I am a late bloomer when it comes to love. While most of my friends had had at least one boyfriend before we even reached high, I waited until I graduated from college before even considering having one.
This was a rule that I imposed on myself – not even my parents influenced me to do that. In truth, my mom actually urged me to have a fling or two in college so that I could experience it, but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to graduate, get my diploma, and start working before I looked for “the one.”
The advantage of waiting for love was that I did not go through a lot of heartbreaks. The disadvantage that I experienced, however, was that all eyes were on me all the time. People left and right would keep asking me during social gatherings to introduce my boyfriend to them, when I would get one, etc. Their relationship-related questions did nothing but exhaust me.
Then, Love Came
Love came into my life when I least expected it. I was focused at work; I wanted to earn fast to leave the corporate world and start my own business before turning 30. But one day, I had a cute client at the bank where I was working, and I could not help but feel the butterflies fluttering in my stomach whenever he talked to me and smiled in my direction.
His name was Jackson. It was love at first sight for me; I had no idea that it could hit you so quickly and so unexpectedly. However, since I was a professional, I did not make the first move.
I felt lucky since, after a month of seeing Jackson there almost every week, one of my tellers told me during lunch break that Jackson asked if he could have my number. Of course, who was I to say no?
The next day, I received a text from an unknown number, asking me if I wanted to go on a coffee date. I called that number immediately because I knew who it belonged to. And I wasn’t wrong – it was Jackson asking me out.
That first coffee date turned into an every-other-day date with Jackson until he asked me to be his girlfriend. Again, who was I to say no?
When my adrenaline rush died down, I wanted to make our new relationship “social media official” and let all the nosy people in my life know that I was no longer single. But Jackson persuaded me not to do that. He told me that he wanted to introduce me to his parents before others found out about it. In hindsight, I did not know why I agreed to that, but I did.
The thing was, six months already passed, and I still hadn’t met Jackson’s parents. He already met my family and friends, and they teased me that I never put out for anyone else because I was waiting for the perfect guy. That’s what Jackson seemed to be, after all. He was intelligent, respectful, funny, and sweet.
But Love Crashed
While Jackson and I were in bed one morning, I woke up to multiple messages from my best friend. When I opened them, my world stopped.
My best friend sent me photos of a loved-up couple in a restaurant near my house. A heavily pregnant woman was leaning on the guy, who looked so much like my boyfriend. I looked down the floor and noticed that the clothes that the man was wearing in the pictures were the same as what Jordan wore when he came to my house last night.
I woke Jackson up and showed him the pictures without a word. He tried to explain that he got that girl pregnant, but he didn’t love her. Jackson wanted to continue our relationship, but I said no. I knew that we were already over the moment I saw those pictures.
Dealing With Family Reactions
Although I could have badmouthed Jackson in front of my loved ones, I didn’t do it. I just asked my best friend to keep what she found out between us, hoping that it would make the issue die down immediately. After all, many people had broken relationships – my experience should not be singled out.
Unfortunately, my family and other friends were too nosy – they did not buy it when I said that Jackson and I merely drifted apart. They kept postulating theories about why Jackson was out of the picture so soon, even citing that I might be boring.
Despite all that, I kept my mouth shut. I secretly tried looking for a new boyfriend, but I hadn’t found one who met my standards. Hence, after a year or two, you would expect the gossip regarding my failed relationship to be gone, but that did not happen. The bees kept buzzing, much to my dismay.
I ended up seeing a counselor when four years already passed, and the situation was still the same. I had been heartbroken, I should have moved on a long time ago, but my foolish loved ones kept reminding me of my failed relationship. Their words started to chip away at my resilience, considering they were hitting the same spot over the years.
What the counselor helped me realize was that I should have learned the art of detachment years ago. Those family and friends who kept talking about my ex brought toxicity to my life, making me depressed. If I wanted to feel better, I would have to stay away from them.
That’s what I did – I just stopped showing up to social gatherings where I knew those people would go. My parents initially got upset with me, but they understood that it was for my mental health.
I eventually found a new boyfriend, who later became my husband, but I stopped listening to my relatives and friends way before that. I was better for it.