Why Being Cheated On By My First Boyfriend Was The Best Thing That Had Happened On My Self Love Journey | Story Time
Have you ever thought about all that has happened to you in the past few years? There are some that don’t reflect and there are some like me that has to. I don’t reflect to sulk in my memories. Instead, I try to remember where I was to make sure that I am not staying complacent. There is something within me that I don’t like feeling like I am not growing in any area of my life. I like to see that I am doing better for myself, not comparing my growth to others. For those that like to stay in the same place and feel comfortable in not really growing, that’s your journey and it’s okay. However for many others and myself, I really do love seeing myself grow in ways I never thought I could have.
For the past four years, I realized that I have done a lot. I was able to travel to different places at least a couple of times per year, I was able to graduate from college and move to Miami. I was able to explore and grow in my career, discover the joy in traveling, blogging and helping others. I run this blog with the ability to share my creativity and connect with hundreds of people around the world. I am living more of my authentic life, something I wouldn’t have had if I ended up with the people I had dated. Forward to today, I want to be able to tell you why being cheated on was one of the best things that had happened to me. If you are going through some tough times in relationships, I want you to know that this will past. Everything that you are going through is for something better. But first, let me tell you why.
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Now let’s get into of why being cheated on was the best thing that had happened to me.
Out of many negative experiences I went through, this was one of the most painful and top memories. I am a person who is very loyal to the people I date so for being cheated on years ago for the first time was unbearable.
At the time, I was in college. I was dating “my first real love”-if you don’t want to count the Backstreet Boys, my travel bug and the library- throughout college. I never knew about what a healthy relationship was because unfortunately I didn’t grow up having seeing a healthy relationship. What really is that? All I knew was that I loved this boy and too naive to understand the reality of the world. SO how did it happen? What were the signs? Did I even give them another chance? Did I curse them out and cry for years? As I have healed and honestly hold no resentment towards him or anyone, I will be able to tell you only one side of the story. The saying is true that there are three sides to the story. Mine, his and the truth. So maybe this perspective is biased as hell, although I will try to not really be. Take what you’d like from the story that seems “entertaining” or maybe even some advice. I am here to share my truth. My authentic self. For those that want to listen, welcome. Sit here and open your heart, as I write to you from mine.
No, I didn’t know that he’d cheat on me. Who really believes that the person that they are dating and are “in love” with is going to end up destroying their fragile heart and destroy their naive perspective on the world of dating? I knew him since high school. We were friends at first. He was actually inches shorter than me in high school and I found him adorable. Not sexy and not really attractive. He was odd. Kinda like that attractive girl wanting to date the nerd kinda thing. No it’s not to be condescending or narcissistic. I’m just trying to visualize what it really looked like. It’s not a bad thing. However, I didn’t really find myself dating much in high school. Instead, we were friends and secretly crushing on each other but neither wanted to admit it. I was a junior and he was a senior and we really did hang out a lot until he graduated. We lost touched when he went off to college and reconnected in the halfway of my senior year.
This is where my memory gets faded. It’s probably because this was almost ten years ago and as you get older, your memory isn’t as clear. What I do remember is that as I finished my senior year, we lost touched until my freshmen year of college. I returned home and this is where our romance begins. I was finally his and he was finally mine despite the on and off separation of young love.
We were each other’s first everything. He was my first and I was his first. First love is a funny thing. It makes you feel all these emotions that makes you want to believe that the fairy tale love is real like the movies. You see yourself with them forever even if you see red flags. What were the red flags? Looking back, the main red flag was that we were young. I was learning what a romantic relationship was about. It was all new to me. Do I invite him to hang out with my friends? Do I tell him what my boundaries are? What are even boundaries? All of these thoughts are probably similar to what many others go through at a young age. I was experiencing this at 17 and 18 years old. A teenager. My frontal lobe of my brain isn’t even finished growing. How could have I known what I wanted to even major in college? These decisions in my life were too big to make at a young age. We both were trying to learn what each of us liked and what we didn’t like, until what he didn’t like turned out to become more important than mine.
My first boyfriend started to express that he didn’t like his major in college and where he was at his life. It appeared that he didn’t know what he wanted to do. How could have he? He was also young making life decisions and trying to hold a relationship with me. I wasn’t healthy at the time. When I mean healthy, I mean emotionally. I realized I cared way too much for him and was codependent. I was over-giving and didn’t know my own boundaries. He ended up breaking up with me after a year of dating. I was devastated as you can imagine. I was being dumped and being dumped by this “high school nerd” who I fell in love with. There was something in me that I couldn’t bare to understand. What was wrong with me? What did I do wrong? Was there something I could change to have him back? The answer to all of those questions were no. But at the time, I was 19. It was my first relationship. I didn’t know that loving myself was what it would take to build my confidence and self esteem up from being dumped. I also didn’t realize that breaking up is what happens in the dating world. Looking back, I didn’t get over that break up. I was wishing he would come back to me. I was trying to move on and focus on my studies. However, it was like he wanted his cake and to eat it too.
He was seeing other females and dating. He was seeing what was out there and seeing if he couldn’t get someone better, he could try to come back to me because I was there. He knew that I still had feelings for him and was aching for his validation of love. This is shameful on my part. I realized I wasn’t loving myself. I wasn’t putting myself first and saying no, that I will not allow someone to treat me like an option. His words never matched his actions. You can say that was a red flag. It is. We had mutual friends and I would hear many times that I was the “one that got away.” I kept hearing what I wanted to hear, “He reached out to me and he said he misses you and loves you. He really wishes you were in his life. he feels like a fool. He keeps writing to me that he loves you.” He would send me emails himself trying to get into my life. He’d write really long emails proclaiming his love to me. He would send me emails and try to explain that he was confused in his life. I didn’t understand. Why would he dump me to then want me in his life but not date me? That was my thought process for a year.
Then I made a decision. I wanted to grow out from my comfort zone. I wanted to go to California.
I started my exchange process in the middle of my junior year which was around beginning of 2014. My ex-boyfriend and I were not dating, but he ended up in my life again in mid of 2014. He found out that I was trying to leave and pursue a new chapter in my life. I believe in my heart that when he noticed I was moving on, he wanted me to still be in his life so that no one else would have me. I mean think about it.
What would have happened if I went to California? I had the ability to date anyone new. I was going to explore and meet so many different kinds of people. I was going to be thousands of miles away in a new location. That’s a scary idea for a guy who was comfortable in knowing that his ex-girlfriend who was wishing to be back with him for a year, was moving on and towards a new exciting chapter in life. Red flag.
During the summer, we were in the process of dating again. We were “talking.” That’s the term nowadays that seems appropriate in this context. This is where it gets more interesting I guess from an outsider looking in. As we were talking, I noticed red flags that I wanted in my heart to deny. We were making plans to hang out and we were supposed to hang out one day. He ended up canceling and rescheduling plans with me. I didn’t think much of it. The world has a funny way bringing everything around even if you aren’t actively looking or even trying to make it. I came across on Facebook at the time that he was attending some girl’s birthday party. The same day he was supposed to hang out with me.
Translation: He canceled plans with me to hang out with another girl. He was putting me as an option again.
I kept quiet. Stupid. Yes I was stupid to keep quiet on what I just discovered and what the damn universe put in front of my eyes.
As we continue to hang out, we were “dating” as boyfriend and girlfriend. However, he wasn’t honest about the girl he was dating. He’d call her a liar, crazy and even obsessed with him. He’d made it seem that she was problematic and insecure and crazy. Red flag, again. Looking back, I wish I listened to my intuition. I knew that he wasn’t honest. I knew that I caught him in a lie and I wish I used my voice. I let him feed me words. Words that I wanted to hear. Dating him was like dating anxiety. I didn’t know when it would come back to me, but when it did, it made living possibly difficult and horrible. I developed anxiety and panic attacks in this relationship. I was thinking of the worse situations between us. The worse situation was that he’d leave me again.
Then life bit me in the ass.
I went to California filled with anxiety from the relationship. It was a terrible mental and emotional space to be in. I was having panic attacks when I didn’t hear from him or that he was hanging out with friends. At the time, he wasn’t being honest of the people he’d surround himself with. He would hang out with this one girl. A girl that I can say was obsessed with him and me. I found about her on this platform where I followed him at the time, Tumblr. The same platform that the previous girl he dated found out about me. I would spend hours scrolling trying to understand who this girl was in love with. She was describing in detail that she was in love with my boyfriend. She would talk about me and talk about me in the sense that I was so pretty. The way she wrote about me and my boyfriend was something I couldn’t get my head around. Why would this person I’m dating be around someone who was in love with him? On the same token, why would a girl hang out with a guy who has a girlfriend, alone? Why would she cross those boundaries? Why would he let her? To me, as loyal as I am, I couldn’t fathom that there are people in this world who lack empathy and compassion. I started to realize that when I brought my concerns to him, he wouldn’t respect it. He wouldn’t make me feel secure in the relationship. He even brought her to his marine corps ball as a date even when he had a girlfriend. Why didn’t I end it there? Why didn’t I have the respect in me to tell him off and break up with him?
I didn’t have any self love. If I had the self love I have now, I wouldn’t even allow to ever have him back into my life. It was almost my time to go back home in December of 2014. There was one night that I couldn’t sleep at all. I was up all night, finally tired of living with panic attacks. Tired of living with anxiety from being with him. Tired of the lack of self love in me. Tired of checking on her social media and his. Tired of trying to figure out what they were doing behind my back. Tired of being tired. I ended up calling him the next day and breaking up with him. It was one of the best decisions I made.
Did he admit it of cheating on me? Did he admit about her? Of course not. These type of men play games and when it’s over, they would rather move on with their lies than to be an honest man.
As I sit here today writing to you my personal being cheated on story, I can say that it was one of the best things that could have happened to me. It was the beginning of my self love journey. Granted, I got into another toxic relationship afterwards that I ended too but it was the beginning of my story. My self love journey. If I ended up with my first boyfriend, I would have ended up living a miserable life. I would have ended up settling for a mediocre life as well. Who really knows where I would have ended up. All I know is that my self love journey was the beginning of finally saying enough is enough.
I was using my voice. I was living my life on my terms. I wanted to give up the lack of self respect I had and start gaining it. I started to learn what I would never tolerate, and I would never tolerate the man I am dating to cross boundaries with another woman. I know what I will tolerate and won’t tolerate. This chapter is a part of my life and although it was painful, I am so grateful that it happened. Everything in this life is connected for some reason. I truly believe everything that a person goes through is for a reason. Something better was coming my way. I had to learn that the idea I had about relationships were not healthy. I had to learn what I wanted out of a man and a relationship. I’ve learned a lot but most importantly, I learned that loving myself first is more important than loving someone else.
That is my story on being cheated on and how it was one of the best things that had happened to me. I hope that if you take away anything from my story is that to love yourself first. Please always do. Listen to yourself and your intuition. If you are experiencing anxiety, panic attacks or even abuse in relationships, get help. This is a sign that this relationship isn’t for you. Find the strength in yourself and leave. You deserve so much better and you will end up a lot more happier than with them.
I promise once you put yourself first, you will thank yourself years later. I know I have and I don’t regret it.