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Love comes in many forms. Relationships. Friendships. Family. You can love people and not be IN love with them, so where is the line you cross between loving and being in love?
When I was 15, I met someone who would unknowingly change my life forever. I became best friends with them and eventually, more than that. Every day, I ask myself, when did I cross the line between loving them and falling in love with them? Was it when they looked at me in math class and mimed a joke or when I met their mom and spent an hour in her car laughing to the radio? Whenever it was, I had crossed that line, and they had too. So where did it go wrong?
When I met them, I had experienced a ton of romantic situations—as many as I could have as a junior in high school. But, nothing like the way I felt with this person. I had been cheated on, lied to, and hurt, but all of those situations had one thing in common: I had never cried over any of the people who had hurt me. I had simply moved on and soon forgiven them for whatever it was that happened. But, with this new person, I had cried almost every night for 3 months afterward. I think that’s how I knew.
Almost a year later, here I am, writing this story for the world to see. The point of this is not that I fell in love and had my heartbroken within a year, but how I recovered from it.
Step 1: Cried. A lot. Like, every day. I would come home from school, lock my bedroom door, put on my saddest possible Spotify playlist, and CRY. And I don't just mean a tear streaming down my face every once in a while. I mean full on, uncontrollable, Kim Kardashian bawling my eyes out. And while I was crying, I would scream. At the top of my lungs. It helped relieve the pressure of the pain on my chest.
Step 2: Separated myself. I started hanging out with other friends, discovering more of who I am and less of who I had become during this whirlwind romance. I realized who my real friends were in the whole situation. I realized that people who never checked up to make sure I was okay weren’t worth much of my time. So I made friends who helped me out of my depressive downward spiral, friends who forced me to go out, no matter how much I told them I didn’t want to. And I’m glad they did, because I can honestly say this was a big part of getting better.
Step 3: Forgive. Of course, this person was my best friend before I ever loved them and they still are, but in a different way. We don't act the same way around each other like we did before we were in love but that’s okay. We’ve both moved on from the situation and sometimes even talk about it (which is kinda awkward but it’ll be fine). I've forgiven them for hurting me. But I don't think I'll ever forget.
So, to sum up my life in the past year, I fell in love, got my heart broken, cried a whole lot, made new friends, found myself (as much as a 16-year-old could), and forgiven them. But I still carry the weight of all that's happened with me every day. I still think about how it felt to be loved by someone and to love someone that much.
And that is what your parents don't teach you about love.