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Importance in a Relationship
Aside of June 9, 1999

I was just thinking about relationships. Have you ever had imaginary conversations with yourself to practice what you should say in a certain situation? Thatís what I was doing. I donít remember exactly what the situation was that I was thinking of, but it had something to do with relationships. As I was talking to myself (as I sometimes do, donít get scared please) I realized what my biggest issue is with my relationships with boyfriends: I need to feel like I am important to them.

Importance has always been a central theme in my perceptions of a relationship. If a guy calls me often, acts interested in what I say, and wants to spend time with me that makes me feel like I am important to him. In the past I have been a very needy girlfriend (just ask some of my ex-boyfriends!) and now I realize why I acted that way. I remember specific instances with two ex-boyfriends when I thought I valued them more than they valued me. It was a real blow to think that my commitment to the relationship was stronger than his was. Both times I thought this I was right in my assumptions and eventually it led to breakup.

After these kinds of relationships where I felt unwanted and not needed I told myself that I wouldnít settle for less. It took a lot of conditioning to like myself for who I am, but thanks to a broken heart and a lot of time alone I have become independent enough to say that I do. I donít deserve to be taken for granted. I donít deserve to be with someone who doesnít love me. I donít deserve to waste my time with someone who doesnít value me. I donít deserve to be sad. I deserve so much more than this and it took me a long time to come to that conclusion. The person that I am today would not exist if I hadnít gone through the hard times that shaped my personality. Nothing has done more for my personal growth than being single during most of my senior year of high school. I learned to see that I am a unique person that some guy is going to love for no other reason than who I am.

Someday I am going to find that guy to love me. Someday he will walk into my life. (Maybe he already has and I just donít know it yet.) I have walked a rocky path on my way to finding that day. Distractions along the way have led to more tears than I wish to count, but personal growth helped me deal with my miseries and hold my head higher. As I walked along the tears became less and less frequent as I learned to handle difficult situations with grace. I wonít allow anything to hurt me as much as they used to. I wonít allow myself to wallow in self-pity any longer than necessary. (A little wallowing is sometimes good for the soul, though, and I will never deny the therapeutic properties of a good cry.) I wonít allow anyone to take advantage of me. I am a very strong person due to the troubles I have seen, but with each successive one I have become the person who is writing these words now. I am very proud of myself.

People trivialize the milestones teenagers and young adults must surpass. They are certainly not easy things to reach. Falling in and out of love is the toughest thing I have ever had to deal with (except the occasional thermodynamics problem). These trials shape the characters of the young. Self-reflection is the most important action that can be taken to realize just how you want to be shaped as an individual. Throughout my period of self-definition (which, I am sure, is still going on) I realized that what I need from a relationship is to feel important. That is the bottom line. A weight is lifted with every realization I discover about myself. This is the latest and perhaps one of the most interesting. If I feel important I can do anything.