“He’s a great guy, you’ll love him.” That’s what my BFF said when she set me up with the guy who would become my boyfriend. Yes, he was great — but he wasn’t right for me. Still, I stuck with him for a year because everyone in my life thought he was perfect. Big mistake.
I’d been in a relationship with a guy no one liked in the past. Let me tell you, it sucked. I ended up being really isolated because none of my friends or family members wanted to spend time with my boyfriend and me. It had made me feel really lonely, so I guess when this so-called “perfect” guy came along, it was refreshing to be with him because everyone in my life adored him.
I was swayed by others’ opinions. It’s sad but true: I ignored my feelings and listened to what other people thought of him. I remember once telling my friend that I wasn’t happy with the guy because I wanted someone more adventurous and a little less clingy, and she’d said, “But he’s great! He’s such a nice guy. You’re lucky to have him.” I thought she was probably right. I felt guilty for not wanting him because on paper he really seemed perfect.
I saw him through their eyes. Soon, I was seeing him the way other people saw him. The problem with this is that the same guy can be very different to his girlfriend than he is with his friends, family members, and other people in his life. As his girlfriend, I saw a side to him that no one did: I saw the moodiness, the impatience, and the clinginess.
I liked how society viewed me. I liked that to my loved ones and even strangers, I was someone who had her sh*t together. I was in a loving, great relationship, and I loved boasting about it on Facebook… but it wasn’t real. I shouldn’t have cared what anyone thought because I was wasting time with this guy!
I mattered because I was with him. He had so many friends and was super popular everywhere he went. He got into the hottest parties and was always the life of them. Being with him meant that I could be loved by association. People immediately liked me because I was with him. It was an ego boost at first, but then it actually became sad because it meant that people weren’t rating me according to who I was but because of who I was with.
It made my life easier. Sure, my life felt really peachy when I was with this guy. Everyone loved him so there were no horrible arguments or fights with loved ones. When my friends and I hung out with him, they all had a great time. It was great to be surrounded by this, but it came at a price: I was making my life more complicated by settling for him.
Behind closed doors, it was a different story. I really tried to be happy with this guy because he was so loved, so he had to have been a good guy. Yes, he was a good guy, but I was forcing myself to feel something for him and want to be with him, which was just stressful and unfair on both of us.
I didn’t trust what I wanted. I was allowing myself to be blinded by what other people thought was good for me. Who cares if I wanted to dump the biggest catch in the world? I had the right to do it and I should have followed that impulse. I learned through this experience that what I feel matters the most, and I won’t push aside my feelings again.
I was afraid of rejection. Being with him showed me I just wanted to be liked — and I was liked because my boyfriend was so amazing. I was basically giving up my happiness for others’ approval so that I wouldn’t be rejected. It wasn’t worth it.
I feared I couldn’t do better. Since he was so great, not only did I feel like less in comparison but it made me worry that I wouldn’t be able to find a guy who was as great as he was. Hell, even my friends were always saying he was the best guy I could be with. I know they didn’t mean it as a diss to me, but it made me feel crap. I needed a man who was right for me on all counts, someone who wasn’t just a catch. I had to love him fiercely, and I just didn’t love this guy. It took me a while to reach the point where I realized that was okay.
When I made the choice to ditch him, I knew I’d make enemies. It was scary to think that if I left this guy, people wouldn’t understand why. I knew that many people would take his side, which was a scary idea. And that is, actually, what happened: some of my friends became his friends and firm supporters, leaving me in the dust and treating me like the enemy for dumping him! But at least I wasn’t living a lie anymore.
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