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Sex + Relationships

Things I Learned From my Ex-boyfriend

My ex-boyfriend and I, we will call him James, started our three-year relationship in the beginning of high school when I was a freshman, and he was a sophomore. I knew dating someone in the grade above me was probably a bad idea because he was more popular than I was, and he would be going off to college before me. And just dating someone older is never a good idea at least for me. I was 16 at the time when we made it official and he was 17. Our relationship went well for the first year and a half. Then, in October of sophomore year, things went downhill. I remember vividly the first time I found out he was cheating on me. I went to visit James during my lunch while he had study hall and as I was walking down the hallway, I saw him in the distance pull another girl into an empty classroom. So naturally, I casually walked by the classroom and I heard them talking and laughing. I know that this probably seems like nothing but this girl, let’s name her Kate, has been trying to weave her way into my relationship with James even though she knew we were dating. So, by James pulling Kate into the classroom, I knew something was going on. As I peaked in the classroom, they were sitting at two desk and getting really touchy with each other. Kate had the nerve to put her hand on my boyfriend’s thigh and James had the nerve to let her.  

So anyway, after I saw them together, I went back to lunch and texted James that I wanted to come see him during my lunch. He told me was busy doing work. This was the first time he lied to me about Kate. To spare you from the confusing details and repetitiveness, this went on for a while. James cheated on me constantly with Kate and lied to me about it. The only reason why I am sure he cheated on me is because after we broke up, he started dating her right away.  This went on for a least a year until I broke up with him in the middle of my senior year. He was home from college for winter break until the end of February. Something I don’t regret is breaking up with him on his birthday, he deserved it.  

Even though I was the one that broke up with him, I was really in a bad place. After all the times he cheated on my, I began to think I was not good enough and I didn’t love myself anymore. I struggled with this concept of being able to love myself again for close to year after the breakup, but I finally realized that I am so much more than how I am treated, and the things James or other people say about me. I am more than enough, and I don’t need a guy to make me happy and to love me. I need to love me. However, I am in a new relationship now, been going strong for a year, and I don’t need to relay on my new boyfriend the way I did on my last because I love myself now.  

Another thing I learned is that it takes time to heal wounds. I still have all the scars on my heart from everything James did to me but slowly and surely, I am beginning to forget and heal. I was so hurt. Of course, I blamed myself but what I learned is that we both had a part in the relationship and we both did things we are not proud of. Yes, I was extremely hurt and broken, but I do not regret anything and as I was healing from the breakup, I took time to learn about myself and my mental health which is something I haven’t really done. Everything happens for a  reason and finally I am in a better place.  

Holly Arace

Scranton '23

University of Scranton '23 Elementary Education Major
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