An Open Letter To My High School Relationship

An Open Letter To My High School Relationship

Everything that happens in a relationship teachs us something, and grows us as a person.
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A year after we ended things, I've decided to share our story. All the story. The good, the bad, and all the things I've learned along the way. Our story has changed me into a better person, and this process didn't happen overnight. Relationships help people grow stronger, even after the relationship has come and gone. As I sit here on a Friday, I wonder where to begin and what to share. I think about how our worlds have become two totally different ones.

My Friday nights are spent at my apartment with friends watching movies, while yours are filled with drinking and partying. How our worlds could be completely different is beyond me, but I couldn't be happier about where I am in my life. I thank you for leading me down the rollercoaster of our relationship, and to some of the best chapters of my life.

I also share this story because I live life looking for the positives. I am always smiling and cracking a joke. I strive to make others happy, and not let anyone see me at my weakest points. I wanted to share that behind every strong woman, so many more things are going on. Everyone goes through a hard experience, and I want everyone to understand that IT'S OKAY, you are not alone!! I hope my story helps you learn something about yourself, or about a relationship you are in. I hope it helps you to grow as a person, and blossom into the best person you could ever be!!

12-17- 2013 This date use to be what my world revolved around for 2 years and 4 months. We met through my favorite activity, Color guard. You were the “invisible child”, but finally decided to come on a guard trip! Why you would be interested in the wildest and loudest one… was beyond me. I asked myself what you, the quiet/shy boy would see in me. Time passes and, let’s be real, I always had a crush on you. The night this story really begins is my cousin’s birthday party. Leaving that night was a wonderful feeling, you put your number and your Snapchat in my phone. Let's be honest, we were flirting the whole night. Time passes and 12-17-13 rolls around. A simple December day, following a day full of finals and going out to lunch. You simply ask if we should make the “rumors” true. Of course, without hesitation, I said yes. Little did I know, this day would change my life forever, in ways I never could’ve imagined.

We were both diving into our first serious relationship and heading into giving up 2 years and four months of our lives…... figuring out what “love” is and isn't. I still wonder what I saw in you, a quiet and shy, city boy from the square. This was far from what I could have ever imagined myself dating. Looking back I realize the experience was to help me change my life for the better and help keep you on the straight path to graduation, keeping you out of trouble.

Just as any relationship we started out in the head over heels phase. We wanted to spend as much time as possible together. We hung out with my friends, watched movies on the couch, and even played x-box live together (even though I sucked). Three months later, my birthday rolled around, and I got the most heart-filled gift, a key necklace, and black hooped earrings. To this day, I still keep the key in my jewelry box, and wear the earrings, because hey! Black goes with everything. Over time the key will fade into a story of my high school career, a necklace and earrings I wore for 2 years straight. Later down the road, I bought you a chain. This chain necklace always looked so “bad ass” on you. I still see those posts of you wearing it. I hope every time you wear that chain you think of us.

As time passed we shared a lot of experiences. I opened your eyes to the farm life, including you holding your first pig. I began to drag you out of your comfort zone. Relationships are about growing each other, and during the years we spent together, I pushed you into growing into a better person, and in turn you helped me grow into a better person as well. The time between 12-17-13 and April 2016 holds a lot of fond memories. The homecoming, and proms we shared together. The waiting for each other after class, the late night movies, all the bowling nights and oh if that bonfire could talk the funny stories it would share! The support of all my band contests, ballet performance and even the pageants ( I know were super super boring.)

These years also hold lots of struggles. The struggle of my first year being away at college. All the phone calls that faded over the year, due to lack of effort. The fading in phone calls pushed me to begin to learn, how to turn to someone else when I needed someone to talk to. This caused me to meet some of my best friends I've ever had. The struggle of trying to hang out on the weekends when I'd come home. The “I've got to work late and I'll come over after”. The time I spend waiting for you to show up at my door, the times I missed going out to dinner with my family because I was waiting on you. Waiting… Waiting… This taught me to never waste time waiting on people.

This also taught me that sometimes people's list of what's “important” changes. Out of sight out of mind, could not be more real. We also struggled with communication and listening to what each other shared. We would share what we both had a problem with… but let's be real, only one of us ever listened. Once communication fades in a relationship, the real problems start occurring.

Relationships begin to fall apart for many reason, but especially when one person’s eyes move on. Being truthful and having trust in a relationship are very key. A relationship is built between two with trust for one another at the base of it. Communication began to fade, and communication began to move towards other people. Slight problem when you begin ditching your significant other for another person. You know how your relationship began and this communication process is beginning between your significant other and another person…. OH wait! Not just one person, but two.

Our relationship truly began to fall apart at about a year and 10 months. Looking back now, nothing I did made our relationship begin to fall apart. At the time I thought I wasn’t good enough. Simply, I wasn't what he was looking for anymore. He was finding what he needed in other places. Our relationship began to fall apart because of other women and he allowed this. Other women that were “just friends” as he put it. Something fishy is occurring if you won’t open a Snapchat from another woman with your “girlfriend”. People began to share information with me, about my “boyfriend” spending time with these mistresses. Little did he know, I have friends all over, and they want to protect me. These women should have learned to respect the fact that this man…. My “boyfriend” at the time was taken.

My “boyfriend” also should have realized that he was taken… Sometimes the “taken” man is the safe bet for women… Why not mess with a boy who’s taken, you’d never have to commit… Women are much stronger than stooping down to this level, just believe in yourselves!

When someone tears a relationship apart, it not only tears the relationship apart but it also destroys people. Months after this relationship ended, this little event ruined my trust for other men. I couldn't help but always wonder if the guy I was talking to was talking to another woman. Women are supposed to stand together, not take another woman’s man. The point of this section is to understand, it's okay to not be okay after a terrible relationship experience. It's okay to question when your “boyfriend” is talking to someone else, they should not get defensive. They should tell you what you want to know. If you question the relationship, don't hold on. If you suspecting cheating, get yourself out. Don't hold on. A man should never lie to you or even let you suspect he's cheating.

The day we broke up was his senior prom. Luckily we never planned on going to prom, but simply going out to Ruth's Chris, the expensive steak house. I was sitting on the couch trying to get the nerve to finally cut off the relationship. I couldn't play the games anymore, but my heart still longed for the good memories we shared. Sitting on the couch in tears, you began to show more compassion for me than you had in months. I began to wonder if I did the wrong thing ending the relationship. That night, we went to dinner. The first “date” in a long time, that I didn't drive or pay. I thank you for sharing one more night with me. Ruth Chris is a restaurant I will never attend again. It holds the ending to my high school relationship and mindset. In the end, you ended the relationship the right way, by treating me to one more dinner…. Most awkward but “normal” dinner of my life, but still fun. On the drive home, I gave you directions because you said I told you that you never listened to me. I began to give the wrong directions and we both shared a laugh, but just another reminder we did not belong together anymore. The dinner was just one more memory to store away, and save for a rainy day.

Leaving you was what I needed to finally get out of high school, and fully engage in my college years. This pushed me into the best chapter of my life. What was the “worse” decision of my life was a big speed bump to get over but the whole process made me a better person. It made me rethink relationships, and made me a better future girlfriend for some lucky guy.

You see the thing about losing a serious boyfriend is you not only lose the boyfriend but your best friend. (best friends have terrible pictures of each other, so why not include one:P) If you do a relationship right, your boyfriend is your best friend. But, you also lose his family, your second family. Break-ups are far beyond losing just a boyfriend, and it's okay to not be okay after it. In my case, I wasn't sad that I lost my boyfriend, I was sad I lost my best friend. So, I tried to stay friends.

But being friends after a relationship doesn't work. (just like everyone says. I thought I would defy all odds… but that attempt failed (on his part). So begin to move on right away, put yourself first. It took me months to realize this. When I finally cut off all contact, including social media, I began to not think about you anymore, and it allowed me to fully get over the relationship. I thank you for pushing me away immediately and making it easier for me to move on.

When looking back through social media for pictures to put on here, I realized something. I realized that a lot of the pictures we share come from the very beginning of our relationship. This made me realize that maybe I was staying in the relationship because the beginning was so good. I was hoping that this would come back. We had a spark at the beginning that was very obvious, we were the #goals (as people would say) But looking back that faded fast. I was so head over heels for you, I never realized our relationship was over before we even started… love is blind, don't forget to keep your sunglasses on to keep you from being blinded.

To my ex-boyfriend: If by some random act of faith you are reading this. Sorry for sharing the brutally honest story that was “US”, but Thank you!

Thank you for all the things, both good and bad. It turned me into a stronger woman! I’d like you to know, that I still wish you the best in everything you do. Maybe I’ll run into you some day in town, or see you at prime (the car wash he works at). I’ll smile and maybe wavy and remember the good times. Always know, I'm wishing the best for you and I'm still cheering you on. You were my first serious love, and you will forever hold a special place in my heart. I will always consider you a friend, and again I wish you the best. You are an amazing young man, and if you use your brain, you'll do great things!

You know me, always dealing with situations with quotes. "Maybe someday I'll see you at a table in a restaurant in France. Perhaps we will both be with our future families. We'd smile and wave but go our separate ways."

In the end, we are the person we create. Our stories help shape us into the people we become. This relationship was a roller coaster, but I wouldn't change a day of it. The past is something we can never change, if we change one single bit of it, we wouldn't be where we are today. Sometimes sharing our stories helps others see they aren't alone. It helps others get through what they are going through. In the end, sharing my story helps other women not fall into the same traps, and helps them realize this “life crisis” can create the most beautiful chapter of their life.

I leave you with a quote…..

“To see the world, things dangerous to come, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other and to feel that is the purpose of life.”

Love,

The girl who learned the hard way

Cover Image Credit: Kendall Gatewood

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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To The Friend I Rarely See Anymore

I wish you nothing but the best.

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When we graduated high school, we thought it was the end for us. The distance would ruin us and we wouldn't be able to call ourselves friends. Thankfully, you were my rock for the first year of school. You were the one I turned to when the adjustment was hard or when I needed someone to talk to and just listen. We never lost our connection for a whole year. We proved that nothing could pull us apart no matter how far the distance, no matter the different schedules. We were still best friends.

Another summer came and we only got stronger. We went on countless beach trips, late night hangouts, and Starbucks runs. I didn't even think it was possible to be this much closer to you than we already were. If we weren't together, we would Snapchat or text to never stop the conversation.

Now summer ended, we didn't think twice about losing our connection this time. We had a bond stronger than anyone could fathom. We once again went our separate ways and kept our texting and Snapchat habits.

But something changed.

It must've been the comfort level of sophomore year. It must've been all the new friends we got. It must have been the boys who entered our lives. We don't speak anymore. I haven't seen you since winter break. I haven't texted you since New Year's Eve. Our connection, one that was once thought to be indestructible, came crumbling down with sophomore year. I am not going to lie, sophomore year was the best of my life, but I knew you were missing the whole time. It wasn't the same without you.

I'm not upset you chose to focus your time and life on your new boyfriend. I am happy for you. I am not upset you spend more time with your school friends. I am happy for you. I am not upset you don't text me anymore and killed our streak. I know you're living a happy life. And I am too.

We may have gone our separate ways like we never imagined, but I am happy you are finally happy. Don't forget for one second that I will always be here for you. I will still always answer your text. I will still always be your shoulder to cry on even when no one else is there for you. I wish you nothing but the best, and I hope you're doing ok.

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