As I’m sure most of you know, I recently broke up with my boyfriend. I’m not one to rehash the gory details of relationships past and I have too much respect for Him to play the “fault” game; therefore I will not be writing the details of why this past union didn’t pan out. I am going to write about how awesome it felt to put myself first.
In no way was this an easy decision. My heart broke, I cried. I cried a lot. I cried the ugly cry. I made a trip home, I ate junk food, I prayed (and for those of you who really know me, you know how desperate I must have been at that point) I begged, literally and I pleaded. Then like a cold slap in my face, I got off my knees, wiped my nose and stood up for myself.
My problem is one I believe many women deal with when in relationships. We are looking for our other half. When we start dating someone, we realize how special they are, we start to merge lives together. Before you know it that person has their own towel in your bathroom, their own cereal in your cupboard and their own “spot “on your couch. While that’s all fine and good, if you’re not careful you start to get sucked into thinking that you are a better person now then you were before Mr. Towel-in-the-Bathroom came along. And who can blame us? Being the other half to someone is romanticized. How many times have we heard “you complete me” or “two minds, one heart”? I’m here to tell you, ladies, that’s BULLSHIT!
We are not here to complete another person or to fill their missing piece. A partner, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend should be seen before us as a gift that we are to compliment. You don’t complete the present, you make it better. It’s like the cherry on top of a sundae, the sundae is amazing without the cherry. It has all that yummy fudge and whipped cream. It’s clearly a deliciously edible treat all on its very own, and just when you think it can’t get any better, BOOM! You throw that cherry on top! Perfect. Our significant others should be that cherry!
Now, back to my breakup. I was a tasty sundae all on my own before my boyfriend stepped into the picture. I had just the right amount of fudge to ice cream ratio and for the first time in a long time, I was emotionally healthy all by myself. When he came along, I looked at Him as my cherry on top. He didn’t make me a better person; he made me want to be a better person. As certain problems began to arise in our relationship I started to lose that feeling. I started panicking thinking “what am I going to do if he dumps me? I’m going to be that pathetic, almost 30 year old, single girl!” In my scared, anxious state, I told myself, “I will do whatever it takes to keep Him and to show Him how much he means to me.”! I no longer looked like a delicious ice cream treat; I started to look like a melty, sticky mess on the floor.
But I saw it, I was able, even if for the briefest of seconds, to step back and see myself – sad and melting on my living room floor, promising this Man that I would be whatever he wanted me to be, if he’d just try to make this work. I didn’t recognize myself. This wasn’t the woman I had been striving to be. This was a fear stricken girl, afraid of being alone. A clear thought started to come to me again, and again, “this is not who you are”. And indeed, that was not who I was. I was a strong healthy woman before this Man came along and I would be a strong healthy woman without him. He does not make me who I am. He fell in love with me for the woman I was, not the woman he wanted me to be... And that was that.
It took a bit, and I’m still finding sticky spots on my carpet, but I cleaned up that melted mess I left on the floor. Then I took out my ice cream scoop and my favorite pint of Ben and Jerry’s. I loaded up a bowl with Cherry Garcia and topped it with an obscene amount of hot fudge. The only thing that could make this any better, would be that cherry, but I’m not about to turn down a bowl of ice cream without one ;)