I wanna start by saying, this is not a man bashing post. I love men (unfortunately, I feel a lot of the time), and I have met some brilliant men over the years; sadly for me, this has tended to be the ones who already have partners, or are much older or much younger, partners of friends, or related to me. This is a post about a certain percentage of men that exist.
Pretty much every man I’ve been romantically involved with has broken a bit of me in some way, shape or form. Even if that is temporary, it still happened. Whether it was my self confidence, or my trust, or the way I saw myself, something was shattered, and if I’m being totally honest, some of those things will never fully repair themselves.
I am fully aware that women also lie and cheat and mistreat people in relationships, however having only ever been with men, this post is from my perspective of a woman dating a man.
I feel like we live in a culture where breaking women is almost seen as a rite of passage; ‘boys will be boys’ is tossed about like some kind of fucked up cocktail ricocheting about in it’s mixer, until we’re left with a whole society of people who have been completely and utterly torn apart because of this phrase.
Cheating and name calling, lying, being strung along and letting people down is seen as something that men must go through. That it’s not a big deal if they’re in their late teens, early, mid, and late twenties, early thirties; perhaps upon entering their mid to late thirties it’s frowned upon a tad more, but purely because ‘Don’t you want to meet a nice girl and settle down and stop messing about?’. It’s nothing to do with what it causes for that other person and the turmoil they have to go through as a result of their behaviour.
I know that there are men who would never dream of doing any of this; I know that there are women who would, and vice versa. However I don’t think anyone can say that we aren’t living in a culture where certain mens behaviour in relationships is excused a lot when they’re younger because it’s ‘all fun and games’.
I have been cheated on, called every name under the sun, lied to compulsively, strung along, had someone have a secret girlfriend behind my back, been through absolute hell in relationships, like I’m sure most of you reading this have as well. And I’m only in my twenties.
I’m not saying that someone older should have to go through that, but I mean…should we really of had to have experienced all that when we’re so young? We are mentally scarred from relationships and dating for life.
I’ve been reflecting this weekend on what the hell is going on, not just with my love life, but with society. Why do we think it’s okay to treat people like this? When did we become to desensitized to downright shockingly shit, disgraceful treatment of other human beings, and not just that, but to people we are heavily involved with, who we’ve shared a life with, or shared some form of experience with at least?
I have given years of my life to people, and not just time, but within those years I’ve given love, affection, effort, and God knows what else; all I’ve been left with has been disrespect and heartbreak.
I know I will have responses saying ‘You’re just going for the wrong men!’. You’re absolutely correct, clearly we are; but you need to understand, this treatment and behaviour doesn’t start immediately, or we’d never get involved with them. Someone can seem like a genuine person, and let us down.
I want to live in a culture and a society where this whole ‘bad mouthing your ex’ thing stops; I know, I sound like a hypocrite (I call my exes dickheads on the weekly); I mean, if your ex is a genuinely good person who tried their best. If your ex was a massive wanker who treated you like shit, then say what you please about them, go for coffee with your friends and say how awful they are to your hearts content. However, I’m sure all of us have been called a whole host of things by our exes, ‘physcho’ and ‘slag’ being the most prevalent terms, when actually, deep down, they know that everything they’re calling us is a work of fiction. They just can’t bear to have been called out on bad behaviour.
We are living in a world where there are certain men who use and abuse women, treating them as though they’re not humans with feelings and families and lives; they cast them aside and keep doing it for year upon year with different women, and then arrive at a certain age where they say ‘Oh, okay, I want to settle down now!’, then they pick a girl and say she’s ‘wife material’ and fail to understand what they’ve done to all those women before her, and the fact that she’s probably been through the same too.
I’ve been broken by men, time and time again. Since my first ever boyfriend, to my last one; I’ve been chipped away at. It’s like they’ve all been in a relay race together, and the baton they’ve been passing has been the mistreatment of me. I’m sure so many of you reading this can relate to that.
I want a love that will be fully reciprocated. I know that it’s out there, somewhere, and that it’ll make the last decade of shit worth it, but sometimes it can feel exhausting, repeatedly searching for something only to leave the situation feeling drained and close to giving up.
To the men reading this; if you’re reading this and feel incensed that I’ve dared to call a certain percentage of men out for their behaviour, then you’re becoming part of the problem, because you know this mentality exists and how rife it is, and you shouldn’t be angry that someones dare called it out. If you know you’re not one of those who have executed this pattern of behaviour, then great, continue living your life. If you’re read this and you’ve done this to women in the past, but you recognise the harm in it, and haven’t done it again…also great. We all make mistakes and we all hurt people and the important thing is that we learn from our mistakes. If you know that you do all these things to women, and then toss them aside like they’re nothing…you’re becoming responsible for a generation of women who will one day potentially get married, and maybe have children, and be carrying those scars with them, and always be a little bit broken because of what someone did to them 10 years ago. Please, be a solution, and not part of the problem.
To the women reading this; we’ve all been broken by people throughout the years, but there will be someone who helps to mend you. They may not even be in the form of a romantic partner, but of a family member, or friend, or a career that shapes you and gives you more satisfaction than anyone ever could. There is an abundance of people out there who will love you, and not want to break you, and who will not treat you like you’re nothing. I know it can seem like you’re the problem, and that there’s something wrong with you and that you’re not good enough, but you are good enough, and you are not the problem. People who are happy to enter someones life who is perfectly happy, destroy everything for them and then discard them…they are the issue, and they know it deep down. Don’t let someone elses refusal to see the value in you, determine your worth.
I have a feeling I may receive some strongly worded messages off the back of this post, and that’s fine, I’m expecting it. I don’t really care. There is an issue in our society with the treatment of women, and how it’s seen as almost ‘funny’ to mistreat them and break their hearts, and do it to as many of them as possible. We need to talk about it more. I am not tarring all men with the same brush; just a percentage. Let’s all be part of the solution and not the problem.
Here’s to being treated like shit, but still carrying on anyway. WE GOT THIS.
All my love BGP xx