Growing up I never really had a strong male figure in my life. My dad passed away when I was 14, and never really had any male family members to really give me any sense to how men think or feel. I was surrounded by women. Not that that was ever a bad thing, I actually take pride in telling people that I come from a strong matriarch; being raised by my mother really made me understand that men aren’t really that “important.”
Cut to pre-pandemic, and I met one of – what I thought at the time – the best men I had ever met. We shared the same music taste, we were both politically on the same page, and he grew up around women. How perfect was that? A man who understood where I was coming from and respected women in ways that I had never seen. We spent WEEKS at a time together. It was what most call “puppy love”: wooing over each other, sending good morning and good night texts, telling each other about our dreams with each other in them, yada yada yada. I was living in a ‘perfect’ world at the time because I thought that this first real relationship was going to be my only relationship.
Come July 2020, we had already hit a couple of rough patches, and then something I wasn’t prepared for: the Breakup™️. I was crushed. I had aches that I hadn’t felt in years. I fell into the biggest depression that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Why was this happening to me? Should I be so heartbroken when I’ve experienced actual death in my life? Am I overexaggerating? I was embarrassed when he didn’t show up to group outings, and friends asked where *he* was. I would lie and tell them that he was with his family or he just didn’t feel like coming out that night. Embarrassment. Over a guy. I didn’t tell anyone for months, I felt like a fraud for always combating against men and then ironically falling for a guy who had no serious intentions.
Yet time has led on, and I don’t miss him as much anymore. I figured this was just a learning curve, and I needed to get over it and find real sense in the world. I started focusing on me. I started thinking a little bit longer and harder on things that actually mattered to me: my degree, my activism, my family, my friends.
I think about him often, and we still send pictures (memes) to each other, though not as often. I even saw him at a hardcore show just a few weeks ago, and I didn’t even flinch.
It’s easier being alone when you’ve had experience, and I actually enjoy my own company now. I’ve become more confident, and am less scared/intimidated by the presence of men (I’m sorry to all the men reading this). So go through that breakup, that loss of a job, that feeling of being alone. Understand that the feeling of freedom is so much more rewarding than torturing yourself being someone you know you don’t like.