Hindsight can be a beautiful thing. But keeping it exclusively to the past is only half the story.
Boys have not been my saving grace. In the past few years since first learning who I am and what I like, boys have often caused the majority of my emotional pain and confusion, kept me up at night and lead me down paths I’d have rather avoided. But through this pain they have shown me so much about myself.
They’ve shown me its not wrong to demand a level of respect for myself from others and that if this is not present, that the fault is not mine. That this does not reflect my ‘true worth’. Learning to love yourself to is something to often thrown around on motivational blog posts, Youtube videos and in schools. But so rarely to people breakdown self love, or where it has to come from.
Through late-night tears and mini existential crises I gave up on men, gave up on being happy. And weirdly, this made me happier. I culled tinder, grindr, bumble and all those other little joys. I got used to myself, to my own company and focusing on myself. What I wanted. How I wanted to spend my time. I saw more of my friends, spent more time working on my university assessments, on my private tutoring. I found the empty bed at night didn’t feel so empty, I enjoyed the greater option of where to sleep. I began sleeping better at night, eating better and looking after myself. My skin got better and my stress level dropped. I became more productive, more efficient.
Sure I had and still have days where I’d rather stay in bed, when I hate everything about myself in the mirror and when I wish I could have someone to cuddle up to at night. Someone to care about and to be cared about. But importantly this time away made me more content in myself. To not seek validation in others, or feel like I’m incomplete. I watched a TEDTalk recently that encapsulated (linked here) a lot of what I’m saying, in a far more catchy way.
A little disclaimer: throughout this whole process I was actually seeing a guy, but it was very infrequent as he lives a few hours away. But this ultimately, I think, it potentially the next victim of my personal growth. I enjoy his company an almost unhealthy amount, but what causes me pain is I can see is absence in our interactions. His heart isn’t in it. And I’m not talking about love, there’s no base for a long term interest. I’m given the impression that I am a guy of convenience rather than a genuine interest.
The benefit of hindsight is that I know that just perpetually waiting for someone to fall for you does not work. All it does it delay, and probably deepen the pain that will inevitably come. Apathy is a deceptive feeling, so I guess its down to me to call it quits.