“All Too Well” is one of my favorite Taylor songs. When I was preparing for a bad breakup I listened to this song on repeat. There are so many lines I could dissect that reminded me of my relationship with my ex. We had been through so much together and I felt like he was getting ready to throw all of that away.
“Back before you lost the one real thing you’ve ever known” is a line that spoke to me. A guy I dated once told me all of his secrets and said I was the closest person in his life. I played the role of a lover and a best friend for him, as he did for me. He told me I was his forever and always and that I was his rock.
Then he broke up with me.
He hadn’t found someone else or fallen out of love with me. He just realized I was no longer a priority in his life. Love was no longer a priority. He now lived for a career and a newfound dream for status.
My heart broke. First for myself, but when the dust finally cleared I realized it was broken for him. What kind of life is it to have your heart beat only for yourself? To not have relationships that move you to your core?
I realized I would have those — I already had them with my close friends and family — and prayed for his sake that he would realize what would truly make him happy in life. I still hope he’s happy, it’s just not my job to help him along that journey anymore.
Today’s lesson: Everyone has different priorities in life. One thing isn’t necessarily better than another, but you should find someone who is on the same page as you in that regard.
One thing about love is that you sometimes don’t understand how it works. I think we often mistake anxiety for feelings of love.
Taylor Swift’s music has always spoken to me, and Out of The Woods was my anthem with a guy who was once in my life. When the acoustic version of the song came out, Taylor introduced it perfectly. I could so relate to every word she said and felt like she was speaking about my connection to this gentleman.
Things with us felt so shaky and I never knew when what we had might just decide to crash and burn. I felt myself slipping down further and further on his list of priorities and did everything I felt was humanly possible to try to pull him back towards me. Nothing worked.
After months of feeling like this I finally realized we were falling apart.
We still had fun when we were together, but I was so up and down and didn’t realize that wasn’t normal. I cried as much as I laughed with him, but my feelings were so all over the place that I mistook them for butterflies. I thought that was the way love was supposed to feel and that even though I wasn’t currently a priority of his, that I would be one day.
Now I realize I wouldn’t have ever come before things like work in the future for him if I wasn’t even in a dating relationship. I would never have been a priority in the way I want to make someone mine in my life. Relationships just don’t work if you’re not on the same page with the really important things in life.
Today’s lesson: It isn’t normal to feel like your relationship is always on the verge of breaking. You deserve to be with someone who makes you feel secure. I promise those kind of relationships do exist, even though it might not feel like it when you are used to being on edge.
The last time I was in Kentucky visiting my grandparents was when I was in the darkest place in my life. It was about a year ago, and I had just been diagnosed with depression — I couldn’t think about anything other than my tanking relationship.
I honestly don’t remember anything that happened last summer until we broke up. All I could focus on and think about was him, and I kept trying to keep it together knowing that the man I was supposed to be walking through life with was slowly marching out of it and leaving a ruined girl behind him.
He told me he wanted to be with me, but pushed me away when I tried to come to him. He had new priorities now, and I wasn’t included in the list.
I cried myself to sleep every night, but never actually slept. I couldn’t seem to focus on the present, and felt so sick that I couldn’t eat, and shrunk down to skin and bones. I tried to laugh whenever I found the chance, but the only thing that seemed to come out were tears. I was a zombie walking around in the shell of a very empty person.
I have never felt so alone in my life. I was so sad and helpless until everything just turned numb.
Today is completely different. I am a new woman. Not only have I gained a new strength that no one will be able to take away from me like he did, but I am also smarter and learned so many lessons from my ex. I will never, ever settle for someone who doesn’t greatly enrich my life. The sun is shining on my face today and I can actually feel its warmth on my cheeks. I have had great conversations with my grandparents and feel present while I’ve been here.
I’m not shooting to be happy every day of my life — that isn’t realistic. My focus is to be content. Now that I am free, that is exactly the way I feel. Content.
The crisp weather signifying the end of winter reminds me of him.
The fall before I got sick we trained for my half marathon together. We would run for hours or meet at the campus dining hall after a long run. He encouraged me and pushed me to do better. If it hadn’t been for his love of the sport I’m not sure that I would have found my new love of distance running.
It was a way to quiet my mind and enjoy the peace that nature had to offer. Nothing could touch me as I ran for hours.
Little did I know this would be one of the last times we ran together. Later I would find myself chasing someone who didn’t want to be caught — he couldn’t be caught. His heart belonged to himself and didn’t have room for another.
Chasing someone is exhausting, especially after you do it long enough. You can be the strongest person in the world, but you will eventually become emotionally drained.
Find someone you don’t have to chase. Be with someone who wants to hold your hand and walk through life with you. Someone who will stop to smell the roses and enjoy the beautiful scenery life has to offer.
Let him run alone if that’s what makes his heart beat fast. I will be with the man who’s heart races for me instead.
I’ve never been the “cool girl.” People have considered me funny, or sweet, or thoughtful, but never cool. That’s never been a big priority to me, and my personality definitely isn’t someone who can just be “one of the guys.” I hate beer, I don’t know a lot about professional sports teams (Should I have said “Pro Sports” instead?), I feel uncomfortable when guys curse a lot around me, and I’m a bit too delicate to be really roughhoused with.
Soon after my breakup I got a message from a guy I’ve always thought was kind of cool. I had a crush on him back in undergrad, but I was too young — and at the time not confident enough — for a guy like him to really notice me. He had always been kind, but never interested. Back then I figured it was because he dated girls who were much “cooler” than me. He was probably into some of the other athletes and people who could keep up with him better than I could. After all, I liked playing sports and working out on a regular basis, but was no super-athlete. I was a little nerdy and loved spending my free time writing and playing Super Smash Brothers or board games with my friends (I guess some things never change!).
Anyway, I was more than a little taken off guard when I heard from him years later. I hadn’t thought of him in such a long time that I didn’t quite know what to think. We ended up meeting up and he was more handsome than I remembered. I was excited to find that I could, in fact, have mini butterflies around someone new. I was, per usual, slightly awkward, but this has become part of what I like to call “the Krista charm.” I honestly believe some guys just like it because it is authentically me. The best dating advice I could ever give is to always be yourself. The right people will absolutely love you for it.
I don’t think this particular gentleman was charmed by me. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t repulsed or anything — I guess I’ll never know — but I was definitely disappointed when we had such a great time the night before and he didn’t seem interested in getting to know me further. So this was what rejection felt like. I had never really experienced it in such an obvious way by a guy before and my ex didn’t count because we had so many reasons to break up. This was just meeting someone I was kind of into who didn’t like me back.
Rejection is a part of life. Since I’ve started dating again I’ve been rejected, and I’ve rejected a handful of guys. It never feels good to put yourself out there and be turned down, but when you learn to love yourself you realize that it’s nothing personal — you just didn’t click in a romantic way with someone. There are so many other fish in the sea, and getting another “no” out of the way is one step closer to finding someone who will love you to your core and appreciate you for the amazing human being you are.
Today’s lesson: If someone turns you down pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. Dating is essentially a numbers game — the more people you meet the more likely one of them is going to click! Don’t get discouraged and never let someone make you feel like you are not worthy of true love — YOU ARE.
He made me feel needy. But he also made me feel like I needed him. It was a twisted cycle I was thrown around in until I didn’t know which direction was up.
I didn’t get reassurance that I was truly loved, but was told another man would never care for me the way he did. Other men may lust for me, but they wouldn’t want to be with me. He said I would never find someone who treated me the way he did. Other men would pressure me to do things I didn’t feel comfortable with, yet I found myself worn down by him. He told me if I loved him I would do things to make him happy, even though I wasn’t ready.
I later found an article on “emotional abuse,” and he fit the category. I cried alone in my room as I realized that even I could get lost in the blurred lines of an unhealthy relationship.
You never think bad things will happen to you — that you’re smarter than that. It is so clear when you see a friend being mistreated, but it’s harder to realize that when you’re in so deep yourself and you trust your partner to not hurt you.
Scars, though faded, still remain, but the deep and painful wounds are finally healed. The scars are important to keep — not only to remind myself of how much stronger I am now, but also to serve as an example to others. By showing off my own battle wounds, I will hopefully help someone else dodge a bullet. I won’t take shit from anyone again, and now I actually have a chance for my forever and always to be a 1 Corinthians 13 man.
If you feel like something isn’t right in your relationship, please seek help. This relationship changed very gradually from being happy, carefree, and healthy, to an enormous mess of emotional abuse, depression, and anxiety. This is not normal and there are so many better things out there for you. I feel so strongly about this and about being treated the way you deserve — with respect and love. I am always happy to talk and help you find the resources you need, and I will be sharing more of my story of recovery on here.
Breakups from a serious relationship are so strange.
When you’re with someone long enough, they become a part of your routine. You have little inside jokes and holiday traditions but then, in a second, all of this is gone.
Sometimes you see a plane and remember how you used to be long distance. Any time you were flying it was to see him. You sit on the playground with the kids you nanny and think about the time you talked your way out of trouble with a policeman while you were swinging late at night, and about the stargazing you did there together. You don’t usually think of him when you eat pizza, but sometimes take a moment to reminisce about the dozens of times he came over to make one together. You’d laugh as his inexperienced hands kneaded the dough while he asked if he was doing it right a million times.
It’s great being able to look back at a relationship and smile — it shows that at least some of it was real. Some of the memories are happy, but at the end of the day you realize sometimes when something is broken it isn’t meant to be fixed. It couldn’t have been fixed, and although you tried, you finally realize you’re moving on to something new. You’re finding something that will actually belong to you, instead of just something fleeting, something borrowed. He wasn’t really yours, and never will be, but you’re okay with that.
For the first time, you realize your life is going to be more than just fine. It’s going to be great — without him. This is what it is to be free.