He Got to Me
In my mind I’m a ferocious, dignified woman, the sort to be feared if crossed. The king men regret giving up. The kind of woman who leaves a wake of intimidation behind her. But in reality, I’m a passionate person whose emotions run deep, and who really wants to be in love.
We’ve all had our hearts broken, and we’ve all heard the perfectly healthy advice of not getting hung up over people who didn’t fulfill us or treat us the way we deserved, or even just flat-out don’t want us. We know we shouldn’t waste our time or emotions on such people. We know we shouldn’t fall apart over a guy (or girl). Our self-worth is built of our own determination--not someone else’s, and not our relationship status. A quick perusal over Facebook or other social media will remind you of adages like, “Don’t cry over someone who wouldn’t cry over you,” reminding you to screw those guys who didn’t appreciate you. Pick your head up. Be your badass self. F--k the haters.
But we’re not bulletproof, now matter how hard we try. Even if you have a strong sense of self-respect, even if you know you don’t need a relationship to validate yourself, you will have your heart broken from time to time, and once in awhile it will really get to you.
It’s hard for me to admit that this guy really got to me. No, I’m not going to chase him. Yes, I know that it clearly won’t work. But that doesn’t prevent my brain from going over it again and again and again. How can a guy be so present when we’re together and suddenly become a stranger when we’re apart? How did we have such a deep connection, only for him to freak out over the idea of commitment and back out again? And worst of all--if commitment was what he feared--how could he start dating someone like her after me?
It doesn’t matter why it ended or what the problems were or if there was a right or a wrong. The point is I thought I had finally found my other half, the person I could share my life with, and suddenly that future was gone. I never want to cry over a guy. I never want to be “hung up” on a guy. But once, maybe twice, maybe three times in our lives, we will all experience that person that just gets to us.
This one got to me. I cried a lot. It triggered an embarrassingly-deep slide into pre-existing depression. I mourned--not for him, necessarily, but for what I lost. I missed his friendship. I missed our time together. I missed feeling that comforting arm around me in bed, I missed chatting about our favorite things or work. I missed the companionship that we had, and I mourned for what could have been. In short: he messed me up.
In fact, a year later, though I had long since “moved on” and been happy to see other people, I still found myself drunkenly reduced to tears once over a hurtful reminder of him. It’s embarrassing to admit that someone has such an emotional hold over us. That you, an otherwise strong, independent, confident person, are so torn up over a stupid guy who clearly isn’t who you want to be with, because they don’t want to be with you.
But you know what? I’m going to forgive myself for that, and you should too. Because the reason I feel so powerfully about this is because of the very traits that make me a good person--my deep emotional well, my passion, my fervor for love and friendship. They say people who care a lot get hurt a lot, and it’s true. But we have to allow ourselves that weakness sometimes. It’s okay to be hurt. It’s okay to cry. That’s just part of life. Someday I will find the right fit--and you will too. But it’s okay that someone got you caught up. We’re allowed to cry. We’re allowed to feel, to mourn, to be angry. It doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t make you clingy or dependent. It makes you a living, feeling human being.
Everyone’s going to experience that one person in their life that really messed them up. And it will pass. We can forgive ourselves for being an emotional puddle over a stupid guy or girl--as long as we keep moving forward. Accept that this person got to you. Allow yourself to hurt about it. Just make sure you keep going. Don’t let that hurt block you from living the rest of your life, and especially not from loving someone else.
So this person really got to you. But someday they’ll just be one of those barely-remembered exes, a bad dream, and they had to leave to make room for the person you really deserve. So cry. Let it hurt. But remember: it won’t be like this forever. Take care of yourself.