As y’all know, I’m a hopeless romantic. I am a Libra. I love love. Y’all also know that…I’m single af! Do I like that aspect of my life? No. Is it my fault I’m in this situation? Hell yes! I haven’t had the best track record when it came to my dating life. I wasn’t allowed to date growing up (truth be told, that didn’t really matter because I wasn’t on anyone’s radar). Also, I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness so that means no sex before marriage and dating is for when you’re ready to settle down, not just to have fun. My plans were to get a boyfriend at 18, get married at 21 and then have children by age 25. CLEARLY life did not happen that way for me!
I fell for a family friend and that was a shit show (I was crazy obsessed and he wasn’t afraid of everyone finding out) in which I was being used and I didn’t care because at least I was getting some attention (he was my first kiss and first sexual experience….although we never actually had sex). Again, guys never really went for me growing up and I was craving love.Things got so bad that I stopped taking care of myself: I didn’t eat, didn’t shower, didn’t stop wearing the shirt he gave me…it was bad y’all. He would get girlfriends and there I was on the side. Waiting for him at night to have his way with me and I craved it. Here’s the ironic part. He had a type before me but after me, I turned him on to dark skinned girls with glasses. I can chuckle now but at the time I didn’t understand why he chose the others over me when at the end of the day, they were still getting cheated on. I vowed to never be a side chick again. We’re surprisingly in a great place now but before? Hell no (he once called me the biggest mistake of his life).We recently spoke and apologized to each other which was actually something I didn’t think I needed but it was healing and I’m glad we did!
It took a lot for me to get over him (well he got his girlfriend at the time pregnant so that was a done deal) and the next person I fell hard for was honestly such a fuck boy (he never hid who he was). Now, he was soooo hot like holy shit he was hot and actually looking back on it, why would he be interested in me? At the time, I had really low self-esteem and it was clearly worn like a badge of honor. I was really desperate for love and attention that the first night we chatted and was texting, he wanted to see pics of me in my bra so I was like sure! Again, I was desperate for attention and love and I immediately started doing mental jugitsu. Never did it cross my mind that he would share those intimate pictures with his friends. Was I obsessed with him too? Does a bear shit in the woods? It was embarrassing. I would like every single tweet he wrote…every single one. He would talk much shit about me and do you think that made me be like fuck this? Nope. If he reached out I still gave in. This would continue off and on.
Now during some time, I actually lost my virginity. I was upset that I was the only in my group of friends at the time who was still a virgin. I was embarrassed of it. Now I’ll be honest, at that time, those were some very selfish feelings. I was brought to save sex for marriage but the pressure from others made me feel like I was missing out on this great thing. When I realized I wasn’t a virgin anymore, I was like holy shit! It was around my birthday and it was with someone that in all honestly I didn’t know. It wasn’t my plan and it just happened and…I’m not proud of that time period. The guy got what he wanted (and $20 for gas if I might add) and never looked back. I took the “L”. Looking back, I obviously wished I saved it for a special person. You would think that this was my turning point. My wakeup call to wisen up…but nope. It wasn’t.
Enter the asshole. I should’ve known this would not end well. We met in French class and ironically a song that reminds me of him is the song by MC Solaar “La Belle et le Bad Boy”. I remembered the song from a “Sex and the City” episode when Carrie’s relationship with the Russian (his nickname on the show) kind of blew up in her face and she saw that the relationship was just over and was ruining her life. Anyway, I saw him. Thought he was cute and let me start off by saying that clearly and it was very clearly I had low self worth and it was just clear and visible to everyone. Needless to say, I still fell for him. He was…and how shall I put this kindly? THE WORST. the first time I went to his house to study, he tried to fuck me and I was not comfortable with that. It didn’t happen but he told me to let him know when I made it safe at home, so I thought he cared about me.
To make this long story short (with him), I would foolishly give him all types of money, he didn’t listen to me when I said no and I didn’t want to have sex with him on numerous occasions (he did what he wanted anyway), I walked through the pouring rain without an umbrella for him and all I got back in return was being stuck at his house alone with no food and water for days. He would call me all types of names and yell at me and told me that no one loved me but him. He elbowed me in the head once because I was making “too much noise”. He once got so mad at me (for something fucking stupid I might add) that he yelled at me and made me sleep on the floor then demanded that I wake him up for class and that he better not be late. Me now would’ve been like fuck this but at the time, I didn’t want to lose him and I thought we were meant to be together even though he said “no matter what happens between us I will never make you my girlfriend”. Now that was where I should’ve like pump the brakes on that situation but I didn’t. He even went and got a girlfriend (unbeknownst to me of course) and I found out about it from Facebook! I was heartbroken. I legit did not want to be a side chick again!
I thought at that point I was done. Nope. He hit on someone I knew. Nope not done. He got my computer stolen. Nope not done. He denied knowing me at work. Nope not done. He would discourage me from trying things I wanted to do to better myself. Nope not done. He crossed so many lines and one day I was just at a loss. He offended my cousin and me by being an asshole (and complete and rude one at that) and I was like I’m finished. I’m done (stupid me I wasn’t). I was crying and he was like begging me for like another chance and telling me that people were always leaving him (I wonder why…) and he didn’t want me to give up on me and then he hit me with the bullshit line: I love you. I didn’t know what to think. I was back in his grasp. I believe the breaking point was during one of my visits home. My godmother took my cousin and I to my mom’s grave and she talked about their friendship and through the tears told me about my mom and my dad’s relationship and how fucked up it was. Obviously she isn’t here anymore because of him. I just didn’t want that to happen with me and honestly thats the path I saw with the asshole. That and the fact that he dumped me three times even though we weren’t together. The last few times I talked to him, I’ll be honest. I was a complete bitch to him but I felt like he deserved it. I’d do things like ignore his call or say I’d do something for him and then I wouldn’t do it. I wanted him to feel the hurt and pain that I felt he showed me. In the end it wasn’t worth it.
It took a lot for me not to hate him. I think I’m on the path to forgiving him but still, I felt broken and damaged after him. I just didn’t think I was worth it. There was a point in time where I’d just wake up put on clothes, go to class and go to work and fall asleep on the couch. Then I’d repeat that cycle for weeks. I wasn’t doing my hair. Wasn’t showering. Nothing. I just wanted to die. I didn’t think I was worth anything and that I’d never find anyone to love me. It’s my deepest desire to get married and have babies. I talked to one guy I met at home in Miami (I’ll call him lil man). He just stopped talking to me for no reason after I went down there to like go on a date with him. He just ghosted me and stopped talking to me. He did reach out for me again some time later and wanted me to send him some pics of me masturbating or something. I ignored him like how dare he? But still, because he asked for those pictures, to me that told me that that was all I was good for. To be someone’s whore or something. All that did was nudge me back to fuck boy (smh).
I remember during one of my visits home, I finally got something I wished for: me and the fuck boy had sex. In total, we had sex twice. Once was in his car outside my home in Miami and the other time when I was visiting again but this time in a hotel. This was all after he said those terrible things about me. I didn’t know my worth. I didn’t think I deserved better. It was one night however that I felt really low and just done. I was down in Ft. Lauderdale for a family reunion and I bought a shirt from him (but I had to drive down to Miami to pick it up) and I was under the impression that a little more would happen, but nope. He took my money and gave me the shirt and left. Like that was it. It was at that moment as I drove back to the hotel in the middle of the night with tears in my eyes that I prayed to God to send me someone who would actually love me and accept me for all my crazy and just love me for me.
Enter Poke’boy! It was a couple of months after that prayer that I met Poke’Boy. At first, like at the first meeting I felt something there but I just kept brushing it off. But then, I started to catch feelings. He was really kind to everyone and funny (and quite cute I might add). He was nerdy (still is actually) and ugh I just loved him, although he called me Valerie for three days even though I had a name tag on! He loved Disney and Harry Potter and I mean we had some shit in common and next thing I knew, I was falling for him. HARD. I feel like there was something there but me being me, I didn’t do anything about it…just obsessed over him even more. We did have a small date? I was so nervous that I barely spoke a word. For now, I’ll keep my feelings for him to myself (unless he reads this then…I’m screwed). I just know I ruined things but not talking on that mini date. He still helped me out at times and I don’t know I felt like there was something there but neither of us did anything about it and honestly probably never will.
Which leads me to where I am currently. I’m just if I’m quite honest, depressed. I want so bad to be a wife and a mom and with each passing year, it feels like it will never happen. I wake up everyday feeling hopeless and like there’s no point to life. I’m not happy. I took a mini social media break recently because everywhere I turned, people were getting engaged and announcing pregnancies and honestly, its a lot for me mentally. It’s like when is it my turn to be happy? This is something that I am working on in therapy and my therapist suggested I read a book called “Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find- and Keep- Love” (you can find it here) after I told her about a quiz my friend Ja told me about (you should check out her podcast Black Girl Blues, available on Apple and Soundcloud) from the site Attachment Project (you can take your own quiz here to find out your attachment style). My attachment style is anxious/preoccupied (surprise surprise) and so we’re working on ways for me to deal with that as I navigate this dating world.
This was an emotionalizing taxing post but if I can help one girl to just see that whomever she thinks is worth it and is struggling to love herself while begging someone to love her, it’s not worth it. Don’t struggle the way I did. Don’t hurt the way I did. Yes it’s lonely but thats better than the bullshit situations I was in before. There is better out there, I don’t know where but it is. Don’t let a man break you down to the point where you feel like nothing. You are someone. You’re precious and you’re blessed.
What advice would you give your younger self when it came to dating and self-worth?