Good old days--dear old days When my heart beat high and bold-- When the things of earth seemed full of life, And the future a haze of gold! Oh, merry was I that winter night, And gleeful our little one's din, And tender the grace of my darling's face As we watched the new year in. But a voice--a spectre's, that mocked at love-- Came out of the yonder hall; "Tick-tock, tick-tock!" 't was the solemn clock That ruefully croaked to all. Yet what knew we of the griefs to be In the year we longed to greet? Love--love was the theme of the sweet, sweet dream I fancied might never fleet!

But the spectre stood in that yonder gloom, And these were the words it spake, "Tick-tock, tick-tock"--and they seemed to mock A heart about to break.

'T is new-year's eve, and again I watch In the old familiar place, And I'm thinking again of that old time when I looked on a dear one's face. Never a little one hugs my knee And I hear no gleeful shout-- I am sitting alone by the old hearthstone, Watching the old year out. But I welcome the voice in yonder gloom That solemnly calls to me: "Tick-tock, tick-tock!"--for so the clock Tells of a life to be; "Tick-tock, tick-tock!"-'tis so the clock Tells of eternity.

- Eugene Field

Unfortunately, I don’t have the best dating record to my name. It can all be traced back to high-school when I experienced my first heartbreak. We dated for about three years before he broke up with me straight out of high-school. His reasoning for the break-up has stuck with me ever since, causing me to self criticize myself every day. He told me I was “too safe,” meaning that if I had put some more effort in my style, or had been more socially popular, things would have turned out differently. As I said, it made me criticize myself; overdoing and over-correcting every little piece of criticism I received. It wasn’t the only time it happened to me, and each time made me feel like I needed to conform to a certain box in order to be truly loved.

"... it made me criticize myself; overdoing and over-correcting every little piece of criticism I received."

It happened again a few years ago. I dated a cute guy I met through mutual friends. Usually, I would have avoided dating someone from my close circle. However, I made this one exception. We dated for several months before he started ghosting me, ignoring my calls and texts. Considering the fact that we have a lot of shared friends, we met again not long after. Seeing him, I confronted him and asked him what had happened. In response, he told me I was “too much of a commitment,” as I was very clear of what I want and looking for in life. Apparently, that was too much for this guy, who ran away from the relationship.

It took me some time to gain a new perspective on all these unfortunate events. Now that I am in a healthy and mature relationship, I often take the time to look back at my previous relationships in hopes that I’ll see things in a new light. What I had noticed is a pattern. With each criticism, with each “too much,” I was stuck in a loop, trying to prove to them and myself that this is not true about me. Too smart, too high maintenance, too dominant, too present, and so on, all of which I received from men at a certain point. It made me wonder, how can anyone be "too much" of these wonderful qualities?

"It made me realize that I need to take control of my life, of my narrative. I need to pick up my life and make decisions that are solely based on my desires..."
To The Girl Who Has Been Called "Too Much"

It made me realize that I need to take control of my life, of my narrative. I need to pick up my life and make decisions that are solely based on my wishes, desires, opinions, and thoughts. Instead of focusing on what others had to say about me, I should have focused on what I think of myself; At the end of the day, you know yourself best; you live with yourself twenty-four seven. Instead of looking for validation and trying to please everyone else, know with a full heart who you are - all your qualities, advantages, and flaws. We have to be confident in ourselves and know our worth so that strangers won’t be able to shake it.

Considering I am in the midst of a beautiful relationship and don’t see myself getting back to the market any time soon, the next advice is to all you single people out there. Next time anyone dismisses you by saying you are “too much," don’t feel the need to change in order to please them. Walk away knowing who you are, knowing that there is nothing wrong with you. Know that you aren’t “too much” of anything. Some day, when that person who is meant for you comes along, you will be just right for them. Don’t forget to love yourself just as you wish someone else would. Remember that you are perfect just the way you are.

Reality Is Relative