Just like many girls, I've always loved the idea of having a boyfriend. In high school, I came close to no such relationship. I wasn't mature enough for a boyfriend during high school at all, and that wasn't who I was. I was extremely focused and disciplined. It isn't to say that I'm not anymore, because I am, but in a different way. My social life has grown exponentially since I've been at college and I have different priorities.
But, before arriving at Wisconsin, I had many ideas of what college was going to be for me. It meant exploring subjects, being even more independent, and meeting new people. However, I also had a goal of finding a boyfriend. I thought that would make me happy and that was the ideal college situation for me.
Long story short, I came to school and met a guy who instantly became my best friend. I met him on my first night in the dorms and I knew I had found something so special. If you want to talk about a girl being head over heels for anyone on this planet, I'm your best example. This guy was perfect to me. I liked him so much that I was just in awe of him. I wanted to be around him all the time and take in who he was like a sponge. Eventually, we got together (sans title, you can spare the eye roll, I know) and it was an interesting experience that ended with me being broken hearted but with a handful of life lessons.
The details of the actual relationship are not important. Overall, it was average and what you'd expect from a relationship between two 18-year-olds who are just feeling things out. But, I certainly did not feel average about him which is the reason for my new perspective.
We were together for about five months. Throughout that time, he made me happy, he made me laugh, he taught me, he got me excited about things I never knew about before. The only thing that was wrong the entire time which was both of our faults was the constant wondering of what we REALLY were and where this was going regardless of the fact that in those moments we were "together". It looks like it wasn't too ludicrous of a concern or wonder because we broke up due to the fact that we wanted different things from the relationship.
I always knew that would be the reason it would end. But I genuinely thought we had more time left to be together and keep getting to know each other. This, coupled with my utter passion for him that presumably had to end, led to me being broken hearted.
Even though my sadness over not being with this person anymore rocked me, I look back on my previous desires with a new perspective. Getting back to school and having to develop a new dynamic without this person was challenging, to put it simply. There were times when I'd let this consume me and didn't have the tools to move forward. But, I look at who is in my life now. When I was with him, I had my friends, him, and his friends. That was it. Now that I haven't had him to go to, and my infrequent communication with his friends at one point is now completely obsolete, I have had no choice to expand my horizons farther than I ever could have foreseen. I have made great new guy friends. I thought I had this aspect of college down pat last year, but I didn't at all. My new friends are from different places with all different backgrounds, and have introduced me to their friends and their friends, and it's been a domino effect. It has amazed me all that can come your way if you put yourself in a position to soak in and embrace new experiences. For me, I have always been a girl who hangs out with guys equally or more than I do with girls. So, replenishing that void for me this year was crucial to my happiness in my social life at school. It turned out better than I could've predicted.
On the other hand, I have become friends with so many new girls that I wouldn't have met or even wanted to meet last year. When I was in a relationship, I prioritized that, but I also prioritized people who were likeminded on a very shallow level of wanting to accompany me in hanging around the same group of guys. It was less about who the girls were that I went out with and more about who the guys were that they wanted to hang out with. I cannot express enough just how limiting this specific part was. The relationship between me and this guy began right at the start of second semester, which correlates all too well with the slow-down of my meeting people. This reason alone is enough for me not to get into another relationship for a while.
Here I am, at a 35,000 person school, where one of the most important parts of my experience is to meet people, and I am strapping myself down in so many different ways. There is no way I would listen to anybody before going through this experience when they'd say that a boyfriend really isn't all that. I think this is one of those things you must experience firsthand to truly understand.
My point of this article is most definitely not that having a boyfriend “sucks". I'm sure it is wonderful to have a bond with someone like that. I know that when I was with him, I felt so comforted and bonded that I can't even describe it. But, at least for me, I have learned that there is a time and place for this kind relationship and here and now is not the time for me. For now, I want to keep exploring new situations and meeting new people, because nothing has made me happier than doing just that.