I have written this post many times over the last hour or two that I've been working on it, and no matter how many times I write this first paragraph, nothing I could possibly write could do justice to the overwhelming joy I am feeling right now.
On June the 9th, I celebrated an entire year with my girlfriend, and to say that I am filled with joy and complete happiness would be the understatement of the century. I mean, an entire year with the girl who basically saved my life?
This past year has been a year of discovery for me. I've learned things about myself, about love, and what it means to love someone and to be loved by someone.
First, I want to start off with a story: Picture it! It's the spring of 2013. I am 15 years old, talking to my friends on Facebook when I come across this guy's Facebook. He is super cute and has a smile to die for. I wasn't very outgoing, but for some reason, I picked this very moment to start being outgoing. I messaged him and we started talking. Soon enough we met up a few times and hung out. We played basketball and video games, and really we just had a good time. The third time we hung out, we went to the lake in a town outside my hometown and that's when he asked me to go out with him. Up until then, I hadn't had any kind of serious relationships, but I eagerly accepted his request for me to be his girlfriend.
That lasted about a month, and he broke up with me because he had "caught feelings for someone else". My heart was broken. I cared a lot about him, and part of me felt like he didn't care at all. A few months passed and I woke up to a message on Facebook from him. Without hesitation, I messaged him back. It was a simple, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have broken up with you," and then came the three words that killed me.
"I love you."
How could I possibly tell him I wouldn't go out with him again after he said he loved me? So, we got back together and I tried to pretend that things were like they were before for about two months, and then his family packed up and moved away. We talked in the weeks before his family was supposed to move about what it meant for our relationship. After a lot of crying and a near break-up, we decided maybe we could handle a long distance relationship. After all, he would be back for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and other holidays. We could do it.
About a month and a half into the long distance relationship things started to get weird. We didn't really talk as much, and whenever we did talk, he was kind of distant. I woke up one morning, eager to talk to him and when I opened Facebook, there was an update on his profile.
"In a relationship with: (We're going to call her Jenny) Jenny."
I was really confused and didn't really understand what I was looking at, to begin with. I went to his profile, hoping it was just a joke, but it wasn't. He had met some girl at his new school and apparently they had been dating for a couple days by that point.
I felt the same heartbreak I had before. My best friend at the time and someone who had previously attended school with him had warned me several times at that point not to bother with him anymore. That he was basically a player and would keep breaking my heart. I told her that night that I was done. That I couldn't go through that another time.
Well, about two weeks later when the girl broke up with him, guess who he messaged?
Yes, he messaged me.
What did I do, you may ask? I — stupidly — took him back. Why? Because I was convinced I loved him and he loved me. Stupid me, am I right?
This same series of events went on for a couple of months. He would break up with me for someone else, and then try to get back together with me and I would take him back.
About a year after he had moved away, he told me that he was moving back and that he wanted to see me. Even though I was very wary of it, I went anyway.
We sat in his room for fifteen minutes without saying a word. Finally, he started saying how sorry he was for what had happened. That he missed me and he wanted to try things again, and he wanted to start over and make things right - and as if he knew that those three words were going to change everything, he told me once again, he loved me. And just like that, we were back together.
We lived in two different towns and attended two different schools, so that made seeing each other a little difficult. We would see each other occasionally at church or if we had something planned, we would see each other there, but that wasn't very often. Part of me knew that would be the downfall of the relationship, but I desperately held onto hope that things would work out for us.
And then it started again. He would break up with me for someone else and then come back to me, over and over and over and finally, I came to expect every time that we got back together, that the same thing would happen all over again. And I know what you're thinking, "If you knew it would happen.. why did you keep letting him come back?"
The simple answer is: I loved him.
Through the hurt and heartbreak, I still managed to be able to believe that there was a part of him that loved me and that we were going through a bad time and that was all, and that things would get better if I just held on long enough.
Well, this went on for about three years. (A long time to put up with anyone hurting you, am I right?) The final time we broke up, I found out it was for a girl who used to be one of my close friends. I asked her about it and she said she cared a lot about him and that she 'had no idea we had been dating'. Eventually, I got up the courage to talk to him about it and he said that he loved her, that he would rather be with her than me. At this point in the conversation, I was sobbing. I asked him how he could do what he was doing when he claimed to love me.
There was a long period of silence before he finally spoke again. "I didn't actually love you. I only went out with you to make Peyton jealous."
The second the words left his mouth, I hung up. I stopped speaking to him from that day on.
You may be wondering why I just told you that extremely depressing story and the answer is actually quite simple. I wanted to give you a little background on what my first experience with relationships was like.
The majority of my life was spent thinking that love was nothing but a waste of time, that it could only ever end in tears and sorrow, that all relationships were was fear and sadness, and loving someone meant taking the blame for things you never did wrong.
Well, I was wrong.
The day I met my girlfriend, everything changed. In the last year that we have been together, she has changed my perspective on life, relationships and most importantly, she has changed my perspective on love.
She has shown me that there is so much more to love than all I have experienced. That love is indeed a fight, not a fight with each other, but a fight for each other. That Love is hard and messy, but if there is one thing I have learned from my year with her, love is real, and love is very worth it.
Am I saying we have the most perfect relationship in the world? Not by a long shot. But I wouldn't trade the last year for anything.
The support and unconditional love I have received from her in the last year makes me look forward to what the future holds for us.