If I Were a Handbag
Three weeks ago my boyfriend admitted that he’s interested in another girl. He managed to assure me that attraction to others is normal, even in a loving relationship.
However, what came next was a complete disaster. He tried to ‘comfort’ me by saying that if we were handbags, I would be Coach and the other girl would be Hermes. He said a friend commented that the other girl is more ‘high profile’ than me. He went on to tell me even if everyone else wanted Hermes, he would still want the Coach handbag.
It was insulting. The fact that Hermes handbag costs literally a hundred times more than Coach handbag doesn’t help. As if I was the cheap handbag long forgotten in the clearance rack and I should be grateful he still wants to ‘buy’ me.
I didn’t know what I was thinking back then, but even after all those insults; I still gave him another chance. After all, he told me that he wanted to be with me and he would cut ties with the other girl.
But two weeks after, something happened.
One day, he used my laptop to log into his Facebook account. We then went out, and when I came back I forgot he was still logged in through my laptop. I opened Facebook and clicked on the search box, aiming to search something.
What I saw was horrible. There, his whole Facebook search history was revealed. And apparently he has been searching/visiting the Facebook page of the other girl A LOT. Think at least once every three days. Way more than he visited the Facebook page of anyone else, including me.
I wish I could unseen what I saw. My boyfriend of four months has been obsessing over another girl since the second month of dating me. And this girl was his Hermes.
This was easily the worst relationship I’ve ever had in my life. I have never felt so rejected, undesired, and unloved.
And Yet He Blamed Me
I called to confront him about my finding. He rushed to my place, angry at me because I ‘invaded his privacy’. He blamed me for being not-so-good girlfriend all along. He said he felt unappreciated in this relationship because I wasn’t as socially charming as the other girl who can always find nice things to say about him. He said I dumped my emotional trashes on him and he could never feel at peace around me. He had been day-dreaming about being with this other girl who *supposedly* can fulfill his emotional needs.
I should admit that I haven’t been a perfect girlfriend after all. I was moody and self-destructive.
I tried to remember how the past four months have gone. I used to be this happy, independent woman who went out to do her own things. Now my life revolves around him. I was always jealous and insecure. I demanded attention all the time and said mean things to him just to feel better about myself. Once, I told him I can’t wait to meet someone who would love me the way he never could do. Actually, I was just too afraid he would leave me that I felt I needed to take back his ‘power’ by belittling him in his face.
The Day I Fell In Love with Myself
The next day, I woke up feeling numb. I sat down, took a deep breath, and closed my eyes. I wondered why the universe let something this horrible fell upon me.
Then I started crying. Not because I still love him or I felt the other girl has won, but because I just realized how bad I have been treating myself. I should’ve walked away after the handbags incident, but I didn’t. I shouldn’t have said cruel things to someone just to feed my ego, but I did. I shouldn’t have let my insecurities won, but instead I let it turned me into the emotional mess I am today.
I found out that it’s never about them, it’s you. People will come and go, and you can never control how they intend to treat you. You can only control what you let them eventually do upon you.
If I were this self-loving, secure girlfriend, I wouldn’t suffocate him with all my emotional issues. I would have enough self-respect to calmly work things out because I love myself too much to indulge in dramas. And if he turned out to be uncooperative, I would have left because I believe everyone deserved a constructive, peaceful, and loving life.
I think we should shower ourselves with unconditional love before we are capable of building any healthy relationship. Religions advise us to ‘treat others just like how you treat yourself’ – but this advice only works under the assumption that we have been treating ourselves nicely on the firsthand.