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You do you babe

This is a saying that one of my best friends Liv and her boyfriend Kev use all the time and it got me thinking about how important it is to stay true to yourself in both friendships and relationships. They use it in situations when they can’t make a joint decision, whether it be choosing a restaurant or making plans if they have gone for opposing opinions one of them will inevitably turn to the other and state in a very nonchalant manner “you do you babe” and then move forward with their decisions.

These guys have taken us all by surprise, they started in a very rocky place and were always on different pages but with time and effort, they have become one of the strongest couples I know. While building a life together and recently moving in together they have managed to maintain their separate lives and friendships but still taking strides forward in their relationship.

In high school, it felt like there was this mold we had to fit to be perfect and to stay in my friendship group and no matter how hard I tried I never felt like I hit the mark. I always felt like I was too outspoken, too sporty and I had far too many opinions. I ended up pulling back on my sport, learning to close my mouth and made sure I could keep up with what the hot topic of the week was (this was usually bitching about someone or talking about the next hot party our group would be attending). I hated saying things behind peoples backs and I still do but I felt like I had to if I wanted to stay relevant in my friendship group. Since high school, I have found myself and I have found incredibly supportive friendships where I can speak freely and openly.

My first real relationship started out perfectly, we got along, we laughed and we had fun together. Unfortunately, with time the dynamics changed over the years and it eventually became a controlling relationship where I was ripped down for every word I spoke that was ‘out of line’. He would grab me by my shoulders and yell at my face, every time he did it all I could think was “this is the time it’s going to go too far and he is going to hit me”. I slowly backed down and I stopped talking back and putting my opinion forward because I knew this was how it would end. I remember sitting talking to a friend I had met while we were traveling and telling her that I hated who he had become and the only reason I hadn’t left was because we were on the same flight plan. I became a shell of myself, I thought no one cared for what I had to say and the world was better without my dumb thoughts and stupid opinions. It was awful and it took me a long time even after we broke up to find myself again!

It’s made me realise that far too often we over compromise in relationships and friendships, losing touch with who we truly are. We back down from our opinions, our choices and when you think about it it’s really scary that we are so willing to give a huge part of ourselves away! Aren’t they defining factors that make us who we are? Are we too focused on pleasing people to realise that by doing so we are losing our individuality?

I feel like in a relationship we should appreciate the other person and while we may not always see eye to eye your best option is to move past it rather than making a huge deal out of something so small and trivial, just because you have chosen to be a part of each other’s lives, doesn’t mean you have to conform to the same mind set and ideologies.

Your quirks and opinions are what make you special, you do you babe and those who are worth your time won’t judge you for it.