My freshman year of high school I dated a scum bag. I’m talking low life, misogynistic, pot head, scum bag. My sister had warned me about him; she told me that he was a loser, and I shouldn’t associate myself with him. But I couldn’t resist the attention. At first it was funny. It seemed no matter how many times I told him no, he wouldn’t give up interest. So I had fun toying with him and not feeling pressured into doing anything. But after a little while the attention waned. He got tired of snap-chatting and messaging me with no response.
Up until this point I didn’t realize how insecure I really was. I struggled with body image, and obsessed over getting good grades. But having someone who was so interested made me feel attractive and likable. I was desperate for more attention. So, I started messaging him back. I started snap-chatting him and showing more interest. Soon I was back to receiving almost constant attention from him, and back to feeling secure.
Having that attention made me feel good. I felt wanted. I felt special. Even though I knew I didn’t care about him, and I knew I didn’t trust him, I still wanted him to care about me, to trust me. My self esteem was quickly entangled with his perception of me. When he didn’t ask me to hang out, or sit with me at school, or reply to my messages, I felt completely rejected.
When we broke up I was devastated. Before even saying anything to me he had told all of his friends that we weren’t together anymore. When I confronted him about it, he replied nonchalantly that he thought it was obvious we were over. He didn’t even bat an eye. I had become so dependent on his attention that when this happened I was crushed. I felt like I needed to be accepted by a guy, and that I never would. I didn’t realize at the time how desperately I needed to be on my own to focus on loving myself rather than trying to find someone else to love me.
All things considered, I don’t regret having this relationship. I learned that don’t need to be, and shouldn’t be, dependent on somebody else’s love and attention. Although I still struggle with this sometimes, I now know I don’t need a boy to feel good about myself.