I never thought the day would come when I genuinely felt thankful for being cheated on. I never thought I would feel relief while being told I had been cheated on.
I met my boyfriend my junior year of college and after months of becoming best friends our friendship developed into a relationship. We were part of a fundraising group (the largest student philanthropy in the world) and dating each other seemed like an incredible outcome. Fall in love with your best friend while fighting pediatric cancer? Absolutely. We proceeded to date for two years, but about one month into dating he professed that he was in love with me. I immediately threw up. Perhaps it was the alcohol, or the fact that I was not absolutely certain I loved him back, maybe it seemed premature, but naturally the situation escalated. A few months later I said it back partially because I felt that I needed to and partially because maybe I did love him? I loved our complete ability to be 100% comfortable with each other, I loved the way I knew he adored me, I loved that my family liked him, as well as my friends. I adored his family and friends in return. People really loved the two of us together and apparently loved how “calm and stable,” he made me. Fast-forward a few months and onset the doubt.
Is he the one for real? He doesn’t eat vegetables. He is only 5’8”, will I ever wear heels again? All my friends are having so much fun and I feel so bored. Is this what I do when I date someone for an extended period of time, get bored and doubt the relationship? He is so immature. Why do I want other boys to flirt with me? He doesn’t act like a man? Why don’t I care to go out with him? He never takes charge. Why does he drink so much? Maybe if we have some space I will feel like I love him more? He is really immature. He doesn’t seem very motivated to work hard? Am I going to live on the Jersey Shore so he can surf? The questions were endless and sometimes they would happen while I was sitting next to him, but everyone said I was so calm around him and everyone loved him so much. I would suppress the doubts I had in my mind and cover them up with qualities that I “would never” find in another guy. For example here was my go-to quality “There are tons of hot guys out there, but none who will love me this much and who I will also feel so comfortable around.” I think in retrospect we really do glorify the whole “comfort” around the person you like/love, you should want to impress your boyfriend and I surely cared way more about impressing myself. I thought he was cool and he had great style, which at a college like mine is far and few. He was tremendously loyal and I trusted him more than anyone honestly, for God sakes we helped children fighting cancer together who would ever peg that person as a cheater.
I spent months convincing him how much I loved him, but really I was convincing myself not that I loved him, but that I was in love with him. I took his concern for me loving him as love in return, not as a sign of immaturity. It’s like he knew. When I moved to New York City after my senior year my life had become a series of adult like events and boredom. I spent my 23rd birthday out to dinner with him, had one drink, ate ice cream cake and went to bed. I was never this boring before and I constantly wanted to sleep, literally 24/7, a sign of depression. He would complain about how much of a “grandma” I had become and to be truthful I had. He was a partier and for some reason with him I had not a single bone that felt the need to party or even go out for that matter.
Two weeks after my 23rd birthday I was in the car on the way to visit him (he was in a masters program at our college.) I was visiting him for his birthday, his 22nd, when he asked me to call him. He told me he cheated on me.
Normally I think the reaction is to feel your world shatter, which it did briefly, but instead I felt relief. It wasn’t my world that broke, it was my pride. I felt so stupid to have genuinely believed that I could figure out who would and who wouldn’t cheat, I never thought he would cheat. After a few days of figuring out and processing what had happened, I pulled the plug. I pat myself on the back for being the one to walk away. I have seen too many friends not know when to close the door. Our relationship had long run its course and in retrospect I don’t think we were ever meant to date. Now here is where the thank you sets in.
Septemeber 27th 2014 I got cheated on. I cried. October 9th I stopped crying and started living. Every single day since has been absolutely incredible. I have had more fun in the past months than I have had my entire life. I learned so much about myself from the past relationship. For the first time in my life I feel completely happy being truly alone. I live in New York City and I don’t know exactly what I want, but I know now what I don’t want. I stay up until morning, party longer, flirt more and have never had more fun in my life. I feel empowered and I feel tremendously thankful that I was given a way out of what could have been settling for the rest of my life. A few months ago I found “it.” While I have no intention of entering a serious relationship anytime soon and I absolutely adore being able to live my life for only myself I can also happily say that I have met someone who made more butterflies in my stomach than a 16 year old girl at a One Direction concert. Maybe he is not the one and maybe he is (probably is), but for the first time in my life I really do not care because I won’t settle for anything less than that feeling for the rest of my life (the looks and accent helped also.) After the past two years I have spent the last few months making up for how stable, bored, and moderately depressed I was. So last, but not least I want to say thank you for cheating on me because without you I am so much better and nothing feels better than being a little “crazy and unstable.”