To The Boys From My Past, I Hope You Know...

To The Boys From My Past, I Hope You Know...

I was fine before you and I'll be fine after you, too.

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That feeling. That stinging, throat-in-lump feeling. That feeling that you get when it finally hits you that you've lost someone. Your time with them has finally come to an end. They came, they served their purpose, they taught you lessons, but now it's time for them to go. I can think of them as wasted times, but that would be a lie. Through every ending I've had, I learned something new.

The first love with many lessons

You taught me everything. You showed me what I wanted. You were my first love.

You set my expectations so incredibly high, that it'll be hard to find someone that compares to you. We grew together for so long, that I could never forget you.

. . but you also taught me what pain is. You showed me what it's like to be broken. You were my first heartbreak.

By now I hope that you've realized that not a single girl you cheated on me with will ever compare to even half of who I am. I hope you realized what you did, what you gave up. But I also hope that by now you know that I have forgiven you.

I still wish you the best and I will always pray that you find someone and are able to love them the way you once loved me.

The best friend who I simply wasn't ready for

You made me laugh often. You showed me what I deserve. You were my best friend.

Through you, I learned that a relationship is work - it's effort, yet, you were always so willing to give it. Since we were able to build a foundation based on pure friendship, it just made our relationship that much better.

However, for the mistakes I made, I'm sorry. I didn't deserve you.

I wish I could've reciprocated the same feelings you showed me, but I know that someday you're going to find a girl that will. They're going to accept you and your love whole-heartedly. You will be happier with someone else than you were with me, I promise.

I know you're going to end up in the right place with the right heart.

The guy who will take my heart a thousand miles around the globe

You taught me how to validate myself as a person. You showed me that there is beauty in vulnerability.

Through you, I made some of the best memories. Some of the memories that I'll keep close to my heart for the rest of my life. In the year I've known you, I learned more about myself and the world around me than I have in my 19 years of living.

"We are just like the waves that flow back and forth. Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning and you're there to save me and I wanna thank you with all of my heart".

I know you will love the right girl in ways she won't be able to fathom. I know you're going to make someone out there live a blissful life. I know that when the right girl comes around, you will be ready for her.

I want to wish you nothing but happiness on your brand new start. Always remember, I'm here for you.

The "what if" I'll never hear from again

You overlooked me. You didn't want me. You made me wonder, but you also made me have hope.

You showed me what it's like to want someone but not be able to do anything about it but pray, but trust God.

I have yet to know if you were really the perfect guy for me or if I made myself believe you were the perfect guy for me.

Love wasn't a priority for you, but I get it. We're all in different wavelengths at this time in our lives that I have no reason to be upset. However, that doesn't change the fact that I wish I could've gotten a chance with you.

There are many lessons I could've taught you, but I know that another one will come around and teach you themselves. I know that whatever girl ends up with you is going to be so, so lucky.

You made it hard for me, but I know you'll make it easy for someone else.

The ambiguous new adventure that's waiting

You're new, you're exciting, you're a whole new adventure ahead of me. I don't know what will become of us, I don't even know if something will become of us, but I'm so excited to see.

You are kind, you are gentle. You are patient and you are pure.

My friends see the smile I have on my face when I'm around you. They say I'm happier than I've ever been before.

I believe them.

Thank you for accepting not only myself, but those I love too. Wherever we may end up, I hope you know that however long or short our time is together, you are a blessing. You are my blessing.

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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It's Time To Challenge 'You Complete Me' Culture

Your partner should be your companion, not your completion!

pmterch
pmterch
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After having some time to reflect after "The Bachelor" finale, I think this is the perfect time to put this article out there. In this article, I want to offer you a different perspective on how to view relationships. I want to challenge you to defy cultural assumptions of what romance is and shine a light on how codependency can squash your happiness.

The puzzle analogy

In wedding vows or proclamations of love, we often hear the phrase, "You complete me." We compare finding our person to finding the missing piece of the puzzle in our lives. Once we place that puzzle piece in the empty hole, we can finally see the beautiful and complete picture. Without that piece, we would be in a frenzy, searching all around under the kitchen table and on everyone's chairs to see if we find it. We desperately hope the dog, or the baby, hasn't eaten it. We hold out hope.

This comparison, as I have found, has created quite an issue in our modern day society. We are so obsessed with finding that missing piece in our lives to complete us that we often search in the wrong places or live in unending frustration. Sometimes we find a perfectly wonderful person, but they seem to lack everything on our checklists of what we have deemed as the perfect missing piece, so we let them go. If you are one of the lucky ones who has found a person who fills the void in your life, you often try to shove them into the puzzle as hard as you can and force them to fit. You need to be filled; you need to have the beauty of the final picture — without it, how could you ever be completely happy?

Where did I go wrong?

I was riding along in the car with my boyfriend when I realized we had hit a rough patch. We are a long distance couple — going to separate colleges four hours away from each other — but we only live two minutes away from each other when we are back at home.

I had never had a boyfriend before my second semester of senior year. I had always been very independent. I moved a lot, which meant anytime I got close to dating someone, POOF, there I went. But, this time I had finally stayed and found an amazing guy — my best friend.

When I was single, I was the queen of relationship advice (as we all are when we are not blinded by rose-colored romance). Finally being in a relationship made me realize how easy it was to fall into habits that I had always scorned others for. I began letting this relationship affect me in ways I never even suspected it could.

Don't get me wrong, this was not his doing at all. My boyfriend is the sweetest guy I know. He is always lifting me up and supporting me to reach my dreams. While we both struggle with anxiety and depression, we have found a way to always put our individual mental health first. My boyfriend had dated people before me, but I had not. This altered expectations of what this relationship was supposed to look like for each of us. He knew what mistakes to try to stay away from, while I was still trying to figure it out.

How to reframe your perspective in relationships

Regardless of my background, I think I have stumbled on the most amazing way of reframing perspective in relationships. Once I started changing the lens on how I looked at our relationship, we started bickering less and I became so much happier.

Here it is: your significant other is your COMPANION, not your COMPLETION.

Of course, you should feel happy and enjoy when your partner is around. They should treat you with care and make you laugh, but they should not be the person filling the empty piece of your heart — that isn't their responsibility. They should not be the ultimate source of happiness that makes you feel emotionally whole. This perspective is extremely unhealthy because people are fickle and we make mistakes. We screw up . . . all the time. Our culture loves to use the phrase, "You complete me." It sounds extremely romantic. However, it can be so problematic.

Now, when I spend time or communicate with my boyfriend, I see it as a lucky bonus we get after we both have spent time improving ourselves that day. When I text him, I don't expect him to reply to me immediately — even though I still wish he would because of the need for instant gratification, let's be real. I know that he is going after his dreams by working as hard as he can to make a life for himself. As a girlfriend, not only should I commend him for that, but I should also give him the space to do that. Likewise, I should go after my dreams and work as hard as I can to achieve them.

Your partner should be the fun blanket you have on top of your comforter. You would be just as warm without the blanket and still get a good nights sleep, but the blanket is still really fuzzy and gives you extra joy and you can wrap it around you while you are watching tv. And, if it is a really cold and stormy night, perhaps you snuggle up with your blanket and hold it tightly for a little extra warmth and comfort.

I am a believer in God, and I believe his holy spirit makes me whole. Regardless of if you share this belief or not, I think we can all agree that we are all supposed to walk through life together and lift each other up. If we expect to put our happiness and worth on the shoulders of one person, then that relationship is going to crumble. Why would you want the person you love most to crumble? I certainly don't. I want to be able to look my partner in the eyes and say, "I love you and I want to stand by you when you need me. When you don't, I will be okay because I am still whole and fulfilled".

pmterch
pmterch

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