It’s Harder to Leave Than it is to Stay

Author: Danny Abriano, Real Life Stories

Before getting into the crux of this discussion about life and relationships, it first needs to be noted that I’m divorced.

This shouldn’t come with a stigma or raised eyebrows, but it sometimes does. Why? Because for most people who are in long-term relationships that are going wrong, it’s easier to stay than it is to leave. Leaving is better.

I’ve had a woman I was talking to stop answering me, and never answer again, after I told her I was divorced. That sucked. But, it’s better than being in a relationship that doesn’t make you happy.

And for most people, the process that is separation or divorce or moving out, combined with the fear of being alone for whatever period of time that transition lasts, is somehow preferred over starting anew. Starting anew is better.

The details of why I’m divorced really don’t matter. I have no ill will toward my ex, and she has none toward me. But we weren’t right for one another. And while I perhaps knew that before getting engaged, it took time to muster up the courage to leave the situation. Four years to be exact, one of which was absolutely brutal.

And in a long and winding way, that brings me to the main point, about long-term relationships — marriage included — in general.

I can literally count on one hand the amount of people in relationships I know who I believe are truly happy. And I haven’t drawn those conclusions anecdotally. I’ve drawn them from things I know to be true and posts on social media that portray two happy people, while I know one of them is dying internally.

Perfection, in relationships or elsewhere in life, isn’t possible. But happiness? That shouldn’t just be possible. It should be a requirement when you’re in a relationship with someone, let alone a marriage. And not sporadic happiness, either.

Yes, there will be fights. If you’re in a relationship and don’t fight, either one person is being dominated by the other and afraid to react, or both people are so boring that there are never any disagreements. Disagreements, within reason, are fine.

What’s not fine? Being with someone who you can very easily live without. Being with someone who doesn’t make you smile and laugh. Being with someone who doesn’t challenge you intellectually. Being with someone who you can’t wait to get away from.

And, there are far too many relationships/marriages like the above, as evidenced by the number of truly happy relationships I can count.

One such relationship involves people much older than millennials — a couple who are both around 70 years old. They realized after having kids that they should get divorced, but didn’t. Why? For the kids. They stayed in an unhappy, loveless, sexless marriage for their children, who were then raised in a house where their parents fought every day and showed no love toward one another.

The lesson?

While it can be incredibly hard and scary to leave a situation and start over, there is simply nothing worse than potentially wasting your life with someone you don’t belong with. And the sooner you get out, the sooner you can find the person you should be with. The person who will actually make you happy.

“All my friends are married and having babies, and I’m just wondering how to get rid of this hangover.”

Author: Nicole Chininis, The Dating Game

I sometimes wonder how anybody my age can actually feel like they have their lives together.

I’m at an age where it seems like a good 75% of my friends are married and having babies. Last year, I went to four weddings, six the year before, and that’s not to mention all the baby showers that have also taken place. My weekends have consisted of going to bridal and baby showers, but yet I feel like I am nowhere near that phase in my life.

I have to admit, as much as I feel happy for my friends on finding the loves of their lives or making me an “auntie” again, it can sometimes be extremely tough. Like, enter into a depression and want to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s tough, or drink a bottle of wine to myself tough. For a long time, I would think to myself, What is wrong with me? Why can’t I find what they have? Why in the world is this hangover so much worse than the one I had last weekend? Why don’t I feel like I have my life together when everyone around me does?”

And dating while said things are going on around you? In the world of Tinder, ghosting and the inevitable heartbreak, it’s easy to feel like things will never work out for you. You go on another terrible blind date, while your friend gets engaged. Hello, Bottle of Wine. Nice to see you again.

However, here’s what I’ve come to realize: I have no control, but also all the control over my life right now.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Jeez, Nicole, are you sure you haven’t been drinking too many of those said bottles of wine before writing this? How does that make sense?” Let me explain.

There are certain things in life that you do not have control over. You don’t know when you’re going to meet the love of your life or how you’re going to meet them, but you pray that you eventually do. You don’t know when you’ll have kids, but you pick out baby names you like nonetheless. You never know what unexpected things might come up in your life that give your life plans an unexpected twist, but you deal with them as they come.

The great thing is, that no matter how much you feel like you can’t control, there are some things that you can control. You can control how much you put yourself out there, because even though what seems like your billionth date was just a bust, maybe the next one will make it all worth it. You can control things that you do to make yourself happy — like going dancing until 3a.m., getting coffee from your favorite café, vegging on the couch and binge watching Netflix without anyone disturbing you. You can even do things that your married friends with babies can’t do, like picking up and travel to wherever you want to go on a whim, or staying out late without anyone to answer to.

It certainly isn’t easy. I have struggled and have felt lost. But I think ultimately it’s okay to feel like you don’t have your life together, because I’m pretty sure no one ever really feels like they do. Just keep on doing your thang, people. It’s the only thing that we can actually control.

Are You a Married Millennial? Here Are the Podcasts for You

Author: Kerrin Frappier, The Dating Game

It’s a tale as old as time — two people meet, they fall in love and eventually they might decide to marry.

For millennials, dating and socializing in the 21st century has its setbacks but also its advantages. Marriage for millennials is no different. One such advantage is the various outlets for advice and discussion available to millennials. Here are some inspiring, thought-provoking and down-to-earth podcasts married millennials should have a listen to.

 

Hitched
hitchedAs is commonplace on many podcasts, this show presents its audience with new topics and guests contributors every week. Recent topics include: “dealing with resentment..”, “managing time and your marriage” and “how to improve your marriage with technology”.

 

 

I Do Podcast
I_DoCatered toward “young couples”, this bi-weekly podcast is brought to you by a married couple and the relationship experts they interview. They dive into such topics as “how Netflix can improve your relationship” and “dividing housework in a modern relationship”.

 

 

 

The First Year Marriage Show
1st_year_marriage.jpgFor those in their first year of marriage, there is a podcast produced just for you and your spouse! It chronicles common struggles newlyweds encounter such as moving in and living together, financial issues (i.e. student loan debt), establishing effective communication and family planning.

 

 

Millennial Marriage Podcast
cropped-mm-podcast-logo-1.jpgCould it get any easier? A podcast created and hosted by a pair of married millennials! Despite not having new episodes currently in production, the archive of older posts are full of moments any millennial (married or otherwise) could relate to.

 

 

#staymarried Podcast
staymarried.jpgThis blog is home to an author who is prepared to share the ups and downs of marriage in her podcast, and invites guests to share their experiences and guidance as well. The creator of the blog has also published a book on the same topic.

 

 

 

Save the Marriage Podcast
save_the_marriage.jpgWhen a marriage is facing hardship, Dr. Lee H. Baucom seeks to teach couples “how to save your marriage and improve your relationship.” This podcast focuses on personality conflicts that can effect communication and the importance of working on problems individually and as a pair.

It’s Okay to Be Single

Author: Michelle Ioannou, The Dating Game

There, I said it, it’s okay to be single.

As a single 25-year-old — scratch that — as a single 25-year-old from a very stereotypical Greek family, I get the pressure of being single. My two childhood friends are both engaged and/or married. My little cousin, well a month younger than I am, is engaged. My grandmother just the other day had a talk with me about how by the time I get married — if I get married — she won’t be here anymore.

Yes, I get the pressure. But I promise you, it’s okay to be single.

Why is it okay to be single? It shows you’re not settling for less than you deserve. No one should. No one should ever feel pressured into a relationship for the sole reason that people are on their case to get married. That’s just a recipe for disaster (in most cases, anyway).

If you’re single, it’s most likely because you haven’t met your person yet. That one person who completes you. Who treats you how you deserve to be treated. That one person you’re excited to spend the rest of your life with. And, assuming you want kids, the one person you want to raise children with.

Don’t settle. Especially don’t settle because you feel pressure to get married.

It’s okay to be single. i-think-im-the-one

Why is it okay to be single? Because you’re pretty awesome on your own. You don’t need a man or a woman to define you. You control your own happiness — cliche, but true.

If you’re single, you can do what you want to do, when you want to do it, without having to think about anyone else. If you want to go on that vacation, go for it. If you want to go on a shopping spree, spend the money (assuming you’re being financially savvy, of course). If you want to put all of your energy into growing into your career, you can.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t do any of these things with a significant other — please don’t get me wrong. It just tends to be a lot easier to do when you don’t have to think about anyone else’s feelings or thoughts.

It’s okay to be single.

Why is it okay to be single? Times have changed. Women aren’t going to college anymore solely for their MRS degrees. No longer must a man and a woman wed in their early 20s and start a family. No longer are women solely being housewives or needing to have all of their children by the age of 30.

Marriage isn’t as expected as it once was. In fact, the marriage rate continues to decline in the United States.

It’s okay to be single. Live your life. Be happy. Have fun. And don’t let anyone pressure you otherwise.