Every person, old and young, remembers his or her first love.
The unavoidable butterflies in your stomach, blushing whenever you heard their name, the whole shebang. Despite all the sappy love stories you've made yourself delusional with, we've all curled up on the couch with a bowl of ice cream and cried our eyes out hoping that one day, we could continue to pursue that crazy stupid love.
Believing you're in love may be one of the most dangerous and perilous situations you ever find yourself in. OK, maybe being stranded in the ocean with only a piece of driftwood would be worse, but you get my point.
You think of your significant other as your best friend, your compadre, your confidante. This person is constantly on your mind, from the moment you realize class isn't cancelled until you fall asleep face first on your keyboard writing your midterm paper.
Just when everything seems flawless, the worst and least expected thing occurs: you get cheated on. You find out, and inevitably, you're in absolute denial. You're simultaneously crying uncontrollably and boiling with hatred.
When you finally agree to hear “their side” of the story, you receive endless apologies and tears, begging you for your forgiveness. Your anger is enigmatic and your sorrow is overwhelming.
Yet, somehow you begin to think this is your fault. Somehow you could've been better, done better, done more. This is the first of many mistakes, and believe me, my friend, there are many lessons to be learned.
1. It Has Nothing To Do With You
The decision to cheat is entirely unilateral. One person makes that decision, not two. We tend to forget that. Infidelity has nothing to do with your appearance, wealth, education, or who you are as a person.
After I was cheated on, I couldn't look at myself the same way. All I could think was, “Well, what did she look like?” “What could I have done better?” “What did I do wrong?”. This was my first, and by far my biggest, mistake.
No matter who you are or what you do, a person will cheat on you regardless, because of their own insecurities. Quite honestly, that's their problem, not yours, so stop blaming yourself.
2. There Is Absolutely No Excuse
On top of blaming ourselves, we tend to listen to excuses like "I was drunk, I swear" and accept them. For the record, he wasn't too drunk to remember, and despite his claims, he was thinking, just not about you.
The worst thing you can do is to allow this person into your life again. You will never be happy or confident in your relationship after they cheat and no amount of bouquets can change that.
As time goes on you will only feel resentful, and chances are, the cheating won't subside. This will result in insecurities about yourself, and while the feeling of self-doubt is natural, denying yourself self-respect is never okay.
3. Realize You Weren't Meant To Be Together
While being cheated on is something nobody ever wishes for, sometimes it can be the best damn thing that ever happened to you. Even though you love this person, cheating is sometimes a sign that you're not with the best person for you.
Think back on your relationship. Remember the late night phone calls where you were sobbing uncontrollably, the texts you wouldn't receive answers to for hours and the screaming fights you would get into multiple times a week.
It's OK that you were in that relationship. But, don't let it define you. Grow and change for the better and I guarantee your relationships will be happier and healthier down the road.
4. Forgive But Don't Forget
Forgiveness does not make you weak or feeble, it makes you the better person. The reality is that grudges hurt you more than they hurt the so-called victims. Chances are you're inflicting more negativity in your own life than theirs.
I'm not saying you shouldn't burn all pictures, gifts, or anything else that can prove the existence of your not so great relationship, but you should always allow yourself room to forgive.
All you have to remember is, if someone doesn't respect you enough to put you before his or her own selfish desires, that person is in no way worth your time in the first place.
5. Love Yourself
When you lose someone, you feel as if you've lost a part of yourself. Your day-to-day routine is completely distorted, your friend group is severed, and quite frankly, your life changes drastically.
You're going to feel lost and hurt for a while, but the key to bouncing back is loving yourself. It's human nature to look for comfort and safety, but if you can't fall back even on yourself for security, you will never truly find the happiness you deserve.
It's solely up to you to show everyone how you want, and expect to be treated. Never allow someone else to dictate this for you, as it is your greatest power as an individual.