One thing that has really helped me deal with the emotional aspect of my Quarter-life Crisis is my boyfriend, Rob. I think the greatest lesson learned from a long-term relationship is that when one person falls, the other can be a support system that picks that person up.
When I was dealing with the horrible feelings and depression, sometimes not getting off the couch for days on end, Rob was understanding. He didn’t push me to find a solution or try to analyze how I felt, but instead used his presence as a comfort. And it was comforting to have someone there loving me at a time when I barely loved myself.
Love is certainly a powerful force in life, and especially at a young age can be an all-consuming force. When thinking about my past relationships, I realize how many of them contributed to my QLC in the form of bad habits and losing myself in the relationship rather than standing as an individual in a partnership. I promised myself that learning to be an individual in a relationship would be a huge focus in my life when the next real thing came along.
I started dating Rob four years ago this November and think more often than not, we function really well as a partnership rather than a co-dependency. We’ve accomplished this through pursuing our own interests, going out separately with friends and spending time apart when we travel or visit family. I think it is incredibly easy to lose oneself in a relationship because the feelings of lust and love are incredibly strong.
I have to remind myself daily to be the kind of partner to Rob that I want him to be to me. When living together in a small space, it is really easy to view Rob as someone to take my frustrations out on because he is always present in my life. I am extremely stubborn, sarcastic, and feel that I’m always right which means Rob gets to experience those sides of my personality more than anyone. I try to remind myself that he has a different perspective about a lot of things and those are incredibly valid perspectives.
We don’t fight incredibly often, but with our busy lives and schedules, sometimes we hit a breaking point. Usually we fight about dishes, forgetfulness, and things of that nature, but the way we argue about it, you’d think we were fighting about something much more important. I know arguments are a part of a normal relationship; I just need to be vigilant that I don’t drag them on longer than they need to go and remember that Rob and I are humans who make mistakes.
I am thankful for my relationship and how it has made me a more reflective, thoughtful person. It is a comfort in a time of inner turmoil. I’m just thankful Rob has been willing to put up with me for four years.