As I previously wrote, writing about relationships is tough. And as promised, I will be writing a short series on three relationships that have changed me as a person, and then going further into the column about my relationship experience and advice. Here’s the story of Y and what I learned along the way.
As I left off in my last relationship, I was pretty broken and hurt inside. There wasn’t much left to my self esteem, my worth, and I had minimal reason to believe I could be loved again. I was hurting more than I had ever hurt before.
But there was one guy, Y, who consistently reminded me that I was worth so much. More than what X ever showed me. He pursued me like I had never been pursued before, and it made my heart happy. He was my best friend, and supported me in everything, even X‘s and I’s relationship, until he saw how miserable I actually was on the inside.
As anyone deserves, Y made me believe in myself. He told me that my dreams were sound, that I was pretty in sweatpants (even though he always managed to outdress me), and his family always made me feel so welcome. I was blessed to have someone right there picking up the pieces and holding me up along the way.
It seemed as though we were meant to be. It was an absolute extreme opposite from X and I’s relationship. For once, I wasn’t a burden to be picked up. In fact, some of the best moments and conversations we had, came from car rides to and from places. My hair and whether or not I did my makeup didn’t matter. Dropping me off wasn’t a burden. Staying after school wasn’t a problem. Nothing was a burden, but rather, an opportunity to see me and get to know me better.
For once, I was reminded my value and worth, because Y was so unbelievably patient with my dysfunctional, controlling, and jealous attitudes. He reminded me that I had nothing to worry about, and for once I trusted him. For the first time in my life, I was able to trust a guy.
I was patiently reminded that other girls were not going to infringe on our relationships, I was never asked for a password, and my boundaries were never crossed. There were nights that I spent crying and Y sat up until 2 or 3 in the morning piecing me back together. He meant it when he said, “I’d do anything for you.” He was the truest gentleman.
Being as young as we were, we of course had our immature antics.. We disagreed on things because we were both still learning so much about ourselves. Sometimes we forgot that about one another. He was patient and I tried to be as well. Unfortunately, my temper and his stubbornness tended to clash (we could both be lawyers someday, and he was smarter than I was in arguments). Though those times were few and far in-between, they still wore on me.
By the end of the relationship the good still outweighed the bad. But I was so used to focusing on the bad news, that it became my focus of Y’s relationship. The hurt that I felt from X’s relationship carried over, and I couldn’t kick the terrible manipulation and need to control so much. I was so scared that those arguments were going to be much similar to those of Y’s and I’s relationship, and it’s all I could think about.
I wish it was something I knew then, but when you are controlling, you normally don’t realize it until it’s too late. I was controlling Y because I was controlled for so long. I felt the need to do it back: really, it was the biggest mistake. Y wanted to love me to the best of his ability, and I unfortunately ruined much of that because of the dangerous ‘love’ I once had from X.
Needless to say, I felt guilty for ruining such a great thing. I ran back to my safe spot, X. Which was the stupidest thing I could’ve ever done. But X had me convinced things were different this time. And you guessed right, they weren’t. He now only had more to hold over my head; I had a better relationship with more excitement and care from a different guy. And it never went over well with X: it became the focus of a million more arguments and more degrading comments.
Why did I ever go back? It’s a vicious cycle, one that Y pleaded for me to get out of. But one that X found himself enjoying all too much. Nothing could prepare me for the miserable nights I spent back with X.
I learned so much being with Y. I often thought about going back, but knew I caused too much heartbreak and there would be too much mending that 17 year old me wasn’t ready for. I learned that it was okay to be loved again, to trust again, and to accept the things I couldn’t change.
But I was so blessed to have this friend who cared so deeply about me, that for a brief moment, he gave me a breath of fresh air. Y showed me the sunlight, he watched numerous Disney movies with me, he sang me Katy Perry, and endlessly reminded me of how unique and worthy I was of an enduring love.
There will be a breath of fresh air waiting for you, and they will do whatever it takes to win you. You’ve really got nothing to lose. Although I didn’t end up with Y, I am unbelievably grateful for the small seeds he planted in me. The ones that grew strong enough to stand up to X, the ones that reminded me of strength and worth, and the ones reminding me of such happiness.
Promise yourself that you will seek out happiness in relationships that nurture and build you up. This is the basis for healthy and long-lasting relationships. No matter what kind of relationship you’re in, if you’re unhappy then leave. There is nothing binding you from a suffocating manipulative man or woman. There is nothing pushing you to stay with them. There are plenty of reasons why they will say you deserve that, but not a single reason why you should believe them. (Easier said than done, I know.)