Love yourself before you love someone else


Staff Writer

They say heartbreak is the worst pain. It’s true. After my nine month relationship ended, it’s been a constant weight. What hurts the most is seeing him walk away so easily even though he wanted me first. He had feelings for me for eight months before we started dating. I had just gotten out of another relationship, yet he continued to pursue me. And I fell for him. Nine months later, I’m here. Left with a broken heart. Having all the hope I can of getting him back one day.

In March  he asked me to be his girlfriend. I happily said yes. The first few months were nothing short of wonderful. We continued to fall deeply in love with each other. Then in September, I got hit with seasonal depression and anxiety. And I made the mistake of relying on him for my happiness. I was unknowingly causing him pain. But he stuck with me. Reassured me he’d never leave my side. Until he did. He said he couldn’t handle it anymore. Once I was beginning to feel better, I got set back once again.

His arms felt like home. His presence washed all my anxieties away. He always knew how to cheer me up, how to make me feel loved. Now that love has turned into hurt. The home has turned into homeless. I feel betrayed, abandoned, and lied to.

I learned these past couple weeks that falling in love is one of the biggest risks you can take. Putting your heart in the hands of someone else takes a lot of trust. He told me he’d take good care of my heart. For a long time he did. And then one day, he took my heart and threw it out the window.  My heart is now in pieces.

Before I knew he even existed, my happiness came from within. I found joy in spending time alone. I was happy with my friends and with my job. When he walked into my life, that happiness increased dramatically. He brought me the most joy out of anything. The more time we spent together, the more all of my happiness came from him. Once the seasonal depression hit, it really did. He was the only thing keeping me going. What I didn’t realize was that it was taking a toll on him. Maybe if I had known, it wouldn’t have ended like this.

But the thing is, he promised me he’d never leave. He supported me through everything. I believed him. Because of my parent’s divorce, I struggled with trust in a relationship. But the more he told me he’d be here for me forever, the more that trust built. Until he left, broke that promise, and crushed that trust. I’m now stuck on someone who doesn’t want me anymore, and yet I don’t want anyone else.

The second he left, a sense of loneliness entered my heart. I never had many friends to begin with, but now it especially feels that I don’t have a single one. I’m not the friend that people check in on, or the one that gets invited to plans. I’ve always felt that I’m the only one putting effort into my friendships. Now I feel completely and utterly alone. Nothing to do on a Friday night, my only notifications coming from The Weather Channel and Gmail. I have no one anymore. No one to contribute to my happiness.

The harsh truth is, you have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else. Yes, a relationship will bring joy. But if they leave, don’t let them take your happiness with them. It’s something that you have to find yourself. The worst thing to do I learned is to rely on another person for satisfaction. It drains them. More than you’d think. If only I knew that sooner.

Happiness can’t come solely from friends, family, or relationships. It comes from finding things on your own to make you happy, being content with your own thoughts. Once you’re happy with yourself, life is so much easier. It’s easier to see the good in things and it’s easier to be alone. Relying on others for happiness is never the answer. Because once they leave, you’ll be left with nothing.

While I may now be feeling a pain I’ve never thought to feel, I need to be okay with not having him anymore. If he’s happier without me in his life, then I have to learn to move on and let him go. Our relationship was special to me. No one ever forgets their first love; he’ll have a place in my heart forever. What’s next is finding my own happiness again. I know that once I do, everything will turn out just fine. If I learned one thing from this breakup, it’s this: You can never be fully happy with someone else for a long period of time without being happy with yourself first.