It can be so easy to get caught up in the idea of forever when it comes to relationships. Every day, I see people in brand new relationships throw the word around on social media.

It’s almost addicting. It’s a huge relief when someone promises you that they aren’t going anywhere. But who can really make that promise? As time goes on, we change. Every day that passes changes us a little bit. What you want a year from now could be completely different from what you want right now. Currently, you could imagine a life with someone and soon after, decide that it’s not what is best for you anymore.

When I first started dating in high school, I was addicted to the idea of having someone. My dad’s infidelity scares me so much that it used to make me constantly paranoid that I would choose the wrong person. One of my biggest goals in life is to have a healthy marriage and build a wonderful, cohesive family from there. I don’t want my children to go through what I went through growing up. I want them to always know that both of their parents are there for them and have a healthy model for what relationships should look like from the very beginning.

I vividly remember my first meaningful relationship. I was a junior in high school and my boyfriend and I both promised that we would be together forever. It was easy to say. What did we know about relationships? It seemed easy enough to be together when all we had to worry about was going to school, practice, and then to the movies on the weekends.

However, when reality hit and it was time to go to college, things got more complicated. I realized that I wanted more. I wanted something serious and productive. I wanted to connect with someone and build a future with my best friend. As much as I had previously believed I had that with my high school boyfriend, I soon came to realize that I didn’t. The promises that we made are what broke us. To this day, I care about him, but it’s very unlikely that we’ll ever speak again. My decision to break the promise I made hurt him, and rightfully so.

My boyfriend and I started dating at the very beginning of college. We made those promises in the beginning, too. I hadn’t learned by then. My insecurities and fears broke us after a year, and during our time apart, I truly realized that making definite plans was a huge part of our problem. When we got back together, we promised to take it by day. We envision our future together, but we don’t promise. We have learned by now that suffocating our relationship didn’t work the first time.

Making promises like that at a young age can put so much pressure on a relationship. It can feel suffocating. Being a young adult is an important time of development. Some people grow together and their relationships thrive. Others grow apart and decide that the relationship isn’t what’s best for them anymore.

Why put pressure on relationships? I have always been a firm believer in dating to find the person you want to spend your life with. However, there’s a difference between a relationship with promise and making a promise.

In relationships, you’re going to get frustrated. There’s going to times where you just need a day to yourself. Relationships aren’t perfect by any means. Things can get complicated when you share your life with another person. When you’re young, it’s easier. There are less issues to deal with.

Life has no regard for your plans, it will take you and it will shake things up. Making promises can be dangerous in a young relationship. Being in a relationship when you’re young is wonderful, but it can also cause us to set unrealistic expectations.

Wake up every morning and choose the person you’re with. Take it day by day. Don’t put pressure on your significant other to make a permanent commitment. Worrying about the future will just take away from the present. What is meant to be will be. Don’t overanalyze. It will only make your relationship more difficult.

Let them find out who they are while they’re by your side. If they still choose you after all of that, you can have confidence that it’s right. Spend the moment laughing, traveling, and relaxing. Save the life planning for your engagement.

It’s totally healthy to hope for a future with someone while also being open to the idea that there could be another path for you.

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