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For as long as I can remember, I have been the girl in a relationship. I mean honestly, I’ve had boyfriends since sixth grade, even though it wasn’t even close to anything real. Although, of course in those moments I thought they were. I guess that’s how it goes though, in each stage of my life I have thought I have everything figured out or knew what was best for me. Then whatever stage I’m at ends and I think to myself wow, how could I have ever thought that was good for me? But hey, that’s growth, right? 

My Story 

One of my best friends recently came to me and called me a “seasoned veteran” with boys, and I laughed to myself thinking of how almost everyone in my life has come to me for relationship advice and even friends of friends who were “referred” to me for help. Sometimes I get embarrassed about it or wonder if maybe I need a year to just be single. It’s funny because every time I end a relationship, I tell myself I’m staying single for that long, but then a couple of months later someone new will come along and sweep me off my feet. What can I say, I’m a romantic. That’s my weakness though because I see the good in everyone, and I used to let the bad things go until I realized that would destroy me every time. Quarantine has allowed me to truly analyze myself, my decisions, and almost my entire past which has given me the inspiration to write about it. 

Something happened to me years ago, that had changed me forever and those who are close to me will know what I’m talking about. It had scared me, and my mind allowed me to endure a toxic relationship for too long. I was too hurt, insecure, and scared to get out of the relationship that it lasted for almost two years. We broke up almost every weekend because he didn’t like me going out with my friends to college parties. We’d fight because I wore leggings with shirts that didn’t cover my butt or a shirt that showed a little cleavage. If I ever liked another boy’s picture on Instagram, oh that was the end of it. In his eyes, I wasn’t allowed to do anything, see anyone, talk to anyone else that wasn’t him. If I ever stood up for myself I was degraded and called names I don’t even want to share. I was constantly threatened and under his control. Of course, he could do anything he wanted though and that was all good and fine. It terrifies me now, thinking I ever stayed through that and endured his toxicity. It was lethal to my mental health and in the moment I couldn’t always see that. It took a lot of strength for me to leave, but I did it with the help of my loved ones and I will never allow myself to be treated that way again. It’s one of those lessons I will hold on to forever though, and now I work with a crisis center to help prevent unhealthy relationships in teenagers. 

On track with my record, I found a new man a few months later, who yes swept me off my feet. Literally made me fall in love in one week which is actually psycho, and I wanted to believe it was a movie type of crazy love. But truthfully he was just nice to me and I didn’t know ‘nice’ was out there, it could have been anyone and I would have felt that. I thought he embodied everything that I had always wanted. Basically the opposite of my last. He was mature, kind, and treated me as an equal. It was a hard and fast fall for each other, but the love and passion burnt out almost just as fast. I had gone abroad to Greece for a semester and he was unfaithful when I was away, just like he was to his previous girlfriend and who knows who else before me. It was my one good relationship that turned out to feel like a fraud. Even with that though, I am convinced that he came into my life to show me what being treated well feels like - even if it was only in the beginning at least it had happened for once. For that, I will be forever grateful because it helped me to realize there was more out there than just toxicity in men. 

Naturally I quickly moved on again, and found myself falling for a hot ass volleyball player after him schooling me and my friends in an intramural basketball game. Truth is I was sort of rude when I met him because he was the competition, I mean c’mon. But I guess he liked my attitude and still does actually, and that is something I love about him. I mean don’t we all want to have someone who can take shit from us and give it right back laughing about it? Even after being sent back to our homes from school which happen to be 16 hours apart, we spent all of the strict quarantine months having Facetime and Netflix Party dates every night, talking for hours on end. We fed off each other’s creative ideas to keep entertained during the hard times, discussed any and every topic we could, delving deep into each other's minds, and honestly found ourselves becoming truly invested in one another. I mean we missed each other as if we had been dating already, and it seemed crazy. But, it felt right. I have never met a guy who is so creative, artistic, passionate, intelligent, thoughtful, futuristic, and wow I’m just realizing how long I could write about him. Every day that I find out more about him or just share experiences together, I just find myself loving him even more. He has qualities I didn’t even know I was looking for, and we balance each other out in a lot of ways I didn’t was know possible. It feels different than I have ever experienced, and I realized that’s because it feels healthy.

 I am truly prospering, finally. I am myself and I am happy. 

Who knows if right now is one of those times where I am going to look back and say what was I thinking? The more I look back right now though, I think I would always know deep down when things weren’t going to last. I would just sort of bury my thoughts though because the most toxic relationship I was scared to leave not knowing what he would do, and then my next, I thought what if this is the best I can get even if I don’t feel IN love like I think I should. Even though I haven’t had the best experiences, I have never regretted a single one and I still don’t wish to be single because I’m currently the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been. I know what I want and what I need to be the best version of myself and I learned that from my two polar opposite past relationships. If anyone is even still reading this mess of an article, my point is to never stop fighting for a healthy relationship or life after experiencing the worst of it.

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