Girl Talk: The bad boy, the safe guy, the puppy love. What type of love will be next?
Love is the greatest teacher. I have experienced love in many forms. It has molded me into the person I am. I survived puppy love, bad guy love, safety love, live-in long term love and core shaking, earth shattering love. Each has taught me something. There are times that love has seemed hopeless, but at my core, I am a hopeless romantic. I feel every emotion with reckless abandon and learned in the end, that is just me and who I am.
Once upon a time, puppy love started as a crush. It introduced me to the crushing pain love can cause. My 15-year-old heart was broken and I loved that boy for many years after. Love was great, until it wasn’t. It was innocent and totally open. It hurt like hell when it ended and I thought I’d never recover, but alas, here I am to tell the tale.
The bad boy love, all I can say is what a mistake. He flipped my world upside down. Everything was forbidden. I had to lie and sneak around to be with him. He ruined many relationships with friends and family. He turned me into a person I am ashamed to say I was. I fell deeply down that rabbit hole and saw things I never was exposed to before. I sold myself short by buying into what he was saying. He abused me in every way a person could be abused and I wasn’t strong enough to get out of it, until one day I just was. My eyes opened and I saw the truth. I am grateful everyday to be a survivor of that madness, it has encouraged me to be an activist today to help other women find that strength.
The safe guy came soon after. The love we shared was more of a comfort and a friendship. I knew that with him I would never suffer what I went through before. My life felt pretty dull. I was denying who I was and what I wanted. I believed I needed to be in this relationship because it was normal and this is what I should want. I had to stop lying to myself. I woke up and decided that it isn’t fair of me to hold this great man back from experiencing a deep love with someone who felt the same for him. I broke his heart and for that I will be forever sorry.
I learned that being authentic to yourself is more important than going through the motions because something makes sense on paper.
The live in boyfriend taught me you never really know someone until you are around them all the time. We shared some incredible memories and he will always hold a special part of me, but we were young and not yet established in who we are. We tried rushing into life and it ended up being what drove us apart. By the end of the relationship we were strangers, more like roommates.
The core shaker, heart breaker, life changer, oh-my-god love taught me that although I have a tough exterior, inside I am still the girl waiting for my Cinderella moment. He taught me that I am still capable of feeling things so intense and that love can and will happen when you least expect it. I fell so fast, I opened myself up for anything and I received every emotion in return. I was happy, sad, angry, on cloud nine, scared, excited and for the first time in my life, I was all in. I was ready for every adventure. It was the first time in a very long time, perhaps since the puppy dog days that I completely trusted someone with my heart. I will always be grateful for the intensity of our love. It meant everything to me. It always will.
What is on the horizon for me and this heart of mine? I can’t honestly say. What I do know and can say with confidence, is that you do learn something new every day.
Melissa Hughes is a 30-year-old single mother of one. Girl Talk started as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa has a weekly TV segment on PA Live, WBRE, discussing activities in Weekender and a Girl Talk radio segment every Wednesday on 98.5 KRZ.