Making changes

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Alright, alright- don't act like you didn't know a post like this was coming!

If you follow me on social media, you'll know that recently I got myself a new boyfriend. Yep, for real. The ice queen with her stone cold heart who absolutely vowed to be single for another year at least actually cracked and somehow ended up with a boyfriend. For. Real.

I won't lie to you all, I'm pretty happy. In fact, I'm so unused to feeling the way that I feel that I sometimes wonder if I'm actually okay and if the way that I'm feeling is normal. My girlfriends are probably sick of getting my panicky messages at all hours of the day and night saying "but is this normal to feel like this?!" (always my messages are met with eyeroll emojis and reassurance that I'm absolutely fine. Sorry guys)

I just can't help it, you know? I was left so damaged and felt absolutely broken beyond repair after my last relationship that I just really can't get used to being with someone who actually treats me properly. It means that when he does something tiny, insignificant almost (like turning up at my house with cookie dough ice cream), it means so much more to me than it would anyone else because it's just not what I'm used to from anyone. A lot of people keep telling me how upsetting that is to hear, but I'm trying to look at it like a good thing- it just means that I can fully appreciate every single thing about my new boyfriend all of the time!

It's been a pretty scary experience, getting to know someone and deciding that I want to let them into my life and actually start a new relationship. There were so many times where I freaked out and wanted to run away, texting my friends typo-filled messages written in a blind panic about how I couldn't do this, how I had to cut him off because I couldn't cope with a relationship again and could feel myself getting attached, I couldn't let myself be hurt or ruined all over again. One time I got so worked up I had to leave work to go for a walk and call my sister in the middle of a melt down because "I just don't know how to do this". Being so happy, letting someone make me so happy, freaked me out big time. Like I said, I was- and sometimes still am- so unused to it.

Luckily, I have the best people around me who kept me fully grounded, verbally slapping me through the phone and telling me to get my shit together, reminding me that "he's not the same" and that I couldn't be alone forever (to which I would always protest, I won't be alone, I'll spend my life surrounded by cats...yep, my friends weren't buying in to that one). My friends are honestly great- they always pull me through everything that I try to run from when I freak out and I always end up okay. Thankfully, they helped me to realise every single time that it was okay to let someone else make you happy, to open up to someone even when you are totally terrified to do so- and so I ended up being overly happy with a new boyfriend who is nothing but absolutely lovely to me (and who tolerates my horrendous snoring- what a babe).


     Opening up

One of the hardest things I've had to deal with so far is opening up to this new person. After the colossal heartbreak I went through, I vowed to myself I wasn't ever going to open up to anyone again. I wouldn't make myself vulnerable to being hurt again because I just couldn't deal with the pain of it all. And while I absolutely tried my best to be closed up and, ultimately, unattached, guess what? Relationships are never going to work if you're like that. I've had to force myself to open up to this new guy, make myself completely vulnerable and just trust that he's not going to be like every other asshole I've encountered before now. It's incredibly hard- he's easy to be myself around and I'm totally comfortable around him, so that's not the problem at all. The problem is the internal battle I face every day when I go to open up and my brain tries to make me shut down as it goes into its defense mode. But hey, I'm taking baby steps and I'm getting there. It's difficult but it's absolutely worth it.


      Finding balance

Okay so I definitely forgot how time consuming being in a relationship is- and I mean that in only the best way. I'm so used to being by myself, doing what I want, when I want, going out every weekend and to the gym with Alex and seeing the girls for dinner dates all the time, coming home and writing, working in the days...now I somehow have to squeeze a boyfriend in to the equation too! Thankfully, my boyfriend is a lot of fun and always wants to go out and do stuff, which just means that I'm having to sacrifice, dare I say, 'less important' things, such as blogging and the gym, to spend the time I want to with him. I think so far, I've got the balance pretty spot on- I'm seeing the girls at least once or twice a week, squeezing in the gym where I can, writing while he watches football and still finding time to do so many fun things like going to the zoo, going to play mini golf, going shopping and booking weekends away...it all seems to be working fine for me, which is fab. Finding time and altering the balance in my life has definitely been such an easy change for me to make.

 
         Self-love

Yep, it goes without saying that loving myself has definitely had a positive impact on this new relationship. This isn't something that anyone else will really be able to comment on, as it's something only I really notice. When I was in a relationship before, I was so unhappy within myself and that, combined with a few other factors, made me incredibly insecure, bitter, tense and just generally not a great person to be with. Now, I am 100% confident within the person that I am, I love who I am and how I look and it's made me so much happier, which means I'm a better partner to have than I was before. A lot of people criticised me for being single for so long, telling me that I needed to "get back out there" and other such cliches, but I am so appreciative of taking time to just be by myself. It's really shaped the person I am and now that I've been genuinely happy on my own, I know that I can be genuinely happy with someone else too.


      Being happy

Obviously, the most important thing about being in a relationship is being happy, and that's definitely what I am- ecstatic, elated, overjoyed, every other word you could use to describe being absolutely over the moon happy. I honestly believed that I was the happiest I could ever be over the last 18 months or so. I spent so long working on myself, for myself, by myself, learning to completely love myself and embrace who I was and I was genuinely the happiest I've ever been. As you'll know from previous posts, so often I stopped and thought "I am genuinely at peak happiness. This is as good as it gets". I had great friends and family around me, started a new career that I love, my blog and magazine were taking off and I had some amazing opportunities... I honestly couldn't have been happier!

Except apparently I could be, because now I am! I'm at a new level of happy I have honestly never felt before and I love it. It terrifies me that one person can make me so God damn happy, because to have that power is quite a big thing! However, I'm trying not to worry about that too much and instead, I'm trying to just 100% enjoy feeling this way, all of the time. I am so bloody happy.






A while ago, I shared a quote in a blog post from my best friend Alex, who said "you need to start removing the bricks from this wall you've built up around yourself". What I didn't share with you guys is that she said this quote to me in relation to my new relationship, but what I can tell you is that it's advice I've definitely taken on board. It's important to be able to surround yourself with people who make you happy, and if that means I have to knock down this circle of protection I've surrounded myself with, then I'm more than prepared to do that. I had my time to discover who I was, to learn to appreciate the person I am while being by myself, and now I'm more than happy to share that person I've become with someone else who actually deserves to know her. (God, I really am cringey now aren't I? Bet you guys don't even recognise me...)

Don't worry though, guys. Sassy Flo who rants about fuckboys, preaches about loving yourself before you love anyone else and is all about girl power is still right here. I have a lot of life lessons to share about all of those  topics, so while I'm making a lot of changes in my life, the person I am and the things I write about aren't included in those! Hang in there...there'll be more sassy content coming soon.

Love from,
Florence Grace
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