The Things I Wish I Would Have Done Before I Met You

Relationships aren’t a fix all… there are some reasons why pursuing dreams as a single is much easier

Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

I met my boyfriend in October of this past year. There were dreams that I had at the time that I planned on pursuing. I had begun to chase a few of them when I met him. Meeting him changed a few of them by a few degrees. There was only one that he dramatically changed.

In my opinion, it was easier to chase my larger dreams as a single woman. While I don’t regret meeting him or beginning to fall in love with him, these are the things in hindsight I wish I had pursued further before meeting him.

Since I was a freshman in college, I’ve had a dream of living in a small town about two hours away from home. I dreamed of spending six months up there- driving full time and writing the other part. Waking up to miles of bike riding in the morning before setting down to work.

The town where I considered living for part of the year is rich in my family’s history. I still sense them while riding along the peninsula, recall vivid memories while camping out on the beach and feel more at peace when I’m in that town.

I can’t imagine living up there while being in a relationship with him. I feel the distance would be difficult to contend with, especially since we see each other almost every day. Even though we could go the long-distance route, I don’t see that being feasible right now.

A few weeks into our relationship, my boyfriend asked me what debt I carry on me. He’s a long term thinker with a relationship mindset.

I had two problems with this question.

The first was that I felt that it was way too soon to discuss things like this. I’ve always been one for an open book type of relationship. However, I felt that it was too soon to discuss. I can understand that he wanted to have a full picture of what he might be committing to long term, but I felt ambushed by the question.

The second was that I didn’t have a great answer to give him. Over the past decade and a half, I haven’t always made the wisest decisions financially. I had opportunities to pay off parts of my debt, however other situations in my life took over. My finances aren’t in the best shape, however, I’m taking steps to correct the problem.

This is definitely an area that is easier to deal with as a single person. You have more time and energy to devote to whatever you value most. When you add the commitment to be there for another person, some of that time and energy is eaten up. This is not a bad thing. It just leaves less time to do other things.

My boyfriend is a great guy. He’s patient, gentle and understanding. However, there were prior issues from past relationships that instead of sweeping under a rug, I should have worked out. The truth was, I was too busy trying to forget the problems.

Even when you are with the best person on the planet, it’s better to face prior hangups before getting involved. Taking the time to actually do the work required instead of just moving past it and trusting only in time to heal the wounds. Actually processing through the healing.

It’s also good to learn to deal with things like anxiety before getting involved. Even if the person is able to act as a counterweight to the conditions we face, it’s important to learn how to take the best care of ourselves as singles.

Clutter is one of the things that affects our inner and outer world. When dealt with, we feel freer, better able to be focused and more productive. On a physical level, clutter affects our space. It’s one of those things that needs to be physically dealt with.

Depending on the time between declutters, there can be a great amount of clutter. That’s the state my house is in right now.

I’ve been a practicing minimalist for six years, which means that I don’t own a lot of clutter, just the things that I love and find beautiful. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t live with people who have been collecting clutter for over 20 years.

Clutter takes time, sometimes even days or weeks to pile through (pun intended). As the traditional spring cleaning time draws close, it’s the season where even the person who doesn’t love clearing out feels enticed.

When everything takes time, it’s difficult to split between massive projects and your beloved. It would have been easier to have done this beforehand.

The thing is, we all have dreams of accomplishing massive projects. Even if we don’t regret meeting someone wonderful, they make it harder to face those dreams.

I’d like to encourage you to strive for your best life, regardless of relationship status.

However, if you’re single, this might be the season to tackle a few big projects or to take a chance on that once in a lifetime dream that you’ve been thinking of doing. Single problems are often simpler than coupled problems.

If you’re in a relationship, don’t put every dream in the relationship basket until you’re serious. Make time for the things that you know that you need to get done. If they’re the right person, they’ll have the patience to see you through.

As for me, I’m going to go and start working on cleaning the kitchen. I’ll text him later, but for right now, my main focus is working on one room at a time.

Writer, wife, lifelong learner. I write about personal development, emotional wellness, relationships and lifestyle.