There is always going to be a time in a person's life where they have to play the bad guy. For me, this was when I chose to break a boys heart in order to heal my own.

For most of my adult life I have been in a relationship. I fell in love with a boy when I was 18, and that was that. It wasn't all rainbows and sunshine, but I was happy. Recently we split for the final time, nearly 13 months later. The moment I knew I was leaving him behind, my heart shattered.

I remember lying in my bed with my older sister handing me tissues as I sobbed into my pillow. The only boy I had ever loved with all my being was gone, and I was the one who told him to leave.

A few months passed and I thought I was okay again. I hadn't thought about him in awhile, I stopped bringing him into conversations and I could finally listen to some of the songs he showed me when we were together. In my eyes, I was ready to jump back into the dating world; but boy, was I ever wrong.

One day a random boy slid into my DMs on Instagram and we hit it off. Within a week we were hanging out regularly and it seemed like things were going towards us starting a relationship. That's when I learned that he worked and was friends with my ex. The discovery of this caused a ball of anxiety to form in my chest; I was scared of the whole thing starting over.

We talked it out, and we came to the conclusion that I wasn't ready to date, but I was ready to be more than friends. Friends with benefits is what we decided on. This wasn't my first rodeo, not by far. A few days of texts were gone through before we saw each other again, this time specifically to get in, hookup and get out.

Everything went fine, just how we had thought it would. That was until I made the mistake of telling him jokingly that I left someones house at 3am a few days before. He connected it to the fact I had slept with someone else, which I had. He asked if that was the case and I told him yes. At that moment I felt a shift in the room and he looked me in the eye saying, "you know who you sound like? You sound exactly like him." (referencing my ex). Weirdly, my heart didn't sink, it just accepted that fact.

The next day I got texts from both him and my ex telling me we were done. Oddly, I was okay with this. In the end I lost both boys, but I gained something much more valuable; the understanding of my emotional state.

This experience taught me that I am not ready to be back in the dating pool, and that is okay. You don't need a boy (or anyone for that matter) to make you feel validated or okay with yourself. I made the error of trying too soon and came out bruising someone's heart. Sometimes in order to heal yourself you end up hurting someone else in the process. So to that boy, I am so very sorry, but thank you for teaching me to be honest with myself even when it hurts.