BY RACHEL WONG
Of all the relationships I’ve been in and the breakups that have followed, one in particular stands out as leaving the deepest scar.
Adrian* was everything that I had wanted in a guy: he was driven, motivated, intelligent, funny, and accepting of my flaws. But from previous relationships, I had learned a lot about myself and what I wanted, and the biggest lesson that stuck with me was to take things slow.
Both Adrian and I vocalized this concern to each other. We promised that we wouldn’t rush into anything because we wanted to take the time to get to know each other well before things got serious.
Needless to say, that didn’t end up happening. We both got caught up in the relationship quickly, falling head over heels before we could even remind ourselves of the agreement we had made to each other. I trusted him with my deepest and darkest secrets, and I was so certain that he was the one for me. We even made plans about our future together, from where we would study after high school to what countries we would visit once we saved enough money.
But those plans quickly fell apart when he broke up with me based on “irreconcilable differences” and the “lack of physicality in our relationship.” He even went on to wrongfully accuse me of being unfaithful to him. In the end, he destroyed my confidence and took advantage of me, leaving me with nothing but some cliché excuses.
Nearly three years later, I still find myself getting riled up about Adrian. Sometimes I fantasize about the moment that I’ll finally get to see him again so I could tear him apart and say everything I wasn’t able to say to him when he broke up with me. Over the years, I’ve wasted so much of my energy hating him, hoping that karma would one day bite him
for everything he had put me through.
Recently, that moment that I both feared and wished for finally arrived. After all of this time, I saw Adrian in person, and the experience was nothing short of surreal. He still looked the same, except he had lost some of his boyish charm. As he talked to my friend beside me, I noticed his voice hadn’t changed a bit – it was the same voice that told me I was beautiful, and the same voice that broke me down with every word.
But despite all of the emotions running through my mind, I was still able to stare him in the eye. What I noticed about him, however, was that he couldn’t do the same for me. I later found out from my friend that he was incredibly bewildered to see me. After all of these years, he couldn’t even acknowledge me. It was then that I realized exactly the type of person he was and still is. And in that moment, I realized that all the hatred I had felt towards him over the past three years was a complete waste of energy and time.
There are some people in life that are worth rebuilding relationships with, even after a breakup. But in most circumstances, it is so much more beneficial to just move on and forget about them. This can be extremely difficult, I know first-hand that it’s easier said than done. I lost plenty of hours of sleep channeling feelings of hate, and wasted a lot of time being upset when I could have been working on my happiness. In the end, I can never regain the time that I wasted feeling bad about myself or mad about him. But I realize now that I cared about him far too much when he probably didn’t care about me at all.
If a person is constantly tearing you down and making you feel small, you should take some time to reevaluate that relationship. Relationships are all about building people up and growing with one another. So if someone you care about is doing the opposite, it may be time for you to finally walk away too.
*Name changed to conceal identity
Rachel Wong is a Communications and International Studies student at Simon Fraser University. Aside from Speak Out, Rachel is also a regular contributor for the Student Life Network and SFU’s student newspaper The Peak. She loves going on foodie adventures, kicking back with friends and telling other people’s stories – all while writing her own. Her dream is to read off a teleprompter for a living one day. Rachel hopes to help change the way society looks at mental illness, one word at a time. You can find more of Rachel’s work at http://rchlcwng.blogspot.com.