10 things I’ve learned about myself after 3 long term relationships
Recently had a break up, so some reflections...
1. Nothing is a guarantee
I was about to announce on Facebook that I was going to start a new chapter of life with my then GF (potentially moving closer to her mom + thinking about starting a family).
I wrote a draft in google docs and sent it to her with the intention of posting it later that week.
She asked to talk that evening — at my place (which was weird). She told me that she wanted to break up.
I had zero warning, never saw it coming. I never thought she would go there.
Ripped the rug right out under my feet.
Worst breakup I’ve ever been through.
2. Don’t neglect compatibility in the midst of chemistry
Chemistry is fun. Chemistry is nice.
I know how to create it.
Compatibility is long-term important.
I haven’t historically done a good job of evaluating this.
I’m working on this.
3. I don't want to talk on the phone everyday
Every ex has wanted this.
I’ve never enjoyed it. I’ve never wanted it. It feels like such a big drain to me in the long run.
I never voiced it as explicitly to any of them as I’m expressing here.
4. I need someone who has secure attachment
All my exes leaned anxious, often felt clingy. It was like I always needed to give them 100% of my attention all the time, even if we were just watching TV or having down time together or cooking.
I did it, cause I was doing what I thought would make me a good partner, but it felt so restrictive.
5. I need someone who is very ok with me being super career/work focused
I just get more energy from the work I do than spending time with my SO. I felt like I was always making a trade off and I never felt good about it. I always felt like I was giving more time to the relationship than I preferred to.
6. I need to get better at dating slow
Related to #1, if I take things more slow, I’m less likely to get sucked into making decisions purely based off chemistry.
7. I’m only willing to think about starting a family once I’ve FIRE-d
One of my exes wanted to start thinking about having kids within 2-3 years. I had never consciously evaluated what my personal timeline was until that. I now know!
8. I need to get better at protecting and communicating my boundaries when I’m not resourced
I’ve had a personal narrative that “I’m a good partner.”
And that’s often led me to say "Yes" to most complaints or requests my exes have had.
Often, I said "Yes" when I didn’t want to. But I’d say "Yes" because I didn’t want to explain why I didn’t and I wanted to avoid potential conflict, which I didn’t have energy for.
It was a rock and a hard place.
I still need to get better at it.
9. I need a lot of alone time to be my best self
As an introvert…I really need to protect my space. This is similar to #8.
It’s much harder to be enthusiastic about a relationship if I feel like I never have enough time to myself.
I’ve never communicated this to my exes very directly until when it was already a problem.
10. I want to incorporate my friends more into my dating process
Related to #6.
A handful of my friends had a strange sense early on with my exes, ones who have known me for years that I trust.
I want to rely on them more.