Every bad boy I’ve fallen for made me stronger for the next one

I’d like to pretend that I never let a bad boy touch me, that I never let a guy I barely know make me cry and that I never got played by a guy who I spent the night with. But, sadly, I have fallen for those games, and I’ve lost them all without so much as a kiss goodbye.

I’ve always thought of myself as a “relationship person”. I never let guys in who only wanted to only “hookup” with me, but along the way, the lines got blurred and the mixed signals I received resulted in a blind hope that things would be different this time. And I thought that the boy who I laid next to in the dark, or the boy who told me I was beautiful, and the boy who swiped right on Tinder, would want me like I wanted them.

During my 25th year, I remember being elated when the boy I had a huge crush on told me he wanted to cook me dinner. I was in a weird place and agreed because my friends were getting engaged or married and moving to the next level. I hadn’t even lost my heart, body or soul to a guy yet. I remember feeling nervous, excited, and the butterflies in my stomach were fluttering like they hadn’t done in a while. I met him and kissed him. He cooked, we ate and did the whole romantic night only to sleep with him later that night. My first time. It was nice and pleasant and all I did was smiled on the way home thinking about how wonderful he was. I woke up to a message from him 2 -3 days later telling me he “I need to understand because he didn’t do relationships and was already seeing someone!” No, I didn’t “understand.” He played me big time. There was no other way to put it.

Years later, I developed a humongous crush on a guy that I thought was your typical “nice guy”. I saw no reason not to trust him. He was charming, sweet and always showered me with compliments. I was hooked. Especially, after he looked at me straight in the eyes telling me I was beautiful and that he was so thankful he had met me. But this story is no different than the one before him. I woke up to a text a few weeks later telling me that his feelings had changed. He liked someone else. I remember feeling defeated. I cried in my bed, wondering what the heck I did wrong and wondering what had made him change his mind.

I thought it was me that caused the loss of him. But really, it was him. And it was his loss.

The boys that have played me, regardless if it was intentional or not, broke me for a little bit. They made me feel as if I had done something wrong. I kept me thinking that maybe if I had slept with them, then it might have have made a difference. And even after I explored that option, their mind had changed. Or maybe if I had texted them less, then they would’ve liked me more. But, slowly I have realized that I had done nothing wrong. These dumb boys didn’t know what they wanted, and thought that they could have their cake and eat it too, they thought it would be fine to mess with someone’s heart.

But, the jokes on them now. It’s funny to think about how much I cared for someone who didn’t have the decency to say how they felt about me in person. It’s funny to think about how these guys still attempt to talk to me, whatsapp and snapchat me, and I now have the power to ignore them.

To the boys who have played me, thank you for teaching me that I am worth more than you will ever be.

Thank you for teaching me that I have more heart than you will ever have. I am stronger because of you and I feel freaking empowered. Thank you for making me realize that I am better than dating a guy who won’t even answer a phone call. Thank you for teaching me how to love myself and not care if you ever did or not.

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