Being cheated on sucks; there is no other way to put it. Nothing can really express that heart-dropping, gut-wrenching feeling of being second best to someone you had invested so much love, time and energy into. The day they tell you that they’ve decided to choose someone else over you, it will hurt. Whether it was physical or emotional – the damage is still the same.
When I was 16, my first “real” boyfriend cheated on me. He told me one night over coffee. We had been dating for probably 4 months at this time, but at such a young and naïve age, I really didn’t know how to react to it. I remember thinking “it only took him 4 months to think that I wasn’t good enough for him anymore?” But looking back now,
I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
We helped each other grow up, and he definitely made a significant impact on the person I am today.
Boyfriend #2 came a long a bit later in life, when I had been able to grasp who I was and really have a solid understanding of what I wanted in life – or at least that was what I thought. I met him in my first year of university. After putting myself back together after my first relationship this boyfriend made me love myself again effortlessly, because I could tell how much he loved me. Our relationship took a weird turn around the 1 year anniversary mark, and about a week after we decided mutually to break up. Tears were shed by both, and it was probably the toughest hurdle I’ve had to cross thus far in university. But I knew, and he knew that it needed to happen.
Before you get too comfortable with this ever-so-seemingly soft breakup, I have to tell you what came next. A week (8 days to be exact) after we broke up, I got a text message from him saying “I just wanted to let you know I am kind of already seeing someone else“… He had been friends with this girl for sometime, and I never thought anything of it. But I guess he fell for her while he was still with me. The way that things worked out for our “picture perfect breakup”, well, it ended up crushing me just as bad as my first heartbreak.
Nevertheless, both of these painful experiences changed my life for the better.
Boyfriend #1 made me tough, he made me build up walls and protect my heart all the while being more careful with who I trust. Will I ever trust him again like I first did? I haven’t figured that one out just yet, but I do know that because of him I stand up for myself. I will no longer change my wants or needs to cater to that of another guy, because I know my self-worth. I thought that boyfriend #2 was going to be around forever. I thought that I was so in love with him that I would never have to worry about anything ever again because I had him. What I fell too blind to see though, was that I didn’t need him, and our core values were just too different; and he taught me that those values really do matter. He also taught me that men really have no idea of how to handle their own emotions – but that is just a minor detail.
Both of these guys broke my heart. But both times, I was the one who picked up the pieces. I am stronger, braver and happier than ever before, and for that I thank them. I don’t have any cynical views on love. I don’t think that all guys are cheaters or that you can’t ever trust men. I am in fact more hopeful than ever that there is someone great out there who I will find one day (or maybe I have already found it and just don’t know it?) and he will be awesome. Being cheated on in something that definitely does some serious damage and it will take me years to be able to completely open up to another person. But do I think I am able to eventually get there? You betcha.
At the end of the day, you control your own happiness. You wake up everyday with a decision of how to see the world – so choose to see it as a good one, full of love.
Featured image via Juliana Stein on Pexels