Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about why my last relationship failed. When I broke up with him it was hard to put into words exactly why it wasn’t working. When friends and family asked what happened, I gave them the same general answer: It was because of the distance. Because I was graduating and moving home. But I only live an hour away and we’d get to see each other pretty often, so that wasn’t the real reason.
He was a boy, not a man. And I don’t mean in the societal “be a man” kind of way. He was immature with little to no life goals and aspirations. Boys are fine. I like boys. Boys are fun to kiss and date and cuddle, but he was talking about forever. If he kept it casual, maybe things would have been different (but probably not). I’ve never wanted a man before; a mature guy who knows what he wants and is taking steps to get there. I think I needed to date a boy to realize that that’s not what I want. This doesn’t mean that I won’t date boys from now on, because I’m sure I will. But it will be light and casual and fun, and when it starts to evolve into something more real, I’ll know it’s time to hit the escape button.
On to more tangible things. He was an antifeminist. What the hell was I thinking. Antifeminists essentially deny that sexism still exists and are against a movement designed to give women equal rights and treatment. The next man I date seriously will be a self proclaimed feminist before he knows that it’s important to me. Sure, there are crazy feminists, but at its core, feminism is the belief that men and women should be equals in every sense and I will never again date someone who doesn’t agree with that.
He referred to things he thought were stupid as “gay” and “retarded.” Yes, apparently people still say “that’s gay” and “that’s retarded.” I thought this trend died off and that after the age of 15 people developed a wider range of vocabulary and new and better ways to express themselves, but apparently not everyone did. Once he knew that it bothered me (because I made it very clear to him that it did), he tried his best to refrain from using the phrases around me. But that’s not good enough. He still said it around his friends and only stopped saying it around me because I was his girlfriend, not because he understood how offensive it was. He also used the “n” word, which made me physically cringe, and he was rude to his mother. All of this can be related back to his immaturity.
Overall, being with him didn’t feel right, and I will not apologize for ending a relationship that I no longer want to be in. I will never understand people who stay with their partners out of obligation or fear of being alone when they’re not happy. Dating him felt like settling, and I am not the kind of person who settles. It’s all right to have high standards for yourself. It’s a really great thing to have and while it may be harder to find and keep a relationship, it will be completely worth it when you do find a person who meets those standards or even surpasses them.