It Doesn't Have to Be Physical

It Doesn't Have to Be Physical

One day I hope to forgive my ex and silently thank him for not being the one
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Trigger warning: toxic relationship.

Note: this is one of my most personal articles. This is the only time I will discuss this event in this much detail. I feel this subject is too important to ignore, especially since it's domestic violence awareness month.

I was in love.

We had the same birthday, we were meant to be.

We had the same dreams.

I was your punk princess,

I thought you were my punk prince.

You wanted us to get matching tattoos,

Little did I know our relationship would already be a part of me forever.

I met my ex boyfriend by accident. I had suffered a lot of heartache at the time after being rejected by another guy. As a joke, I went on the app MeetMe to talk to guys, watch them flirt with me (MeetMe is a platform notorious for sexting/dick pics). I needed something light to lift my spirits, laugh at the horny guys. I wasn't even looking for anybody.

The typical users flirted and tried to get to know me. This is why I deleted this app, all the constant attention and lust got annoying. I was about ready to delete the app, until I got a new message.

"Lindsey, what kind of music do you like, what kind of movies do you like, and do you like video games?"

This was refreshing; a guy wanted to know me as a person and talked to me with respect instead of some eye candy.

I answered his questions, and things felt natural. I didn't think much of it, just a guy who wanted to talk, maybe a new friend. We moved our conversation to Facebook and we didn't stop talking. He was six years older than me, having the same birthday as me, and he was a singer in a rock band. He was perfect for me, everything I dreamed of and more.

We talked everyday, video chatted, and the butterflies were in full bloom. We fell hard and fast for each other. He said I love you first. I had forgotten how good that felt. I told him I loved him. I loved him.

We finally met. Our relationship became official that night, and everything felt right. I was in love and thought I finally met my soul mate. Maintaining our long distance relationship proved to be difficult, but we planned for a future together. We talked about marriage, how many kids we wanted, everything, the first time I ever had that discussion with a boyfriend.

It wasn't until a month into our relationship when I saw the cracks in his perfection. The election was heating up and me, having a hate for politics, and him, deeply politically opinionated, clashed. He voted for Trump while I voted for Hilary. He didn't let me hear the end of it, about how horrible Hilary is, how the media "lies about Trump" blah, blah, blah.

The morning after Trump was elected as president, I felt horrible. I have many friends that are on the LGBTQ spectrum, peers on my college campus that were foreign exchange students, peers that were immigrants, of different races, and so on. There was a sick, sad feeling that wouldn't settle.

The boyfriend kicked me when I was down. He did nothing to comfort my feelings of worry, instead lecturing how horrible my "p-ssy liberal friends" were and how "ignorant" I was for ignoring issues and for being a "sheep." His comments were hurtful. I tried to change the subject, I was done arguing, instead he said, "You're trying to change the subject because you know I'm right." He told me to fuck off and I fell apart. How could my perfect boyfriend talk to me like this? What did I do wrong?

He only apologized after he found out his comments made me cry. I thought things would change, just don't discuss politics with him. But it kept up. He loved politics and wouldn't stop trying to educate me on it, and when I tried to avoid it, but the criticism continued.

The long distance started to take its toll. I was busy in college and neither one of us had cars, so seeing each other was challenging. I started to see a future of success, while he wanted marriage and family sooner than I did.

He had met my mother, and some of my friends, but I never met his family. He had a dysfunctional relationship with his family: he rarely spoke to his sisters because they weren't close, no closeness with his father, and he seemed to have had a hate/love relationship with his mom. He had dealt with a lot of trauma in his life and so have I, and I think that's what united us.

My self-esteem took a hit, and I felt cruddy. I felt stupid, his words started to echo inside my thoughts. He wouldn't take my feelings seriously, never apologized, cussing at me whenever I stated my opinion. I felt weak. I was no longer happy, but I was still in love. I was scared of breaking up, I didn't want to feel that hurt again.

The final straw was when he told me an offensive joke about a girl with mental retardation. I take it personally when people with disabilities are mocked, as I studied mental health. I tried to tell him why his joke was offensive and how hurtful it was to use the R-word. Instead of apologizing, he told me how easily offended I was, the criticism continued.

Friends and family members saw how miserable I was and told me to break it off. This wasn't a healthy relationship, and he was dragging my self-esteem down.

The next day, which was our two month anniversary, I broke up with him, I couldn't delay it any longer. I was shaking, my heart was pounding, I was scared. My friends kept telling me to do it, stay strong. Instead of him fighting for me, something I was hoping he would do, he fought against me. That was all I needed to know I made the right choice. He told me I was "going back on my promise" because I no longer wanted a future with him, told me to fuck off. The very last thing he said to me was, "Fuck you. I hope you realize the mistake you've made. And you will have regret I promise."

I was numb for several weeks. I grieved, I missed him, I wondered if I did make a mistake. I kept quiet about the breakup, as I don't like airing my dirty laundry. Those close to me knew I was a mess and kept reminding me why I did it and why it was the right thing to do. I kept his presents and took me days before I finally felt angry enough to throw them away. I kept feeling both sad and angry, usually I would feel angry and then I would break down sobbing. I isolated myself in my dorm room, only leaving for food. My saddest break up songs were always playing in my earbuds.

It's been one year since we got together, and instead of being together, we're hours away, strangers again, and you're in a relationship while I'm still struggling to move on.

I survived an abusive relationship. It took me about three months after the breakup to realize it. It doesn't have to be physical, it can be verbal, from name calling, to manipulation, picking fights, and just feeling so worthless.

Someday, I hope to find my true soul mate, and one day I hope to forgive my ex and silently thank him for not being the one. Because I know I deserve it. It might make the lessons and pain worth it in the end.

Are you in an emotionally abusive relationship? Click here to know the signs:

http://www.yourtango.com/experts/marni-feuerman/si...


Cover Image Credit: Get Well Today

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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If You THINK You're Too Dependent On Your Boyfriend, You Probably Are

Depend on yourself before you depend on him.

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Don't get me wrong, having a boyfriend and being in love is an incredible feeling. But when you depend on your boyfriend for everything and forget how to do things on your own, it becomes a major problem. You might not see it but your family and friends do. Yes he's your boyfriend and of course, you want to spend every single second with him but you can't carry him around in the back of your pocket for the rest of your life. So here's to the girls who are too dependent on your boyfriends, I think you girls might want to hear this.

First and foremost, I completely understand what it's like to be in love and want to spend every second with your boyfriend. I get that he is one of your best friends, one of the people you can trust the most, one of the sources of your happiness, one of your stress relievers, one of the things that brings you comfort, one of the people you can rant to for anything, one of the people that you can cry to about anything, one of the people that you want to make memories with, one of the people that you want to spend the rest of your life with and so much more.

Did you notice I said one of, for all that? He is just one of the people you can go to for all of that, not the only one. You have friends and family who can do all of that too. And trust me, we want to. While yes you might prefer him to those other people, it's still important to keep your friends and family in the loop of what's going on in your life and it's even more important just to keep them in your life.

When you choose your boyfriend over your friends and family for everything, you're slowly pushing them out of your life. I, and everyone else who's been where I have been, completely understand if you already have plans with your boyfriend, or if something is going on you want to spend time with him. But to blow off your friends every single time for him is a slap in the face to us. Or to invite him to everything we do is another slap in the face. Of course as friends and family, we want to spend time with your boyfriend but it gets awkward third wheeling.

Go out with your family and friends without him sometimes and make tons of memories, as you did before. Rant and cry to friends and family sometimes instead, we care about you and your feelings, just as much as he does... maybe, even more, when you guys are fighting. When you don't talk to or see your friends and family without him there, you're pretty much telling us that you don't like being around us and that by bringing him, it makes it more bearable for you.

With that being said, you have to let him do the same. You have to let him have time for his family and friends without you. It looks super weird that you follow him around like a lost little puppy dog. Let him have time with the guys, without you being there or showing up at some point. To tag along to every little thing he does isn't healthy. Tagging along to everything thing your boyfriend does, probably makes his friends, a little uncomfortable, especially when they want their guy time and you're the only girl and they don't want you to feel awkward or left out. Or his family wants to spend time with just him and catch up.

Do things apart from each other, so when you are together you have stories to tell and pictures to show them.

Speaking of doing things apart from each other. Don't let an amazing opportunity slip away because you have to spend time away from your boyfriend. Did I leave my boyfriend to do the Disney College Program, hell yes I did. Am I going to apply again in August or maybe January? Hell yes, I am. Don't be afraid to explore things without him, even if it makes you uncomfortable, because you never know when you might get a great opportunity again.

Learning to do things alone is scary, I get it. But don't base your schedule around his, I've seen so many girls do this and it just back fries in the end. Unless you have kids, you do not plan your schedules around him or know where he is at every single second.

You never know, one day he might not be there anymore, and if you're always with your boyfriend and forgetting about friends and family, you might not have them either. And then what? Who do you depend on?

I wish you all would learn to depend on yourself before you depend completely on your boyfriend for everything. You are capable of so many things alone. You might feel like your boyfriend completes you and makes you whole, but in reality, you were already complete without him. He's just an added bonus. Don't give up your friends, family, and life because you want to be attached at the hip. You might lose more than you gain by doing that.

This goes for couples who have been dating for all lengths of time. It could be six months or six years.

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