lessons in love

One upon a time there was a little girl who loved her parents. She would do anything to keep them happy, especially her daddy. He was her hero. She would clean her room, eat her vegetables, and stay away from boys which kept the little girl’s daddy very happy. One day, something changed and that little girl wasn’t a little girl anymore. When she was 16 she kissed a boy and when she was 19 she slept with one. The once good little girl had changed into someone she could hardly recognize…. someone I could hardly recognize. Yes. The little girl once upon a time was me and once upon a time wasn’t so long ago.
Up until I was about 15 or 16 I never really had an interest in boys. Sure I crushed on boys like every high school freshman, but nothing ever happened. Probably because I hadn’t discovered the art of eyeliner or mascara. One day a boy told me he liked me and the rest is history. We dated, fought, kissed and made up, broke up and repeated until he had worn me down so much I felt like I wasn’t even myself any more. I lied to my friends and family about him because I thought he was different. It ultimately came back to bite me in the ass when I found out he’d been seeing someone else besides me. Isn’t that always the way? After that, I told myself that I was unlovable and that I would never love. At the time I thought I was just being dramatic; I didn’t know it then, but that was the exact moment that I turned into who I never wanted to be. When I was 18, I dated my best friend and when I was 19 I told him I wanted to have sex with him. He loved me and I knew that but I refused to love him back. I used him and I will never forgive myself for breaking his heart because looking back on that summer, I did love him. And he’s the only boy I’ve ever really loved. I was just too scared and hard-hearted to admit it to him or myself. We spent the summer together and I was happy, but when it was time to go back to school, I told him I couldn’t stay with him because the distance was too much to handle. I was more upset about losing him than I cared to admit at the time.
We went our separate ways and when I went back to school, I let boys in that didn’t deserve me because I felt so empty. At the time I thought I was just having fun, but it turned into more than just fun. I met a guy through a friend at a bonfire one night and had I known then what I know now, I would have stayed far far away. We talked, flirted, and eventually he got my number. I heard from him a few days later. We chatted via text for a few days until he invited me to a party one night. I called a friend to go with me and we headed to this “party.” This party consisted of him, his friend, and his friend’s cat in a dirty apartment with mixed drinks and netflix. If I hadn’t been so into this guy, my instincts would have told me to run away and never look back but I thought he was the answer to my emptiness. I thought he was the kind of guy I was needed. Little did I know he was just a good actor and an even better charmer. After a couple drinks (he was mixing) I forgot where I was and all my inhibitions went down with the rum and coke. Next thing I knew, I was in a bed with this boy I barely knew and I went ahead and convinced myself that this was what I had to do to get a boy to like me in college. The next year and a half was almost completely centered around this boy and his tricks. Long story short, we were casually hooking up until he started dating someone I was somewhat close to and that’s when I learned what kind of guy he really was. When they got together he chilled with the flirting, but they fought a lot. And when they fought, he texted me. He’d ask me to come over after she left and make comments about how he wished he didn’t have a girlfriend. Then one day I was drunk and gave him a ride home from a football game. Only I didn’t take him home. I took him to my apartment and cooked lunch for him. He made a move on me and I turned him down. When she found out he was there, she refused to believe nothing happened. And for good reason. A couple months went by and he kept his distance. When my 21st birthday rolled around, he came and stayed with me and my friends in the hotel room. After a night of drinking, shots, and yelling ITS MY BIRTHDAY BITCHES, I found myself right back where he and I started. In a bed together. Only this time he was dating someone and I realized the next morning that not only was he the worst kind of guy, but I was the worst kind of girl. Not only did he have a girlfriend, but I knew her. We were (kind of) friends. I have never hated myself more than I did that day. And I’ve never hated someone else more than I still hate him for asking me to keep his little secret from her and everyone else.

I kept that secret for almost a year. Since then, I have slept 6 boys. 0/6 of them have cared a bit about me and 0/6 of them have reached out to me in the recent past. It hit me recently that I may not be as pure and clean as I was when I was 17, but I sure as hell deserve better than what I’ve been given. The day I decided I wasn’t worth loving was the day I unknowingly decided that I wasn’t worth even trying. And I’ve since learned that I thought I wasn’t worth loving because I had never truly learned to love myself. I challenge everyone out there to give some type of love a chance. Take it from me. A loveless existence is a lonely one.


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