How to Deal with Being the Girl Who's Always in a Relationship

He sat two seats away from me at a basketball game. About a quarter into the game, I looked at him and said, “I don’t really know you and I know everyone in our grade, why is that?” I was thirteen at the time, just an eighth grader. Two and a half years later, three months into sophomore year, I sat on my bedroom floor crying for hours about how I needed to break up with this boy, but didn’t know how, and didn’t want to hurt him. I, frankly, just didn’t want to be with him anymore. He liked to share our relationship with the boys’ lacrosse team.

Five months go by and I’m sitting on the floor, behind the lockers, listening to my best guy friend ask me if I want to be his girlfriend. I said yes because it was what I wanted more than anything. I wanted to be with my best friend, I wanted to be with him. I didn’t go out actively searching for someone new, he just came along and I was right there with him.

The day before he left for college, he told me he didn’t love me anymore and didn’t want to be with me. We were together all through sophomore, junior, and senior year. I was all in with him, and he had stepped out.

Now, I’m here about to begin my second semester of college, and I’m seeing someone new. I met him on my floor and he understood me from the moment he saw me. We get each other. He never pressured me to be with him after my heartbreak, but he was too good to let go of. Being with him, even just physically next to him, felt easy, like it was meant to be all along.

The point of all this is to say I haven’t been single in about six years. I’m only eighteen. I’ve seriously dated two boys and now I’m on my third. I understand what this implies about me. Some say I’m desperate. Some say I’m a romantic. Some, those who are closest to me, say I don’t know how to be alone, which is worse than being afraid of being alone. Saying that “I don’t know how” means I never have been alone. Everyone I know seems to have something to say about how my situation defines me. They say I’ve never taken the chance to figure out who I am without someone, so how can I know who I am while I’m with someone?

Jumping into this third relationship had a rocky start. Every day I was back and forth about whether or not I should be in it. I let my family and friends’ suspicions and comments creep in. I let them tell me who I was before I had the chance to even think about it. I put this boy through hell because I knew what was right for me and I was fighting so hard against it. He was right for me. Being with him was something so natural and easy, and I was battling nature. Once I gave in and let the relationship happen, I was so much happier. I felt like myself again.

Through all of this, I’ve learned who I am and who I want to be. I’ve also learned that what other people think, even if it’s my mother, is not important. The only thing that is important is what makes me happy, and this new relationship makes me happy. Actively fighting happiness was the most ridiculous and painful thing I’ve done, and I will never do it again. Maybe this relationship will last, and maybe it won’t, but for right now, I’m more connected to myself, and to this other person, than I have ever been before, and that’s enough for me.