I know I can be a good girl to somebody, but there are certain things I’m just not going to deal with.

~A Rose

“I was pressed.”  Was the candid response the twenty-five-year-old Rose used to describe her former self when referring to the reason she stayed in a toxic relationship.  At the age that comes with frustration brought on by confusion and being broke (after four years of college thinking that you would get out and conquer the world), Rose is doing what many of us were doing at that point in our lives… trying to figure this thing called life out.  That includes the wild world of dating…

She didn’t know that adult dating would be the rocky road that she is coming to know.  Prior to this year, she had spent her entire adult life in one of two relationships.

She entered her first relationship, with bae, #1 at the age of 17.  About four years after the start of that one, she found herself in a relationship with bae #2.  Now that both of these relationships are in the past, she is very frank and reflective on what got her in, what made her stay, and why she left.

The reason for staying is what peaks my interest…

The relationship with bae #1 made her second guess her worth and her value.  Although Rose could see that this relationship was the opposite of the healthy relationship her parents portrayed, she admitted that she was merely excited about the relationship itself.

“You can really become altered [mentally] by being in the relationships that you’re in.  They can play with your self- esteem, they can play with your character.  [Because] you open up a little bit.  You give this person some type of value on your heart and your mind.  So it’s a fight for your self and with your self…  why are you settling for this?  No, I wasn’t getting what was modeled to me.  I altered what I knew I wanted in a relationship and I was just dealing. ”

But what seemed to be just dealing was brought on by the emotional connection that was stopping the both of them from letting go.

“It was obvious to the both of us that it was over.  But we were still thinking that we could work things out but I don’t think we were mature enough.  My heart was still in it… I just wanted to be right… I was young.  I was connected to it.”

Her next relationship, with bae #2, was one that came shortly after.  “I was very different.  I was the opposite of how I used to be [with bae #1]… he was completely the opposite and even me dealing with that relationship was opposite.   Where it took me a moment to say this is not going to work, but eventually I said it.  But with the other relationship, I just couldn’t always find myself to say it and mean it.”

Despite her realization that the relationship will come to an end, Rose admits that she tries to look on the bright side, which results in her fighting for her relationships.

“I want things to work.  So, I try to be optimistic about the relationship.”

However, when it’s time, it’s just time.  With her setting out to conquer her dreams the focus of a relationship wasn’t possible and she knew she couldn’t give what was needed by bae #1 nor bae #2.  She was able to take a step back and look at what she wanted out of life and start living her life on her terms.

“I knew that neither of these men were going to fit into my unique lifestyle.  I’m not at the point in my life where I can give them what they need.”

At age 25 and looking back on her two substantial relationships thus far, she is happy to admit that her standards have increased which gives her a feeling of empowerment.

“I know I can be a good girl to somebody, but there are certain things I’m just not going to deal with.”