Dear girls who have been cheated on,
It is possibly one of the most painful things in life to experience. The pain may be temporal but the experience will stay with you forever. In fact, it will most likely play a factor in your next relationship. But don't let it stop you from believing in love again. Not every guy will be an asshole. It may be hard to comprehend at that moment but one day, someone will come along and make you believe in happily ever afters again. Unless you're me and you get two assholes in a row. I was unlucky, but yet, here I am. I am more sure of myself than ever before, I know what I want now because of those horrible experiences, I know how strong I am and how much stronger I can be. And for all that, despite the pain I felt, I am thankful and I feel blessed. To be fair, after history repeated itself the second time around, I walked away without tears or sadness because I knew, from experience, I will and I can move on.
So with my vast share of experience being cheated on, here is my honest advice. It will hurt. You will feel like you will never get over it. You will feel like you can never find or be with anyone else. You will replay your relationship over and over and over again for weeks. You will blame yourself for not doing more to avoid the situation from happening. It will happen but let me tell you something, you are not alone. It is normal. It is natural. It is the process we go through to comprehend, understand and break, in order to rebuild, to move on, to get over it. But it doesn't stop there. More than likely, it will affect your relationships after. Do not be ashamed. It is normal. It is natural. You have gone through what others will never understand. Do not let anyone else tell you 'you're the crazy ex-girlfriend' or 'you just have to get over it'. They don't understand. Unless they have experienced being cheated on, they will never, ever, understand what you are feeling and what it feels like.
When you go into your next relationship, regardless of how happy you are, how well he treats you, you will have your doubts deep down. You will always have trust issues when he goes out clubbing with the boys. You might not say anything, you might seem like the cool girlfriend who dgaf, but we both know, your mind is racing with all the worst case scenarios. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe that was just me. But let's be real, let's be honest. It is ok to worry, it is ok to have an internal conflict of wanting to be the cool girlfriend but yet, having the past hanging over your head. It is normal. It is natural. That being said, it is no case for you to over react at everything. If he is texting a girl, please do not accuse him immediately of being shady. If he is laughing at a girl's joke, please don't accuse him of being flirty. If you want to break out of this cycle you are in, to be truly happy and in love, you need to be the one who mends yourself.
Even though you are hurt, lost and betrayed by a love that once was, you are the only person who can save yourself. No amount of ice cream, girls night outs or D&Ms can help you. You need to be your own hero. Once you save yourself, you will be the most amazing, strong, confident woman you have ever met. The first step to saving yourself is loving yourself. When you were cheated on, you lost all self confidence, self-esteem, self-love. It is normal. It is natural. Finding a new boyfriend won't help you gain all those back. Only you can help yourself. Although it is normal to feel insecure in a new relationship, if you ever want to overcome it, you have to stop being a pessimist. You have to stop looking through his phone message on the daily. You will not feel better not finding a girl's number on there. You will not feel better even if he is speaking highly of you to his friends in the messages. Don't get me wrong, it is nice to know and perhaps you will get a sense of relief. But that relief is short term, it lasts until you see him again and you have this insatiable need to check up on his phone records again. It all starts with you.
Mend your own broken heart. Love yourself again. You are worthy, you are strong, you are independent. Until you really believe you are those things, nothing will get better for you. It is the bitter truth of being a girl who has been cheated on. Life has served you shit on a silver platter. You need to make a conscious decision on how you are going to handle it. Just remember, you are not alone. It happens to both girls and boys. And we all deal with it the same way. It is up to you to change your life. It is up to you to choose happiness. It is up to you to feel real love again.
Dear boys who are dating girls who have been cheated on,
You have the most wonderful, beautiful honour of dating a girl who has been cheated on. Treasure her, love her, because with the right kind of care and love, she will be everything and so much more than you can imagine. She is stronger than the average girl, she is so much more loving than your previous girlfriend, she is more deserving of your time and love than any girl out there. We can be insecure, we can lack self confidence, we can lack self esteem, we can be pessimistic. We don't want to be. But we are. We do so not because we don't trust you, we do not think you are out with another girl if you don't reply, we are all those things for ourself- in order to protect ourself, to put ourself first, to avoid history from repeating itself.
The fact that you are dating her is already a sign of strength on her part. When she was cheated on, all ideas of love, loyalty, happily-ever-after were put to death. In that moment of brokenness, the girl you are dating would never, in a million years imagine herself being with someone else. She never in a million years believe she would ever love again. Yet, here you are, putting that beautiful smile on her face. You are special and so is she. It takes strength and immense amount of believe for her to let you through the wall she had built up over night of crying herself to sleep replaying every single detail of what she did wrong.
So if you are privileged and have the honour of dating a girl who have been cheated, understand her. Understand that sometimes her absurd behaviour and actions are not because she is crazy, but because she doesn't believe someone like you is looking at her the way you do. She will heal eventually and become the most amazing girl you have ever met. But it may take time, it will take patience, it will take understanding, but since you are already dating her, you must already know she is worth the wait.
Disclaimer: This blog post is my opinion based on my experiences and understanding. It is not intended to offend any reader. We can all have our own opinions.
As a teacher, I see many personalities of parents. It is so interesting to see how the personalities of parents affect each child in every single way- academically, socially and emotionally. I am a Kindergarten teacher and I am so blessed to have an amazing group of children between the ages of 4-6. It doesn't take a university degree or years of teaching experience for anyone to know that the pre-schooling age is when children develop the most and in many ways, sets the path for their future. Not to say that everything that happens at this stage is concrete and nothing can change. But it is the foundation of how children will interact with others, understand others, understand oneself, cope in situations and manage emotions. In the present and for the future.
If you are a parent and academics is all you care about, if getting anything less than 80% is unacceptable, if not getting into the best school is regarded as failing, please stop reading now and go hug your child. I understand the want for a parent to have a high achieving child, but if it is all you care about, you are missing out on providing your child with so much more that education can bring. If your child is currently struggling in school, don't fret. It is not the end of the world. It is not the end of having a successful future. It is not a reason to punish your child. It is not an indication for enrolling in daily tuition classes. I understand that in every education system, there is an emphasis on different parts of education, and therefore the need to keep up with peers or even the system but just know, education is not just the academics. Education is also the soft skills that develops respectable, decent human beings. Human beings that input and impact more into society than just graduating on the Dean's list. That, in my opinion, is the true meaning of education. And quite frankly, take a look at newspapers or the news each night, there is a lack of morals and values amongst the society we live in- both young and old.
Getting the right answer is one thing but explaining how you got to the answer is another (irregardless if it is right). The latter being more important. Communication is so important in learning and it is not based on how smart you are. Communication in this day and age is so crucial. In a society where almost everyone is graduating with a college degree, what will set one person apart from another is their soft skills- their communication skills, emotional capabilities and social adaptability. No amount of studying will help you develop those skills. They are developed throughout your life, through family interaction on a daily basis, friends you bond with in school, challenges set up to improve your thinking, and strategies to improve decision making and dealing with adversities. So please, spend time with your child. Not doing homework, not tutoring them to do long division, but to just spend quality time with time. Even if it is playing lego, going to the park for a picnic and kick a ball around, visiting the zoo, going grocery shopping. Never underestimate the power of play and everyday, simple activities shared with your child.
As I started off earlier, I see many personalities of parents. Not to say that one is better than the other or that any of the parents I speak with on the daily is 'bad' but there is one type of parent that I would suggest to avoid being- The Helicopter Parent. A very well-used term in schools to describe the parenting style of a parent who pays super close attention to every detail of their child's experiences and problems. Parents who implement the helicopter parenting style is often one who thinks they are just doing what is best to ensure their child is happy all the time and makes sure that they are always ok, etc. I understand that all parents want the best for their child but there is a fine line between wanting the best for your child and being a hindrance in your child's development. No parent would ever purposely hinder their child's development, but it does happen. They would never admit to being the hindrance, but they are.
If your child if having a bad day at school due to the inadvertent 'friendship issues' of adolescent, especially amongst girls, do not get directly involved. Do not go directly speak to the other child's parents or the child. Do not ring up the school worried sick. It is so important to note that, like adults, not all children want to be friends with all children. They will develop overtime their close group of friends based on personalities and characters they get along with the most. It is normal, is it natural and it is not bullying if one child does not want to be friends with your child. Your child will be fine. It is life. Better they learn it now than to be coddled by mummy dearest and think the world is perfect. Instead talk to your child, find out how they are feeling, what has caused them to feel that way. And most importantly, give them strategies to get around it. If a group of friends doesn't want to play with them, give them the strategies to approach another group to make friends with other people. If they are being bossed around, give them the strategies to stand up for themselves and to speak out what they want. How you handle the situation is so crucial is helping to solve the issue. It is not a nice feeling to know your child is perhaps lonely in school or perhaps is not happy for one reason or another. But it is in these moments that parents can really help to develop their child emotionally, socially and psychologically.
If you go around being the Helicopter Parent, trying to solve all your child's problems directly with the school or the other party, you are not giving your child the opportunity to develop self confidence, self awareness and socially. It is honestly one of the saddest mistakes parents often make in the early stages of a child's education. If you set your child up with good strategies to overcome obstacles, it will have a direct affect on how they handle everything in life - friends, school work, family, oneself. You would be amazed how providing and developing soft skills can have a real, positive effect on the academics.