A high school boy was crying. Face down in a lawn by the sea, he whined, cried, pounding his fists. Beside him was his girlfriend. She was trying to break up. He was avoiding it. He cried. He acted like a child. His emotions even choked him literally.
He has a medical condition. It chokes him, gives him allergies. It gives him a hard time breathing. He used this as his ace. You couldn’t leave me with this. Haha!
The boy was resolved he’d die if she left her. But she did. They made the breakup official.
A few years later, the boy grew up.
The boy looked back and thought. What made me think I’d die?
He wasn’t really being a hopeless romantic then. He was sweet. He was passionate. He’d make up poems, dream about what will be, what house to build, how many children to have. And (chills—this is too much for a high school boy, huh?) even what vows to say at the altar.
She was the “simple” type of girl. No fuss. She dresses okay. She wasn’t idealistic. She doesn’t really dream (literally, non-REM). She was caring though. She cared for him enough. To some point, she was realistic.
For the boy was dreamy, she couldn’t live up to his expectations. He wanted her to be always there. He wanted constant attention. He wanted to be the center of her universe! She knows she can’t do that.
And as high school relationships often go—petty fights. A lot of sulking, tampo, little arguments, passing on angry notes even in class, and silent “cold war” treatment even when they’re together. They were even facing the beautiful sunset! But they do not see it.
Until the time the relationship was, by then, beyond repair. No choice left but to end it.
“I was so immature back then,” said the boy. “I look back and cringe at all that I’ve done.”
“Because I was immature, I wasn’t able to treat her well. I just went after what pleased me. I didn’t realize my demands choked her. I even demanded her to change!”
Everybody has a Pygmalion within. Remember this sculptor in Greek mythology? He wasn’t really “interested in women”. In his own studio, he sculpted his ideal woman in ivory.
And so did the boy. He had an ideal woman in mind. He sculpted her to what he wanted.
“I grew up with principles I believed was right. I wanted her to change, no, demanded was the right term. That is wrong, so she must change that. This, this and that. Almost everything about her must be stripped down and changed the way I wanted to. I was like that back then,” he recalled.
But real love isn’t like that. Much of his frustration grew because he didn’t get what he wanted.
And so the conflict set in. And again, it came to that point. Breakup.
“Looking back, I really thought—more appropriately, wished—I would die. But I didn’t!”
“To be honest, that breakup was the right thing to do. I woke up and saw how immature I was! I am a boy, not a man. I didn’t really love. Love isn’t like this. In the larger picture of my life, that breakup was a small, emotional interference. But that small, emotional interference taught me much. I grew. It taught me life lessons I thought I’ve already learned.
“Now I know I can love and care way better than before.
“It also taught me a lot about faith. My immaturity showed me I had so little of it. I forgot how God orders the good and bad in our lives to bring us closer to Him. I didn’t acknowledge that. I was even resolved to take my life if she left. This life came from God. I was willing to have it cut short. I renounced the existence of a Master Plan, where blessings would pour in to and through me. Life was all about myself. And it wasn’t a life lived out in faith for His glory.
I smile as I listen to the boy think. Would I wish that girl didn’t break up with this boy? No! The insight he now has years after is priceless.
“And I thank her. If she didn’t break up with me, she would have withheld all the life lessons I would learn now. She would have prevented me from growing. I would have missed the opportunity to learn more about love, life and faith. I knew God more in pain than in the times I thought was “good”.
“It didn’t kill me. What made me think it will? Breakups don’t kill. Only blindness to self-immaturity will.
To the girls, do you have boyfriends like this boy? I hope you don’t withhold him the opportunity to grow up. Do what needs to be done.
To the boys, are you like that boy? Please…wake up! You won’t die. Be ashamed of yourself. Challenge yourself and grow up. Be a man. The world is short of men who are noble, loving and caring. Men who could give women the love, respect and care that they deserve.
Do you want to know who that boy was?