You Don't Need a Guy
I’m a 19-year-old who’s been single for a while now. Although I'm still young, I’ve learned a few things during this lonesome period. The most important? You don’t need a guy. Seriously.
Sure, the first few weeks after breakups, I was mostly devastated. Why is it that I still can’t find a guy? Why hasn’t a guy found me?! It was a combo of tears and depressed runs for fast food and rom-coms (I could not be more cliché). After embarrassing myself a few times trying to fix things with my ex, things took a dark turn. I started doubting myself; I started thinking that I just wasn’t good enough, that it was something about me that drove men away. Maybe I needed to change something about my hair, or how I dressed, or the way I applied makeup. Maybe I needed to lose weight for them to notice me.
I became the worst version of myself, and that made me even more miserable than being single did. My family tried to knock some sense into me, but at the time I thought that they just didn’t understand what I was going through. Even my friends didn’t recognize me. My bestie tried to reconnect me with my old self; she convinced me many times to do girls’ nights out, but I would immediately ditch them and go hunt for a guy. Eventually, she and the others gave up on me. That alone made me more adamant to find a guy, because I didn't have friends to come back to.
But here’s the thing: I couldn’t blame them. I became a pain in the ass. I totally distanced myself from everyone, and that’s how I lost myself completely. I started doing things I didn’t even like to do, going to clubs I would never go to, drinking and staying out late. I was on the verge of doing drugs and started flirting with guys who weren’t even my type. They were sometimes twice my age, but I craved the attention.
One day, while I was removing my usual mask of makeup, I had a glimpse of me—the old me. It made me kind of nostalgic for the days when I was happy and radiant and joyful, and at that moment it dawned on me how much I'd changed. And for what? I realized that those excuses I’d been telling myself were pointless. My friends were always there for me, even though I was the one who left; my family was there too. I wasn’t alone after all. I had all the love I needed and more. I didn’t need to doubt myself and I didn’t need to change anything for others. I was perfect the way I was—with my imperfections!—and if anyone were to date me, they would date the real me, not some version I’d created just to please them. Going back to my old self made me super comfortable. No more sky-high heels and tight dresses, no more loads of makeup.
I spent so much time and energy and money on stuff that I didn’t really need. I returned to my old Vans and my comfy sweatpants and my fun girls’ nights out. With the newfound free time I had, I started testing my limits. I did things as simple as trying new restaurants and going new places. I also went skydiving and rode a motorcycle for the first time. And though I broke my hand in the process, it was worth the experience to me.
Bottom line: I know what demons we face sometimes. But my advice to you is to be confident, to never lose faith in yourself, and to never falter. Take that bad experience and turn it into something good and fun and just live. A man isn’t everything—you are.
By Meryem Zeroual, 19