In ADVICE + THOUGHTS

Beauty and the Beast was always my favorite. I loved when Belle and the Beast realized they were in love, he turned back into a man, and they lived happily ever after. Same with the rest of the crew: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty… that’s where we learned about what love was supposed to look like. We grew up watching these princesses fall in love with a prince who had perfect hair, never did anything annoying, and probably always texted back within 2 minutes.

Or how about when we used to play ‘house’ in our friend’s basements (up to an age that’s too old for me to admit – Emily I hope you’re reading this). We’d give ourselves fake last names and talk about what our husbands did and how many kids we had. And do I even mention how I gave every Barbie I owned a boyfriend with matching hair..because that’s how it worked, right?

Then we grew up, because life forces you to.

I’m sure you remember the first time you really hurt someone. And I know you’ll never forget, for the rest of your life, the first time someone broke your heart. The pain is hard to forget and it changes you forever. I used to think failed relationships were pointless and an unfortunate waste of time. Until I realized how my past had slowly turned me into a girl who didn’t focus her life around finding romantic love. Instead, I started to focus on how much I was already loved by God and my family, and learned to put my goals and the people I loved at the center of my life. Here are some of the ways i’m looking at love a little differently now at age 26, and how I’m attempting to navigate relationships with a healthier and more realistic approach:

1. A man shouldn’t make your life, he should just make your life better

I can’t stress the importance of a couple who has their own lives outside of each other enough. When other areas of your life are fulfilled, you don’t turn into the clingy weirdo who relies completely on someone else to satisfy every aspect of your life. Your goal should always be to be emotionally and financially fine on your own before adding someone else into the picture.

2. Strongly consider the future and focus on compatibility

I used to roll my eyes when my mom would tell me relationships were a partnership. That sounded so boring. But picking your person really does have so much to do with mutual interests and similar family backgrounds (there mom, I said it). A happy, healthy relationship should look more like a best friendship than an episode of The Bachelor.

3. Let your pride go and stop assuming.

I used to be so bad at this. I was the girl who would get so upset in certain situations and stay silent expecting the other person to read my mind. It wasn’t until recently that I figured out it saves a lot of time and pointless fighting to just let go of your pride and walk the person through what you want. You just can’t assume they’ll know what you’re thinking unless you communicate it to them.

4. Ask yourself if the other person makes you a better person?

Take a step back. Are they making you the best version of yourself? Do they make you like yourself more? Are you more confident? Do they challenge you, but also make you feel comfortable in your own skin?

5. Ignore social media relationships

Remind yourself that in 90% of couple Instagram pictures, he’s probably complaining about taking the picture. Nothing hinders a relationship more than a skewed idea of what your relationship ‘should’ look like.

6. Pray about it

Be open to receiving whatever answer He gives you. Even if it’s to walk away.

7. Know when it’s time to get a new “type”

Stop fishing in the same pool of bad fish if you want to find a good one. One of my best friends told me to write down what I’m looking for in someone on a business card and carry it with me to remind myself what I wanted/needed.

I’m obviously no expert considering I’ve made 95% of the mistakes above, but I think that getting your priorities straight will alleviate the pressure to find love and make it more of an enjoyable journey. I’ll never stop being a hopeless romantic, because love really is beautiful. Even if it isn’t the romanticized idea of love I used to have in my head. Whether you’re involved in a relationship right now you’re not too sure about, or if you’re still searching for your Ken doll with matching hair, I hope you’ll start to approach love with both your head and your heart!

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Showing 37 comments
  • Emma Lynn
    Reply

    Really needed this today !
    Thanks so much ❀️
    https://theamazingadventuresofemmalynn.blogspot.ca/?m=1

    • Kawthar
      Reply

      I really, really love your writing and this post really hits home for me- not because of my personal experiences but because of my sister and what’s been through in terms of trying to find someone. I’m also Muslim and I couldn’t help but be touched by your faith in mentioning God as a helper and supporter when you’re considering making someone a part of your life. Beautiful post and God bless <3

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        Olivia Rink
        Reply

        Hi Kawthar, thank you so much for leaving me such a sweet message. I’m so glad you read this post and hopefully your sister can read it too for encouragement! xo Olivia

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thanks for stopping by to read Emma!

  • Alexis
    Reply

    This post came at the ideal time for me. I follow your posts often and really enjoy a lot of the content and lately its like your content has completely been aligned with everything going on in my life. This post just really gave me a lot of perspective to help me re-focus to keep moving forward. I had been “riding the wave” and not really following any rules or my heart or head. Its time to refocus, keep my feet on the ground and keep going towards my goals. Thanks for the great read!

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      This comment made my day Alexis! I’m so happy to hear my posts are making a positive impact on your life and that you can relate. Perspective is key. Be intentional about what and who you want in your life. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  • Emma Rocha
    Reply

    This is exactly what I needed to read right now <3 Love this!!

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thanks for reading Emma, hope it helped!

  • jayme
    Reply

    thank you for this. just got out of a relationship bc I was missing #4. super great guy, but I think God has different plans. very poignant:)

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      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      #4 is pretty important. I’m glad you were strong enough to realize it wasn’t the best thing for you and moved on. I know how hard that is! Thanks for reading Jayme πŸ™‚

  • Dad
    Reply

    I can only hope that you learned some of that great advice from here at home. Mom and I have a great loving partnership that has help to form four of the greatest kids I know. Your words help remind me of why I love your mother the way I do! Keep learning and looking for what you want out of your life partner – he is going to be a lucky guy!

    Love,

    Dad

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Just seeing this! You know exactly where I learned about love!! Love you so so much I’m lucky to have you both <3

  • Rachel
    Reply

    Really amazing post! Thank you for the inspo xoxo

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      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thanks for the love Rachel!

  • Casey
    Reply

    I needed to hear this so badly today — thank you!!

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      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      So glad you read it! Thanks for the comment Casey πŸ™‚

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      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thank you SO much for stopping by to leave a comment Casey! Glad you liked this post πŸ™‚

  • Juliana Grace
    Reply

    I have read several posts about relationships and either found them cheesy or they sound bitter.. but yours read so realistically and honest. I love that you’re still a hopeless romantic after failed relationships but are also intentional about what you want. SUCH a great post!

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Wow, thank you Juliana! That means so much to me. You’re awesome for leaving a comment too, let’s me know it’s worth the time to read!

  • Elly Brown
    Reply

    Preach it girl! Love this!!

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Elly!!

  • Claire
    Reply

    Thank you so much for these words! Several of these were super enlightening for me, and I’m so glad I took the time to read it!

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      That makes me so happy! Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment Claire πŸ™‚

  • Brandy
    Reply

    I loved this so much!

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thanks Brandy, so glad you’re following along πŸ™‚

  • Hillary
    Reply

    This is all SO true, especially in this day and age. Thanks so much for sharing this, really needed to hear this today! <3

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thank you for reading Hillary!

  • Jenn
    Reply

    Such a great read & so true! I shared it on my social media! Keep doing what you’re doing girl!!

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thank you and for sharing Jenn! That means a lot to me πŸ™‚

  • Kerri
    Reply

    I loved this article, and definitely needed this reminder, thank you!πŸ’•

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thanks for stopping by to read, Kerri!

  • Kaylee
    Reply

    This was awesome! I really agreed with your point about letting go of your pride and stop assuming. So many times in a previous relationship I was hurt because I was afraid to say what was on my mind and wanted my boyfriend to just know what I was thinking! But it’s much better in my current relationship now because I am much more direct. It’s important to say what’s on your mind! Also important to pray-that has brought me more peace lately and I’m glad you mentioned that.

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Hi Kaylee! Thank you so much for reading & leaving some thoughts. Being direct saves everyone so much time and it’s a much more mature way of handling things. And I agree, we try to control things too much instead of just taking the path God knows that’s best for us. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and thanks again for stopping by πŸ™‚

  • Stephanie
    Reply

    Very well said. Thanks for sharing, Olivia!

    • http://oliviarink.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gravatar-olivia-rink.jpg
      Olivia Rink
      Reply

      Thanks for reading Stephanie πŸ™‚

  • McKayla
    Reply

    Love your outlook on this! The world makes this idea of who we need to be how, when in reality its not perfect and easy. I am on the other side of perspective because I have been married 3 years and it doesn’t magically become easy after marriage either. Being realistic is the best way to be!
    But if you know who you are in God and yourself your not going to want somebody to complete you because you don’t need completed, you just need complimented πŸ™‚ Thanks Olivia!

  • Mackenzie Fryman
    Reply

    you make everything better!! thank you so much for leaving this!!!

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