Relationships that don’t lead to lifetime commitments are not failures.
It seems we often learn about what love is—or what we think it should be—from movies and TV. There’s this binary idea of “I love him!/He’s the worst!” “I’m going to marry him!/I never want to speak to him again!” Sure, everybody has moments when they look at their partner and wonder, Could this person be my person? But I believe that the more you experience, the more your feelings begin to exist in shades of gray.
My first experience with love was incredibly pure. The boy I loved had been one of my best friends from the time we were 9 years old. We went to summer camp together every year. I remember what a big deal it was the first time he held my hand. He was my first real kiss.
In my 20s, when I was starting out my career as an actor, I wasn’t looking for a relationship, but one found me and became serious, even though I hadn’t planned to settle down until my 30s. But when the person you’re with asks you to marry him, you think: This must be happening because it’s supposed to.
But I refuse to let that one relationship define me, which is why I’ve done my best to avoid discussing it for 10 years. The reality is that, yes, it was a massive event in my life. And the trauma of it was amplified by how public it became, which was incredibly foreign and bizarre to a girl who’d been just another college kid 24 months before her life blew up.
Luckily, I had a guy friend who was truly supportive and encouraged me to examine all aspects of my reality. He sent me great books on love and recommended a meditation teacher. After a year, and our mutual friends always asking why we weren’t dating, we realized they were all on to something. Ever heard the phrase “It’s a reason, a season, or a lifetime?” Well, this particular relationship was just a season, but still, it was life shaping. It truly was my space to heal. And I was able to process all that had happened and find a deeper understanding of love.
And thus, I came to appreciate that relationships often serve a specific purpose at a certain point in time, for myriad reasons. Some are meant to heal you, some are meant to teach you how to build yourself up, and some are meant to show you how to trust your own intuition. You call in exactly whom and what you need over the course of your life, as you are learning life’s lessons. And learn them you will. Even if you try to avoid these teachings, they’re coming for you. This reality has taught me that the relationships that don’t lead to lifetime commitments are not failures. Not every love can last forever.
I don’t define success that way anymore. Because the answers are never black-and-white. Often in between those two, you find the keys to what you need in partnership: what you’re willing to give, what you want to get, and what things are absolutes that you cannot compromise on. A few months with the right person can be as great an experience as a decade-long union with someone else.
When you take the pressure of The One off, you’ll open yourself up to endless possibilities. You’ll learn to have a truly deep, knowing relationship with yourself first. Then the rest will fall into place. Reasons, seasons, and lifetimes. They’re all valid.
Sophia attended the 6th Annual Sean Penn & Friends HAITI RISING Gala Benefiting J/P Haitian Relief Organization at Montage Beverly Hills yesterday:
Sophia Bush Confirmed!
We are excited to announce that Sophia Bush, who played Brooke Davis, has been confirmed to appear for her very first US OTH Event and she picked us!
We know how much you guys wanted to meet her and we couldnt be happier to help make it happen! Sophia will appear on Sunday at the convention and will participate in a Q&A session, Autograph and Photo Op sessions and also in the Private Autograph Session. Theres even a special meet and greet in the works!
The Convention will take place in Wilmington, North Carolina on Sunday May 7, 2017.
Tickets go on sale November 22
Yesterday People’s Choice Awards announced it’s nominees – and Sophia is nominated in Favorite TV Crime Drama Actress! Voting started yesterday and ends Thursday, Dec. 15 at 11:59 PM, ET, so be sure to vote as much as you can :)