They say that love endures all things. They say that love is patient, kind, respectful. But the love stories we rarely talk about are the ones that fail. The ones that may have had a chance but couldn’t be. Or the ones who taught us that we can do better.
I came across my journal the other day and there was just one line
“Sometimes I hate that you loved me.”
That says a lot I guess, about my last relationship.
He was my first love. Of that I can be completely sure. And we had a relationship based on trust, and mutual respect for our own emotional hindrances. We sort of “fell” into love. We had an incredibly close friendship that one day became a relationship. I thought it was an amazing relationship. It took me around 6 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days to get over him. I believed our relationship failed because of timing. Although that is partly true, he lived in England and I moved back to Canada, I know now that it would’ve ended anyway. I would’ve grown tired of fixing him.
The reason I’m telling you all this is because I am guilty. I am guilty of trying to “fix” a man. I loved a “bad boy.” A “bad boy,” can be categorized by a host of characteristics. There are usually some pretty concrete signs. He’s probably emotionally unavailable or manipulative, jealous, angers easily, unpredictable, stubborn, a lone wolf, pessimist, sarcastic, lacks direction, unmotivated, and usually when they admit it, they’re quite lonely. Perhaps he rides a motorcycle, or smokes, or wears way too many slightly different coloured leather jackets. But I diverge, that’s not the point.
My point is, I fell in love with a bad boy because he fell in love with me. Let me explain. I can be quite sarcastic, a bit mouthy, and extremely opinionated. Throw that together with unbeatable optimism and extreme extroverted characteristics and you have the polar opposite of a bad boy (in most ways). I loved him because he was different with me.
I loved him because I mistook his moodiness for misunderstandings. I mistook his jealously for caring, and his harsh critiques as jokes. I loved the bad boy because he called me his “sunshine,” because I thought that if I loved him hard enough he’d change. I loved him because I am incredibly selfless, and need validation. I felt like by earning his love I’d be enough. So I was stuck in an emotionally manipulative relationship. The aspects of my personality I loved the most, he constantly critiqued. The dam boy never even bought me a birthday present. He definitely wasn’t the best for me. But I loved him, and I’m better for it.
Most articles and books and magazines tell you that loving a quote on quote “bad boy,” is the worst thing you can do. They will abuse you, anger you, they won’t love you the way you deserve. And these realities are true. I remember crying more in that relationship than I had in a very long time. I remember constantly having to prove my worth. It definitely wasn’t healthy.
I am however, glad I had that relationship.
Because once you love a bad boy you never look back. You become unwilling to sacrifice yourself for a relationship.
You realize how much you are worth and refuse to settle for anything less. You grow up and recognize that love is more than passion and chemistry, it is a partnership. A partnership where the person you’re with should build you up, not tear you down. That listens to your dreams, your 1am ponderings, and random inventions, and are excited with you. Real love, the kind you can’t fake on Instagram, is a relationship where you safe. It is a place where emotions are honest, where the lies are admitted.
Real love means that you change and grow together. Real love demands more.
So yes, I’ll admit it. I loved the bad boy. I loved the man who made me cry. And it took me a long time to realize that the relationship was doomed anyway. It took me a long time to realize what I learned in the process. I am happy that I loved the bad boy, because if I hadn’t I wouldn’t be looking for the love I deserve today.