Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Bad Romance & Tips to avoid a Bad Romance

Today, I am participating in the Bad Romance blog tour organised by Fierce Reads to promote Heather Demetrios' new book.

I did not have an abusive relationship whatsoever, but I did suffer from a bad romance. I spent 8 years with my ex-boyfriend and the last 6 years of my relationship I was not happy. I use to think that I was the one to blame. You see, I am Spanish and I can sometimes be compared to Gloria from Modern Family. So I have a quite strong character and it can be a lot to handle. However, being in a relationship means that there are two people sharing and caring and contributing to the partnership in equal parts. When you don't, is because there's something broken.

Therefore, I had some sort of blame in that relationship. I was comfortable with what I had and I was afraid to be alone since I had been in a relationship with the same person since I was seventeen. I did not know how to live on my own. It was easy to rely on someone that always agreed to what I wanted to do. Even banal actions such as going to the cinema were unthinkable when I thought about being alone. And I kept asking the same questions: How would I do it without him and Who am I as a person without him? Everyone knew me because of him and as a part of him. So that left me alone and friendless. Believe, it is the greatest terrifying feeling ever.

But when you are left behind, forgotten and unloved, you don't have a chance. You need to survive and try to crawl out of the hole you created for yourself. And that's exactly what I did. I met new friends which are now my best friends, I started doing activities I had never done with him (even boxing!) and I moved out of my parents' house and to another country! I had the best summer of my life with my friends and I found myself. I learn how to love me and how to appreciate small things. I became a strong independent woman and I have to thank him for giving me the chance at being happy again. Merely, because I was so scared and so trapped that I would have never left him if he had not left me. And I am not being the stereotypical woman who says this as a resentment for what happened. I am honestly thankful for giving me those years with me and for letting me go when he knew it was over and it was pointless to continue. Even though, I was terrified of terminating what I considered my whole world.

My advice? If you are not happy, it is a bad romance. Do not settle for something or someone less than what you deserve just because you are scared of the unknown or to be alone. Sometimes being alone can help you discover yourself, you can meet amazing people and you'll have thousands of adventures and experiences you one day will explain to your kids and grandchildren. Moreover, you can meet the person that was meant for you all along. Who knows?

We all want to fall in love, find our soul mate and, if not, find the closest thing to our book boyfriend(s). However, even though I suffer the risk of becoming a cliche, sometimes love is not enough.

1) Be honest. In order for a relationship to work and to be healthy, you need to be able to talk to that special person without any barriers. You need to be comfortable enough to talk about any topic and knowing it's going to be okay because the person on the other end is just going to be there to support you.

2) Trust. If there's no trust in a relationship, is there really anything going on there? And it works both ways. You also need to be comfortable enough to trust the person you are with. If you do not, maybe there's a problem.

3) Always On My Mind. I believe that if you fell in love and it's a good relationship, that special person it's always on your mind. From small gestures like going to the supermarket and buying something special for him/her just because to having a conversation with your friends and not being able to talk about anything else (well, almost!).

4) Respect. We are all humans, we make mistakes, we can argue and drive each other mad up to a point. But there's always that fine line called respect that no one should surpass and it should always be respected in order to have no regrets and don't hold a grudge for a comment said later on. 

5) Talk. I do not believe that bottling everything up and keep it inside it's a good thing. If you are having a bad day? Talk with someone. If something is bothering you? Talk. If there's something in your mind? Talk. Talk. Talk. You can even yell if given the occasion. Sometimes, getting all out is better than keeping it all in. Because believe me, one day you will pop and it's going to get nasty.

6) YOLO. I apologise for the silly acronym, but sometimes it is useful. If you are in a relationship, let things flow. Do not pressure anything, do not overthink everything... Just relax and enjoy. If it's meant to work, everything will happen accordingly.

7) Be comfortable. If you trust someone enough to love them, you are comfortable to the point of being able to show all your vulnerabilities to that person. Because that person is going to cherish even the saddest and darkest side of you.

Bad Romance
by Heather Demetrios
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: June 13th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it's too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she's unable to escape. 

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Heather Demetrios is the author of the critically acclaimed YA novel Something Real. When she's not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, she lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, Heather is part of the Summer 2014 Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA class at Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the Susan P. Bloom PEN New England Discovery Award forSomething Real.

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