We all know of those high school romances that usually fizzle out during the first year after graduating, I was adamant that mine was not one of those romances. I had been secretly in love with my boyfriend for most of my high school career, and when he had asked me out in my final year, I was ecstatic.
During the first year after graduating, I had noticed things about him that I hadn’t before (love being blind and what not) that we had two totally different plans for our lives, or should I say, I had a plan and he didn’t. I was a very ambitious woman and had big plans regarding my career as a marketer, while he wanted to get married as soon as I graduated. He was perfectly content working at a perfume counter, and when I asked him about college, he would get angry and defensive and eventually make many empty promises.
I was also a very outspoken woman, outgoing and structured, while he was the exact opposite, immature, shy and timid which became an even bigger peeve regarding communication. Being a passionate woman, I felt as though our conversations had no depth, that we were talking for the sake of communicating. In short, he was someone else’s cup of tea, not mine.
I dated him for two years, it may have still been the infatuation from high school, his apparent kind, passive nature or the fact that whenever we fought he would emotionally blackmail me into taking him back. I knew I was unhappy, but I could not let him go. He would not let me go either.
I held a part time job during my college vacation and worked with a very charming salesman, he was older than me and held a suave demeanour and swagger that left me swooning. He was interested in me but I turned him away many times as I was taken, but he was very persistent. My boyfriend and I were going through one of our roughest patches and after a particularly vicious fight with him one night when he walked away angry and left me with no lift home, I ended up having a drink with my co-worker, the salesman and ended up sleeping with him.
The next day I immediately confessed to my boyfriend, and took the verbal beating “like a man” I knew the extent of what I did, and that I could not defend myself, although I tried to explain the context to him. He had cheated on me years before and left me for another woman, though I had taken him back, being young and foolish. He revealed he had contemplated cheating again but didn’t.
Months passed of not speaking and we eventually reconciled, he was different though, he was harsh and abrasive to the point of scaring me. He was cold and distant, and when I would ask him if he was okay he would get angry with me. More months passed and the inevitable happened, he broke up with me because he could not get over what I had done, this was the day I had given him my a cellphone of mine that was almost new because his was broken, he later refused to give it back. (The nerve!)
I was crushed by him breaking up with me just as I had started falling in love with him again, I felt my heart would never mend. Night after night was spent crying into my pillow, medicating, drinking, etc. I ran back to him many times in my heartbroken state, only for the relationship to crumble and for him to throw me away again.
Months later, slowly healing, I realized that this was the best thing that could have happened. I started noticing the small elements of this later cruel and harsh behaviour in our relationship, realizing that I was worth so much more that the way he treated me. I had tried to distract myself with college and my results were never better (he was coping by partying every weekend, drinking himself into a stupor and sleeping with numerous women) I realized my strength and what I was capable of without him, that he was just dragging me down, not allowing me to fly and reach my full potential.