Friday, May 25, 2012

Breaking Up

Janelle posted about one of her bad breakups and asked if others could share their stories, mostly so she can have examples to share with her daughters one day.

I have a myriad of breaking up stories (unfortunately), but sadly, unlike Janelle's, I was usually the one being dumped. Le sigh. I'd like to share some, though, because I want my sons to know how their actions can truly hurt a girl. I want them to learn about honesty in relationships, too.

[Let me first provide a caveat: I had steady boyfriends in high school. It is true. I'm not necessarily proud of it (especially in light of more recent, focused prophetic counsel), but I can't change it. What I learned from age 14 to 19 was invaluable --and when I married at age 19, I believe I was ready because of those relationships. So please, don't tell me I was wrong for being exclusive so young, okay? It'll just make me feel bad for something that is over and done with and can't be changed.]

Here are two (I could have provided 6. Don't judge!):

[I've shared this one before, I think. It truly did have a huge impact on me, but I don't think about it very often. The guy and I became friends afterwards and I forgave him --in fact, I saw him after his mission, shortly before his wedding, and I remembered thinking he had turned out to be a pretty great guy. I haven't seen him in 13 years or so.]

When I was a senior in high school, I started dating a guy from another high school (I worked with his mom). We were pretty good friends, first and foremost, and we honestly liked each other. I wasn't used to dating guys my own age (yes, I dated older men. What of it??), but he was pretty nice. Except that time he called my eyes "poop brown." Yeah, that was strange. Why would a guy who claimed to like me call my eyes the color of poop? Couldn't he have used "chocolate"? Or... "chocolate?" Even mud would have been better. But I blew that off. Because he "liked me!"

Anyway, we went to his Homecoming dance together, I went to all his football games (he played defense), he'd check me out of school at lunchtime sometimes for lunch dates, we rode around in his truck blasting Jars of Clay and country music. Then I asked him to Sadie Hawkins (my school's). A few days before he was acting weird. Wouldn't hold my hand. I just thought he was feeling unwell because he'd gotten shaken up pretty bad in a football game.

The day of the dance we went to the park to play ultimate frisbee and other games with our date group (14 couples, I think?). He was acting out-of-sorts that afternoon and even when we went roller skating. Finally, at the dance, I asked him, as we were dancing: "Dude (that wasn't his name), what is wrong?"
He looked at me and said, "I don't think we should date anymore."
Just like that. Broken up. Dumped. In the middle of dancing.
I was stunned.

Long story short, we finished the date (with a couple of my guy friends asking me if they should beat him up when they saw me crying at the dance), I took him home early, he asked if I was okay and I said, "Don't call me" and drove home.

I was MISERABLE. I was not only heartbroken, but why didn't he break up with me before the dance? After the dance? Why was it DURING the dance?? Salt on a wound. Knife in the back. Immature. Mean.

I cried for days. Maybe weeks? But I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my life because of it. Here's how I wrote it on my profile about answers to prayers:
When I was a senior in high school (about 17 years old), I had an experience that forever changed my relationship with God. All of it was over a silly boy who I was dating at the time. He had decided to break up with me --but did it in a public setting, at a dance, in front of my friends. I was humiliated, shocked, and very depressed. It wasn't just the humiliation that upset me, it was the fact that I really cared for him. I recall that later, I was sitting in my room and praying --asking why something like this would happen to me. I don't remember what was said, and I don't remember receiving an answer that would solve all my problems, but I do remember --most fervently --the feelings I had. I KNEW that Heavenly Father heard me. I KNEW that my feelings were NOT inconsequential. I KNEW that I was loved and that I was going to be okay. I KNEW that I was understood. Never before did I feel the Holy Ghost penetrate my soul as I did at that point in my life. It was such a feeling of peace and love --and now, years later, feeling very silly about my feeling for that boy at the time, I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father didn't think I was silly. He knew what I needed --He listened, and He helped me. I will never forget those feelings.

This one is shorter. I promise.

I was a freshman in college and had left a boyfriend back at home. We had started dating over the summer and I figured he was "the one!" The distance made my love for him grow, but meanwhile, he decided I wasn't what he wanted. Unfortunately, he never bothered to share that decision with me.

Another long story short, he started dating another girl, never told me, and wouldn't break up with me. He just kind of... dangled me. Does that make sense? He wouldn't communicate or answer questions, he lied when he DID answer questions, and I was emotionally all over the place.

Finally, I broke up with HIM via email. I wrote him a very long, thought-out letter about how I found out what he had been doing, what he had done to hurt me, etc. etc. and he wrote back and said, "You're right! Bye!"

I seriously wanted the ground to open up and devour me.

I never saw him again. He married the girl he was dating at the time and is very happy, I'm sure. He still lives (or just works?) in my hometown, and I hope he's doing well. I'm pretty sure I forgave him, as well. I just don't think about it very often. Why would I?

What I learned from this experience:
First, never assume how anyone is feeling in a relationship and communication is important!
Second, if the person you are dating truly loves you, they will show it by word and deed.
Third, if you decide someone is not "the one," then just man up and tell them! Geeze!

Those are only two examples, but by the time I met my husband, I was able to recognize what a good, open relationship meant --I recognized real love because I had learned what it wasn't.

Want to share any break up stories? Let Janelle know so she can link to them!

1 comment:

Janelle said...

Oh I loved these Cheryl! What great examples and I love the excerpt. I think these would be great stories for any youth to learn from.