It started out as a totally normal Saturday morning. I was laying with my boyfriend who I was totally “head over heels” for (or so I thought). After trying to get him to cuddle with me, and not getting a response, I realized something weird was going on. I made a slight joke about how we haven’t been uhhh...intimate for a week and that we’re not fifty so...let's Marvin Gaye and get it on. All of a sudden he says he’s feeling weird. Weird? I ask him patiently, slowly sitting up in bed.
He then tells me that he loves me as a person...but no longer is in love anymore! Interesting realization to have after two and a half years with someone who is apparently your best friend. After silently (or maybe not so silently, idk, ask him) flipping a shit for two minutes I put my stuff in my tote, threw my contacts in my eyes, and marched up the stairs to leave his house. I heard footsteps behind me pounding up the stairs but I didn’t turn around and I knew he wouldn’t follow me out of the house, like he hadn’t so many times before. I walked outside, took a deep breath, and the sunlight and nice weather hit me brutally, as if the world was telling me to feel better.
I quickly called my “people” and tell them what happened, and I had to laugh when I realized the silliness of it all. He just...doesn’t like me. I started telling people on the street. I must’ve seemed crazy! The 25 block walk to my apartment across the city consisted of many phrases like “How’s your day? Oh mines fine, I just got dumped!” or “Would you date me? Because I just got dumped!” It started to become something to laugh about. No cheating, no lies, no deceit, no foul play. I did everything one could possibly do RIGHT in a relationship. I essentially worshiped the ground he walked on but I was constantly begging for more love from him in order to be happier. Still, I thought we were getting married some day. I thought we would move in together in another two or three years. I literally had my life written out in my head as if it was some romance novel.
I immediately realized that I was slowly learning to find things wrong with me. I’d try to sit down and list all of my good qualities but I couldn’t find any. I was allowing his non existent feelings about me to tarnish my feelings about myself in my own head. I have always been a confident person but this made me feel like I had just gone through 10 rounds in the ring with Ronda Rousey, and while I’m strong, I was still getting beat down pretty bad. “I’m not in love with you anymore.” I kept thinking about how I’m not pretty, skinny, or funny enough. Or how I’m not smart and nobody likes me. I literally found myself saying this out loud as I fell asleep with the rain hitting the windows and “If It Makes You Happy” by Sheryl Crow playing in the background. Talk about dramatics.
And then….the good part happened. I had a realization. The only person that I can truly count on in life is myself. Of course family and friends will always be there, but I put all of my own personal happiness into his hands. I somehow twisted myself into thinking that my self worth was defined by him. And while he’s a great person and I can truly say nothing bad, he is not the decider of everything in the world. I had to bare down and fix my feelings about myself one minute, one hour, and one day at a time. I’m typically a very rational person, but in the moments following getting dumped out of nowhere I was lost. I started running again. I hadn’t run a half marathon since before I started dating him, and now I’m signed up for a major city race. I have spent more time with friends in the past month then I probably did in the past three months. I plan on dancing on the stage at my college bar every Thursday night until I graduate in March. I know that little by little I will feel better about myself and remember who I was before I relied on somebody else for my self worth.
And please remember the words of Christina Yang to Meredith Grey in that fateful Grey’s Anatomy episode: “He’s not the sun...You are.” Remember to be your own sun...forever.