Last year I experienced my first ever break up. From my first ever boyfriend. And I'm surprisingly ok about it.
We'd been together since I was 15 and he 17, 5 and a half years all in all. What I'm wondering is whether a childhood relationship can ever really last these days? Of course, I've seen my mum and dad do it, my aunties and uncles, my gran and grandad but 2015 is a different time. There are more factors than ever that have the ability to change or end a relationship, and you have to be the sort that 100% want one another to get past those obstacles. Plus, there are 7 billion people in the world, you might find the love of your life on the next street, but who's to say that's the only person destined for you?
With the fact that we have a thousand opportunities at our fingertips, it's not like back in the day when our parents would settle down with their sweetheart at 21 and acquire a home, a dog and 2.4 kids. You don't have to think about marriage and babies until at least 30, you have ten whole years to see the world, make something of yourself, get a career going and maybe dedicate some time to the opposite sex if you fancy it, there really is no pressure. I'm not saying avoid love, if you're lucky enough to come across it then do your best to choose a love that grows you. I know I certainly feared I would never get chance to do the things I truly wanted to because of being in a long term relationship. How could I travel the world for a year and still have him there waiting? Truth is, I would never have done it because I knew he wouldn't wait and that risk petrified me. The one you're meant to be with with let you out into the world, be it travel, career or education wise and neither of you will fear that the other won't return.
In terms of the smaller, less-life changing factors that are imposed on our everyday lives and relationships, smart phones are an evergrowing problem. We can see what our significant other is doing and thinking every minute of the day. We can look at pictures from nights out, scrutinise every awkward photograph...what's that girls hand doing? Who's that they're talking to? There's also this weird necessity for them to text you, be it a boyfriend or a potential one, you NEED to know they're thinking about you. And God forbid if they only put two kisses instead of the four that you've become accustomed to, that totally means they're not into you anymore and you're probably just going to play it cool from now on. Phones and social media mess with your head, not to mention the inevitable heavy sigh of jealously that prevails as you scroll through the travelling uploads from an old acquaintance. It's hard not to compare what you've got and what might be waiting for you on the other side of the world. Especially as you catch your boyfriend mid ball-scratch, who's still wearing those pizza stained joggers from three days ago.
Due to the eruption of technology, cheating has now taken on a different from, it isn't just as simple as not coming home after a night out anymore. We can talk to anyone we want, at any time and it's even easier to do it inappropriately. Apps like snapchat wipe away any evidence of straying before your partner even has the opportunity to pry on your phone. Texts, whatsapp, messenger...there are a multitude of methods that enable us to get cheap thrills out of talking to that probably average looking girl you kissed back in high school. 90% of the time it's usually meaningless but it's all too easy and doesn't make it any less hurtful. And prying in itself is a problem. Logging into their accounts, checking their messages is dangerous but also a godsend. You see things you don't want to see, get the wrong end of the stick but it can reveal truths that are worth knowing.
All in all despite all these factors that have the ability to shatter everything you've worked for, I do think that a good relationship can last until you're both old and grey. I do think you can ride out the hardest parts of growing up, changing and experiencing together but you've got to both want it. A break up tears up your heart and you do think you'll never be able to find anyone that thinks that video on Facebook is as funny as you do and it's going to take you a really long time to be able to fart in front of a boy again, but the bigger picture is that there is a whole world beyond what they can offer. Better sex, better laughs and hey, you'll probably get taken somewhere better than Nandos and get to see the world in the meantime.