Let me clarify, I am fond of relationships in theory. However, once I find myself in one, I notice a significant shift in my behavior. Despite experiencing several romantic relationships in recent years, I have come to realize that being in a relationship brings out a version of myself that I am not particularly fond of.
1. I can't put my phone down
When I'm unattached, I hardly pay attention to my phone unless I'm anticipating a message. I tend to leave it in the car, misplace it in one of my jacket pockets, or neglect to charge it at all. However, when I'm in a relationship, my phone becomes an extension of my hand. I incessantly text and rush through meals with roommates or family to avoid keeping my partner waiting. Despite the absence of significant conversations, I sense the compulsion to stay in constant communication, which hinders my ability to cultivate personal relationships with loved ones.
2. I spend too much money
In a relationship, I tend to spend significantly more money on myself and my partner, whether it's for dinner, drinks, anniversary or birthday gifts, or even frivolous lingerie purchases. Even if we've agreed not to exchange gifts, I still find myself buying pricey cards that cost $5 or $7. I'll also indulge in new shoes for a date night or a fancy dinner with his family and claim that none of my current earrings are suitable for the occasion.
3. I dress differently
When I'm single, I flaunt vibrant colors and daring patterns in my wardrobe. I dress for myself and pay no attention to others' opinions of my style. However, when I'm in a relationship, I become less courageous and select outfits with my boyfriend in mind. Although he may not be concerned about my attire, I enjoy capturing his attention with skirts, dresses, elegant tops, and of course, the aforementioned lingerie. I'm less inclined to experiment and often re-wear outfits I know he appreciates. Meanwhile, my favorite yellow scarf remains sadly neglected in the rear of my closet.
4. I stay up too late
My roommates affectionately refer to me as the "apartment grandmother" since I prioritize a decent bedtime and cherish a peaceful night's sleep above all else. Nevertheless, when I'm in a relationship, I tend to stay up later, causing me to feel drained the following day before work or class. If I have the option to sleep in with my partner, I'll stay in bed until at least 10 a.m., sabotaging my opportunities for the productive mornings I typically relish.
5. I don't prioritize my girlfriends
When I'm single, I become frustrated when my friends cancel our plans to be with their significant others, yet I'm guilty of doing the same thing when I'm in a relationship. My boyfriend becomes my top priority when I'm making weekend plans and the first person I reach out to when I unexpectedly have free time. As a result, I become less accessible to my girlfriends, and my friendships deteriorate. Ironically, it's my wonderful friends who are always by my side when my relationships come to an end.
6. I feel more vulnerable
When I'm in a romantic relationship, I become significantly more emotionally vulnerable than when I'm single. I take minor comments more personally and find myself more prone to tears. If my partner compliments me while we're together, I inexplicably become sad once he's gone. I'm more cognizant of my insecurities and make an effort to conceal them. The stronger our connection becomes, the more frightened I become of losing him, and I subject myself to a vicious cycle of worry and anxiety.
7. I become clingy
Just the thought of those words makes single me uncomfortable, but no matter how hard I try, I always end up feeling excessively needy when in a relationship. When I'm dating someone, I become reliant on their attention in a way that I never do when I'm single. When I'm not in a relationship, I'm self-sufficient and competent, but once I'm in one, my partner's opinion isn't just valuable, it's vital. Every hour spent apart from him feels like an eternity, and my convictions weaken. I begin to question myself more and lose the confidence that may have initially attracted him to me.
8. I don't make time for myself
I allocate 90% of my time to my boyfriend and the remaining 10% to my friends (most likely discussing my boyfriend), leaving no time for myself and the activities that have always brought me joy. I give up cherished hobbies such as journaling, reading, and running to be with my partner or friends, and then I question why I still feel unsatisfied despite being in what appears to be an ideal relationship.
9. I become complacent
When I feel at ease in my love life, I also become too relaxed in other aspects of my life, such as school, work, and socializing. I don't venture out of my comfort zone and prefer the safety of what is familiar to me. Having a boyfriend seems to be linked with achievement, and I stop pursuing the types of challenges that have always ignited my passion.
10. I'm not true to myself
I lose my sense of self in a relationship, and start to adopt my partner's identity as my own. Our likes and dislikes become synonymous, and I become a "yes" person, feigning interest in his hobbies that have now become "ours." I readily concede to his opinions and fail to assert my own. But when the relationship ends, I have to rediscover my identity without him, and I realize that single me is pretty awesome.