I have been single for some years now, but I do occasionally reminisce about the years that I spent engaged. That was an interesting time in my life. That was in my 20’s, something I am not too sure I would recommend to anyone. I think your twenties should be for your own personal growth. We think we know what we want out of life, but one day you realize that your 20-year-old self is entirely different from your 29-year-old self. Your relationship expectations will most likely change drastically, and you will recognize that the quirks you thought were cute are not anymore.
Recently, these thoughts have crossed my mind lately because I have friends that are engaged and moving on to the next phase of life. They are excited about this new phase in their relationships and are ready to grow with their partners. Some are embarking on this new experience while also pursuing their personal goals and dreams. However, pursuing their own goals is starting to cause tension in their relationships. They are experiencing rude comments and having arguments regarding the amount of time they are dedicating to their goals. Spending too much time pursuing their goals seems to be the most common complaint. Their partners feel that their focus should be on wedding planning or on their home life (insert eye roll here).
Did you notice a difference when you are starting to pursue your goals?
This can be anything from going back to school, pursuing your own outside interest, or just making sure you take time for yourself. I remember when I was engaged and decided to pursue one of my goals, obtaining my real estate license. At the time, my fiancé seemed to be cool with the idea and was supportive.
Fast forward a few years later, I decided to pursue a second degree in history. During this time, the dynamic of our relationship changed drastically. To everyone else my ex-fiancé, appeared to be supportive, it was a different story behind closed doors. According to my ex, anytime I had a problem with something in our relationship it the real problem was me spending too much time on my school work and not enough time with him. Of course, at this point in my life, my time was limited. I was working 44 hours a week plus taking 15 credit hours per semester.
However, I was still determined to get this degree. This was despite any negative comments or arguments I had with y ex-fiancé. Luckily my parents and brother always had my back.
Jealousy was probably the root of this problem
It wasn’t until some years later that I stumbled upon what I felt was the reason for his behavior. Looking back on those years, I realized that while I was chasing my dreams, he was scared to pursue his. While he was someone that always came across as very confident, he did not have faith in himself. He probably was jealous because I wouldn’t let anything stop me, not even our relationship. However, he was scared to take that leap of faith. I guess life is funny like that sometimes. While I was not always confident, I knew that if I did not pursue my dreams, I would live to regret not taking the chance.
Don’t dim your light for anyone!
That was the biggest lesson I took from my relationship with my ex-fiancé. I realized two things:
1. He was projecting his insecurities on me.
2. That he feared would lose me. He knew that these new experiences would create new opportunities. He also knew that I would meet new people (especially men) who were like-minded.
It is important to remember that you cannot put your life on hold to accommodate your significant other. If you do this, you will grow to resent them. There is nothing worse than harboring anger and disappointment. If your significant other genuinely love and care for you, they would not hold you back. They will stay by your side and be your biggest cheerleader.
Have you ever experienced tension in your relationship because you were pursuing your goals and the other party was not? Feel free to comment below and discuss your experience.