When I was about 14, I met my first real boyfriend. Seems young, but just bear with me.
Ironically, he had been dating a friend of mine, but things didn’t work out between them.
I asked her if she cared that I went out with him, being the clueless teenage girl that I was.
She told me she didn’t care, as she was already talking to somebody new, so I leaped.
I started dating him January of 2008. I had NO IDEA that we would stay together for two and a half years after that. I was so young, so impressionable, and so vulnerable that I went along with whatever it took to keep him interested.
I never slept with him, which is something I am always grateful for. (Of course, the first guy I did end up sleeping with, was no prize either. I’m ashamed of that.)
But I honestly thought that I was in love with him. He made me laugh, smile, but most importantly he made me feel as though I were enough. Everything seemed perfect.
I couldn’t believe that at such a young age, I could have possibly found the guy I would spend forever with.
Of course, as stated, I was young and impressionable.
I don’t think I was ever truly in love with him, more so in love with the idea of him.
I was in such awe that a guy, any guy really, wanted me.
He was super cute, and very sweet to me. He saw the quiet, introvert parts of me and never made me feel bad for them. In fact, on numerous occasions, he called it cute how reserved I was.
Of course, I didn’t even know that I had indirectly stumbled into my own heart’s defeated end.
One day I got a message, from a random girl I’d never even heard of before, asking me if I was dating the boy who I won’t name. I was confused, but answered honestly. Because I was dating him, and had been for about a year.
She then told me that she too, had been dating him for a while, and that they were still together as of the day she messaged me. I felt sick to my stomach. Had he been cheating on me this entire time? Had everything he ever said to me been a lie?
I grabbed my phone and texted him. He wrote back saying it was a lie, (obviously), and that I should just block this girl and not talk to her again. I did as he told, but something still didn’t feel right inside my gut.
Months went by, and he acted normal, though I could see a few things had changed.
Whenever I went to his house, or anywhere with him, his phone would be turned off. He said he didn’t like being interrupted when he was with me, which at first sounded cute, but then after a while it started to sink in the real reason why he kept his phone off.
Just in case she called him, or texted him. I figured it out by accident, actually.
I was at his house, and his mother had no idea of anything, so when she came into his bedroom and said that (I won’t put her name), was on the phone for him, I instantly knew who she was.
He tried to play it off, saying, “Tell her I’m busy”, and then once his mother left, he turned to me and said he didn’t know why she was calling, and that he would tell her to stop.
I nodded, and went along with it. Not questioning him further.
I felt sick again. I knew he was lying, but the thought of losing him was even worse.
So, like a complete idiot, I stayed with him. I stayed with him for another year and a half, and I knew during that entire time, he was still seeing this other girl.
I had zero sense of self-worth, due to the drama that happened with my father leaving. I felt so down about myself, that I felt as though I deserved whatever happened to me.
I would have rather stayed with him, knowing he was cheating on me, than to not be with him at all and be completely alone. It was as if I needed him, just to feel worthy of love. Worthy of anything. Like if I let him go, it would just prove to myself and to the world that I wasn’t good enough for anyone.
My friends told me to leave him time and time again, but I didn’t. I chose to stay.
I couldn’t bear the thought of not having that sense of familiarity. The truth is, I grew attached to him. He wasn’t my boyfriend anymore, he was my security blanket.
I kept telling myself eventually he would stop, eventually he would realize how much he loved me and that everything would be okay after that.
Being so young, and so hurt by my father’s absence, I used that as a crutch and excuse to stay and continue to deal with the thoughts of him being with somebody else. I mean, he still saw me, he still hugged me, he still kissed me, he still told me how much he cared about me, shouldn’t I be happy with that? Shouldn’t that be enough?
It wasn’t though. And I figured it out too late.
One day, at my friends house, that girl approached me while we were at the park. I’m not sure how she knew I would be there, but when I saw her walking up, realization dawned on me who she was, as I had seen pictures of her.
(Yes I unblocked her on MySpace and started stalking her page, I was young and dumb, cut me some slack here).
She told me she was still seeing him, and begged me to leave him alone.
I explained the situation, that I had been with him first and longest. She didn’t care. She was relentless, almost as much as I was.
Two girls, battling over a boy who deserved neither one of us.
Yet, we were too stupid to realize.
Eventually, one day, I texted him and told him it was over.
His response made it perfectly clear that I had made the right choice.
I stared at my phone in disbelief as I read the single letter text, “K”.
Sure, I cried a lot and felt heartbroken for a while, but I got over it.
The very moment I realized I didn’t actually love him, made everything else super clear.
Three short years later, I was out with a friend. I met her not long prior, as we had mutual friends.
We went out to play some pool, and she said that her brother and his friend would be joining us.
I know what you’re thinking, “Will this be the cliché, fell in love with your friends brother story?”
No, it isn’t.
In fact, the very second her brother and his friend walked through the doors to the pool hall, my heart actually stilled.
Her brother’s friend walked up to our pool table, and took one look at me.
We shared a smile, and everything after that was pure bliss.
We kept our distance for a while. I was still apprehensive to get into a serious relationship after my last one.
Sure, I dated a few guys here and there since I broke up with he who shall not be named, but I never actually committed myself to another human being after that.
So when my friends brother’s friend, I guess I’ll tell you his name, Eric, asked me to go to the park with him one night, my heart fluttered.
I didn’t know what was going to happen, but when we walked around, carelessly talking about anything and everything, I knew that he was something special.
It wasn’t like it was with my ex. He treated me with a kindness and respect I’d never had before.
I also didn’t expect, that, that would be the first time we shared a kiss.
The very instant our lips touched, I just knew. It was undeniable.
Now, almost five years later, we’re engaged and trying to conceive our first child. It’s all so surreal. I can’t explain it.
I’ve never felt feelings this strong before. They make whatever feelings I shared with my ex, seem ridiculous.
And so, what I’m trying to say is, everything does come down to fate.
At least for me, it does. Had I not met my friend, had I not agreed to go out that night to that pool hall, had she not called her brother and Eric to ask if they wanted to join us, I probably never would have met him. Sometimes things happen, and they happen because of a purpose.
There’s this hidden, almost nonexistent purpose in the world, for everything to happen the way it’s supposed to happen. I can’t explain it any better than that.
So, if you’re ever feeling stuck, or feeling as though you don’t understand why something bad or unfair is happening to you... remember, it’s all because of the purpose. It’s all because of fate. Something so bad can happen, but then it will eventually pull you into something even greater, sometimes without you even realizing it.
Just stick through the troubles and the heartaches, stick through the tough times, because in the end, everything will pay off for the better. At least we can hope it will, right?
Fate is funny. But most importantly, fate is real.
Keep your eyes peeled, and listen to that gut feeling inside your stomach, because it’s there for a reason.
That feeling, that feeling is fate, and it knows to show itself when you need it to the most.