The holidays bring out the happiest of couples; snuggling by the fire, wearing silly Christmas sweaters, and spreading Christmas joy. I’ve seen this type of love with my parents and always longed for the day to come when I too would be with someone on the holidays.
I’ve wondered what it would be like to kiss under the mistletoe, exchange heartfelt presents and listen to Christmas carols while decorating the tree. Six months ago, I met someone who I thought I would experience all of this with and I was excited about the possibility. I finally was going to know what it was like to hold a hand when it gets cold out, or make hot cocoa with, or even make a snowman with when fresh white snow hit the ground.
Our relationship was long distance, but that didn’t stop me from driving miles to see him for only an hour. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking about how the drive would be worth it, and how this distance would make our relationship stronger. Since I’m the one with the car, I always planned the trips, putting his ease and comfort before mine. Never did he show his appreciation for my efforts, nor did he try and plan to visit me.
Shortly after playing a romantic Christmas movie love scene in my head, I discovered that my fantasy thoughts covered up the reality of the who he actually was in our relationship. The man with kind-eyes, a heartfelt smile, and a comforting hug ended up being a boy who turned his head the other way when faced with a problem, and avoided to confront me with tears trickling down my red cheeks. I soon began to realize that at first I would have done anything to make sure I saw him, but when no effort was put in on the other side, my perfect Christmas romance with him began to fade.
Lack of problems solved meant conversations with him soon began to feel forced, as if teeth were being pulled just to get a one-word answer. It was either that, or any serious conversation would be masked with a joke.
My once fluttering, excited heart began to beat anxiously. I felt afraid to make conversation for the fear of us fighting again and repeating the same pattern. Would he try to laugh it off or just ignore me when I told him I was shaking in nerves? Never could we talk about holiday plans again.
Friends of mine asked me if I was content. I let out a small smile with a shrug, thinking that would be enough to prove I was doing well. Luckily, the friends I have saw the pool filling up in my eyes, and talked to me for hours trying to figure out what was wrong. For the first time in months, the clouds in my head dissipated and I saw a clear path ahead of me.
Just shy of Thanksgiving, I ended what was left of the disintegrating relationship. I wound up struggling with the thought of confrontation, but breaking it off when I did proved to be the right decision. The intense heart pounding and violent hand shaking was gone. A genuine smile appeared on my face for the first time since I got asked to be his girlfriend.
He made it hard for me to see a future together. I couldn’t even imagine cuddling up on the couch and watching classic Christmas movies anymore. The holidays are supposed to be the most magical and most wonderful time of the year, I wasn’t going to let a failing relationship stop me from enjoying it.
Just because you’re in a relationship, doesn’t mean it’s a healthy one. I’ve learned that from first-hand experience, and it made me realize that I don’t need a boyfriend to make me smile, or comfort me when I go through a hard time. If the relationship isn’t making life easier for you, then there’s no point in moving on with it.
That’s why this holiday, I’m grateful for the friends and family that I have. They helped me realize that just because Christmas and New Years can be spent with a significant other, doesn’t mean they have to be. Holidays are supposed to be spent with your loved ones, my family and my friends are those special people in my life.
From my heart yearning to my heart breaking, I learned that there’s nothing wrong with cuddling up with my teddy bear, drinking hot chocolate and watching Netflix by myself if it means I can move on with a positive mindset and a new-found wisdom. For the longest time, I felt as if I’ve missed the experiences of being a couple during the holidays, but I know now that it’s okay to be single during this time of year, and I’m ready for a season full of self-joy.
By Kayla Garritano, Contributor for CupidsPulse.com