This Is For The Boys I’ve Been Completely Crazy About

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Thank you very much for the joy you brought into my life, but now I need to love myself first.
girl and guy together black and white
Timothy Paul Smith

Dear Boys,

We’ve been friends for a while. For a little bit, we were more than just friends, too. We’ve had our sweet moments together that I will forever treasure. You’ve shown me the world from a different perspective. You’ve made my life that much more interesting.

Remember back in kindergarten, I was so shocked when I found out you use the toilet in a completely different way. I tried to stand up like you did but failed miserably by wetting my pants.

Then, in elementary school, we’d always walk back home together after school. I’d pretend to be the distressed damsel and you’d be my hero saving me from the villains. In middle school, it almost felt like you became a completely different species overnight. You’d make bad jokes and think you’re the funniest. You always smell like sweat mixed with laundry detergent. You’d call me by names and enjoy me crying in front of you.

What happened to the sweet Boys? But despite all these, I found myself ever so much more attracted to you. It’s the weirdest feeling ever. I craved to be noticed by you, even if I know you might make fun of me. We are not the distressed damsel and her hero anymore. We became “bros” who’d go on adventures together, but also fight constantly. I guess neither of us could figure out what we were doing.

High school didn’t make things better. We both became very different people. I couldn’t read you like an open book anymore. I’d watch what you’re doing all the time and pretend to talk to your friends to get your attention. I’d carefully style my hair, wear makeup, and put on cute shorts so that you might look at me a few more seconds.

You would text with me well past midnight and walk me home to “make sure I’m safe”, yet you would only introduce me as your “friend”. Then, the very next day, I’d find you walking with my girlfriend in your arm. I could only reason that you’ll come around one day and eventually find your perfect girl right here.

Since I don’t even know when your approval became my golden standard and the ultimate prize.

I’d try so hard to win you over and satisfy you. Remember the summer before college? We traveled together to this little town, where everything is gorgeous and sings young love. We decided to bike around so that we could experience the nature, but I accidentally fell off the bike and scraped my knees. It was for sure painful, but the worry and care in your eyes mesmerized me.

You held my cold and sweaty hands in yours when the doctor flooded my wounded knees with alcohol. I squeaked and you held my hands even tighter. My brain went haywire instantly. All I could think about was how warm your hands were. Next thing I knew, we started dating. Summer, after all, is the season of passion.

But then, things went only downhill between us. You decided you want freedom, as soon as we went to our separate colleges. I cried and begged you to stay with me, but you said we “are better off as friends”. Yet, no sooner than I managed to start enjoying my college life, you called me and begged me to get back with you again. I turned you down once, twice, and thrice.

Eventually, I agreed to go to dinner with you, as friends. The air seemed so thick at the restaurant because I knew you expected me to change my mind. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, so I texted my friend for advice. You were not happy about my absentmindedness, so you stormed out. I had to chase after you, only to find you covered in tears, asking me why I couldn’t see how perfect we were together. How could I say no to you again at this moment?

The first couple months we were together, you were so sweet and considerate. You’d send me gifts through the mail, write me love letters, call me throughout the day, and sing me to sleep on facetime. Things were perfect, I thought. But then, you started subtly throwing in things you “like in a girl”: long hair instead of short, red lipstick instead of transparent lip balm, cute dresses instead of jeans, fitted top instead of a baggy t-shirt, curvy yet skinny instead of thick body shape.

The list went on.

But to be the perfect girlfriend means to be considerate, right? So, I wore lipstick, even though I felt like a hooker; I wore dresses, even though I couldn’t suppress the urge to sit with my legs up; I put on fitted top, even though it made me ever so conscious of my body; I worked out to stay skinny so that you’d see me as beautiful.

You said you wanted me to rely on you because otherwise, you’d feel useless to me, but I wanted to be an independent woman. You asked me to understand your interest in video games, but I wanted you to talk to me instead of yell at me because you just lost a game. You started smoking, because “it’s cool and relaxing”, but I hate the smell of cigarette lingering in your breath.

I could change my appearance for you, but how am I supposed to change the way I am and how I feel inside?

What was wrong with me that I couldn’t be your “perfect girlfriend”? I felt like we’re drifting apart. What was my problem? How could I let this happen? It must have been all my faults, right? Because it’s the perfect girlfriend’s job to satisfy her boyfriend, right?

No, Boys! You see, I really appreciate your existence in my life. You made me realize who I am inside – a tomboy who loves wearing pants and baggy shirts and is proud of her independence.

But, I cannot and will not allow you to take control over my life anymore.

I’m happy that we broke up. It’s not my problem that you feel useless to me, or I want to talk to you, or I hate the smell of cigarette. You need to respect my preferences and make time for me. I will never be skinny enough to be your “perfect girl” because I naturally have a round body. I do not enjoy putting on heavy makeup or wearing skintight clothes because they are not comfortable.

Why would I please you before I please myself? At the end of the day, I’m the one who will spend 24/7 with myself, not you.

Also, I’m tired of your games. What’s the deal with texting me “hey :)” first, but then stop responding all of a sudden? I don’t like constantly guessing what you’re thinking! Tell me if you like me, but also tell me if you only want to be friends.

Pursue me if you are interested, but keep your friendly distance if you’re not. I may still occasionally wear dresses and red lipstick, but it will only because I want to, not because I want you. I’ll keep making jokes, not to impress you, but because humor is written in my genes. I’ll assert what I truly enjoy doing instead of agreeing with everything you say because I’m my own unique person.

Now, I will go enjoy a bubble bath with myself instead of feeling crazy because you haven’t texted me back yet. From now on, you will not be the center of my life. I will be who I am, from inside out, regardless of what you say or think.

Thank you very much for the joy you brought into my life, but now I need to love myself first. TC mark

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