2014, it was a big year for me. First year of Uni, first 5 AM start (they were brutal mornings), and my first boyfriend. On December 9thin Liverpool Lime Street I met my mystery man for the first time. A few more coffee dates, and kisses later we were official. At the time being someone’s girlfriend meant everything to me, it gave me meaning, a purpose; I was desired by some one, people! Someone had looked at my face, and judged my personality and said ‘yeah I like that!’ No one had ever done that before. I fell pretty fast, and soon the ‘I love yous’ were rolling out of my mouth. I felt secure, I felt wanted, and for once I felt like I belonged.
By allowing myself to fall so fast, I was lulled into a false sense of security and I had become my worst nightmare. I had pretty much become a housewife. In order to keep a tight grip on Bae, I did everything I could to look after him. I made sure his tea was on the table when he got home from a lecture, I did his laundry, I even looked after him when he was sick (which was usually self inflicted from the events of the night before). I worked tirelessly to make sure he wanted for nothing, and my reward was cancelled dates, lazy days because he was always hung-over, and sex (irresistible right?).
Looking back on that relationship makes me wonder why I didn’t question him, ask him to make me a meal, and for once why couldn’t he get out of bed and take me out on a date, you know because we were in a relationship after all. We were the polar opposite of #couplegoals, but to the rest of the world we were madly in love. The honest response to my lack of questioning is that I was scared. Scared because if I lost him, I lost a part of me, a part of who I was, I couldn’t do that. I became a different person, anything I did, he had to like. I remember I curled my hair once for a night out, he said and I quote ‘ you look f*!@ing hot’, this then meant every night out I curled my hair just the way he liked it (as you can guess my hair became very damaged because I’m a poor student that couldn’t afford heat protector). In the words of Katy Perry, my rose coloured glasses were firmly in place, however the rosy tint was fading.
One small thing led to the destruction of our relationship, a pair of knickers (and they were tiny I mean they were a size 6). The worst part is I didn’t question him on the lacey kecks I found in his room, summer came around and I was back in Manchester. The texts slowed, the I love yous came to a halt, and a face time call later, we were no more. I cried (well more like blubbered into my pillow), I retreated from the world for about a week. At this point I had no job, no friends in Manchester, and I had lost the person that I confided in. You could say I had hit rock bottom. After a full seven days of living in my dressing gown, my mum had had enough of watching me cry. She sent me to go and ask for my job back in the café to get me out of the house. I wasn’t impressed with this plan, I was more in support of my dads plan ‘lets go and beat him up’. Although if I hadn’t taken that advice I wouldn’t have a best friend.
Three years on I’m still single and I’m not mad about it. Who I was when I was in that relationship wasn’t me (by a mile). I really wish I could let my ex see the strong independent woman I have become. The single life has allowed me to realise what I want to do with my life, I discovered I have a passion for writing. Also, I have returned to my adventurous wardrobe and bright hair colours, instead of the tame brunette I had become. Ladies, never change who you are for someone else. If someone doesn’t like you for you then it’s not worth it. If you can’t dance around the kitchen to One Direction without being told you’re immature or wear your stripey tights with pride, are you really living your best life? The label ‘Girlfriend’ does not mean you have to sacrifice part of yourself, to me being a girlfriend means that someone has looked at you and your flaws and has spotted something they like.
Dear Mr X,
We had good fun didn’t we? Well you definitely did, a steady girlfriend but you always had a bit on the side. I changed for you. I realise now I shouldn’t have bothered. I was never going to be good enough for you. If only you could see me now, I lost weight, I cut my hair off, changed styles, and I’m me again. I wanted to thank you. That face time call meant I lost you. Losing you meant I found myself, and that’s the best decision I’ve made in a long time.
This Piece formed a part of The Identity Issue fo Achey Breaky Heart Zine. I am extremely proud of it. It is very bold, and very true.
Thank you to Sophie Holmes for being amazing, and providing a space to express my feelings!
People to Follow: