‘Wounded hearts in mournful symphony, Soft spoken caresses like daggers to the heart,Hearts a-breaking in untimed unison, Fresh salted tears falls into grit and torture,Red puffy eyes no more, Smiles all round its a new year, Freshly picked optimism in a bed of blossoming roses, Friends a-laughing and chuckling with glee, For we may be single this year but who cares?
For so many years I let myself be mistreated and abused simply because I thought I had done something wrong. I put up with name calling, physical abuse and bullying because I didn’t know my own self worth. I despised who I was and being in a relationship or a friendship with an abuser/ bully felt like the norm to me because I didn’t know any better. I was trapped in a downward spiral to the bottom and I thought that the only way I could feel better was to ‘look’ as though I was popular or have a boyfriend because I didn’t want to be the only woman left standing. So I settled for second best, in my love life, friendship and engaging with peers outside of my social circle I let myself be seen as the butt of the jokes and laughed at their pet names for me and tried not to mind when I knew that guys were only after one thing. I was so naive and young but I know better now that I am worth more than second best and what is why I am happy to be single this Valentines day.
I have never been lucky in love or been swept off my feet in a fairytale romance. Instead the order of the day has been stalkers, obsessive exes and being used to gratify their own pleasure rather than a relationship based on the bond between two soulmates. But do I yearn for that kind of love? Maybe, all I have ever wanted was to love and be loved in return but I have never been in love. At the age of 22 there was times when I thought I was madly in love but those heart-aching emotions were turned to ashes within a few months. I have never been in love because I have never allowed myself to be. I am repressed and mentally damaged after a tulmotous childhood and those naggling fears about the way I look and how I appear in the eyes of others have been detrimental to me shutting off and not showing who I really am. But there is always time for change and I know that someday my heart will heal and learn to love again.
My last two proper relationships ended quite abruptly;my last boyfriend cheated on me with five other girls and his excuse was that he was ‘high’ on magic mushrooms and ‘didn’t know what he was doing. A close friend of mine at the time told me that the ex had cheated on me with five other girls but when I confronted the ex about it he only admitted to one person who he was good friends with and they just ‘had a laugh’ which as you can imagine is a euphemism for sex. I was hurt nevertheless, especially since it seemed to drive home how unloveable I was when it hadn’t been the first time that it had happened to me. The boyfriend before was charming at first but we were two completely different people- I had ambition he didn’t, I was a social butterfly and he was a recluse and the gap between us seemed to widen as the relationship grew. I was in love with the idea of being in love with him but not in love and as harsh as that seems there is a reason. He didn’t make an effort and towards the end of the relationship just wanted to stay home and be intimate whereas I wanted him to hang out with my friends. I began to see that he was using me for sex and my friends told me that I should dump him and that is when it turned nasty. When I dumped him he still tried to persuade me to go home with him but I was not having any of it. What followed was a series of poems that he had written about me and messages that implored me to come back to him. As a way of getting back at me he started messaging my two best friends at the time who were underage and tried to get them to meet up with him and have sex. I told them to block him but one of them didn’t and continued to message him ( she was 14) but thankfully nothing transpired (to my knowledge). He began stalking me and my friends but noone believed me because his mum was best friends with my aunty. Even to this day his mum still sends me birthday and christmas gifts and I believe it is because he has asked her too.
So with my bad relationship history should it come as a surprise that I am happy to be single? At 22 years of age I have no intentions of settling down yet despite my fierce independence many of my friends are surprised and even confused that I want to be my own and I quote ‘ Ana needs to find a boyfriend’. I don’t need to find anyone, yes I have been alone for a while but it does not bother me in the slightest and I intend to keep it that way. If love happens to come along then I will grab it with open arms but for now the single life becomes me and I am glad that I am not tied down to anyone this Valentines day. This Valentines day is about loving who I am and cherishing that I have the strength to overcome anything and for us singletons practicing self-love is an essential part of our Valentines traditions. So while most of my friends have love to give others I need to give back love to myself and in turn I will learn to love again.
What are your thoughts? Are you single or taken this Valentines day?