Dear Diary

Finding My Happily Ever After

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I haven’t done a really truly honest post in a long time, but since it’s a new year (Happy New Year by the way), and my newest romance has just come to an end, it felt important to start off on a new foot. After all, I was a writer before I was a blogger, and having a place to share my thoughts and feelings was a big part of why I started RAOP in the first place.

In a lot of ways I’m crazy lucky- I have an amazing apartment, the best gang of friends a girl could ask for, two purrfect pets, and on top of all that, my dream job. Everyday I get to wake up and do what I love, a career that I pulled from my imagination and somehow managed to make into a full-time reality. Every night as I snuggle up into my bed I thank my lucky stars for where I am and all of the extraordinary moments I’ve had.

But if we’re being honest, and that’s what this post is all about, there’s something missing.

I’ve written the words “It’s no secret I’m a hopeless romantic” far too many times, but in this case I think it’s worth repeating. I am one of those people who just loves love- I swoon over engagements, cry in almost every movie I see and sob at weddings. My parents have been together since their early teens and were married before my mom turned 20, and as the most in-love married couple I’ve ever come across they’ve given me some pretty big shoes to fill. As soon as I’d watched my first fairytale as a child I became fixated on finding “the one”. I knew it was only a matter of time.

And yet here I am, 25 years old, and two nights ago I had my first New Year’s Eve since puberty that didn’t include a kiss at midnight with someone I love.

So here’s the thing- In every way I can fathom, I have built my life into a fairytale. I have worked hard to get where I am, climbed my way up the long braid of golden hair to the highest tower and kissed far too many frogs along the way. I’m not afraid to say that I love myself, that I love being single, that I am strong and confident and hardworking, and that I think I have a lot to offer another person. But even though I believe in love above all other things in this life, I somehow can’t seem to find it, or at least to make it last.

I know, I know I should be happy with what I have, but in the spirit of “being real”, everything I have feels a little less sparkly without someone to share it with. As a blogger and a follower of other bloggers in my community and beyond, I see so many posts about happy relationships, new engagements, fresh babies and tales of sweet meetings, but I’ve never really seen anything about us single bloggers- how hard it can be to date, and even worse, to love. Between people who don’t understand what I do or take it seriously, and people who are trying to take advantage of what I do (oh yeah, I had a first date tell me they’d like me to show them how to be successful on Instagram and then leave directly after I shared my story) it’s a bit of a mine field out there. And then there’s the issue of finding someone I’m serious about and not knowing when or how to introduce them to my world. On one hand I can’t help but crave posting about dinner dates, about holding hands on a snowy walk and driving off into the sunset. But on the other sharing my relationships only means sharing my heartbreak, and unfortunately the past year has taught me that I need to ask myself “Is it possible this person is just posting about me and asking to be on my feed for a follower boost, or do they genuinely like me?”

In short, I’m a little tired. Yes I’m young, and yes good things come to those who wait/when they least expect it/etc. but I can’t help but feel a little less twinkly every time I walk away from a lacklustre date or give my heart away to someone who doesn’t have the capacity to give theirs back. Each time a relationship ends, whether it’s my choice or not, that happily ever after slips further into the distance, at times so faded and small that I start to question if it even exists at all, or if it’s simply a mirage painted by watercolour films and mommy bloggers.

I wish I had an answer to my own questions, but that would be too easy wouldn’t it? As a go-getter in every other aspect of my life, the hardest part about this whole thing is I really have no control in the matter. All I can do is wait with fingers crossed for someone to share my sparkle with, listen to Katy Perry songs, and keep closing my eyes to make a wish every time it’s 11:11…

In the meantime, a little bit of self improvement never hurt anyone either, right?

In the interest of healing from heartbreak, I’m making January all about growth and self-love. Get ready for healthy recipes, new workouts, daunting challenges and more honesty than ever before. After all, single, married, in a relationship, or otherwise, we’re all in this new year together.

Header image by the incredible Matt Crump

10 comments

  • I’m in the exact same place. I also am 25 and was just recently broken up with someone that I was in a 5 year relationship. My parents also have that fairytale love story they are 49 and 50 and have been married for 32 years. They are soulmates. Seeing them growing up makes dating so hard. I’m a social worker on top of that. So sister I understand. We will find our princes same day. Love the blog and keep the faith.
    With love,
    Lauren

  • Alyssa, thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing with everyone. I’m 24 and in the same singleness boat as you. Just want to send some love and gift you with this verse, though I understand you may not share the same faith/beliefs – Ephesians 3:18-21. This passage has always given me peace and comfort. Happy new year and looking forward to your blog posts and tips on self-improvement cause I definitely need guidance in that haha 🙂

  • So eloquently written. You write beautifully. I’m here if you need me!

  • We grow with every relationship, even the failed ones reveal secret pockets of warmth, light and strength. My husband and I have 30 years together and I still can’t wait to see him at the end of the day. We are the map work, the stars that guide our sons through their relationships. It is this collective awareness that reignites the sparkle <3

  • Hang in there lady! “The one” will come along when you least expect it.

    I imagine it can be incredibly isolating to feel like you’re being used for your influence… But don’t let fear hold you back from looking for love. Choose love (over fear), always. There are good people in this world too <3

    And in the meantime, I think a little self-love ia a great idea. Just take yourself (or your bffs) on all those dates you want to go on 😉

    Love this honest post, and wish you nothing but love + happiness in the coming year!

  • Believe me, I’m right there with you – I’m one of those single bloggers who’s trying to find her way and maybe find love. I’ve shared a lot of my personal life on my blog in the past, and sometimes that can be a cathartic outlet for sure. I’m lucky in a way, because my social media presence would probably never be a factor in my dating life like yours is, but all I can say is that I think you’re doing the right thing by starting off 2016 with focusing on yourself. I’ve chosen not to share as much of my dating life on my blog because I’ve realized that I do want to keep some things private, unless I feel the need to reach out. I don’t know what the “right” thing to do for you is, in that sense, but it seems like you have the right attitude about it. This was actually the first time in 2 or 3 years that I DID have someone to kiss at midnight, and although the situation isn’t what I would ideally want it to be, I’ve grown a lot in those last 2 or 3 years. Sometimes those single years are exactly what we need to find our way. <3

    xox Sammi
    http://www.thesoubrettebrunette.blogspot.com

  • Love, the Ladies of Shine are no strangers to heartache. It is a crappy way to end a year, but what I have learned is that it makes us human.

    Be a romantic, but drop the “hopeless” this year. Let’s daydream about great loves and look for it in everything we do. It will heal your heart.

    Just like they say “Love really is all around.”

    xx

  • Alyssa, thank you so much for your candidness. I’m 21 years old (going to be 22 in a couple days *sighs*) and I’ve never had a boyfriend, never been on a date, and never even had a first kiss. However, I am still a hopeless romantic (I call myself a hopelessly hopeless romantic) who believes that one day I WILL find someone who loves me just as much as love them. Many of my friends are in happy, serious relationships so I know that falling in love and staying in love is possible. Like you, I can only hope that a good person will enter my life at the right moment. Waiting is not easy but I truly believe that it in the end, it will be worth it. Hang in there, girl!

    <3

    • Hey Lorei – not to hijack Alyssa’s comment section, but when I read your comment, I had to respond. I love your attitude and positivity, and I so relate to where you are in life. About 1.5 years ago, I was you(ish) – I was 26, had been on 2 dates in my life, never had a 2nd date, hadn’t had my first kiss.

      I’m a hopeless romantic too, and I knew eventually all of my waiting would be worth it. Believing in the possibility of love is what sets you apart.

  • This is a great post, thank you for your honesty. I am in the same position as you. Although I am 33 and single yet again. I ended yet another relationship 6 months ago with a condescending narcissist whom I unfortunately completely loved. It’s nice to hear another woman’s fears and loneliness because sharing it is so often frowned upon. We are supposed to be strong and grateful and not need a man… but being independent doesn’t mean that we don’t crave love and companionship. It is important to never give up hope, which is what I am trying to do as I go out on date after date, but there is always that point where you just want to crumble. I wish more women understood what it’s like to be single; my married friends try to make me feel better by complaining about their messy houses and dirty kids… but I would kill for their mess. Even as I write this I begin to tear up a little.
    I think it’s really great that you shared your fears and insecurities here, it is important to see that even a beautiful, successful woman who seems to have it all can feel like that… and it’s OK.
    Maybe 2016 can be the year for woman like us, and we can all support each other <3

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