Rule Number One: You Don’t Need a Guy to Make You Happy

First Person • Anonymous, age 16 | Image by Kristi Holohan

It was just another normal day in the month of March. I remember getting the texts “It’s normal, everybody does it” and “It’s something all couples do.”

But I didn’t feel comfortable with it.

I thought to myself, “What is he talking about?” I couldn’t believe that this person I said I loved could ask me that.

We had only been dating for one month and he dares to ask to touch me. As if the only thing he can focus on was touching me, and not just holding hands or hugging. He wanted to touch me in places I was not comfortable with.

He made me feel like I couldn’t have something special or real because it was all just for one thing.

I ran to my mom and crawled into her arms. I explained what had happened and as I told her, I began to cry. I kept asking her, “Why would he ask me for that? I thought he loved me.”

Then I got furious, and started telling her, “He is so stupid,” and asking, “How could I love someone I’ve only dated for a month? What is wrong with me?”

I had never felt so sad over a guy until this. I began to question if he really was in love with me like he said he was. I wondered whether or not I could ever feel the same about another person without thinking they are only looking for one thing. I questioned why it was so hard for me to find the right guy.

Once I calmed down, my mother finally spoke to me.

“Rule number one,” she said. “Never cry for a guy who never deserved your love. Nothing’s wrong with you, mi amor.”

And then she told me, “There will be a lot of guys coming into your life looking for one thing, one thing you do not have to give them.”

“A guy who truly loves you,” she said, “will never, and I repeat to you never, pressure you to do something you don’t want to do.”

She told me to be a strong, independent woman.

My mother had always raised me to be independent, but somewhere along my teenage life, I have forgotten that — and started looking for love from guys.

It took until now to learn my lesson, that I don’t need a guy to make me happy.

But that’s not all. It was because of my mother that I knew to reject that person who just wanted desire. I knew my priorities and values and I did not let him get his way.

My mother was there for me in my most vulnerable times, and I know she always will be, reminding me to be the strong, independent woman she once taught me to be.

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