Falling in love is not a choice; it is not something you can read up on or become an expert in, and it is not something you will find in an article. I am not saying that you shouldn’t look at those articles for references or to even make yourself feel a little better about a situation you are currently in.
What I don’t see too often are articles that revolve around women hurting men or how to help a man cope with a breakup. Believe me, I am all about bringing my fellow woman up; however I also believe in bringing men up equally as well.
When I broke up with my on-and-off-again boyfriend of eight years, it was tough, but not as tough on me as it was on him (obviously). The thing with our relationship wasn’t about arguing over the future but more on the lines of fighting to get over our rocky past. Eight years is a long time, presumably, to analyze situations that have transpired and to help yourself, as well as your partner, to get over them. In my case, eight years did not suffice. The thing is, when you love someone so deeply, vigorously, and wholeheartedly, you push away all of the negative aspects they bring to the table, especially at a young age.
We met when we were sixteen years old. We were young, innocent, and whimsical at that point, so we fell in love quickly. I know now looking back that I truly was in love with him; every part of my soul and body ached for his affections and touch…but then things changed. One day I woke up with my head spinning in a circle thinking, “I am too young for love, I need to have fun, what are you doing?,” and that’s when our innocence vanished. I broke his heart and from that moment forward we became bitter and traumatized by love. Over the course of the next eight years we would find ourselves gravitating back to each other after breaking up over and over again because we thought we owed ourselves the chance to rekindle that love. It didn’t happen, at least not yet.
Once you have harmed the one person who would have given you everything, it is very rare that you will be able to repair any damages you may have caused. Love no longer means poems, late night texts, sneaking out of your house for one kiss, or even just feeling wanted and deserving, it gains a new meaning, possession, agitation, selfishness, and most importantly, a chipped heart. That chipped heart will continue to chip until there is nothing left to tear away from, creating an empty shell of emotionless actions and words. I changed him, and I changed him for the worse. As much as I hate to admit this, after I broke his heart all those years ago, he was never the same person, at least not towards me. He was no longer adventurous, selfless, affectionate, or respectful. He went from being a sweet and loveable human to a callous and stubborn shell of a person. Seeing that change in him made me cling harder to him, becoming obsessive, overbearing, out of control, and blinded into thinking I was actually in love with him for such a long time. I wanted to fix what I had broken, but he was too far gone.
After seven years of chasing him around, I became pregnant. Now, ladies, I have to shut this down before it begins; I did not get pregnant on purpose. Just like many young adults in the world, we became careless with our birth control methods. With that being said, always use protection! Now back to the root of the topic. After our son was born, I had an epiphany (just as most new mothers do), in which I realized I had to be a better example of a woman for my son. I wanted to show him what type of woman he needed to pursue in the future, so I had to discard the weak and cowardly girl I was before he was born. With that decision came an enormous amount of change in myself, and it had a negative ripple effect on my ex.
I looked deep inside myself to find what was the sole purpose of running after a boy who did not want to be in the race. I could not find one single reason, so I became uncaring. I broke things off with him and we co-parented for a year and a half. In the midst of our longest breakup, he met a girl very quickly after we ended and was with her for almost an entire year. Now you can only imagine how horrified I was regarding that matter, seeing as I just had his child, but I dealt with it as best as I could have. I fell out of love completely. It took me a over a year to be okay with seeing his face and not have my stomach churn, to be in his presence without wanting to ask “why?”
One day, out of the blue he told me “I am going to get you back, I will do everything I can to win you back.” His words were true, he broke it off with his ex and pursued me as hard and vigorously as he could have, eventually earning his way back into my good graces and ultimately into my heart. We moved very quickly after that, moving in together and talking about more children. Yet a little voice in my head kept screaming the question, “why did you move on so quickly, even after our child?” It would haunt me at night and it never left my subconscious mind. Finally, I asked him and the response I received back was almost as relieving as taking a breath of fresh air after being under water for too long. He told me that he was so hurt and so bitter that he wanted to dilute any pain that he knew he would have felt after losing me. As awful as it may have been for the poor girl he had involved in his master plan, it gave me a sense of peace (or so I thought) knowing he still loved me after all that time. With a few days of blissful thinking, the questions eventually began to scream at me louder, then the old memories started to creep in ever so silently. I was starting to feel how he felt eight years ago: bitter, resentful, and selfish, because without realizing it myself, he had officially broken my heart.
By this point, this man had done everything he could have to save what little we had to save. He was finally after all these years truly dedicated to loving me with every bit of his body as best as he could; however it was not enough. I couldn’t live with the questions, with the past, or with the agonizing future ahead. I knew I loved him, but I also knew I was no longer in love. I stayed quiet for months crying, praying, and hoping that I would fall back in love, but as the days dragged on, the less I felt for him.
I got home one evening and he greeted me with a kiss, a hug, and a “How was work, baby?” and I broke down. I told him how I felt and how I had been holding that in for some time, and I will never forget the look on his face change with such deep emotion. I knew he had done the best he could to love me; I could see it in his expression. It was like we were sixteen again; he was broken. We both cried, we hugged, we said our goodbyes, and he was out by the end of the night. I felt so horrified; I had made this beautiful soul cry and feel unwanted for so long, even after he did above and beyond to keep me.
Even to this day I love him, and I probably always will, just not in the way I wish I could have, in the way he deserved to be loved. We as humans make mistakes every day—whether it be as a parent, a student, or a lover, we are not perfect. I was so in love with someone that I lost myself over the years and once I found myself again, I allowed another person to become lost as well. That is a lesson I will never forget and is something I will pass on to my children. Never allow your growth to stunt someone else’s; if you are not willing or able to grow together, grow apart, grow up, and if life intends you to, that growth will bring you back together or on to bigger and better gardens. Either way, it will be beautiful.
So, to my ex and to all the men out there who have a broken heart, please know there will be a better flower out there for you. Your soulmate was made perfectly for you and is just waiting around for the perfect time to bloom. We all make mistakes and we all have regrets, but you should always learn from them. Do not lose hope, do not lose faith, and do not lose that loving heart. We will all suffer through breakups and heartbreak, but you should never allow yourself to become bitter about love. Love is incandescent, it is pure, it is godly, and love will not fail you even if you feel as if you have been betrayed by it. You will be okay.