August 7, 2014
I woke up at 4am this morning to a text from one of my good friends that read “ur x is on tinder”. I will not indulge you in my response because it is one that I am definitely not proud of.
I had a flood of emotions. The main one was anger. I was angry that he had sunk to that level. And I was furious at the thought that this had been going on while we were dating.
(For those of you who are not familiar with Tinder, it is a trashy “dating” site. You see a persons picture with two choices next to it: Hot or Not. You choose one. If you choose “hot”, they get a notification and you can talk to them, and if you choose “not” then they don’t show up again.)
I also felt many other things. Amongst the anger was betrayal, skepticism, hurt, and I’m not going to lie…a little bit of humor was in there too. That’s the thing about me…I can flip in 2 seconds. I can go from fuming with smoke coming out of my ears to laughing in about 2.3879 seconds. But this humor was more…dark, I suppose. More like, “Are you serious? He’s THAT desperate.”
But I digress. Humor is the least concerning of these emotions (and honestly, one that I’m not particularly proud to emote in this situation).
Let me give you a bit of history concerning this relationship. We were high school sweethearts. We started dating towards the end of our senior year (what were we thinking, right?) After dating for less than 2 months we were both a little head over heels. For me, he was my first everything. For him, I was the first “serious” everything. We went to different colleges, which was really hard, but we made it work. It wasn’t until after we’d been dating well over a year that we started having some serious issues (or so I thought). It ended around November 2013, but then kinda trickled on and off for a few months after that. Then it crashed and burned really badly.
I don’t want to bash this relationship, because it had some wonderful moments and definitely some valuable learning experiences. It was what it was, and admittedly, it should not have gone on for as long as it did. We both made mistakes, we’re both human. I however, felt as though I was being pushed, prodded, and tried to be made into someone and something that I wasn’t. I’m not the type to put my dreams on hold, or change my life long plans at the drop of a hat because I meet someone I like (well, in this case – loved). I’m not that type of girl who wants to follow another persons job and be the stay at home wife. That’s just not my style. But that’s what he wanted and felt he needed. I thought I could be someone like that, but I just couldn’t and don’t want to be that. Aside from that major difference in our goals and dreams, there were some personality differences as well. What was I thinking dating someone who doesn’t like classical music?!?! That should have been the first clue, right?! Haha jokes aside. He was assertive, I was passive aggressive. He was straightforward and liked to be in control, I also liked to be in control but was not AT ALL straightforward…naturally leading to QUITE a bit of tension and a power struggle. Our final downfall were “my issues”. My unclaimed “baggage”. See, I don’t pretend to lead a normal life. Far from it. And I needed someone who wouldn’t be afraid of the luggage I have to hull everywhere I go. He didn’t want that, or he couldn’t handle it. At the time, I was a ticking time bomb. A grenade that could explode at any moment. And I did explode. Lucky for him, he got out in time haha. I should quit joking about it, because it’s actually not funny.
Anyways, I am now a different person. I carry my own luggage and any extra baggage. I don’t need someone to hold it for me…not even temporarily. I am emotionally invested in first and foremost myself (and consequently by being invest in myself I am invest in my Lord, Jesus Christ who is also invested in me). I am invested in those around me, but not to the extent to which I also take on their baggage. I am my own person. I have my own thoughts and opinions, and quite frankly whoever reads them, hears them, sees them, can agree or disagree. Just don’t be rude about it, because that’s unnecessary. I am constantly learning and growing. I make mistakes and sometimes I trip up on life. Sometimes I have trouble balancing all the suitcases I’ve got to roll around from place to place. But that’s okay. It’s okay because I also make strides amongst my mistakes. That saying, “2 steps forward, 1 step back”? Well for me, it used to be “2 steps forward, 5 steps back.” Now it’s more like “3 steps forward, 1 step back.” I now strive for progress, not perfection like I used too (although this is a common misstep for me still).
Anyways, what I’m getting at is that I felt all those things all at once. And that’s OKAY. This guy was my first love. I was young and naïve and I thought that “forever” was for real. It’s not. There’s no such thing as forever here on earth. Everything – relationships, food, clothes, cars, you name it – it’s all tangible and disposable. Sure, relationships are good (healthy ones, at least – which this one was not.) but it can’t be forever. The only thing that’s forever is our Saviour, Christ Jesus. And heaven. Heaven is forever if we’re lucky enough to get there.
So, whether or not he had that app while we were dating…it doesn’t matter. I have my suspicions, but dwelling on that does no one, especially myself, any good. What he does now is his business, his life, his mistakes, his lessons to learn. We had good times and we had bad times together. The good times were GREAT, and the bad times were…well, unpleasant. But that’s life. The good outnumbered the bad right up there till the end.
What I need to learn to do is to take the good and leave the bad. We were us. We had fun and learned and grew together. I now what I desire in a significant other now…what I NEED from someone else. I also know that I am fine without someone else. I can stand alone. I can handle all the luggage and baggage. I can handle life situations. I can do this. I am okay. I also need to learn to trust. I need to allow others into my life and trust that they have good intentions. That’s not to say that I need to throw myself out into the ocean without a life vest, but I can tread water cautiously. A lot of my friends and high school classmates are now getting engaged or planning their weddings. I’m in no rush. The Lord knows what I need and WHO I need in my life and I have confidence that I will meet this person when I am ready and at the right time. It’s worth the wait. It will be fabulous.
If I were to guard myself so much that I don’t allow myself to build healthy, strong relationships, I could be doing myself a grave disservice. So, here’s to the past and here’s to the future. Here’s to mistake and here’s to making strides. As my buddy Henry David Thoreau said, “There is no remedy for love but to love more.”