As wise as I often attempt to sound, I’ve been the poster girl for toxic relationships for as long as I can remember.
As a 16-year-old who was an ardent fan-girl and bibliophile, I pretended like I had ultimate worldly wisdom. The only relationship that I had ever been in was perhaps with Draco Malfoy (in my head). I was convinced that I was too evolved a human being to fall for just another boy. The plot twist that I had failed to foresee was that behind the facade that I had conveniently put up, secretly hid just another naive 16-year-old.
At school, I was friends with a boy who was the quintessential nice guy. As much as I detested his loved-by-all character we ended up becoming close friends.
As someone who does not open up to people easily and has had multiple massacred friendships, I was baffled at how I voluntarily let down my guard with him. We texted each other for hours each day. Our walk back from school seemed like the most anticipated walk of the day (and I hate walking). He was the friend I knew I could talk to no matter what and he’d be there for me.
[bctt tweet=”As wise as I often attempt to sound, I’ve been the poster girl for toxic relationships for as long as I can remember.” username=”wearethetempest”]
I gradually began to realize that I started developing feelings for him. Soon after, he admitted to like me as well and I couldn’t have asked for more. As much as I valued him as my friend, a part of me hoped that our feelings would materialize into something more than friendship. But the fear of having to deal with the repercussions of a possibly messed up romantic relationship (which could end our friendship) consumed him and stopped us from taking things forward.
However, his reluctance towards a relationship and the differences in our opinions regarding the situation made things more complex than I imagined it to be.
Initially, the feeling of having someone that close was so overwhelming that I refused to notice the red signs that kept blinking right before me.
I wasn’t the only one he had in mind.
He ended up hatching a similar “almost” scenario with a close friend of mine at the same time as me, who also happened to be his best friend. But honestly, that wasn’t the worst part. The worst and the most crippling part was that I knew about it and compelled myself to be cool with it. Just because I had agreed to be someone’s “almost” I decided it was okay to trivialize my feelings for that transient and frivolous sense of joy. I deceived myself to believe that the feeling of being wanted was more important than my happiness.
[bctt tweet=”I deceived myself to believe that the feeling of being wanted was more important than my happiness.” username=”wearethetempest”]
I fabricated a bubble of self-doubt and insecurities, believing that I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough or good enough. My friendship with both of them began to crumble as I started pushing myself to hate them and knowing that I’d never get those friendships back.
I started loathing myself in every possible way until I realized that it had to come to an end. I was finally left with no choice but to make him choose between her and me. And the moment he said it was her, the only feeling that prominently stood out for me was the relief.
While he and I managed to mend things and let go of the past, I lost her as a friend in my futile endeavor of being happy.
We’re all guilty of having an unhealthy obsession of surrounding ourselves with people just so we can evade the stigma of being a loner. We tend to equate happiness with other people even if they bring nothing but toxicity and misery to our lives and their absence often makes us feel like we’re shrouded by a cloud of loneliness. We allow ourselves to go through the worst just for that momentary feeling of being loved.
[bctt tweet=”We allow ourselves to go through the worst just for that momentary feeling of being loved.” username=”wearethetempest”]
The most underrated concept of all time that is so deeply buried under the shenanigans of companionship is finding happiness in yourself and the life you lead.
As beautiful as the feeling of love may be, our mental health and personal well-being come before any inane relationship. Believe my favorite K-Pop group, BTS, when they say “Love Yourself” because that is the only love that one needs to lead a complete life.
You deserve better than relationships that do not help you grow.