Is it normal that love has totally crippled my ambitions?
I was utterly in love with someone in secret for five years and finally got the chance to start dating them earlier this year. One thing I noticed while we were dating is that I seemed to put him over everything else in importance. I'm a conscientious person, so I definitely was aware that I was doing it and knew it isn't healthy but carried on because that's how strong my feelings were. It didn't physically stop me from getting on with assignments at uni but I noticed my severe lack of drive. I've always been passionate about learning, and striving to do the best that I can but this really dropped to the point where I was happy to hand in half-arsed work that I knew could've done with SO MUCH more, if only I'd given it enough time.
However, it wasn't that he was encouraging this behaviour. In fact, he always said I should concentrate on my work / always encouraged me to revise when I needed to revise. And to a certain extent, I did. But again, it was totally just for the sake of revising. I wasn't ENJOYING what I was doing, because I was so consumed by my relationship - I'd constantly be waiting for him to text me, thinking about the next time I see him etc. etc. It was my first and understandably a pretty significant relationship so I guess I can understand why I was so hooked on it at first. But it was spiralling to the point where I was depressed and empty because I kept having paranoid thoughts like "What if he doesn't love me anymore? What if he's secretly disgusted by me?".
Everything I thought about revolved around him. If I thought about stuff I wanted to do in the future, I'd wonder how he would fit into that equation (travelling abroad etc). It was so ridiculous, and at times I felt ashamed at myself for being so dependant on somebody like that. Before, I considered myself as someone with a lot of ambitions, dreams and optimism. I was so ready to take on life, I was so excited to get into university and step into the "adult world".
I'd like to point out again that the guy in question was a very kind, sweet and generally sincere person who never purposefully made me feel this way. We have since broken up, and although I do have feelings for him still, I know that neither of us could benefit from carrying on a relationship that (for me anyway) was too emotionally heavy.
I'm trying SO HARD to move on and get some of that optimism I once used to feel. The excitement of starting something new and challenging myself intellectually and actually feeling EXCITED about learning, and wanting to get good grades and prove to myself that I'm still that ambitious person. I just want to know why I'm like this. Why is it so IMPOSSIBLE right now to let go of him, and gain back my confidence in myself and my ability to move forward academically in life? Why did I let something that's supposed to make me feel happy, an emotion like love, get in the way of my other dreams?