Naivety: A Personal Narrative From Then to Now

Oh how I remember those sweet goodnight text messages, you know, the ones with heart emojis and loving words. I remember the feel of his lips upon mine, the sound of his voice, the fit of my hand in his…
I thought I was happy.
He would come visit me at work and I would smile so wide everytime. I ran into his arms and hugged him. His cologne embraced me even after he left. Why did he visit so often? Because it’s what I wanted him to do.
We would cuddle up together with blankets and pillows and watch a movie. I loved putting a hand to his chest to feel the beat of his heart. It gave me reassurance.
“You’re the ideal woman”, “You’re perfect”, “You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen”, he always said. I could feel the heat rise in my face as I blushed and offered kisses as a thank you for his kind words. I felt butterflies fluttering around in my stomach. I was so naive, so love struck.
I thought we had so much in common. I thought I enjoyed when he talked about cars and all the ways he was going to fix up his truck. I would smile and nod, yet our conversations were never deeper than the surface. It would come with time though, right? It never did.
At dinner one night, I asked my family how they liked my boyfriend. My dad never said a word. He never liked him; whether it was because Tristan was simply a boy dating me or because he could see through him, I don’t know.
My mom and I were deceived. We would settle on the couch for “boy talk” and she’d always ask, “Has Tristan said anything sweet today?”. Both of us loved the way he spoke.
But after a while, Tristan stopped telling me sweet nothings. He was busy with work, struggling in his faith, he had no friends and a poor relationship with his family. I was there; I thought that’s all he needed.
I needed more.
He was so busy that he came by late at night; I was exhausted from homework and staying up late just to see him prolonged my exhaustion for the next day at school. I wanted more from him. I wanted to have enough time with him to go on a date, to have a deep conversation and feel intellectually attracted to him as well. Instead, the physical attraction is what held us together. I sacrificed personal values for his pleasure. I sacrificed what I wanted to make him happy.
I always thought we were healthy together. Oh, how I was wrong. I couldn’t be myself, I couldn’t have those deep conversations, yet I couldn’t stop loving him.
Blessedly, we ended.
I lay in bed, crying myself to sleep and waking up with dark circles under my puffy red eyes. Wasn’t I supposed to marry him? How can I just let the person I love go? How do I walk away from this?
He wasn’t the one for me. I didn’t know that then, I didn’t know we were so wrong for each other till I recovered from the heart ache. I know now what I need in a man. I know I shouldn’t have to sacrifice my values in order to preserve a relationship that clearly isn’t working. I know what I want, and though he was all I wanted for a long time, he was not what I needed.

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