I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. This was one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned thus far in life, and that is…to just be myself.
I’ll be completely honest and say that I lost myself in my last relationship. I was so desperate to keep his attention that I would constantly change and upkeep my appearance, show an interest in the things he liked, even if it wasn’t reciprocated, and I went out of my way to make myself available to him whenever he wanted to hang out. As much as I want to go back in time some days and change everything I did, I don’t regret any of it because I learned so much about myself from all of it.
He loved girls with red hair. When we first met, I had brownish-red hair, but was in the process of trying to make it more red. But when I found out he liked redheads,my hair slowly started becoming redder. I mean, I guess it wasn’t a big deal at the time because I had been trying to dye my hair red since high school, but it never seemed to work. So at the time, it didn’t seem that big of a deal. But now looking back, I question whether I did that because I liked it or because he did. I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore.
He loved girls with glasses. Luckily, I actually need glasses to see and don’t just wear them for fashion. But when I found out he loved glasses, I started wearing them more often than my contact lenses. Hmm…starting to sense a pattern here. Every time I got new frames, I would post a picture to my social media in the hopes of getting his attention. Desperate, much?
He’s a total nerd. He loves comic books, he loves Star Wars, and he loves video games. I read my very first comic book because of him. I remember, one day, he brought one of his favorite comic books to school because he wanted me to read it. Of course, he always said I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to, but because I was so infatuated, I was going to do it. The one thing out of all three of those that I was most reluctant to but did it anyway, was watch Star Wars. One time, he brought over one of the movies and we watched it. No offense to anyone who’s a die hard Star Wars fan, but it’s not for me. Yet, I did it because I wanted to be his “dream girl”. I wanted to have the same interests as him. He taught me how to play Kingdom Hearts. This is one of his favorite video games to play. Luckily, I already had a PS2, so I wasn’t a total newbie. But it was an excuse to hang out and we were playing one of his favorite games.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was slowly turning into someone I wasn’t and it didn’t even phase me. It actually wasn’t until one of my best friends blatantly told me that I had changed that I realized I had. The funny thing is that I always swore I’d never change for a person because I thought that was stupid, yet here I was, falling into the same trap.
We were in a relationship for only two months, but this whole thing had been going on for a couple of years. In my mind, I wanted to make him like me and I was going to do whatever it took to be the perfect girl for him. I was so fixated on the thought that I became borderline obsessive. One night, I happened to be flipping through the channels on tv and came across one of the Spiderman movies. I immediately took a photo of the screen and sent it to him. He replied back saying that he was surprised I was watching a superhero movie at will (because he always thought he was “making me do things” because it was what he wanted). He then said that this made me more attractive to him, which, of course, only added fuel to the fire.
When all is said and done, at the end of the day, I can look back and look at the choices I made in the relationship and either think of them as mistakes or lessons learned. I didn’t realize how far I’d gone until we had broken up and I really had time to think about everything. I needed to separate myself from the entire situation in order to get a clear view.
If there’s anything I can tell myself going into my next relationship, it’s that I hope I never lose sight of myself like that ever again. As happy as I was being with him, there was a deeply rooted unhappiness that was buried beneath the surface, and that was because I wasn’t being my authentic self. It was somewhat of a show. It was definitely one of the biggest life lessons I ever learned.