Did Exactly That

I was happy being single but then a weird thing happened when I fell in love: suddenly, all those days focusing on my passions and being alone on a Friday night felt like a massive waste of time compared to the absolute bliss of a new relationship. The problem wasn’t that I had a great relationship, of course—it was that I allowed it to tear through my life like a tornado, reducing it to nothing.

  1. It was love at first flight. He was so intriguing, I didn’t realize that the more I moved towards him, the more I was flying out of my own life. I quickly forgot about things that were important to me because the relationship was so exciting.
  2. He shot to the top of my list. My boyfriend quickly became my priority. I enjoyed spending time with him so much that when he called, I would be there in a flash. I didn’t want to play games with him; I wanted to be real about how much I liked him. The problem is that I was so busy falling for the guy and building a relationship that I didn’t realize what I was doing to my life in the process. I was coming off as desperate AF!
  3. My friends were fired up. My friends told me that I wasn’t the same person since getting into this relationship. They hardly got to see me. I thought they were being drama queens but I couldn’t deny that a part of me felt really guilty for sidelining my best girls. Still, I was so happy in my life that I’m ashamed to admit I kind of put that ahead of everything else.
  4. I couldn’t tell if I was crazy in love or just plain crazy. I couldn’t seem to explain to my friends just how amazing this relationship felt. Everything I’d done before it entered my life seemed so boring now. To them, it seemed like I was crazy, but I was crazy in love and wanted to be with my boyfriend all the time.
  5. His wish was my command. I was so happy with my boyfriend that what he wanted often took priority over what I wanted or what other people in my life wanted from me. It was all about him. Whoa, what about me? Where were my needs in all this? It was like they didn’t seem to matter.
  6. I forgot what really mattered to me. I felt like I was in a dreamy relationship, but it couldn’t have been that great because I was allowing it to make me lose who I was. I totally neglected my dreams and passions. Suddenly, I had no interest in them. It’s funny, but I was actually showing signs of depression with this behavior. Was love supposed to do this? Hell no.
  7. I started rallying up resentment. After a few months of making my relationship the most important part of my life and honestly not even having a life outside of it, I started to feel resentment for it. But I couldn’t blame my boyfriend for that—I was the only one to blame for throwing my life away!
  8. I was the yo-yo girl. I started to notice how much I depended on the relationship. When it was going well, I was happy. When it went through a bit of a tough day or so, I’d be devastated. I was like a yo-yo, bouncing around according to where my relationship was, instead of realizing that I had to count on myself to be happy. Happiness had to be an inside job otherwise I’d be flying all over the place.
  9. I suffered love withdrawals. I was addicted to this relationship. The highs made me feel good but then the lows made me feel more attached to my boyfriend than ever because I feared losing him. When the rocky patches were over and the sun came out again, it confirmed for me just how much I valued this relationship and needed my boyfriend in my life. Of course I needed him—I had nothing else. It was really sad.
  10. I had relationship amnesia. I didn’t really know who I was anymore because the relationship had wiped out my real self. One day when my boyfriend asked me what I wanted for my future and all I could think about were our mutual goals instead of my own, I realized my friends had been right. I was totally lost.
  11. The end was nigh. I was so anxious about the relationship ending, which meant that it was going to sooner or later because the more I tried to hold onto it the more I pushed my boyfriend away. It was scary AF to be single and alone again when he dumped me. I didn’t know what to do with myself or how to return to my old life, but I had no choice.
  12. The breakup gave me a much-needed wakeup call. In time, I started to see that the breakup was the only way I could really see what I’d been doing to my life. I had to get my act together! I started going back to my dreams, passions, and life. I tried to recapture what was important to me and make it up to those who were important to me, too. I felt ashamed that I’d let a relationship control me so much.
  13. How had I allowed this to happen? I’d been desperate—not for a relationship exactly, but for the feeling that I was worthy. I crazily thought I needed a guy to validate me. Wrong! When I’d been single for a few years before my ex came along, I thought I was happy, but how easily the relationship controlled me showed me this wasn’t the case. I had a lot of work to do to build my confidence and self-worth.
  14. “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s (almost) gone.” Only when I was back to my old life could I see how valuable it was. I now know that I’m strong enough on my own and I love my life so much that I’ll never depend on someone else to make me happy. If I lose what’s important to me for a guy, he’s not the right person for me. Period. My happiness and amazing life are not up for compromise anymore, and they’re going to come first every time!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.