Broken Hearts Hurt

I Bruised A Boy's Heart To Fix My Own

You don't need a boy (or anyone for that matter) to make you feel validated or okay with yourself.

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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.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Lust Does Not Last, Follow Love If You're Actually Serious

Lust is superficial, love is rooted in substance.

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It can be easy to get caught up in the nuance of what is new, what is pretty, what seems like the most attractive option, to a point where it is distracting from what is real and what is best for you and your happiness. I've been confronted by this lesson time and time again over the years, in my professional life, in my school life, especially in dating and relationships. It can be so easy to mistake lust for love, that we become blind to how misleading it really can be.

I was accepted into a nationally ranked graduate school program that would have cost more than it was actually worth, and I kept fighting for it, regardless of how truly impractical it was and how difficult it would have been for me, financially. I was illusioned and kept justifying it to fill a void of insecurities. If I went, then I must be a worthwhile person. I was caught up in all the certification programs, how beautiful the school was, and how I would be close by to all my favorite museums, being surrounded by all sorts of coffee shops. I didn't think of the repercussions of actually going which, in reality, would have involved burying myself in loans for a profession I was not in love with.

I know my purpose involves helping people, advocating for those who can't advocate for themselves and fostering creativity in all areas of my life, in my writing, my art, and my approach to life. I can fulfill my purpose without mortgaging my future and my life away, for a degree in a field I was settling for. I am grateful to my parents and my best friends for being patient with my process. I do reach complete disillusionment, eventually.

I was forced to confront this very same lesson when I got involved with individuals who did not know what they wanted, for their future, their careers, or their relationships. I felt strung along and the overall uncertainty was far more triggering than I wished it to be. I was infatuated by the idea of having someone, even if it meant settling for someone who was not right for me. I was in lust with the idea of love, instead of just being in love with a person I generally liked and enjoyed; in lust with a fantasy of an idea of love.

Thankfully, I was forced to come to my senses when my roommate told me she saw the guy who had been blowing me off and stringing me along for months, on Tinder. That same night, I set up a Tinder account to see for myself, though I had been terrified by that dating app and its association with hookup culture. After setting up my profile, I matched with someone who has become both my friend and my boyfriend. He knew what he wanted, which was an exclusive relationship, and the uncertainty issue was no longer prevalent, at least not with us, for which I am so grateful.

Lust does not always relate to feelings for another person. It's possible to become in lust with ideas: ideas of people, ideas of what could be, ideas of what could have been, ideas of how it could be if one variable was changed, or if someone had been different than they actually are, and the list goes on. Lust is a form of infatuation, and eventually, the glamor fades away, and if you don't like what you see, then you really need to re-evaluate the situation, and possibly even yourself.

Lust never lasts; it is based on floating fantasies and short-term solutions. Love, however, takes work, takes time, takes effort; it is a process rooted in substance, which, at the end of the day, makes it worthwhile in the long-run.

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