I recently had a student ask me "Miss. Do you think that a relationship can really last forever?" I told her that was a loaded question. I had to really think about that answer myself because on one hand I am a hopeless romantic and I'd like to believe that there is a soulmate out there for everyone and that two people can spend forever together, but the realist side of me couldn't disagree more. Majority of my own personal history is scattered with failed relationships - friendships, romantic relationships, familial relationships - so it's hard for me to say with confidence that relationships can last forever. If we are being technical from the start, no relationship ever lasts "forever". If your life starts the day you are born, and you aren't involved romantically until your late teens, and you don't meet your "soulmate" until your late twenties, then technically you are already starting your forever off alone. Because if your personal forever consists of the day you are born until the day you die, then you can realistically only spend half of your forever with someone else. Logically speaking.
I put myself in my high schoolers shoes for a moment. Because when I was 16, I too had a plan. I wanted to be married by 24, kids at 26, and so on.. But now that I'm actually 25, I realize that I am still so young and thank the Lord for not sticking me to that map I had laid out for myself. As I study counseling and get first hand experience from these high schoolers, I make sure to pass on some wisdom whenever I get the chance. I sort of understand it from my moms perspective now. I used to get annoyed when adults would give advice about the future because they had already lived it. But now I get it. I tell my high schoolers that they have their whole lives ahead of them. That at 16 they may have an idea of a map on how they want their lives to end up. But I also tell them that life never goes to plan. Ever. I've learned so much since I graduated high school about myself and the world and who I wanted to be as a person. If I had followed my plan, I'd be a mom right now. My life would have been so different. And I am not putting down people that are mom's at 24, 25, but I am saying that I am so grateful that I am not. If I had to look back at the last 7 years since I graduated high school and think about every experience that I've had, all I can take away is that I'm happy I got to experience life without a significant other or a family. If I married my high school sweetheart and never got my true college experience, my life would be so different. I can't say for sure whether it would have been better or worse, but I can say for sure that I would not have a true sense of myself and who I am today.
As of 2018, I have been single for five years. FIVE. Don't get me wrong, I've had my fair share of fun in these five years, but I have also adjusted to being truly single. I love my life, I wouldn't trade these last five years for anything. Anyone who knows me knows that I am one of the most independent people there are. I've always been, always a home-body, never altering my life for another person. And I intend to keep it that way forever. Although I do want to eventually meet the person that betters me, I never want to stop being me. Until now every person I have dated has gotten to the point of annoyance. I usually end things because they start breathing the wrong way and I just can't handle that type of dependence with another human being. Call it independence, call it poor relationship role models, either way I haven't found the person that doesn't annoy me. yet.
So when my student asked me if a relationship could last forever, my instinct was to say no. But instead, I told her that I think it depends on the person, the circumstance, the situation, and so many other factors. Relationships take work, hard work. And I truly believe that you have to be really ready to alter your life to co-exist with someone else before you can commit "forever" to them. Never, ever change who you are as a person, but just learn to be you with someone else.
My second most important piece of advice is to never settle. If you are truly aiming at "forever" with one person for the rest of your life then you need to truly want to be a part of that person. The good, the bad, the ugly. AND they need to want that with you as well. Hold your standards high and don't lower them because you think your internal clock is getting close to ticking. If you settle for looks, eventually you won't see the person that you used to see. If you settle for personality, then one day they will annoy you when they so much as look in your direction. And if you settle for them as a person, then one day you're going to realize that your life is half over and you missed out on years with someone who you don't see eye to eye with. Remember that this person is the person you will be sharing your life with, your children with, your dog with. If you can't see that future with them now, then maybe they aren't the right fit for you in the future.
As a counselor, as a teacher, as myself, I never want to see a student or person settle for someone else before they even know themselves. Get to know yourself first. Get to be super comfortable alone first. You're young (even if you're not) and you have your whole life ahead of you, don't rush forever.
Author - mallory
I've always lived a wild life, so here I am to document it for the world... be ready for some fun adventures, xoxo.