Sunday, 7 January 2018



I remember being surrounded by 5 boys in primary school, stood in the middle whilst one volunteer told me they all fancied me and I had to choose one to go out with - so I did. We went out from year 3 to year 5 and were simply separated because I moved away. I remember us going on day outs together, because the reality of a "relationship" when you're a kid, is simply being best friends. I also remember telling him that we could be together forever and we'd be married by 21. I'm now sat here as a 21 year old and Bridget Jones is probably a more accurate representation of my dating life, than the one my 7 year old self had envisaged for me. 

Just like most girls, I turn to my Mum whenever I'm going through boy troubles. The last time I was truly hurt she said "Aoife most people go through this like 10 times before they meet the one" - SHIT. DEFINITELY not what my 7 year old self envisaged. But as I reflect, were all the heartbreaks really that bad?! One thing I know is when I fall, I fall hard, which hurts more when it has to end, but surely every person has taught me something? 

1. My first love was when I was 14. We sat next to each other in science, I'd wait up for him to message me on MSN when I got home from school, he'd make me laugh but could also be equally as cruel to me. After months, I decided to tell him on MSN that I liked him, two seconds later I told him it was my friend Hannah that said it not me and he responded telling me he fancied my best friend. It was a shock to the system and the first time I'd experienced love/unrequited love, it hurt, and it definitely wasn't how it was supposed to go like in the Disney movies. 

(6 years later, living at the other end of the country, my first love sent me a Facebook message. After weeks of talking, I met up with him when I visited where I grew up. He admitted he'd always liked me and wished it had been different. Whilst it meant nothing to me now, my 14 year old ego was proud!) 

My first love taught me that playground names really do mean you fancy me. 

2. My second love is another case of unrequited love, seriously guys, I'm not that bad?!  Only this time, we actually ended up together. Months in I realised that I just loved him as a friend, which is what we had been before. I was 15 and ultimately far too young for a relationship, so I ended it and ended up breaking his heart. Part of me always regretted it because I knew he would never of hurt me and I also felt very guilty. 

My second love taught me that just because you love them as a friend doesn't mean you love them romantically.

3. My third love was when I was 16 and we dated for a just under a year, there isn't much to say about this relationship. He was the first person that made me feel like I could achieve anything in the world by myself and was my biggest supporter. But between me auditioning for acting schools in London and him wanting to stay in the North, it became clear that the relationship wouldn't go much further than that. I wanted more in life and he just wanted to stay settled. 

My third love taught me that just because it's the safe option, doesn't always mean it's the right option.

4. There's a bit of a gap between my third and fourth love, but I met my fourth when I was 18. I fell and I fell hard, within a matter of weeks I was besotted. I wanted to do everything for him and with him, unfortunately he knew this and used it to his advantage. The relationship was destructive, until he ended it with me on Christmas Eve whilst on a night out in front of his friends. 

My fourth love taught me the power of manipulation in a relationship. 

5. My fifth love happened just a few months later, and was on and off for around 2 years, it usually ending due to his lack of effort, then him wanting it back months later and over promising me until I caved and went back. 

My fifth love taught me that a leopard never changes its spots. 

6. The sixth person was a love that lasted a few weeks, with it ending in him not being able to decide whether it's what he wanted or not. I made the decision for him...

My sixth love taught me not to wait around for anyone. 

7. My seventh love was the biggest turning point in my life. Like I said, I fall hard and there was no exception with this love. It was months of pain, toxicity and me being convinced I deserved no better. I look back on this time of my life and don't understand how I could of had such a lack of self-respect to allow myself to have been treated so poorly. I ignored my friends and family and was convinced he was the one for me and couldn't see his wrong doings. Eventually, I saw sense and walked away, despite his desperate attempts to get me back (even years later), I've stayed well away from this one. 

My seventh love taught me the difference between love and infatuation.

8. My eighth love was short lived. I knew it was time to walk away after I found out he was still texting other girls, despite me caring to his every need whilst he was in hospital. 

My eighth love taught me that no matter how much you do for someone, if they don't want to be with you - they don't want to be with you. 

9. My ninth love, was the hardest of them all. He was my best friend, my biggest supporter and I felt we'd built something so true together. I put us before me and unfortunately he didn't do the same, when he ended it I was left with a big void in my life because of this. His actions caused a lot of pain, but pushed me to really focus on myself and depend on myself for my happiness. 

My ninth love taught me to love me before you. 

10. My final love, was one that I never saw coming, one that I never expected. It was with the most unpredictable person and happened in the most unpredictable way. It was a love that allowed me to be myself and made me feel safe. 

My tenth love taught me that if you do find the right kind of love, you must protect it. 

Some loves are more short lived than others, some hurt, some consume you and in reflection some weren't really loves, despite what you thought at the time. They all have something to teach you, or offer you, whether it's about yourself, relationships or other people. One thing always to remember, is that nothing can break you forever and you can offer yourself more love, support and happiness than anyone else ever can. 

I know I haven't quite fulfilled my 7 year old self's wishes, but I think she'd be pretty damn proud of where I am. 


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