The Biggest Mistake in My Love Life
My first experience with "love" didn't go as planned
I am what you call a “late bloomer”. In middle school I remember my friends bragging about the boys they’ve kissed, or the boys they’ve gone out with. In my early high school years I remember seeing couples holding hands while walking to class, and the oodles of couples that would lay on each other in the hallway after lunch. When I was 16, I thought everything would happen. That I’d get my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first taste of love and that it would be just like the movies. I was wrong, none of that happened at 16 and I felt like a complete loser. I was surrounded by my friends who had plenty of experience with boys and dating and then there was me. Veronica who couldn’t even get a boy to kiss her, let alone go out with her.
I didn’t feel pressure from my friends to go out with guys. I honestly felt pressure from myself and society. All the movies and TV shows that I watched made me feel like there was something wrong with me because of my nonexistent love life. The most intimate I had ever gotten with a guy was maybe a slow dance at Homecoming or a lame junior high dance (even then, no one asked me to dance, I had to ask them). It wasn’t until junior year that I started to (slowly) get attention from guys. Well, one person in particular.
At first, it was flirty texts. I didn’t necessarily like him, but it was the first time that I had ever gotten attention like that from a guy. I knew he was interested in me, and his texts made me blush sometimes. He made me feel good, but he wasn’t the best guy out there. He didn’t have the best reputation. Because I went to a small high school, everyone in the school knew him as the loud, annoying, smart-ass kid who disrespected teachers. The guy who had no filter and wasn’t afraid to throw insults at others. He was the complete opposite of me but in the moment I put it in the back of my mind. I ignored it because I was getting the attention I craved so long and if I rejected him, no one else would give me that attention. I felt myself trapped in a situation. A situation that I knew I wasn’t worthy of, but settled for it because I thought that was all I was worth at the time.
As we started texting more he would do small things when he saw me. Like wink at me, or write me notes, he even got me flowers on Valentines Day. It was everything I wanted and dreamed about, but it wasn’t with the Prince Charming I was hoping for. The first time he officially asked me out I got nervous. I didn’t want to, but I felt obligated to. Again, who else would date me if I didn’t accept? He was making such an effort and I was too nice to say no. So I agreed.
After a casual coffee date he became unusually touchy and clingy. He would hug me from behind. He would try holding my hand in the hallway. He would try to kiss me in front of everyone. I wasn’t used to it, the attention that I was getting not only from him but from everyone else. In a small school, people pick up on things really fast and my situation was no exception. We caught the attention of the school, even the teachers caught on. At first, it was exciting. Before this, I had never been the talk of school. We weren’t official or anything, we had what people describe as a “thing”.
But then the excitement stopped. People started questioning my choices, they wondered why I was with someone who disrespected others, who put others down, and had a reputation for a bad temper. My friends would constantly ask me if I was okay or if I thought this was the right decision. I avoided the questions because I didn’t want to admit that I lowered my standards just to get a guy to like me. I ignored his bad qualities as well as people’s comments.
It wasn’t until one day when his best friend told me that he saw me as his trophy and how he wanted to conquer a girl of every race (I’m Asian) that I realized I needed out. I was disgusted, embarrassed, I felt worthless. I didn’t even want to go to school everyday, I couldn’t bear to see the faces of my friends thinking “I told you so” or him who saw me as an object.
That being said, the biggest mistake of my love life was doubting my self worth. I believed I was worthy of this guy and this guy only because he was the only one at the time who took interest in me. I settled for someone who wasn’t good for me because it was that or nothing. Rather than waiting for my Prince Charming, I threw myself into a situation I knew wasn’t ideal but I stayed because I felt I had no other choice. I felt that if I left him, no one else would want me. My advice to others in situations similar to mine is to be aware of your worth. Do not settle for anything less than you deserve. If you’re in a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect you or others, get out or notify someone you trust about your situation. Don’t waste your time on relationships that won’t go anywhere because in that time, you could be focusing on yourself, your passions, or in a relationship with someone who respects and loves you. For those that feel like late bloomers, don’t rush into a relationship to fit in with your friends. Looking back, I wish I had saved my firsts for the person I love. Instead, I used my first kiss, first date, first “I love you” on a failed relationship. Do not degrade your worth and do not rush into things because you feel pressured by your friends or society.
I hope my experience and advice helps others. As undesirable as the situation was, I’m glad I experienced it because I now know to never settle for less than I deserve and I know my worth.