Speaking from Personal Experience | Engagement Dates.

When I was eighteen, I got engaged. I was on holiday in England with my boyfriend (who lived there) who I had been in a long distance relationship with for about three and a half years. 

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What sparked this topic for me? Valentine’s Day was a few weeks ago and we’ve just waved bye to Christmas too. Being on any social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, I’m sure you seen at least one engagement, right? I’m very involved in Twitter especially so I seen a small number of the girls I follow, get engaged. However, what I also seen was some of these girls having to defend themselves and having judgement passed onto them about getting engaged close to on or Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day.

So why did I tell you that I was engaged at one point? I got engaged on my eighteenth birthday.

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Birthday’s for me were always quite special and so they should be. Christmas and Valentine’s Day are on the whole, something that (almost) everyone celebrates together but your birthday is something that is special to you.

The engagement didn’t work out, we never got married. We broke up when I moved to England, and a few months later after finishing my first year at University, I came back to Belfast. I have never regretted not getting married and not going further with that relationship; we lasted for a little over six years with five and a half of those years being long distance. It was my first ever relationship, I didn’t know what I was doing right and wrong most of the time because it wasn’t a “normal” relationship. There were more things wrong with the relationship than right. Looking back, I was worried about coming home, not because I was sad that it had ended (because I wasn’t), I was more worried that I had build this vision up of myself that I got engaged so young and he was my first everything and we were the perfect couple. (My trait of being a perfectionist had ideally slid in from here I think). I had to come back with my tail between my legs essentially and explain to people that we weren’t together.

Ever since then, I didn’t enjoy my birthday as much. The first birthday that I had when we weren’t together was my 21st. Again, another big birthday for many and I had a different outlook on it. I wasn’t excited, I didn’t want a big fuss, I didn’t think I was worth fussing over; it was just a day to me now. That’s how it was every year after, until my birthday last year.

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I wrote a short little blog post on it but that was my 25th birthday; my boyfriend at the time had gone all out for me to give me the greatest day ever and for the first time (ever), I didn’t think about that failed engagement. I didn’t think about how my life didn’t turn out the way I thought it would at eighteen. I was so overwhelmed with the amount of thought and effort that had gone into celebrating my birthday and making it special that I couldn’t feel or think of anything else but utter happiness.

For those that criticise others for getting engaged at Christmas, New Year’s or Valentine’s Day (for example), it’s no=one’s business when someone gets engaged apart from the two people in the relationship. If you think it’s cliche, fair enough but don’t push your view and your negativity on someone who is currently on cloud nine after just having an amazing moment happen, and quite a life changing one at that.

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I’m not against anyone getting engaged on those days, not at all. Getting engaged is different for every couple, so Valentine’s Day might have an even bigger meaning for you than most. I know that for me personally, it’s not something I would like again. I have told friends and family, and I even told my ex-boyfriend that I don’t want to get engaged on days like that or my birthday again. It’s nothing against those that choose to do it on those occasions but I now have the understanding that not everything works out the way you want it to. I used to love my birthday and it just became a “day” to me for a few years, I just didn’t want the hassle and I didn’t think I was worth it. Some people don’t like their birthday at all and that’s fine, but that never used to be the case for me.

My point is, I understand it from both sides. Stepping away from the criticism for a minute; I’ve been there, I know how it feels to look back a few years down the line at a failed engagement and be disappointed. Not that I’m sad that we didn’t get married (because I’m very thankful that we didn’t in the end) but because I looked back on it on my birthday. A day that should be about me (It sounds selfish, but that’s essentially what your birthday is, right?) yet I thought about this momentous event that was dampening my birthday experience years later.

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When you’re in that moment, it doesn’t matter what day it is. At the time, I didn’t think for one second how this could affect me in the future because I didn’t have anything to worry about. Maybe most people won’t but we have to understand that sometimes things don’t work out and that is perfectly fine. If everything worked out the way we wanted every single time, I would take a guess and say most of us would hate that, we wouldn’t be challenged and we would feel like life is far too easy. I’m just saying that doing this on a more celebrated occasion, it could be more likely to affect you if it doesn’t work out.

I’ll give you a really simple example; I don’t remember the day my ex-fiance and I broke up, but I do remember my most recent long term relationship break up because it was on a family member’s birthday. Chances are, when that birthday comes around, I’ll still think about that on that date whereas a few years down the line, if it had have been on a random day, I would probably forget the date altogether.

I hope from reading this that you can see there is another perspective of engagements and dates that you might not have heard before. Again, you do you, your engagement and the date it happens is special to you, I’m certainly not wanting to put a dampener on anyone’s happiness. I’m just sharing part of my story and how it affected me years down the line. Thank you for reading! ❤

 

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Why I Don’t Drink Alcohol.

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I made the decision not to drink when I was around sixteen. I had half a glass of Peach Schnapps when I was about fourteen and a sip of champagne at my formal when I was sixteen. That’s the height of my drinking, honestly. Ever since I was sixteen, I’ve always been asked why I don’t drink and I really don’t mind being asked; if people are genuinely interested, then I’m happy to answer. I don’t know many other twenty five year olds that don’t drink so I think that’s why when most people see someone not drinking when everyone else is, they can be taken aback.

I always get told “If you control how much you drink, you’ll not lose control” or the best one yet, “You don’t lose control, you know what you’re doing all the time.” Both wrong in my opinion, I believe that once alcohol enters your system, you’re not in control like you were before. Yes, of course there is science behind it all but I still wouldn’t let my boyfriend drive after one drink. Call me overly cautious and yes, he would still be under the limit, but if you’re choosing to drive, don’t drink. That’s why I offer to drive, I really don’t mind it; I actually like driving so it’s never a problem for me.

I don’t know whether this is because of the zero drinking or because of the type of person I am but I would rather come home after a long week of work, stick on the TV and have a big cup of tea rather than go out on a night out. Going out is a lot of effort, and don’t get me wrong, I go out sometimes and it’s nice but I couldn’t do it every week or every fortnight; once a month might even be pushing it. I find when I used to go out (when I was just with friends) I would hit the 11:30pm mark and I wouldn’t be able to have a decent conversation so that was always my cue that it was almost home time. Having someone repeat themselves over and over again or someone just talking absolute nonsense in your ear is something that I personally can’t listen to until the early hours of the morning in a very noisy night club (unless it’s my boyfriend and he’s just adorable when he tells me stories when he’s been drinking).

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Money is also a huge factor. So on an average night out, I used to spend more money on taxis getting home than my drinks. I drink water and pure orange, that’s it! Oh, and let’s be realistic here, if it was even a little sociable acceptable, I would ask for a tea but I think that might be a step too far, don’t you? I don’t drink fizzy drinks or sparkling water, it’s just water and pure orange. So normally the water is free and the dearest I’ve paid for an orange is around £3 (I only bought one that night after that price!). Alcohol is not cheap! So why not go out, still have a good time without the massive cost and buy myself something else that I might be able to get more use out of?

Now I don’t think I’m a perfect person because I don’t drink. The last thing I want to do is come across like someone who thinks “Oh look at me, I don’t drink so I’m automatically better than you” because I really have never thought like that. I’m not any better or any  worse because I choose not to drink it.

I hope this post gave you an insight into someone who doesn’t drink. I have no problem with people who drink by the way! If you drink, cool. If you don’t, cool. I have zero problem with it. What I do have a problem with is when people don’t understand and don’t actually listen. No, I don’t want “one drink”, I’ve said no, what’s so hard about that? Thankfully over the past few years, my teenage years and now in my mid twenties, I haven’t had too many of those experiences. It just seems that it seems to be such a foreign concept to some people and it’s all about understanding at the end of the day.

(Images from pexels.com)

To one of my best friends on her wedding day…

My best friend is getting married today and I couldn’t be more happy for her. So today’s post is a very personal one, from me to her.

Dear Whitney,
The day is here. Your wedding day is here! You’re getting married today and I’m so happy for you. I remember the day you got engaged and I remember how excited you were, and nothing could ever make me forget the moment you told me. I actually think I screamed when I saw your message! Your day is finally here; you and Mat are so perfect together and I hope you have an absolutely wonderful day together. I’m sorry that I can’t be with you on your special day, I would really love to be there, but I can’t wait to see the pictures of everything! I know how much hard work you and your family have put into this wedding and I hope it is such beautiful as you imagined.

I’m so lucky to have a best friend like you. Even though we haven’t met yet, that doesn’t stop me being as close as we are to each other. You listen, you’re there for me and genuinely, I don’t know what I would do without you.

One of my favourite moments together is Christmas. Every Christmas we do an unboxing together and I love thinking about what to get you. You know what I like, I know what you like and it’s honestly one of the best times at Christmas, picking out unique presents for you that I look at and think “Oh, Whitney will love that!”. I love that you introduce me to weird and unique Korean beauty products, they’re so weird but I love it. Our Christmas unboxing last year was our first ever time on Skype and I remember being so nervous at first, but it was so much fun. I can’t wait to do it this year again, I already have Christmas present ideas!

You have given me a new outlook on life. I look up to you in more ways than you know, you are such a balanced person and I’m so happy that you are blessed with all these lovely things in your life, it honestly couldn’t happen to a better person. Your friendship will always be a huge part of my life and I never want to lose that.

Have an amazing day, you completely deserve it.

With love,
Victoria xx.