—Shelbie Janocha details the dysfunction that can often lead to the demise of a relationship in her first column for CIRCUS.
One year ago on July 3, my boyfriend, for lack of a better word, and I broke up. It wasn't amicable. I created a new level of ugly crying, every other minute snorting snot back into my nose in an attempt for some dignity, while he packed his bag and left for his brother’s house.
This year on July 3, we talked on the phone for close to an hour, laughing, talking about our post-grad plans, daily trials and tribulations; I even complimented his perky ass. Over the past year, we've had our mishaps and triumphs, late night booty calls and fights on the beach, and somehow we've gone down the pathway of becoming...
In the wake of society's need for instant gratification, the dating app Tinder comes to mind—where you swipe left or right to signify liking someone based on a handful of meticulously crafted selfies and a bio that has fewer characters than a tweet—we've lost the concept of creating a foundation for something worthwhile to stand upon. Friendship is the basis of all successful relationships. They can blossom into romance, fizzle out completely, or they become your one and only confidant, your ride or die friend, the Thelma to your Louise.
Have you ever dated someone and realized six months later in that the very thought of them is accompanied with bile rising up your throat? That’s because the honeymoon period, where we all pretend to be what we think the other wants, is over. And trust me, I know about the honeymoon period. I once spent two years without farting in front of a boyfriend.
TWO YEARS. That’s a lot of pent up gas.
Slowly, their true personality seeps out. You’re fighting over basic things like what kind of frozen pizza to drunk eat (for the last fucking time I don’t want pepperoni!) and
why the Theory of Evolution is yes, honey, in fact how humans came to be. Based on personal experience, the late night angry texts and gurgled phone calls from my friends ranging from “how everything was so perfect” to “what went wrong” to “I will murder him in his sleep,” we all need to take a step back and ask ourselves, do I even know their middle name? What about their religious beliefs? Who they think should pay for dinner? (Go Dutch.) Or what they think of Kanye West?
Like the oak tree in front of my childhood home, a successful relationship needs roots that are nurtured by trust, honesty, and a genuine care for what is best for the other in order to grow.
Sometimes that means letting go or telling an inconvenient truth. Sometimes it means listening to them cry at two a.m. about their abusive childhood or knowing when to not push the subject. Sometimes it’s holding each other in silence. Sometimes it’s coming over with a bottle of tequila and a bag of limes, hoping that they have salt. And sometimes, it means realizing that they’re not the one for you.
We’re so petrified of being alone that we’re willing to stick it out with someone who isn't right for us. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be happy and single with a box of macaroni and cheese, streaming Orange is the New Black with no pants on than be at my is-he-or-is-he-not-my-boyfriend’s stand-up show, pretending to laugh at his lame jokes.
Next time you’re rushing into a relationship, take a step back. Think about what you’re doing. Will this person help me become who I want to be? Will they hold me back? If I’m crying will they wipe away my tears and listen or will they find an excuse to not deal with it? Do I really even know them? Do I even know myself?
Take the time to build that foundation; otherwise, it won’t stand a chance.
—story by SHELBIE JANOCHA