Being Dumped Made Me Re-Examine Who I Was

I had been in love with him since I was 16. Well, 15. He was a senior, and I was a freshman. We were friends first but spent many days after school and talked about everything under the sun. We talked about what adult life would be like and what we wanted to be when we grew up.

We talked about families and our philosophies, as short-sighted as they may have been. There was nothing sexual between us, at first. But, as we spent more time together and I learned more about him, I soon fell in love.

I can tell you I knew shit about being in love at 16, but I'll give myself credit. I fell for who he was versus what he had or how he looked. That's pretty mature for 16 years old in my humble opinion. Unfortunately, no matter how sophisticated your process may be, young love is so new that people don't know what to do with it or how to handle it.

As new lovers, we struggle through love the best way that we know how.

Read: How To Be In Love, A Helpful Guide For Teens

Over the years, we would go on to play this "on and off" game. We'd interact closely, spending time and bumping uglies. He would then go ghost; I would cry my heart out, and try to move on.

When I finally put back together the pieces of my broken heart, he would saunter back into my life. Always little more mature than the last time, but still wasn't mature enough to stop ghosting me.

Eventually, I found love with someone else. But that didn't last. However, my failed relationship instilled in me a sort of confidence that I didn't have before. I was capable of finding other men who wanted me and wanted to commit.

I found guys who were gainfully employed and wanted to go out on the town and didn't mind coming out of their pockets for dinner or gifts. When he and I engaged, I always footed the bill. Looking back, I should have picked up that he didn't see the need to get himself together and court me; he wasn't interested.

But you see I was confused. I confused someone just hanging out and having sex with me for someone was THAT into me.

Read: What It Means When He Doesn’t Text You Back

Now before you guys go and say "time is important" or "money ain't everything," sometimes that is true. However, I discovered that out of all the times he was broke, he managed to take the time and scrape up enough coins to get his future baby's mother a birthday gift.

I was pretty hurt because for my birthday all I got was dick, probably community dick at that. I wasn't important enough for him to scrap and scrounge for coins, yet she was.

I learned many lessons dating him. The biggest one was men would put in the effort for those who they genuinely care for.

As I moved through my early 20s, I had gone through a sexual drought. I had been celibate for almost a year, and I was dying. Too afraid of random diseases and the sex I was having before being celibate was unfulfilling, I decided I needed a sex break.

Read: What To Do When You Are Tired Of dating

Not because I needed a more profound connection, but the candidates were less than stellar. I mean if I was looking for a jump off I'm going to be very vain. Guys who approached me were too short, too dull, and too weird. I couldn't find that connection and found myself focusing on getting my personal life together.

Somehow like magnets, we started connecting again, speaking on Yahoo instant messenger. I ranted about how he hurt me so much, and he apologized. He had become a father of two kids, and the relationship he was in was shitty.

I found myself smirking on the inside a bit. Not because I was happy that he was having a difficult time, but more so that I wouldn't have treated him like she did. That I was a better partner and now he was able to see it. I felt..vindicated.

Furthermore, it sounded like he was single, and since he was the best sex I ever had, I felt like, why not do the FWB thing? (Friends with benefits.)

And that's what we did. It was everything! I got in and got out. I was feeling good, and I wasn't in love. It was a magical time for me until he fucked it up.

After a hot and heavy session, he asked me, "What are we doing Miss P?" (P was his nickname for me, not sure how it started. Think it had to deal with my nickname of Payne.)

I laid there and thought, "Shit!". I just wanted to bump uglies until someone else came along. I just needed to relieve stress, and I didn't have those same feelings. I cared for him, but that old "I love you until the end," feeling wasn't the same. They were gone.

On the other hand, I had begged this man for years to be with me. I had finally won. This was my chase to inherit this relationship. Sad that I thought that way, but I did. Shame and pride to the side, I had longed to be with him, and each time he shot me down.

This was a prime opportunity for me the be the bitch that I needed to be and tell him to fuck off. But what did my soft ass do? Enter the relationship.

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Being Dumped Made Me Re-Examine Who I Was

I mean if he finally is wanting to commit, that means he wants to be with me, right?

The first three months were excellent. It was a happy relationship. We never argued and enjoyed each other's company. I cooked and cleaned for him and helped with his kids. Things were easy for us, and I started to let my guard down. I began to fall in love.

Then the weirdest thing happen. Out of the blue, I started noticing little things.

He started being on good terms with the mother of his children. Instead of being that "bitch" or the "idiot," he used her name. Now to you guys, it may not seem like a big deal, but I notice little small things like that. Changes in routines or language, I pick up on it. But I let it go.

I let slide a lot of things red flagish behavior that I'm ashamed I did.

I turned a blind eye to him getting more comfortable with his baby's mom. I turned a blind eye to the texts that insinuated that more was going on than simple co-parenting.

I even turned a blind eye to many after hour calls to this woman, well after I was asleep.

And even after I confronted him and he showed no remorse, I still was willing to stay with him.

It took him to break up with before I had to face what I was doing.

I was willing to shrink myself and allow bullshit to go on because I didn't want to be alone.

Read: Why I Hated Being Single

Because it was so hard for me to find someone who I meshed with, I was willing to accept lower standards because I thought lesser of myself.

I lowered my guard, and I still was burned. What's even worse is that I knew that I shouldn't have gone down this path, but I wanted what I wanted to so bad. I looked like a fool, and that made my heart break even worse.

I'm not proud of myself during that period. I didn't embody the "Independent Women" song that Destiny's Child sung about proudly. I could probably be characterized as a "pick me" type of woman.

This was about ten years ago, though. I've lived and learned so much sense. I don't hate him; in fact, we are great friends. Just friends, ya'll. We just weren't meant for each other.

As I look at the sky right now and the clouds are so big and fluffy, I silently thank him. I know I was hurt afterward (naturally), but I wasn't strong enough to leave that relationship. I could have been stuck in a shitty situation with kids, continuously playing Mary J. Blige songs, secretly hating their father for being a shitty partner.

But God had other plans for me, and I'm glad.