In 2009 at 22 years old I went on a date with a charismatic guy that I soon fell in love with and we spend 5 incredible years together as a couple. We were young kids in love and it unfolded like a lot of love stories might. We moved in together, we were gloriously happy for a long time and in my heart I felt he was “the one”. Out love felt endless and mutual. But I wanted more of a commitment and he did not. But, we were still in love and spent a couple more years of gloriously happy moments and then loads more of the same fight over and over again. Eventually I moved out and we broke up.
We spent the 18 month following our breakup still romantically and sexually involved. He started a new (and eventually long term) relationship and I found Tinder (eye roll) and leaned that casual dating could be both empowering for a newly single female and destructively heartbreaking at the same time. For those 18 months, he was starting a new life with someone else and tying to be a better boyfriend to her than he was to me (his words) and yet we still maintained a friendship, had secret meetings, went on trips together, shared flirtatious messages and maintained an affair that was destroying me. My self worth, my career success, my friendships and my belief in love began to quickly and painfully slip away. I never though I would become my soul mate’s “side chick” and it turned me into a shell of the person I used to be.
I don’t think my story is all that unique or special, but there are some things that saved me and pulled me out of that darkness that I do want to share.
- Therapy: Finding an amazing therapist who has helped me rewrite my story, confront my pain and rediscover my strength. My wish is that anyone that is ever hurting finds the counsel and the help they need and that no one ever feels shame for seeking mental health assistance.
- Meditation and Healing: Specifically the teachings of Master Choa Kok Sui, the Pranic Healing community and one on one healing sessions
- Turning to my family for comfort
- Cultivating strong relationships with girlfriends
- Using the “block number” feature on my phone
- Getting the fuck off Tinder
I still wonder I can ever love another person as deeply as I did before, but I love MYSELF more openly and honestly than I ever have and that is making all the difference.