5 Things We Learn About Relationships in Our 20’s

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1. Time spent together is worth more than anything money can buy
I’ve always been a big proponent of making every moment into a story, finding ways to make life feel exciting. If that includes a nice date to an expensive place once in a blue moon, so be it. Thing is, I’m just as happy kicking back and watching Netflix as I am at some chic soiree. It shouldn’t be about how much you spend but the memory that you make together. I had an ex who didn’t understand this, and would throw around what he bought for me as if I should bow down and be grateful to him (red flag, FYI). If someone is thinking about how much they “spend” on you, clearly they don’t want to be spending it, especially if you’re not the one pressuring them to do so. Take it from me, if a guy says “Do you know how much I spend on you?” and it’s his parent’s allowance money, hit the bricks. You should be able to just sit with each other in comfortable silence and be happy.

2. Sometimes, we’re the ones who are emotionally unavailable
We think that we’re just choosing the wrong guys, but really it’s that we ourselves aren’t ready for the commitment. That doesn’t mean that you won’t fall for these terrible people; it’s just that subconsciously you know you’ll never end up together. I didn’t realize this until I actually cared about someone, and it brought up all the insecurities I had from my past relationship. Am I going to annoy him? Does opening up make me too vulnerable? If I tell him about (legitimate) problems that I’m having, will he just belittle me and make me feel like my problems aren’t nearly as bad as his? You can avoid and drown out these voices when you’re with someone that you haven’t opened up to. It’s easier to be disappointed by something with no expectations than open yourself up to another potential “failure”*.

3. Regret comes especially from holding onto something for too long
Call me a nerd, but I always used to/still do watch Dr. Phil, and the one phrase that really stuck with me was “The only thing worse than being in a bad relationship for one year is being in it for a year and a day.” Sometimes we hold onto things because we think there’s a chance we’ll be able to fix them or maybe that person will realize their feelings for us. If someone isn’t reciprocating our feelings, one person or the other eventually caves, and usually that’s the person who cares more. So we put up with not being committed and become attached to the ephemeral. As hard as it is, a clean break makes it easier on everyone in the long run, regardless of how we feel in the moment.

4. There are different levels and kinds of love
Even though there are some things we shouldn’t fall into, it’s inevitable that we do. Instead of denying what we know to be true, we have to accept the reality of our feelings in order to get over them. Excuse my hippiness, but I truly believe that there are sometimes people you have a soul level bond with, regardless of whether or not you’re meant to be together. Just because things aren’t simple doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t complex. The mark of truly being over someone is being able to be honest with yourself.

5. What we go through prepares us for what’s yet to come
I don’t regret anything or anyone I’ve ever been with because I know each of them brought something different to my life that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. Have I been wounded? Yes, and sometimes I leave scarred, but while it’s taught me to be less trusting and more hesitant, it hasn’t completely killed my belief that something better will come. The beautiful thing about life is that we all experience different things and a different mix of things that form us into who we are. We’re all a little weird, and when we finally find someone who meshes with/can tolerate our weird, well, that’s when we know we have something worth holding on to.

*no relationship is a failure as long as you learn from it

Alexxis Letizia

I'm a 23 year old graduate student studying Digital Media and Design at the University of Connecticut. I have an unparalleled love for coffee and currently spend my days balancing a social life and design work. Love to seek out mini adventures and make every day count. Follow me on Instagram! @alexxamberr

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