This past winter, I found myself being beaten down by my worries about the future and questioning what was to become of me. This overwhelming feeling of pressure and confusion was a lot for me to handle, and I simply was not happy.
So, as every person should do when they are upset, I decided to go to the people who are closest to me for support: my friends and family. I would share only some of my problems with them; all of which seemed to be quite ordinary and expected of a college girl. I soon began to notice a pattern as I told them my difficulties.
There was one repeated reaction, and it looked something like this: “Why are you complaining? You should be happy. You have a boyfriend.”
I was unaware having a boyfriend was supposed to just magically solve all of my problems. Sure, I was in a relationship that was overall great, and I really did believe I was in love. But was that really supposed to be the only thing that kept me happy in life?
I loved having a boyfriend, but I also yearned for other accomplishments in my life.
I wanted to study abroad, I wanted to become a best-selling author, I wanted to perform in musicals and I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin.
But as I constantly heard this response, not only from my friends but also from my mother, I decided that instead of continuing with my complaints, I should appreciate what I have and what makes me happy: my boyfriend.
I chose to spend as much time with him as possible. This worked out great for a long time. That is, until I was unexpectedly dumped in the middle of a crowded diner on a Saturday afternoon.
The details of what this assh*le did to me are irrelevant, and I am sure that many women have experienced far worse than I have as far as sh*tty breakups go. But the last little piece of happiness I had at that point in my life vanished in an instant.
I had never hit such a low point before. The one person I thought would always be there for me walked away, left me for reasons I still don't understand and pretended I didn’t exist.
Since everyone told me I should be happy because I had a boyfriend, I believed that it was actually okay to just allow him to be the only thing that consistently made me happy. But ladies, we cannot place this idea in one another’s minds.
Here are seven reasons why a woman should never tell another woman to be happy simply “because she has a boyfriend” and also why you should never have to feel that way when in a relationship. Here they are:
1. When he leaves her, she will feel like she has nothing.
If just one man is supposed to make up for the entire happiness of a woman, what will happen when he leaves? That man will walk straight out the door along with every last bit of her happiness.
A woman needs to have a variety of outlets to help her enjoy life, even if it's just something as simple as a small hobby or two. Otherwise, when it’s over, she will have to go through the pain of finding herself all over again.
2. As a friend, you should exhaust all efforts of making each other happy, without the involvement of any men (unless it involves watching Ryan Gosling in "The Notebook").
If you see that a friend is unhappy, why aren’t you trying to help?
Yes, every woman needs to be able to focus on herself most of the time, but it also doesn’t hurt to put someone else’s needs before yours.
Grab some wine and have a girl’s night. Be there for her and one day, she will be there for you too.
3. Just because you want a boyfriend, doesn’t mean she does.
Not every woman yearns for a muscular boyfriend who sports a man bun and plays the guitar.
Some women want to experience happiness in other ways...and trust me, there are plenty of other ways.
Whether it's traveling, starting a new job, getting good grades or reading as many books as possible, there are so many ways a woman can have a good time because of what she has done for herself.
And to be honest, all of them are way better than placing your precious happiness in someone else's hands.
4. It is not a his responsibility to keep her happy.
An amazing boyfriend will try to make his girlfriend happy. But even if a man tries his absolute best, it still may not be enough to keep her 100 percent happy all the time.
It truly isn't even a man's responsibility to keep a woman happy. Yes, one should make his or her significant other as happy as possible, but everyone has to work on their own happiness too.
For that reason alone, her happiness shouldn't depend on him.
5. Why would you want your daughter to think a man is all she needs in life?
As a mother, you should want your daughter to know that there are bigger dreams to achieve than being in a relationship with a man.
Instead of allowing her to believe that a boyfriend is all she needs to feel happy, encourage her to go out into the world and do something that will be even greater than the satisfaction of having a boyfriend.
Let her know that while having someone to love you as a girlfriend can be beyond amazing, her spirit alone should be enough to make herself happy. And she is worthy of feeling that happiness.
6. We are worth more than the value of being in a relationship with a man.
Why should having a boyfriend be the epitome of female happiness? Come on, girls!
There are SO many adventures and memories waiting for you. If you take the time to find happiness within yourself, it will cultivate a delight like no other.
Go out there and live your dream instead of waiting for Prince Charming to come knocking on your door, because in reality, a man with no flaws does not exist. (Except maybe Richard Madden.)
7. When you finally do find the love of your life, your relationship will be even better.
The day will come when you finally find a man who is willing to do anything for you. You will be so happy with life that your relationship will be way better than anything you could have ever imagined.
And this will all be because you never allowed yourself to depend on a man.
I wish I could say I had known this from the start, but I did not.
It has taken me six months to finally rediscover who I am and what I want to become. I take full responsibility for the emotional situation I found myself in, and I refuse to ever lose myself or my happiness again.