Learning How to Walk Again

My Life After a Seven Year Relationship

Learning How to Walk Again

I was fifteen when I entered my first and only relationship. We met at fourteen and became inseparable from then on. What did I know about love? Everyone around me convinced me that I was too young to understand what it was but I disagreed. I knew. I knew that we would be together forever, I knew we’d get married, I knew we’d have kids. I knew it all. Or so I thought. What I didn’t know was that I would endure so much pain over the course of our high school years. It was hell. But the worst part of it all was leaving.

Nicki Minaj’s recent interview about longtime boyfriend Safaree Samuels brought back memories and feelings about my own experiences. After being together well over ten years, Nicki engages in a highly emotional conversation with Angie, causing Nicki to break down in tears, putting the interview on hold. The reason why I found this interview so relatable is because I was in a similar situation and although it hurts, it does get better – I promise.

Nicki explains, “This is someone I grew up with. I don’t know how I’m going to function without that person being a part of my life,” she adds, “I’ve never lived my life as a famous person without him.” Nicki goes on to say that there are things that she tells her girlfriends, her best friends, “but sometimes I still want to tell him stuff and get his opinion,” and then she breaks down.

The radio host gives her a few minutes and the camera cuts to a later time in the interview. This is where I empathized the most.

We did absolutely everything together. We went to basketball games, football games, pep rallies and after school programs. We would laugh together and cry together. We even ran away together. I didn’t know we were running away, I thought we were just going to visit some more of his family (we didn’t get far). My family knew and loved him, and vice versa. If I didn’t attend a family function his family would not only be surprised, but offended.

As far as they were concerned, I was family and they never let me feel otherwise. No matter how many times we would fight and “break up” our families would always advise us to, “cut it out and be nice to each other,” but we never listened.

We went to prom and graduated side by side and at the end of it all we were signing each other’s yearbooks with things like, Wish things would have worked out. You will always be a part of my life, I love you 4ever -112608. And yet we found ourselves getting back together that summer – underneath the stars. Somehow we found comfort in our dysfunction. People knew we were no good for each other, but still they loved us. They wanted to be us (minus all the dysfunction).

He left me when he went off to school and I wanted to die. Literally. How could he do this to me? He told me two weeks before he left. The nerve of him. What happen to 4ever? That’s how you wrote it. That’s how I wanted it stay.

I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to talk or laugh. I didn’t want to do anything without him by my side.

When he came back, I came back alive. But then he would leave again. This time I decided to leave too.

I started college, and after a year and a half of being at different schools, he came to be with me. As much as I loved the idea, something in me strongly went against it. The first year was rocky. We got through it – barely. Then junior year came. The first semester was ending and so were we. It was a decision I’m not even sure how I came to terms with, but a decision I do not regret.

It felt like learning how to walk all over again. The worst part of it all was learning how to sleep alone at night. At times, I would feel his body behind me and as I turned to look behind me, yet I saw no one. Life events would happen, good and bad, and I wanted so badly to call him. Like Nicki, I would tell my friends, but there was just something different about sharing the news with him. I would have trouble with my car or family, and again the urge to call him would rise. I cracked here and there, but for the most part I stayed strong.

I stayed away.

His family was always throwing parties. Soon they worried why I wasn’t coming anymore. They would call my phone and leave messages, and as much as it hurt, I would ignore each call.

Why did I torture myself? Well, I’m not sure I even know the answer to that. All I can really say is I felt like our time was running out. We were constantly down one another’s throat and the respect was gone – on both ends. This is someone I considered myself to have been with since I was fourteen, even though we officially started dating at fifteen. I have always asked myself, how do I know this is really what I want if I’ve never experienced anything else? Some people may say that reason isn’t fair, but I think it’s 100 percent fair. Think about it. We were together for seven years. It may be nothing to someone who has plenty of dating experience, but to be some ones only dating experience, that’s a long time.

I’ve dated a few jerks since, and even though nothing has worked out, I still do not regret my decision. I believe my decision has made me a bit wiser in some ways, and I am a lot closer to knowing exactly what I want than the, “what is it that I really want,” me a year ago – wow, it’s been a year. Still hits pretty hard.

Do I still love him? Yes. I believe I always will.  Hell, I still think about what our kids would look like, but will we ever get back together? That’s hard to answer. However, I can say that until this day, I have never met anyone who has treated me the way he has or does. What do I mean? Well, I always tell my friends I don’t think I will ever meet anyone who will love me the way he loved (or loves) me. They all look at me crazy, but what I mean is, if I ever needed him for anything he has always dropped everything to come to my rescue, and I would hope he would still do the same.

I don’t think anyone else would. No one else has so far. Or when I’m excited about something, he is too. He has never made me feel like my thoughts, my dreams, or my interests were unimportant.

I know by now some of you are all so why don’t you just get back together. Well, because I just don’t think that’s the best idea. Some people have to grow alone. It’s unhealthy to grow attached to someone the way we were. Look at Nicki Minaj for example. My knowledge of dating was well below average at the age of 21. I was scared to death and to be honest, in some ways, I still am. Think of how scared she is at 32!

Do yourselves a favor and date it up. There is nothing wrong with figuring out what you want. On the bright side you get a few free dinners. (I’m kidding by the way).  And remember, if you find yourself coming out of a long-term-relationship keep in mind that you will get through it!

You learned how to walk once you can do it again.

4Ever you once wrote. Maybe.


What was your hardest relationship to overcome?

Watch interview  (Relationship talk begins around 12:00 minute mark)