So, yesterday, I was trying to send a quick text to one of my friends and my auto-correct ever so “sassily” changed ‘I’m broke till Friday’ to simply ‘I’m broken’ and all I could do was laugh. Right in the middle of a busy Starbucks on a Monday afternoon, I laughed until the liquid eyeliner I’d artfully applied that morning was smeared to Hell. But that ‘I’m broken’…it sent me over the edge. My first thought was, “Well, fuck if that’s not the truth.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I kinda love that about myself. You see, I find something deeply comforting about the fact that I’m 24 years old and a bit of a goddamn mess. Not in all areas, I’m entering my mid-twenties, after all, and with that I’ve learned how to make my career actually resemble one.

Sure, it has nothing to do with what I actually went to school for, but hey, at least I still dominate any Jeopardy round that involves questions on literature or alcoholic beverage (thanks, ASU). And even though, I still eat chicken nuggets and princess fruit snacks for dinner on occasion, I am a productive member of society. I pay my bills on time, read self-improvement books on how to become a better leader. I volunteer in my community and maintain great relationships with family/friends.

Despite this, there are some areas where I’m still a hot little mess. For example, how the hell am I doing at this whole ‘being in a healthy romantic relationship’ thing that I’ve been attempting to do recently.

My boyfriend and I have been together roughly three months now and he’s pretty damn amazing. He’s funny, sweet and kind. My family adores him and my friends are just so proud of me for not bringing around my normal type (felon with a heart of fool’s gold); they keep sporadically embracing me or squeezing my hands in shows of support and happiness.
Yet, despite all the well-wishing and positive vibes everyone has been sending my way, I am still battling the impulse to run away into the sunset. Alone.

To be honest, I’m pretty good at being alone.

Previous to this relationship, I was single for five years and while I dated around quite a bit (and have a blog dedicated to chronicling some of the more traumatic, yet amusing, episodes-shameless plug, it’s hilarious), I became very used to doing my own thing.

Yes, when I was single and on the quest for something healthy and loving, I would say that I just wanted someone better, something real. But when the “douchelord” that I was talking to at the time called me to be picked up from a bar at midnight on a Wednesday, was I there?

You know it.

But now, my boyfriend calls me to just to check in before he goes to sleep or sends me a good morning text and even though, I’m happy about it, there’s a part of me is screaming: ALERT ALERT TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

And thats the part of me that wants to run into the sunset all by myself.

See? Broken.

But here’s what I’ve learned from my short, yet sold, romance of three months, being in a new relationship isn’t just an adjustment for me because I’ve been single for so long. It’s an adjustment for everyone. When you are first starting out with someone new, you’re not just remembering what you’re like in a relationship, you’re learning for the first time what you’re like in a relationship with that person specifically.

Sure, past relationships can always influence how you treat your current partner. It’s impossible to not let some of the baggage from your past slip into your behaviors with someone new. But if you’re smart, those experiences, those people you’ve dated before, they’ll only benefit your current relationship.

Remember how amazing it was when you did something spontaneously nice for a boyfriend of Christmas past? Cool. Do something spontaneous (yet different) that’s equally bad ass for your current flame.

Remember how shitty it was when your ex-boyfriend called you names and made you feel stupid? Awesome.

Now, be more vocal when your current boyfriend says something, even teasingly, that hurts your feelings.

Above all else: set better boundaries.

Use the good, forget the bad, and if you still need to occasionally give into a momentary impulse to frantically locate your emergency exits, so be it.

It really is okay to be scared. Sometimes, love can absolutely wreck you to your core and when you’re falling in love with someone new, it’s hard to not immediately recall the other times where love felt epic and beautiful and freeing until it just didn’t anymore.

But if Ray and myself can look behind us at the absolute shit-shows we’ve recovered from and be trying to be happy now, so can you. To anyone else stumbling along blind in a new relationship that’s afraid to be hurt again, just know, not everyone is out to get you. I promise.
There are genuinely good people in this world that have love and affection to give you that doesn’t come with a price. If you’ve been betrayed or hurt or manipulated in the past, it is okay to be cautious. But it is notokay to be cold and let’s admit it, it’s not really any fun.

Yes, I will admit there are times that I look at my boyfriend and think, “well, this shit is going to hurt when it explodes” and yes, that’s unhealthy.

Again, I’m broken, but I am trying. And that’s really all that anyone can ask you to do. Just try to love again and let someone love you, because you deserve it, you sexy beast. You really really do…. (*cough* RAY CEO JR *cough*).

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