By Angela Hernandez
LOGOS Assistant Editor
While people are scrambling to find their loved ones something special for Valentine’s Day I have been trying to figure out what I will be getting myself.
Recently I ended a one-year relationship. I loved the person very much and I’m sure he loved me, too. I am very fortunate to say I got to experience my first love at an age where I could appreciate the beauty and complexity that comes with being in a serous relationship with someone.
If the relationship was so perfect, how could it possibly end? Well, the truth is I grew out of love with my former boyfriend. In the beginning we were inseparable and that’s how we liked it. We did everything together. We texted each other at all times throughout the day. It became too much though.
Like I have said in other columns, I work two jobs. I take 18 hours of courses and I still make time for my friends and family. And then on top of all that I had to make time for a boyfriend. It was difficult to handle all of that and I will admit at times I neglected some of my responsibilities and loved ones.
Even though my former boyfriend and I were willing to work things out between us and continue dating no matter how busy our schedules were in the beginning, I realized I was also doing an injustice to myself and him by not making time for some of the most important things in my life.
I was forgetting about myself. All the doubles I pulled at work and my huge courseload left me tired. And then I was splitting my already scarce free time between my family, my friends and boyfriend. The only time I had alone to myself were the last few minutes of consciousness before I fell asleep for the night.
My ex-boyfriend pointed out I never made time to hang out with him. He started to resent me for working so much. He didn’t like that I would go out like a typical college student because he was older and already experienced that. The angrier he got the more I distanced and busied myself so I could avoid conflict. When we finally did see each other I was too tired to put much effort into the relationship. In the back of my head I resented him for keeping me from having similar experiences as my peers.
Arguments ensued and no one was happy, but we still loved each other. He started to make me feel guilty for not making time for him. I put up with his rants because he was my first boyfriend and love. I thought I had to go along with what he said and wanted because I felt as if I owed him something for loving me.
But that is not true at all. You don’t owe anyone anything for loving you. After a long day I found myself wondering about what makes me happy and I came to the conclusion I make myself happy and I could no longer make my happiness dependent on someone else.
Breaking up with my ex-boyfriend was difficult because I still cared about him, but I cared more about myself. There were times in the relationship when I felt like I couldn’t say, do or hang out with people I wanted to because I wanted to make him happy, when I should have been worried about myself. My ex-boyfriend and I are still on good terms and we are happy for one another and have well-wishes on all our future endeavors.
Now I have time for all the things I love and that are important to me. It still gets stressful from time to time, but I know I am doing things that benefit me so I can fall in love with myself. It’s just like RuPaul says, “ ‘If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?’ ”
So this year for Valentine’s Day I will be buying myself a promise ring. I want to promise myself I will always pursue things I love and make me happy. I won’t base my happiness on someone else and I will always love myself.
E-mail Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org