First Boyfriends are Assholes // Dating Column Chapter Two
One thing I learnt and I will stand by is the fact that most first boyfriends are assholes and like my American host mum used to say “he’s a poop”. If you are still with your first ever boyfriend, congrats to you, you have a very rare decent first boyfriend at least that’s what I hope. So I was this small girl with long hair, wearing colourful chucks and shopping at thrift stores, he was tall and had the very rare combo of almost black hair and grey eyes and he played American football. Not really the type of sport that is super common here but a few guys from my school year were in a team and so was he. That’s how we met. I wasn’t used to a guy complimenting me in that way and really going for me and all of the sudden he kissed me for the first time whilst watching the stars and I was really surprising for me to say the least. What looked like a romantic cute first relationship quickly turned into something I was never used to, into something I never thought love would mean and into something that affects me still but also made me stronger than I ever imagined to be.
Besides having a never resting mind I’m also a highlqy sensitive person and a people pleaser. Great combo and easy to pressure. I always imagined the first love to be very tender and sweet, shy kisses, school dances and summers spent by the lake. I was never one to believe in staying with the first love and boy, I’m so happy I didn’t.
Imagine always feeling little and stupid. Imagine always feeling like being caged, in fear of doing something wrong and not being good enough and on the other hand being a trophy. That’s essentially what my first relationship was like. I was struggling with my body image and an eating disorder basically through the entire time we were together and he really didn’t help at all. Being in a toxic and looking back a quite abusive relationship is never good for anyone’s mental health at all. I was feeling so good about my friends and had a blast going to school. I made the best of friends but it felt like everyone grew wings to fly and mine was cut off by someone who claimed to love me. Someone who threatened me with jealousy and then telling me: “You are just like a fancy car Elena, I want to show you off”.
Because it was my first relationship and I didn’t know what a relationship was or what love would mean to me, it took me a while to realize what was happening and that there was something really wrong. Love truly makes you blind and I was looking for excuses why it was the way it was and why he was the way he was. But some things can’t be excused. You can’t excuse smashing your hand into the door a few centimetres next to my head because you were freaking out on me because I and a good friend wanted to go to my friend’s party together since he didn’t know how to get there. You can’t excuse constantly being jealous whilst cheating yourself. That’s not how you do it. That’s not what love is. That’s not what caring is.
Luckily with life come turning points. I was in 11th grade. My favourite ever. It’s not really necessary in Germany and you can skip it which means the classes you take don’t really matter. It’s often used for years abroad but I’m not gonna go in the depths of the German school system. I had a blast and was basically just going for the fun. I had the best of friends and when I had the opportunity to be a student in Tucson, Arizona I said yes. It was a trip that just girls signed up for, we stayed with host families and it truly was one of the best times of my life. It was the turning point. When I decided to go, he basically was a terror and moaning about not having the power to decide if I go or stay. He didn’t want me to leave for Arizona and was trying to pressure me into staying home by telling me he would cheat on me whilst I was gone. Little did I know, he already did. Luckily, I made my mind up already and was deadly sure to go with some of my best friends at the time. It didn’t stop him from being an absolute shitty human being.
The worst thing about love is the love. It’s the feeling. It’s feeling the love for someone who wasn’t lovable or still isn’t. It’s making it hard to leave even though your head already left. It took me a good month to tell him that it was over for me. My head already broke free and I wasn’t in the relationship anymore. My heart still respected him despite him pulling my heart into a thousand pieces. When I finally told him I felt my wings grow, there was no going back. I texted my friend and she was waiting for me at a bus stop with some champagne and a pack of cigarettes. I was filling my lungs with freedom. I broke free and I came out strong with my head high up.
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