We were that token couple, if we were ever spotted alone someone was bound to ask where the other person was. We used Facebook and Instagram to publicly display our love for one another. We were each other’s best friends, shoulder to cry on, stress relievers, and more. The weekend of my birthday, he surprised me with a birthday dinner at a restaurant that had so much meaning to the both of us. It was the restaurant where we celebrated our first Valentine’s Day and the restaurant where he surprised me with a promise ring. I remember having a little attitude because he mostly invited his family and close friends instead of my closest friends. However, I made the best of my birthday dinner. At the very end, someone asked to take a group picture and our waiter offered to take it. Little did I know, the waiter was recording a video while pretending to snap pictures. I turned to my right and there he was on one knee, professing his love for me with a banging engagement ring. With my hands covering a face full of tears, I said “Yes!”
We quickly started planning for the wedding as we both knew the wedding had to be in Jamaica. Our guest list was quickly growing and so was our excitement. I remember trying on dresses and when I finally found my dress, tears filled my eyes as the sales associate placed a veil on my head. A few weeks after the engagement, things began to unfold. It was a realization that he wasn’t truly ready to commit. However, I chose to ignore the red flags and continue the engagement.
A few weeks prior to my undergraduate graduation, I took time and just contemplated on life. I thought about where I had been and where I’ll be going in the future. I knew that if my fiance was still going about life the way he was, I’d be in a miserable marriage. It was at that moment that I began to mentally prepare for the possibility of ending the engagement. Throughout the months of wedding planning, I would randomly ask him questions like “What motivates you? What is your plan? What do you want to do with your life?” The answers to those questions pushed me even further away. After going back and forth about staying or leaving, I had finally decided to listen to God. I had to walk away. I had to make the decision to put my own happiness first. On October 31st 2014, I took my ring off, hit my girls up, and we went out for drinks. On November 1st, 2014, I finally mustered the courage to send the “We need to talk text.” Shortly after I got in my car and drove to his house. Honestly, this was nothing new to the both of us. We had broken up many times throughout our 6.5 year relationship. This was a complete shock to the both of us. Bri, who is extremely patient and forgiving, just ended EVERYTHING.
After that, my healing process began. I knew in the past, I was naive enough to keep taking him back. This time I knew I had to be strong even if it meant being radical. I changed my number, blocked him from my social media accounts, deleted my twitter account, and completely cut off our mutual friends and his family. I barely spoke to my friends and my own family. I did not want anyone influencing me to change my mind so I had to be in a space of being completely alone. Months later, I began telling people that the wedding was off starting with my parents. I felt so liberated, strong, and free! I started learning how to be alone, how to truly love myself, and how to enjoy life by myself. I found joy in simple things like hand washing my car or going shopping alone. If it was one thing that I had learned throughout this process, it was to find myself first and then find love. Awakening love before its time can be toxic.