When I met the man who eventually became my first boyfriend, I had no idea how passionate our relationship would be. It was powerful, addictive, all encompassing, and truly devastating when it ended. This relationship ended nearly two and a half years ago and through a journey of attempting to piece together my broken heart, I realized that I have no desire to fall in love again.
Losing him felt like losing a piece of myself
When I fell in love, it was almost like I found a missing piece of myself. The piece that I didn’t know even went missing, but when I found him I felt whole. I was so invested in our life together that spending nearly a day apart felt like hours. When our relationship ended, I felt empty and alone. I had to learn how to become my own person and truly define who I want to be.
My expectations were too high
Most people who are in a relationship for the first time don’t experience some of the finer things in life. This man had money. Fancy dinners, Tiffany jewelry, and rides in his Mustang were all normal aspects of our relationship. When I dated other people, they were never able to measure up to his level of generosity or provide me with the materialistic items that I was accustomed to. I vowed that rather than continue to judge others based on what they could provide for myself in a relationship, I would work hard so that I didn’t need a boyfriend to buy me Tiffany jewelry. Instead, I bought it myself.
I’ll never get my virginity back
Losing my virginity was an experience I thought I would share with my husband. When I chose to have sex with this man, it was because in my naive mind I truly believed that we would be together for much longer than we were. After suffering with an eating disorder for many years, opening myself up to someone in such an interpersonal way was extremely difficult and often times uncomfortable.
His spiteful comments still hurt
Some girls talk about the way that they were treated in middle school or high school long after they have left. Often times, the things that the people who are close to us say can be the most hurtful. If we got into an argument, he was quick to make comments that he knew would affect the most vulnerable parts of my self-esteem. Two and a half years later, I still remember every single one of those spiteful comments, and they still sting.
I can’t be the girl he wants me to be
Long after our relationship had ended and we had spent a significant amount of time ignoring each other, he finally reached out to me. As my mind was flooded with various thoughts about what was going on and how I was going to handle the situation, I knew something was wrong. Although my gut was telling me that he only wanted sex, I didn’t want to believe it. This painful lesson had to be learned when I realized that I can’t be someone’s friends with benefits. I was too attached and hypersensitive to be anything but his girlfriend.
Drugs were more important to him
While I was a teenager, my uncle died of a heart attack at 50 years old. He had used drugs and alcohol throughout his life, and due to his untimely death I was against anyone who abused drugs or alcohol. By the time I figured out that my then boyfriend was smoking pot and drinking on the weekends with his buddies, I was far too attached to ever imagine leaving him. I remember snooping through his iPad and cell phone hoping that my suspicions about his drug use were wrong, but they weren’t. After confronting him about his usage, he lied to my face. It was then that I realized that his love of marijuana was greater than his love for me and we were never going to last.
My body disgusted him
During our relationship, I got a tattoo in honor of my deceased uncle. Although I knew that getting a tattoo while I was underage was not the best idea, I was determined to get it done. He pleaded with me to change my mind and threatened to break up with me if I got it done, but I chose to do it anyway. We stayed together for a little over a month after I got it, and every time I was naked I could see the disgust on his face when he saw it, and that would never go away.
I believed in forever
Being with him gave me the hope of a future. I thought I could actually be a wife and a mother one day. This was a dream that I didn’t think was possible. Before I met him, I was content with the idea of being alone. I thought I would adopt children but be focused on my career. During our relationship, the entire vision I had for myself changed, and when our relationship ended, so did my hopes of a different future.
I learned a lot about myself through the course of this toxic, addictive, and painful relationship. I also learned about love and what it’s like to be with someone who thought I was special, and that was a feeling I’ll never forget. He taught me about love and dependency and I learned that I don’t need either of those to be happy with the life I have now or the person I am today.