by Naiya Dalce
April 7, 2018 was the day my life changed forever. That was the day I fell in love for the first time. That day led to perfect moments, as well as traumatizing ones. It was a complete rollercoaster and I never thought that I would ever have to ride one. That moment of falling in love is the best feeling one could describe, but it had hurtful events as well. I didn’t sign up for the hurtful part, but it just happened unexpectedly. I also didn’t expect for him to step on my heart like he did.
I lay there in his bed while we talked about the party we went to the night before. The laughs, and the looking into his eyes made me realize what this feeling was. We were only dating for a month, but this feeling made me feel like God created him just for me. How could this happen? I found the love of my life while I was a sophomore in college. It was perfect because he went to school only 20 minutes from me. His birthday was a week before mine, he was an athlete, and he lived 15 minutes away from me at home. He held me in his arms and I was instantly teary-eyed. This was a fairytale to me, because I never thought that I would ever fall in love. I’ve always wondered what it felt like. That day, I finally felt the high that I’ve wanted for so long. I have always wanted a guy to adore me and to be obsessed with me. Love is something hard to explain, but I love to think about what led to this moment.
I was hesitant to even meet him, because he was a D1 athlete, and they’re always more likely to cheat. His teammates were a great example of typical athletes. He surprised me when I realized that he wasn’t like them at all. He loved watching anime, cleaning, reading, and hated parties. He also wears glasses, and so do I! He even loves to eat food; ah he was so greedy. I loved eating too! It’s safe to say that I was smitten by this guy. We started to hang out every day after class, and watched movies on weekends. He introduced me to his teammates and his family quickly. I showed up at his basketball game at the end of the season, and he realized that I was serious about him. Fast forward, we were inseparable. Wow, I was definitely falling for him quicker than I thought.
On April 6, we went to our first party together. I finally got to see him interact with his teammates when it came to drinking and partying. This was a big thing for me, because I knew he didn’t like going out, so I wanted to see how he acted. We kind of stuck to ourselves, but we danced together all night. The next morning, we just lay in bed and reminisced on the night before. He was going on and on, staring at the ceiling and talking. All I could do was stare at him and smile. This was my man, my boyfriend, my lover. I knew I fell in love, because it was a feeling I’ve never felt before. I continued my weekend with him and kept the feeling to myself. I didn’t want to jinx it. I was so excited to have this relationship grow, and was so excited for him to feel the same way if he didn’t already.
On April 22, he finally told me that he was in love with me. I was so excited, because I was able to say it back. I just knew that the relationship would grow. We went on dates, took so many pictures, and watched movies all the time. This relationship just couldn’t get any better. The kisses were so sweet, and when I was in his arms, nothing else mattered. I did everything for him, and loved spoiling him. I thought that this would last forever. Well, I was fucking wrong.
Remember the roller coaster? This is when I reached the first dip. April 27, the arguments began to grow, and my trust for him was gone. What was I doing wrong? Was I not good enough? I was in love with someone who I was always arguing with. We would go weeks without arguing then it would turn to arguing with each other every other day. The secrets, the lies, and the pain became prevalent. He cheated on me, which was something I never thought would happen. Like after all the things I’ve done for that boy, and he still felt the need to get the “ho-ness” out of his system. I loved him, and this was normal in relationships, right? I guess all men cheated. I told myself that it would get better and I had to fight for this relationship. He never cheated again, that I know of. So, I just let it go. Who knew being in love would cause this much heartache? This wasn’t like the movies, and my fairytale was gone. The roller coaster dip seemed to last forever. I just wanted to be at the top again.
Being in love wasn’t supposed to be cheating, it wasn’t lying, it wasn’t fighting. We managed to make it to the summer, and I was still googly eyed for him. This was the worst summer I’ve ever experienced. We broke up about four times through my three-month summer, and I became someone else. That’s what being in love entails right? I always wanted to have a summer where I would go on vacations with my boyfriend and have late summer nights. I was so excited! Instead, my summer ended up being filled with work and drama. Drama that had me wanting to stay in bed and cry all day.
Since I was in love with him, I became blinded to what was going on. He would hurt me, and I would take him back. I was showing him how to treat me by letting him get away with the things he did. I just wanted to go back to how we used to be. Which was happiness, and laughing, and kissing. What made it worse was the fact that I felt like I cared more than he did. He seemed to not care whenever we were on bad terms, while I was sitting at home miserable. This man would go on social media and post hurtful things whenever we got into a fight. Why was I letting this man treat me like shit? He constantly said he would change and that it would never happen again. Well damn, how many times was he going to say that? He would be the wrong one in the situation, and I found myself sending him long paragraphs. Why was I teaching him how to apologize? Why the hell was I pouring my heart out every time? Why in the fuck am I chasing him? I am always giving my all to relationships, and no one ever gives me that same energy. See, I knew this wasn’t healthy, but hey, I was in love.
The problems began to grow throughout the summer, and I was becoming depressed. What was this turning me into? My mom grew worried about me, and I found myself not being able to function. I was no longer happy Naiya. I was taking my anger out on family members, and crying before I got to work in the morning. Why was I so in love with someone who treated me this way? I wouldn’t necessarily say he was a bad person, but he didn’t know how to love correctly. He was not used to having a loving girlfriend. His family situation was different than mine, and it began to affect him.
I was in love with someone whose family began to interfere with our happiness. His family was over-protective, and they began to disrespect me. I got so many phone calls, text messages, and indirect comments about me. I’m not their child, so why were they harassing me? He didn’t stand up for me like he said he would. I was used to empty promises. The thing is, I never wanted him to feel like he had to choose sides. His family didn’t want me to hurt him like his last relationship, but I never did. They weren’t used to that. Who knew being in love would cause a family feud? My family wanted me to stay far away from him, but I couldn’t. My mom was forced to support my decision, because I just couldn’t let go of him. My mom began to believe I had low self-esteem, and if he loved me he wouldn’t let his family treat me that way. I wanted it to work out so bad. I told myself that it was just a rough patch, and that we were going to get through it.
I did not realize that being in love hurt so much. He told me that he was going to make it up to me and prove everything to me by his actions. It became so toxic that I became numb to the pain. Whenever he would do something, it would no longer hurt. I began to expect it like it was a norm. I saw myself marrying this man, and was willing to look past it all. We planned on moving in together. I even planned law school around his NBA goals. I was willing to move around the U.S. for this man. What did I get in return? A slap in the face. One thing I will say, he did have a good heart. When things were good, they were good. He treated me so well, and wasn’t abusive. He did love me and was in love with me, but he couldn’t prove it in the correct way. Or maybe he never loved me but was just raised on survival. He probably just loved the way that I loved him. I will never know.
To this day, I find it harder and harder to live without him. I miss him so much. Sometimes there are days that I don’t want to get out of bed. There are other times where I just want to punch him in the mouth. Why am I so in love with a man that I no longer talk to. Rather, he doesn’t talk to me. I have to teach myself to learn how to be alone and to not depend on him for happiness. It is so hard, because I think about him every day. How can I not be with the person I’m in love with? I just wish he would get his shit together. The thing is, I know he won’t. If he loved me, I wouldn’t be feeling this way. I know he isn’t good for me, but in the back of my mind I still think we’ll be together in the future. I don’t want to date or marry anyone unless it’s him.
I want things to be how they were. Being in love with this man makes me not want to move on, ever. If he texted me at this very moment, it would be so hard to not just run into his arms. I will always love this man. But I realize that being in love wasn’t worth all of this. I have to remember all of the things he did to me, and that everything happens for a reason. I will get through this. So long, loser.