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“Isn’t dating fun?”

No. It’s not.

I took that attitude towards dating for a while. Messed around. Probably broke more than a few hearts. And then had my heart trampled over, essentially, by someone who can’t love me back. Karma’s a bitch, right?

Right now, dating seems about as fun as open heart surgery.

Okay, that might be a stretch. But seriously — don’t mess around with people’s feelings. That’s not okay.

I accidentally hurt a girl I was developing feelings for, and she promptly called me selfish and blocked me.

Granted, I don’t think she was in the best place mentally or emotionally, either. I guess I was drawn to her because she had some of the same problems I was facing at the time.

I cried for two days after that happened.

But this wasn’t the first time someone’s blocked me.

Same goes for the guy I thought of as my first love, though now I see him more as my second infatuation.

Cue the falling sensation, the nervous heart flutter when he was close to me — proximity-wise.

Cue the long conversations late into the night, huddled in each other’s arms as we speculated on how fucked up the world had become and how little hope we saw in our futures.

But I sabotaged our relationship. I spread rumors… about myself. To his closest friends. Made myself out to be the manifestation of evil itself so I could protect him from my self-destructive tendencies, so that he would break up with me rather than the other way around.

I knew I was falling down, and I most certainly wasn’t going to bring him down with me. Not as my mental health declined to suicidal levels.

I was stressed. Overwhelmed. But none of that serves as an excuse for what nearly amounted to verbal and emotional abuse.

I knew I was becoming a toxic person to be around. I’d lash out at the people beside me. I’d withdraw from social situations, leave groupchats, disconnect my Facebook.

It got to a point where I realized no one was coming to my aid if I wasn’t letting them.

And I didn’t.

But after that entire experience, he blocked me. Served me right, to be honest.

Some of my closest friends and family members say he’s in the wrong for dumping and blocking me when I was depressed. But I know the full story — it’s not like I was free from blame either.

That’s the side of the story I’d been too ashamed to tell before: the part where I played the villain. Where I probably broke the heart of the guy I liked the most.

I swore I’d never treat anyone like that again.

And I haven’t.

A year later, I asked him if he forgave me for all the shit I put him through.

He took a look at me and said, “It was so long ago. Don’t worry about it.”

And that’s when I realized that I’d been dating to try and seek my own forgiveness, not his. That while I thought I’d liked him a lot — that wasn’t really love.

It was all a fantasy in my head. But the way I conducted myself was most certainly not okay, even if I had the best intentions.

But I know this —

I’m not going to date again. Not for a long while. I’m not ready, and I don’t think I’m up for it.

Someday, I’m sure the prospect of meeting someone new and entering a more serious relationship will be appealing.

Today, it isn’t.

And that’s okay, too.

Dating’s not fun to me anymore, but I think I’ve grown some from my experiences.

Or so I hope.

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