My relationship defined my life for a long time, five years of just the 21 so far, so now I feel as though the infidelity and heartbreak sort of defines my life at the moment. Not as if it is my defining characteristic or what revolves my world (that would be food); do I still cry about it? No. Do I think about it often? Of course. While on my morning run, or writing, or talking to a new guy. Sometimes I feel as if I wear it as an invisible scar. I almost want to yell it out, “this is why I’m kind of crazy!”
I was scared to write this partly because I thought people would just think me vindictive (but let’s face it, I’m not without revengeful thoughts) but also because I was embarrassed. I’ve never once thought that anything that happened was my fault – my ex screwing other people had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. Still, there was a part of me that worried people would think otherwise: maybe I wasn’t a good enough girlfriend or I just wasn’t attractive enough for him (which is extra stupid because he wasn’t all that attractive himself – told you I was a bit vindictive). They were small thoughts, but there nonetheless. When one would pop into my mind, I’d hate the feeling of shame, but then I’d hate myself even more for feeling ashamed. Why should I be embarrassed for dating a jerk? Why should I be worried that people would think false, stereotypical things?
The dating world is a scary place and it’s constantly changing. Especially in college, when no one is interested in a real relationship and Tinder abounds with opening lines like “wanna sit on my face?” Lately, social media has been bombarded with jokes about “sides,” basically a cute term for the girl your boyfriend is cheating on you with. While I’m all for Internet jokes, what drives people to think of cheating as just a funny prank guys play? And, even crazier, WHY DO WOMEN LAUGH AT THIS SHIT? Not that men are the only ones who cheat, but it seems to be more prevalent than the reverse…
I know I’m not the only girl to ever go through this, and in a strange way I take comfort in that. But if it’s so common, why don’t we talk about it more? Being cheated on is stigmatized in our culture; it’s often glossed over or treated as if it could have been avoided (yeah… if people didn’t cheat!). I’m not writing this so people will feel bad for me or so people will think my ex is a dick (although you’re welcome to think that). No, I decided to grow some metaphoric balls and post this because I want people who have been cheated on to not feel ashamed or silenced; we’re not victims, just people who dated assholes and became stronger and wiser for it. Who run da world? GIRLS.
This isn’t going to define my life forever – in a few months, I’ll be even happier than I am now and think of it less and less. However, I can’t deny that it will always remain an important moment in my life and has already done wonders in shaping me into the badass woman I am now. In many ways I am grateful for what happened because of how much it has changed me for the better. I mean, the old me wouldn’t have had enough drama to become the new Carrie Bradshaw, so really, I should be ecstatic (jokes).
My breakup isn’t exactly something I’d bring up as party conversation or my topic of choice for a first date, but I don’t want to feel afraid to talk about it because I’m ashamed or I’m worried about making people uncomfortable. Don’t be! Laugh at my self-deprecating comments and crack mean jokes about my ex – it’s a bitch’s best medicine. I have nothing to be embarrassed about, I’m getting over it and so should you.
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