the first, the worst, the inbetweens, and uhh.......
Grab a cuppa, sit down and let’s have a chat about my dating history. This isn’t gonna be short, it is not in any chronological order, and is only from my perspective, but it is a recap of my most influential relationships that I’ve had and what I’ve learnt from them.
I’ve already talked a bit about this one, but he was my first boyfriend, my first love, first time, first heartbreak. We started dating when I was 14 and it was the pure essence of puppy love. We were obsessed with each other, and head over heels in love. Looking back now though, I can tell it was young love, and as much as we dreamed and talked about getting married (lol yes ofc I wanted the ideal to get married to your high school sweet heart), it was just never going to happen. This is the relationship that probably taught me the most; the most about life and about love, about boys.
There were definite phases throughout this where I learnt different things. The first phase being the honeymoon phase where we could do no wrong, it was all starry eyed and fun and exciting. I think I had kissed only 1 boy before him, and I was his first kiss so it was all super duper cute and sweet. It’s the phase where we started exploring each other’s’ bodies and getting all hot and heavy; the first real adventure into sexuality for me (15 year old me was very proud when I made him cum in his pants). And this sexually innocent phase lasted a while, until a few months before the end of us. Because a few months before the end, I was starting to have doubts and I was starting to get bored. Which is super weird (I know) because I was genuinely crazily in love with this boy, but I started to know that he wasn’t The One, and realise that I probably wasn’t gonna marry him, that he was the first boy I had loved but there were more boys out there, more things to learn and explore.
Now these realisations made me really fucking sad but I also didn’t know what to do with them, because I wanted to stay with him and be with him, I still loved him, I just knew that there was more out there… By now I’m nearly 16, I’ve only kissed 2 boys and never had a single phase, I’ve only been in a long term relationship and now suddenly males other than my boyfriend are starting to pay attention to me. I think this also compounded on my doubts, because suddenly boys were giving me attention and I think it started to make me bored of being in a relationship. And if I’m really honest, I think we were both starting to feel that way, cause I have memories of both of us flirting with other people and weirdly being okay with it. I’m going to admit here and now that looking back, the things I did would definitely count as emotional cheating, and there are flirts that I definitely regret, but honestly I was young and I was trying to explore. But this leads to the inevitable break up of us. I never physically cheated, but I think we both knew that it wasn’t working anymore (even if I didn’t wanna admit it). And I did tell him about my doubts but also how I still loved him and wanted to be with him, and so we promised to work it out, and keep trying. And it got better (on my part at least), but eventually, and to me kinda outta nowhere, (and 2 weeks before my birthday) he broke up with me.
And this broke me for a long time. Little 16 year old Chelsea felt like she’d just had her heart ripped out of her chest. It was my first experience of heart break and to do this day, one of my biggest lessons. I still remember dad months later saying “we get it he broke up with you, get over it and move the fuck on already”. If I’m really honest with myself again, it also hurt because it was the first real hit to my pride and to my ego, the first time my confidence got really knocked, the first time I’d gotten rejected in a long time. But we got there. Sis moved on and moved up, I got my confidence back and got my sexy on. Admittedly a bit too much, seeing as after the break up, I really started to use my sexuality and getting with boys as a confidence boost, as rebounds, and as a way to get back at him. Those months after the break up cemented my new identity. I changed from being the girl in love and in a long term relationship, to the heartbroken girl. And a few months later, that heartbroken girl evolved into the ‘slut’.
From wholesome and cute, to sexualised and promiscuous. I used everything I had learnt from our relationship and applied it to every boy I encountered. I flirted, I schmoozed, I gave the eyes. I knew my sexuality and was comfortable with my sexuality after having a relationship, and I used that to gain myself back, to put myself together again, to heal and to move on. I don’t recommend using it as a way to heal, but for little Chelsea it was how she coped, and it was what she wanted. Cause she’d had the relationship and the love and that just left her hurting – she kept it to just flirting and fun, to getting the attention she craved without the risk of being hurt and rejected again. And this kinda starts my phases. If you know me well, or have known me since high school, I had periods where I was either known as crazy single Chelsea or romantic Chelsea. Either very very very fucking single, or I was in a relationship and loving someone. And usually after a good year or two of being single and silly, I would eventually meet someone.
Now this one is hard. He’s a lot less fun than most of my relationships. It started off beautiful, but it took a turn for the worst. I can’t even pinpoint the moment that it turned, because I guess I never noticed while I was in it, I was too caught up in him. He started off sweet, and cute and romantic and it was lovely. I finally felt like I was ready to be loved again, after going through heart break, and that he was gonna be the one that helped me finally close that chapter, yknow that life after love kinda thing. But he wasn’t good for me, everyone knew it and tried to tell me, but I wouldn’t listen.
He was emotionally manipulative, controlling, nearly physically abusive and mentally fucked at the time. He had his own mental health issues - issues that he would use against me and guilt me with. He had trust issues. He would go through my phone and abuse me if I was talking to any guy. He’d also abuse the boys I talked to (boys that I’d been friends with for years), he once sent a death threat to a guy he saw kissing me on the cheek in a photo. He was controlling, he told me I wasn’t allowed to go clubbing with friends, or that I wasn’t allowed to wear this and that. He was a compulsive liar. He told his friends that I was suicidal and that if he left me I’d kill myself (words in truth he’d actually used against me), and once confronted about his lies, would spin the story and make me feel bad, leave me apologising and begging him to stay.
There was a period of time where he was breaking up with me nearly every week. And usually a day or two after sleepless nights and begs for his forgiveness, he would take me back. And the cycle would start again. And all of these red flags, which I would now notice in a heartbeat, just got swept under the rug because I thought I was in love. Because by that time, I was already trapped in an abusive narcissistic relationship, because the damage was already done inside my brain to the point where no one could convince me otherwise. To the point where I would do anything I could to make him happy, and didn’t realise that that was making me so unhappy. That was until he nearly hit me. Until the day he pushed me up against a wall, and punched the space beside my head. Until the moment I shoved him off me and yelled and swore at him so loud the cops got called. Until the moment I grabbed the closest object to me (a packet of pikelets lmao) and ditched them at his head as hard as I could. It was in that moment I knew I had to get out. And so the next day when he inevitably made the phone call that he wanted me back - I said no and hung up. It took a few months until we were officially ended, because of course he tried to emotionally manipulate me back to him, and in my brain I still loved him and wanted to be with him, but I finally knew that I wasn’t as happy as I could be. I finally realised that he wasn’t good for me and that I needed to get out. So after a few months of emotional abuse and manipulation to try and work it out, the disentangling myself from him, and the efforts and promises from him to be better and do better, I knew that it wouldn’t be enough and I was finally done. I blocked him on everything and moved the fuck on with my life.
You’ll remember earlier how I have my relationship phases and my single Chelsea phases. This kinda encompasses that. All the in-betweens that I have had. And that could range from nearly anything, from one-night stands, to short relationships. I feel as if this needs a topic of its own because there is so much within the in-betweens, so many difference phases and nuances and meanings with each different type of guy. Each has taught me so much. From the nearly boyfriends and the kinda-almost-nearly slept with hims. From the one-night stands where I learnt independence and fun and really refined my flirting skills (hehe). From the things, the flings, the fuck buddies and the friends with bennies – these kinda guys probably account for the most of my inbetweeners.
Most of them were a really great exchange, we were friends that enjoyed each other’s company and just happened to enjoy each other in the bedroom too. It was a mutual itch that needed to be scratched kinda situation, but I was never a huge fan of one-night stands and only had a handful of them. I much preferred the mutual benefit that presented itself as friends with benefits situation, the absolute ultimate for me - and I have had some pretty good deals in the past! Who wouldn’t wanna just hang out with a guy, smoke some weed, play some PlayStation, have sex, maybe some cuddles and then say cya next time!?
Unfortunately for me though, there was always the chance I would develop feelings. And it happened; I have had really, seriously good friendships with some, and it would get disastrously messy with “I love you”s and “I’m not ready”s. Because usually once I had gotten feelings for the guys, they had some sort of feelings going on too. There were was one guy, who became my best friend for a time, and we went in and out of phases of sleeping together, of trying to stay friends, of drunkenly confessing our feelings for each other until I had finally had enough. Now I only really sleep with a guy if that itch is screaming at me, and I’m starting to get hangry (but not hungry angry, horny angry). If it’s something I really want and am really ready for; and now I’ve become the one saying I’m not ready, I’m the one having to end flings because they’ve caught feels. Because all these guys did was show me a fear of commitment. And so instead I committed to my damn self.
And uhhhh. This one is a hard one. He is a combination of absolutely everything; the best and the worst all rolled into one big uhhh. And that uhh is a million different emotions; it’s awkwardly sighing, it’s grumbling in frustration, it’s moaning from total sexual bliss, it’s crying, it’s laughing, it’s rolling my eyes, it’s sarcasm, it’s that moment when you have absolutely no idea what to say. That is him. He was the first boyfriend who I genuinely wanted to spend the rest of my life with, where I looked at him and I could see my future and I wanted it. And for a time, I think his feelings were the same towards me - that we were both so deeply, magically in love.
And it wasn’t just puppy love, this was the real deal. But I was his first relationship and I think that makes it harder. You learn so much through your first relationship, and I think you need to experience that first love (and first break up) before you can ever get properly serious with someone. I think he was young as well, too young at the time, and we just wanted different things, we were ready for different things. I’d had relationships and flings and things and was ready to settle down. While he was still in that phase where it was all about the boys, and drinking, and clubbing. He hadn’t really ever seen or loved anyone before either. But we dated and it was magical. He was by far the best sex I’ve ever had. My top 10 times are all held by him. He taught me what true sex could feel like, what it felt to not know where one body began or ended, to constantly crave being closer to them hoping your bodies blend together in a tangle of skin, and flesh, and sweat and cheeky grins.
He also gets the grand title of my worst sex experience too though, cause when we first met he hadn’t really explored sex, so after 20 minutes of trying to get hard and 2 minutes of fucking me with a semi, he turned to me and asked “did u cum?” like, boy fucking no. But little did I know at the time, that that guy would go on to totally capture my fucking heart and body. And he was the sweetest, most naïve boy to begin with. As we grew together, he learnt about love, relationships and fucking, and he started to act like a right Prince Charming and loved me so goddamn hard. Because of that I blossomed when I was with him, I grew to really fucking love myself because he showed me how to.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it was magical. It was everything I dreamed of. I still can remember swaying in his arms in the middle of the kitchen, wrapped up in him and his love and his smell, and I remember being so perfectly, blissfully content. But it just wasn’t meant to be. And I’ve finally accepted that now but it took me some time. He just wasn’t ready for a relationship and I was still too young and dependent on him, on being loved, on attention, on having a boyfriend to make me happy. I slowly became co-dependent and I think he realised it before I did, and even though he knew it was going to hurt me, he broke up with me.
Because I think he knew that in the long run, I wasn’t as happy as I could be, and neither was he. And the break up(s) were messy. Super messy. Like I seriously fucked up messy. It left me hurting real bad. And I wanted him to hurt as much as he had hurt me. The whole thing damn near broke me. I lost him, as well as basically all of my friends. It took me a long time to come back to myself after that, to get to the place that I had been before I met him; he had knocked my confidence and self-worth lower than they had ever been. Afterwards he treated me like I didn't exist, he still does; and that shit does it's own kind of damage. Because for so long I had depended on him. He became my life, my all, my everything, he was all that was good in my world and without him I didn’t quite see the point of keeping on going. But I did. And I’m so glad I did too. He had made me the broken hearted girl and I stayed in that space for a long time learning to be whole again, but it made me make myself. Because even though he broke me, he also taught me how to put myself back together. He was the catalyst for me to become who I am today, the one who taught me what real love feels like, how to love myself harder than anyone else can, to be stronger than I ever was before, and to finally know what it really feels like to truly not need a man.