To Those Who Couldn’t Stay

By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor

Men never stay in my life long. They come and go as much as the weather changes in Texas. I just wish that before they left, they could’ve told me why I wasn’t worthy of them staying and telling me that I was enough.

The first boy I ever kissed never took me out on a date. I was young and had never had someone tell me they liked me so bluntly. I was in my first semester of college and couldn’t believe someone actually liked me, or so I thought.

He asked for my social media first. He would text me late at night and tell me how much he has always liked me. He was happy when we ended up in the same project-group and had been dying to talk to me all semester. It only took a week for him to convince me to hook up with him.

Soon after, he denied liking me and said that he thought I understood that he only wanted to be “friends with benefits.” I never slept with him because I knew that I would regret it, but I kept him around and allowed him to treat me horribly because I loved the thought of someone actually finding me attractive.

In the second semester of my freshman year, I rushed into a relationship to prove to the boy who had taken my first kiss that someone other than him could have me and that I was worthy of a relationship.

I had met him on Tinder and he was sweet to me, completely opposite of the boy before him. He was dorky, and I liked that he was honest with his emotions. However, I knew that I didn’t truly like him for who he was, but I liked him because I knew he was good for me and could never hurt me.

I had turned into the people I hated, the people who stayed in relationships because it was nice having someone around who liked you more than you liked them. I was in a relationship because the person I wanted did not want me in the same way I wanted them and because I didn’t want to be alone.

I started to hate myself for the way I had treated him, but I was too afraid to break-up with him in fear I would possibly lose him. He ended up breaking up with me. He said I had changed. I had become pessimistic and sad. I knew the reason why he said it, but still acted shocked and begged that we stay friends even though we had broken up. He agreed and I skipped home, happy that I was out of a relationship I should’ve never been a part of.

The school year ended and I returned to my hometown that for 18 years made me think I wasn’t attractive or good enough. I hated it and couldn’t wait to return to San Marcos early due to a job I had gotten. The first week I returned to campus, I met a boy who I didn’t realize would soon always hold a place in my heart.

He was the first to ask to hang out. He wanted to meet for coffee and I happily agreed. He ended up being almost two hours late. Right when I was fed up and about to leave, he walked in. I think about that moment so much because if I would’ve left five minutes before he arrived, he would have never been a part of my life.

We talked for months and agreed to be friends, which at first, I was happy to be. He was a genuine person. Being around him made me feel at peace because for the first time I felt as though someone didn’t want something from me. I didn’t have to act a certain way to be around him. Of course, I messed everything up.

I had never had a relationship with someone so real and kind, so I convinced myself that he saw me as more than a friend.

When I went to his music performances, I convinced myself that him asking me to dance was something more. I thought that him texting me and telling me that I looked beautiful meant he liked me. I thought that texting almost all day was a sign that he enjoyed talking to me as more than a friend.

I ruined one of the best friendships I had ever had because I had selfishly wanted him to have feelings for me in the way I had them for him. I told him how I felt on multiple occasions. I never made him think that he had to like me back, but I knew I couldn’t stop myself from having feelings for him, so I ended our friendship.

Three months had passed since we last talked, and almost like fate, I saw him on Tinder. We matched, and I degraded myself because I missed him.

I offered him all of me and he accepted. But in the back of my head, I was hurt because the guy I held on a pedestal, the guy who I thought could never use me, indirectly treated me like the first boy I kissed.

I was good enough for something physical, but not a relationship. But in a weird way, I did love him. I loved having him around and as a friend.

A girl with a single blue tear on her cheek, with a pink flower next to her and the quote from the article saying, “I was good enough for something physical but not the relationship.”
I was good enough for something physical but not the relationship. Image by Timia Cobb.

The last night I saw him was the day before almost everything closed for quarantine and I returned to my hometown that never showed me my worth.

I messed up multiple times with every boy that I allowed into my heart, and it makes me realize that it wasn’t that they couldn’t stay, but that I didn’t need them too.

These three guys are just a brief look of all the boys I’ve met and invested emotions in, which all of them, except for the last one, were either bad for me, better as a friend or a mistake.

“You can’t make homes out of human beings,” a quote from Warsan Shire’s poem For Women who are ‘Difficult’ to Love. Image by Timia Cobb.
“You can’t make homes out of human beings,” a quote from Warsan Shire’s poem, For Women Who are ‘Difficult’ to Love. Image by Timia Cobb.

People believe that failed relationships determine their worth. I used think that if those relationships didn’t work out, it meant that someone was the problem, but it’s not that simple.

Relationships give us room to grow and to realize what we don’t and do need, how we mess up, what our love language is, and most of all, figure out the way we deserve to be loved.

I am enough because of my smile, my personality and my looks. I know this because all those features invite people into my life, and it doesn’t matter if they stay or not. All that matters is if I, and hopefully the people who have gone through the same things as I, know that you win some and you lose some. But no matter how many you lose, that doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough to win in the long run.

So, the next time you ask, “If I was good enough, why couldn’t I get them to stay?” Remember that not everyone deserves the love you give. And for those who you felt deserved love, but didn’t love you in return– it only means that they weren’t good enough for you.

Featured image by Timia Cobb.

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