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Sex + Relationships

Oh Romeo, Where Are You?: What I Learned From My Not-So Prince Charming

“Melody, you just accidentally flashed my ex-boyfriend’s ring camera!” Yep, those were words that actually came out of my mouth last June. After watching too many rom-coms and trying to mend a broken heart, I wrote my ex-boyfriend a love letter. But, for you to understand, I have to start this story from the very beginning…

This story goes how it usually does. Girl meets Boy. Boy and Girl start to date? Boy breaks Girl’s heart. Scratch that. Boy stomps on Girl’s heart. It all began during my Junior year when I fell for Hudson.* Now, I had gone to school with Hudson since the fourth grade, but the two of us didn’t get close until our Junior year of high school. We were in the same delegation in Youth & Government and got placed in the same program area that year. This meant that the two of us had to work together the entire year, which led to us getting closer. We even had an inside joke about hairless cats. How does one get to that point? I have no clue. I would start to notice the little things: his laugh, the way he would always pull out my chair and save me a seat, the way he always cared about my passions and all my thoughts and feelings. My heart would flutter every time he would walk into the room. I felt like I was living in my very own rom-com. Until the pandemic hit. 

Suddenly, I couldn’t see him smile at me in the hallways at school or hear his jokes in our meetings. After constantly talking about him on the phone with my best friends, they convinced me to tell him how I felt. 

As one would do, I went to Snapchat and wrote him a simple “I like you” text. I quickly turned off my phone to grub on carbs and watched an Adam Sandler movie. Was I at my nervous breaking point? Maybe. Then I stress-baked chocolate chip cookies to eat most of them.  When I finished putting off the inevitable, I slowly logged back into my phone with shaking hands. His name popped up the second it turned on. The text basically said that he was “too busy for a relationship.” Although upset, I guess I understood. 

For the next couple of weeks, I tried to push this crush out of my head. One night at midnight, seven weeks later, he started typing and stated that he “was thinking about me.” More confused than ever, I fell right back in. 

This time he actually said that he liked and wanted to date me. We then went on this cycle of texting every day. Then, one day after creating this relationship, he ghosted me. And right after I lost senior class president! Man, did he not have great timing. The cherry on top of this messy sundae was he had been dating a girl on my dance team the entire time. 

My heart was broken. The first time I opened up to a guy, he turned around and hurt me. I refused to let a man make me feel like crap, but why was it so hard to get over him? 

I knew I needed to write, so I channeled my inner Lara Jean and like the true journalist I am, I wrote a love letter.  This was not a mushy and lovey-dovey letter at all. It was more of a Billie Eilish song meets an Olivia Rodrigo song combined in one. (Not to brag or anything, but this was my best piece of work. I went to preface that my writing was excellent in the letter. Hudson, I kind of want it back btw.) I dropped it off at his house. Yes, my best friend threw it at his porch because I was too scared. And yes, it was a windy day, she was wearing a skirt, and the Ring camera captured it all. 

To be completely honest, I don’t regret giving him that letter. I was grateful enough to have my two best friends, Melody and Sammy, there to hold my hand every step of the way. I know you all are dying to hear what happened, but I don’t think that is essential to this story. 

After all this craziness, what have I learned from this situation? Well, it took me one bad date with a different guy to realize what my priorities are and who I really am. For months, I was living in a loop of waking up and feeling like I wasn’t good enough for anybody. When it came to my body, my personality, or anything about me, I lost all my confidence. How did I let a guy make me feel this way about myself? I had to take a hard look at who I was and recognize what my goals were. I got into the college I wanted to. I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. I focused on my career and that is the path that I want to be on. I’m not going to lie and say that there weren’t any sleepless nights and tears, but I am standing here not focused on who puts their value in me. I was so worried about him and what he thought of me, and never once looked about how I felt about myself. 

Even though I still look back and think about him, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am proud of who I am. Prince Charming will come when he comes, and even then I will be the one that I want first. I want the girl who bakes, loves to read, watches rom-coms, and tells her truth — even the girl who tells her messy love life on a public forum. I wouldn’t want to be anyone else. I hope the girl reading this will know that a man should never and will never define her. Now, I am off to start the story of my next rom-com! 

*While this story is true, some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the people involved.

Zoë Howes

UC Irvine '25

Hi, my name is Zoë! I am currently a first-year journalism student at UCI and I love to write about rom-coms, my messy love life, politics, and more! Hope you enjoy! :) insta: @zoepascale_
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