Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This is a Shout Out To My Ex

I think I'm at the point in my life where half of my friends are married and the other half are in serious relationships. Seems like I'm the only single one -- or at least the only one who is single and TRYING to find someone. 

They say that you'll meet your person when you least expect it. Well, I'm super freaking impatient. For the past two years, I've been on and off of online dating apps (Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, I've tried them all), been in a few short-term things, kissed a few frogs, and now I find myself wanting to take some time to myself and reflect.

For those girls who are reading this and are, like YAAS QWEEN, this post is for you. No one wants to come out and say they aren't happy being single. I'm not unhappy by any means, I just know that my purpose in life is to complete someone else, encourage them, and help them achieve the ultimate goal of heaven.

While not every relationship works out, I pride myself in making everything into a learning experience. So here I am, writing a blog post about the men of my past and what they have taught me.

     Shout out to my first boyfriend.
Everyone's gotta start somewhere right? My first kiss, senior year, college applications, college decisions, he got to experience all those life-changing moments with me. While some people continue to date (and maybe even marry) their high school sweetheart, I was not that girl.

Not only was he my first boyfriend, he was also my first heartbreak. Little did I know that life would be full of heartbreaks, and this one was definitely not the worst (even though it felt like it when I was 17 years old).

     Shout out to my first college boyfriend.
He was my first friend in Ohio. It felt "cool" to have an older boyfriend. He took me to parties, let me complain about my roommate, and kept me company when I was feeling homesick. While it was fun at first, I don't blame him for all the classes that I skipped or all the engineering-related clubs I didn't join. My freshman year was definitely a year of growth for me, I got used to being away from home and being on my own, and as I matured, I realized that he was just using me to relive his freshman year and avoid growing up.

     Shout out to the guy who mentally abused me.
Time to get a little vulnerable -- While I'm not proud of it, this did happen, and I let it go on for way too long. He made me believe that he was the only one who would ever love me. He made me question my morals, my upbringing, my standards. No man should ever do that.

While our relationship isn't something I look fondly on, I'm proud of myself for being able to pull myself out of the hole he put me in. I found out who my real friends are. I found out that I need to love me before I let someone else love me.

     Shout out to the religious guy.
I was his first kiss, I remember. He got nervous holding my hand. We went to the same church, but never at the same time. While I was going through my internal struggle, he kept my eyes focused on God and for that, I am eternally grateful.

     Shout out to my first long-distance relationship.
While I was still in college, I got the opportunity to work in another city for a double semester. I met him about halfway through that time and appreciated having someone local to be my friend -- because my anti-social self didn't make many friends. When time came to move back to campus, we didn't want to call it quits.

I was fortunate that the distance wasn't that unbearable, but at the season of life I was in, I desired more immediate satisfaction than phone calls and promises of weekend visits could offer. There is nothing wrong with that, and thankfully, he understood.

     Shout out to my first casual fling.
Ya know, sometimes it's ok to let a guy buy you drinks and tell you that you're pretty. And then when he graduates and moves away, you don't miss him too much and that is ok.

     Shout out to my first post-grad relationship.
Time to be an adult and find someone to settle down with, right? Did I see myself marrying the guy? At first, yes. He still is my longest relationship to date. Over a year and a half, I pretty much became part of his family. We would go to church together. We would spend every weekend together. When I was between jobs, he was my encouragement. When I moved away, he told me we would be ok.

Six months living in two cities was no walk in the park for us. This was the first time I realized that it is ok to be greedy. I needed to live my life and make friends in my new city. Long-distance is hard, as I know from my past. Yes, it hurt ending things. But I knew that closing this door would allow me to be free to explore, and not just the dating scene.

     Shout out to the friend with benefits.
After a serious relationship, I definitely needed something not-so-serious. I never thought I would be the girl making out with a random Bumble first date in a bar on a Saturday night. Quarter-life crisis, am I right? One date lead to six months of hanging out, sleepovers, random fights because I wanted something more serious, and eventually us vowing to never speak to each other again.

Fast forward to earlier this year, him and I reconnected after not talking for six months. Turns out that his life turned upside down a few months earlier. Surprisingly, our situations were similar, and we both needed some encouragement. I feel like a friends with benefits situation turned real friends situation is rare, but I now had it, and I was content with what the future of our new friendship looked like.

     Shout out to the guy I couldn't make happy.
This summer was seriously a blur and not just because he drove me around in his Mustang a lot. We had lots of adventures together, and honestly, every time we were together, things were good. I thought for a minute that this could be the one. I felt like I was put in his life for a reason.

As our relationship developed (rather quickly, I might add), I realized that there were things in his life that weren't making him happy. Every day, I would put whatever energy I had left into trying to cheer him up. Most days, it didn't work. I was usually left feeling empty and sad, and he didn't understand.

I came to the conclusion that this was no way to live. The man I love would never make me cry. I cried when I broke up with him, but haven't cried over a man since.

     Shout out to the guy who understood me.
I cannot believe how quickly I fell for him, I wasn't even looking. I was definitely a sucker for his smile, sarcasm, sensitivity, and passion for his profession. I also loved how real he was with me. Somehow, I was ok with the fact he didn't want to label anything. We are adults, we know what we are.

He understood my love languages and also my anxiety. Every time I had an attack, he was there to talk me through it and help me conquer it, until the end when I realized I am capable of handling my anxiety on my own.

Ariana Grande said it best with her new song "thank u, next". (I may or may not have had this on repeat while writing this post -- gotta get in the right mindset, ya know?) 

There are so many cliché phrases I could say to encourage you to keep your head held high and your standards higher. You are a goddess and any man would be lucky to have you make an appearance in his life. While I may not have found my forever-love at the same rate as my friends, I remain positive that this is all in God's plan.

You just have to have faith.

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