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About 9 months ago, I went through my first heartbreak. I had been in a relationship for about 9 months with this guy who also happened to be my first boyfriend and honestly, that relationship was messy. I never really saw it until afterwards, but at the time I wanted so badly to believe our relationship was perfect that I ignored every red flag. The end of our relationship brought an abundance of pain, heartbreak, anger, and toxicity into my life. It made me turn into someone I despised; someone unrecognizable. Months after the breakup I kept thinking of all the things I wanted to say to him and ask him for closure. But as time passed, I realized I could never get the closure that I wanted from him, because there was no explanation for why he did the things he did. At this point, all I want to say to him is thank you. 

Society has painted a breakup as this negative concept that is the epitome of our downfall. It is viewed as something that many people don’t recover from. Don’t get me wrong, breakups are extremely painful and tough to go through, but at the end of the day, I was able to recover from my breakup and I wouldn’t change what happened for anything. At first, I was extremely bitter and hurt, but as time went on, I realized it was a blessing in disguise. Today, I am extremely grateful for it and after some much-needed reflection and growth, I can finally see all the positives that actually came from it as well. 

Throughout my entire relationship, I made myself small so that I could inflate his ego and reverse his insecurities. I turned my worth and value into something almost non-existent. But without that relationship, I wouldn’t be where I am today where I finally realize my own worth. It’s sad to say that it took a breakup for me to finally realize this, but in the end I am grateful. If it wasn’t for the breakup, I would never be able to look in the mirror and see someone as deserving of love as everyone else is. I now know what I deserve and will not settle for anything less than that. 

I used to think I knew everything about dating and relationships. I thought that my relationship was perfect and I had found my soulmate in life. Looking back, I now realize that I never want to be with someone like that again and I never want myself to become who I became in that relationship. I turned into a toxic and sad person who let go of herself and what was important to her. I always wondered why the universe would inflict so much pain on me and us as humans when they take away the one person we want to be with. Now I realize that he was a lesson- a much-needed one. Without him, I wouldn’t have figured out what I was looking for. Now I know that I want someone who respects me, loves me and cares for me. It all sounds like the bare minimum but many people lack that in their relationships. I no longer care about the surface level factors such as appearance, social status, etc. I just want someone who will look at me the same way I look at them. Someone who will never stop fighting for me because I deserve nothing less than that. I finally see that I deserved so much more than what my ex gave me. So to my ex, if you ever read this: thank you.

Cynthia is currently a third year life science student at McMaster University. Writing is one of her passions and she hopes to share a bit about herself through her articles and raise awareness about important issues
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