I was 18 the first time a guy told me I wasn’t the girl you date. I had no idea what he meant because I had assumed for the last two months that we were in fact dating. I had waited two months to even sleep with him. When after we hooked up, I asked him where this was going he causally rolled over to me and said, “You’re not the girl I’m dating, you’re just the girl I’m fucking.” I was confused because that was literally the first time we had even had sex. But then again, I was only 18.
Over the next few years, I would hear different versions of the same lines from men.
“Well I really like you as a friend.”
“I would definitely marry you but I’m not ready to settle down.”
“I just don’t think of you like that.”
After the third time I started to roll my eyes. I started to be able to numb myself from hearing this. Sometimes I’d just cut them off completely and tell them not to worry about it. Then I did the thing I shouldn’t have done: I started to embrace it.
I was on a pretty self-destructive path and it took my best friend telling me how hard it was to watch me do this time and time again that really made realize that I was part of the problem. Hell, I was the problem.
Yeah, men treated me like I wasn’t the girl they married but I had also let them.
She was tired of hearing about the current married man sending me inappropriate text messages or the douchebag who only texted me late at night. I’ve even pushed aside nice guys because I knew they weren’t going to be able survive my self-proclaimed persona.
She was tired and so was I but it didn’t actually change anything. I wasn’t ready to hear what she was really saying. She was basically telling me to value myself more. Maybe that’s why now my mission in life is to make sure that all people have some form of self-love. Self-love will save you from this path that I have taken myself down too many times to count. Maybe it’s just the simple fact that broken people attract other broken people.
I read somewhere that when two people have sex their souls intertwine and that means that when, for whatever reason, you end a sexual relationship with someone, they will always have a small piece of your soul. I laughed I think back then when I read that but now it’s something I believe in. Giving yourself to someone isn’t something you should just do on a whim, it’s something you should do when you care a lot for a person. I’m not preaching abstinence but I am preaching that you have no doubts that this person is someone who deserves you.
What really made me decide to no longer embrace this fun and often harsh fact was a conversation with my mom. We have a pretty unconventional relationship that features very few filters on my end, so I would say she knows basically everything that’s happened to me in my life. My phone was exploding with text messages and she point blank said to me it must wear on me that men I was “seeing” often only thought of me late at night. I think my mouth dropped. It’s a thought I had in my head but not one that I let out. Hearing it from your own mother, let me tell you, is the hardest thing you’ll ever hear.
So I made a decision to change.
Do I still slip back into old habits? Yes. Do I make a conscious effort to value myself more? Definitely. So to the girl that is told in any form that they’re only good for sex; I see you, I hear you and I feel you. I’m here to tell you that this isn’t who you have to be. Do whatever it is that makes you happy but don’t do it because someone else decided that’s who you are. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; you are enough.
This is one part of very many pieces of me. As soon as you start to admit the damaged parts of yourself, is when you can start to heal. Don’t be ashamed of your past. Embrace it. Acknowledge it. Then move on. Life is all about figuring out what works for you. So do that and screw (or don’t screw) the rest.