Feb 13, 2020

For the past two years, I’ve spent Valentine’s Day with two different people. Yes, both of which were my boyfriends (now, exes) coming from remote backgrounds and relationships built on distinct circumstances. One thing the two relationships had in common though was how they both ended quite tragically to say the least and I can’t help but trace it all back to how unnatural things came about in the first place.  

An artificial relationship

A little disclaimer: I’m not dissing relationships that started through platforms like this, I am just relaying my experience with it. 

The first one started via Tinder back in 2018. We didn’t match though. He followed me on Twitter and one hungover morning, I decided to strike up a conversation with one of my recent followers and this evidently, happened to be him. 

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From thereon, our conversations consisted of immediately wanting to know every vital and interesting part of each other—of course, we were basically strangers. We constantly needed something to trump the conversation and keep it going. 

After a week of talking, he told me how he saw his sister die in a car accident and by then, I had walked him through my suspicions about my dad’s unfaithfulness to my mom. Oversharing was how we clicked and got familiar with each other so fast.

It was fun building a relationship from scratch like that though; everytime we were together, it felt like I was crossing over to a parallel universe since none of my friends or family really knew him. Times with him were a constant escape from the mundane. 

Though, when things started to get rough between us, I would always be surprised at how shady he could be and it wasn’t long after a series of misunderstandings when we figured out that we weren’t who we thought we were. We grew alienated from each other and I had to let the  relationship go. 

A month later, I found out that he’s been hooking up with my best friend (now, ex-best friend) and they might as well have punched me in the face because I was blindsided. I never thought something as cliche and devastating would ever happen to me but it sure as hell did. 2018 was the year I lost two people I shared the deepest parts of myself to. 

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Unsustainable practices: rebounds

The heart-wrenching reality that I had to face from my first relationship led me to seek comfort in the company of a close friend who, at the time, was also going through a breakup. But more than the fact that he kind of understood what I was going through (albeit, the betrayal), I can’t deny that his presence comforted me a lot because he was also someone who I’ve had unresolved feelings for.

One drunken night, exactly a week after I found out about my best friend’s betrayal, it all spilled out of me. I confessed my long repressed emotions, at which he fortunately reciprocated. Just like that, I witnessed the person I’ve had a crush on for the longest time admit to liking me back. Yet again, something so surreal and unbelievable had happened but it seemed to be good this time. 

Another hungover morning after this, I started justifying the heartbreak from my previous relationship as something I just had to go through to finally get to something that was built to last. Afterall, me and this close friend seemed to have the perfect formula: Years of being friends gave us a steady foundation, we were blockmates so we saw each other almost every day and to top it all off, we were in the same friend group. 

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The overflowing convenience made everything else seem to be flowing smoothly and I’d like to think that at some point it did. But eventually all the issues from our past relationships were carried over to this setting of ours and it didn’t take long for us to see the relationship for what it is: a rebound. 

Despite wanting us to happen for a long time, even before the first relationship came into existence, this second one still presented itself too quickly with the scars from our previous relationships not completely being healed yet. Which is why with just a few blows, we easily fell apart before we even had the chance to grow together. 

When they say ‘don’t date your blockmates,’ it  really is because the situation could turn sour or trap you in the blink of an eye. My relationship with this close friend of mine went on for four months but we were only official for a month before we broke up in a library. The most excruciating part of this failed relationship was still having to sit next to him almost every day for the rest of the months until our graduation (because we annoyingly had fixed seating arrangements) and sadly, seeing our friend group be divided into two.

Going organic this time around

As I’ve said, these two relationships ended quite tragically in their own destructive way. Contrary to what you may think, I’m still really not sure which one was worse: the sudden crushing weight that an artificial and consequently, deceptive relationship brought about or the slow torture of always concretely being reminded of what could’ve been great though with better circumstances.

In both instances, I’m not ashamed of making the first move because I’m a girl and this is typically to be frowned upon by our elders. C’mon, it’s 2020. I look back at these relationships and feel sorry for myself, however, because I consistently let myself nosedive into contrived notions of a relationshipboth of which weren’t built to last. 

Growing up watching teleseryes and chick flicks, eventful plots filled with big lines along with tangled storylines were a chaotic kind of good for me. Because of this, I lived for drama and was always looking forward to the next big plot twist; but viewing life and my relationships in such sensational ways were misleading and damaging.

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I think a lot of people fall prey to superimposed romantic but unrealistic tropes, too. This is because of the pressure from society telling us that having a partner equates to being complete and being alone and single especially on days like this means you’re lacking something and are to be pitied. This elicits fear and insecurity, ultimately driving people to settle for the ready at hand even when it doesn’t promote what’s best for them.

Right now, I am learning to let things be and run its course. I have people I am attracted to and admire but I don’t go out of my way to pursue anything more than that. Aside from the fact that I still really have emotional baggage from the two eventful but turbulent years, I now fully grasp that in order to have something healthy and truly worth keeping, may it be through fruits, plants or relationships, you have to give it room to grow and cultivate it in a natural, no-nonsense and organic way. 

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Thus, this time around I am taking my time and making sure that everything I am planting within me is of quality. Maybe someday I could share better kinds of fruits and maybe I’d discover new fruits from other people, too. If not, I could always live off my own by continuously cultivating them.

 

 

 

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TAGS: betrayal boyfriends chocolates love self-love Valentines Day