Better to Have Loved and Lost Than Never to Have Loved at All

By Brittany, age 20, Tennessee

Many of us spend our time going over in our heads what we have gone through and lost in our lives. We never take the time to truly appreciate what it means to have privileges of love along the way. I'm here to tell my story, my experience. I'm living proof that no matter what life throws at you, you can make it through. You just have to have the 3 Fs of life: Faith, Family, and Friends.

I'll begin my story back in the 7th grade. I became friends with this guy who was my locker buddy. He liked one of my friends who treated him like dirt. Well, being the friend that I am, I was there for him every time she did him wrong. Through every sob story and every time he swore to be done with her, I fell for him.

He finally smartened up and did away with her and stayed single for a little while. Now, my best friend in the entire world knew the feelings I had for him, but one day she decided that she liked him too. Once again, being a good friend, I told her I didn't mind, and were something to happen for them, then I'd be happy for her.

Well, as fate would have it, he had liked her since the 5th grade. So, needless to say, they got together. They were together until about this time last year. However, he wasn't the best bf, by any means. He cheated on her multiple times, including with me, which was incredibly stupid on my part, but luckily it didn't even fault our friendship; it made it stronger. Trust me, you may think a guy is worth a friend, but he never is. The one who is will be the guy who wants you to put your friend first and expects you to do so. After they got together, I kept my distance, but he and I stayed close friends. Too close, apparently.

My freshman year of high school I finally found the guy I thought was "the one." His name was Jordan. I have the worst luck with 'J' names, by the way. Trust me. Anyway, Jordan and I met through a friend of his named Corey, the person my friend Josh originally tried setting me up with. At the time, Jordan had a girlfriend, which should have been a red flag, but unfortunately it wasn't. If any guy ever tries hitting up on you while he's with someone, run. If he does it to her, he'll do it to you. I promise you that.

Anyway, he and I stayed up talking into the late night and early morning hours and I thought he was my everything. The problem that I could never figure out with him was that he would never commit to me. He'd never ask me out or call us "boyfriend/girlfriend." I never understood why because he dated other girls; he just wouldn't date me. However, he helped create my trust issues with guys because he lived two towns away. He decided I was going to be his "girl on the side," I later found out. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Don't ever make yourself too available for a guy. HE WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. He and his girlfriend at the time eventually split and we "talked" for a while, if you all still even call it that. He would tell me I was beautiful and that he loved me and I was the most amazing girl in the world. Then, after time, he would turn around and either date or screw some other girl. It was a recurring pattern in our "relationship" ... if you want to call it that. He made me hate myself because he would build me up just to tear me down. I used to cut, I had an eating disorder, I did drugs - all for him - so I could be skinny enough or feel pretty enough, or just be numb to the pain of it all. It was the most excruciating ordeal to get myself into. (I remind you, I was only 15 years old.) No girl should have to go through what I did at that age, even though I know plenty do, if not at an even younger age. It's sad, really.

I finally woke up and realized he was a piece of crap when he wound up getting one of his exes pregnant. My mom, who gladly hated his guts, told me that was the last straw and that he was completely gone out of my life. She took out a restraining order on him, blocked his number from my cell phone, and set parental controls on the computer so I couldn't contact him at all.

Although I was heartbroken and completely devastated, I realized that what she did saved me. I was on a path of self-destruction because of him and it took all of that to snap me back into reality. Trust me, when you're as young as I was, parents really do know what's best for you. They have been there, regardless of what we think.

At the beginning of my sophomore year, I had started becoming friends with this guy I'd met back in middle school, but he was just a mere memory to me. His name was Donald. He became my saving grace. He too had gone through life dating girls who used him like a throw rug because he was the sweetest person alive and would do anything to make anyone happy. If you ever find a guy like that, don't take advantage of him. It will break his heart. I know this from experience, unfortunately. I guess once you've been treated like dirt from the opposite sex, it's a natural reaction to do the same to the next unfortunate you come in contact with.

But he was my Prince Charming. We got together on Christmas Eve of '06 and he was the best thing that ever happened to me. He opened my doors, pulled out my chairs, bought me roses, bought me random other gifts 'just 'cause', cooked for me, rubbed my body from my head to my feet without me asking - the works. Little did I know, when that goes unappreciated for so long, things change. Our relationship blossomed into something unspeakable to me and it was the epitome of my happiness for a little while.

Then, six months later, we took a "break." I guess you could say I was afraid of getting too close and losing him, or I just wasn't ready to trust someone wholly and completely in such a way. Once you've already been broken, giving someone else that same power scares the hell out of you because you've already been there - you know what it's like. It's dark and scary and depressing, and you'll do what it takes to avoid it. So, we split up, but nothing between us changed. We were still together all the time and still did whatever when it came to showing affection or being intimate, and nothing changed except the label of being "together". Trust me, when you take a "break" but don't actually take a break, it's not healthy. It messes with your mind and feelings.

So, with me thinking that things still were going fantastically, we got back together, only to take another break a few months later. For me, it was becoming a realization that relationships were not my strong point. Well, again, nothing really changed, and after the end of Summer '07, we got back together. However, he wasn't the same guy. He was tired of being hurt, heartbroken, used, taken advantage of - you get the idea. I didn't realize that's what I was doing at the time, but then again, most people never do. Humanity is selfish. If you haven't learned that by now, you'd better learn it, and fast. During these breaks, I had talked to other guys and even dated another guy for a week, but nothing ever compared to Donald or how he treated me. Why I had to be with other guys to find this out is still beyond me.

However, Donald's heart had hardened, and we began to fight more, and we even got violent with some of our fights, which I knew was not healthy for either of us. So, in time, we took yet another break. During this break, though, he lived with me, due to previous encounters with his mom not going so well and also my parents' allowance, seeing as how they loved him. Taking a break when someone lives with you is as hard as crap. Don't ever do it.

Around Christmas, he started spending more time over at his own house, and his parents had allowed his brother's girlfriend's family to move in because of their unfortunate money situation. Unfortunate for me, his brother's girlfriend had a sister around the same age as him, for whom he grew feelings. Needless to say, they started "talking," which broke my heart. She was instantly controlling and cut off all contact between me and him. Grateful that he wasn't about any of that, he quickly got fed up and contacted me, getting us back together.

During halftime of a basketball game senior year, he proposed to me, and apparently being in love with him, I said yes. We stayed engaged for about a year, and then things were just different. I broke off the engagement in anxiety of being too young to be engaged and too worried about college to honestly waste any time being tied down.

Calling off the engagement kind of put us on the rocks, so we split again after my freshman year of college. We stayed in contact, but I had met someone else, a guy named Matt. He was a great guy at first. He made me smile and he was so funny, but you know how they say, after time, you actually find out who a person really is? I did. He was an arrogant a****** who thought the world owed him. It was kind of a slap in the face how quickly his true colors showed.

Needless to say, I missed Donald like insane crazy, and at the beginning of my sophomore year of college we got back together. That was good until recently. I'm at the end of my sophomore year now, and we're back apart.

I'm NOT a cheater by any means, so forgive me when I reveal to you the most recent part of my life. About two months ago, I cheated on Donald. It wasn't by any means planned or even foreseen, but sometimes someone just comes along who changes you, if even for that split second. His name is Francisco - he goes by 'Junior.' I told you 'J' names were not my specialty.

What was happening between Donald and I during this time was just a void of indifference - I guess you could call it that. There was something missing for me. Junior filled that void. He gave me attention that Donald hadn't seemed to give me in years. He made me feel 15 again, like I had fallen in love for the first time. It was crazy.

Now, I'm at a standstill. He's gone back to try to work some things out in his life right now and I'm left alone without a feeling in the world. I've become numb to it all, honestly. I can't think or be me anymore. I'm lost. But, in the end, I wouldn't go back and redo anything. I loved every moment of intense passion I've shared with all of these people, no matter how far they might have screwed me into the ground.

I guess my story shows that you can make it through anything life gives you when you find the right people to lean on. Donald and I are still best friends, through all the sh** I've put him through, and he's the only one who has yet to let me down. I'm just going to need time to myself to stop taking advantage of that. I knew my cheating and him finding out would ruin his trust and possibly throw away everything we worked for during the past four years, but we're still the same as we've always been. I do realize I just need to be alone for a while without complicating my life with any more feelings or sexual encounters because that's the last thing I need. I'm doing what I can to go to college and make it through life before involving someone else in it. Whether or not that person continues to be Donald, I guess we'll see. He's such a great guy and I'm so blessed to have him in my life. But sometimes, the person who continues to think the sun shines out of your ass, regardless of the mistakes you make, isn't always the person you're meant for in the end. You're just meant to be the best of friends.

I hope in revealing what I've gone through you can see that everyone has their own story. Some yell it, some whisper it. But regardless, everyone lives it. Try to keep that in mind the next time you hear someone is a sl** or whore or a****** or b**** and automatically assume they are that way without getting to know them. Everyone knows pain, no matter what they show to the world. They say actions speak louder than words, but words still cut scars into your heart forever.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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