Relationships have come and gone, and here I am, emotionally destroyed. I try not to let the past get to me, but that’s easier said than done. So thank you to the guys who have made me what I am: emotionally closed off, coldhearted, and cynical.
1. To my first boyfriend:
Thank you for teaching me to be realistic about relationships. You showed me that romance can be overrated and that what I wear is more important to you than what I say. Thank you for setting the foundation for my lack of trust. The fact that you cheated on me began to make me cautious and skeptical of all men in my life.
2. To the cute older boy I couldn’t believe liked me:
Thank you for solidifying my need to protect myself. After you—the second boy I ever dated—cheated on me just like the first did, I learned that I am not good enough. I am not the kind of girl that guys commit to and I just need to accept it. You showed me that this is a problem with me—not with guys—and that I need to change myself and be extra cautious. You closed me off.
3. To the emotional bad boy:
Thank you for making me a bitch. You smothered me with affection to the point of being controlling, and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I didn’t just push you away, I ran from you. But that didn’t stop you. You kept calling in distress simply because you knew that I couldn’t say no. You kept trying to get me to give you another chance, but I couldn’t put myself through our relationship again. I finally snapped and yelled and was terrible to you because I just couldn’t take it anymore. Thank you for showing me a dark side of myself that I hate and had never known existed.
4. To the seemingly innocent good guy:
Thank you for teaching me that people are not always how they seem. Everyone thought that you were the best thing that could happen to me. Wow, were they wrong. You got me alone in a room with you while you were drunk one night, and all of that came crashing down. Thank you for teaching me to be absolutely terrified of drunk men—especially angry, drunk men. By getting physical with me and slamming me into a wall, you literally slammed it into my head that I am worthless.
5. To the first boy I liked in college:
Thank you for showing me that it’s true that boys just want sex. By you saying that you were OK with my limits and that you liked me enough to wait, but then still trying to force sex with me, you scarred me. I can no longer trust guys when they say that they’re OK and I know that they are still just trying to get it in. Thank you for teaching me to be realistic about college relationships.
6. To the obnoxious frat boy:
Thank you for showing me that just because things end doesn’t mean the pain is over. You consistently would make me cry, from drunkenly ranting one weekend about how all you wanted was to get back together with me, then drunkenly yelling at me the next weekend until I cried. Your mood swings managed to keep me under your control for months after we had both moved on. You reaffirmed what I had already learned: Drunk men are to be feared.