“Don’t promise her the stars, if you can’t see them yourself and never tell her you love her, if love doesn’t mean the world to you....”

I wasn’t looking for anyone to get me those stars, or catch rainbows for me or even love me with a burning passion. Life was pretty amazing in itself – I was doing something I loved and I had friends who loved me unconditionally, as well as a loving and supportive family who’d never fail to embrace me. I had plans. Well, what is that they say about making plans? “Man plans, God laughs.” And that’s exactly what happened with me, as love found me when I was least expecting it, at a time when being in love wasn’t really on my agenda. And by the time that same love went out of my life, it just made it easier for me to give up on ‘love’ itself. Allow me to explains this.

I fell in love with someone, someone I loved talking to all the time. My days started and ended with him. He became an integral part of my life. He was the one I couldn’t get enough of and my days became brighter and sunnier with his warmth. I started prioritizing him over work and family. I was there for him when he needed me and I made sure that I was a part of all of his happiness and sorrows.

My life started revolving around him. What I didn’t know, however, was that life had other plans for me or better still, he had other plans for me. I wasn’t aware that, for him, I was just an emotional filler. Someone he could go to when he was down and out and someone who was his last resort. So as devastated as it left me, it shouldn’t have surprised me that he chose someone else over me and I was left with all my unanswered questions. He chose to walk out on me when I needed him the most and it broke me. It shattered my hopes and crushed my spirit. And now, it’s just made it clear to me that love as concept itself, is extremely overrated.

But nevertheless, life taught me a very important lesson – never let anyone control you, your mind, your mood and your emotions. Life taught me to never give anyone the power to decide your fate and to prioritize myself and my needs over someone else’s. Perhaps most importantly, it taught me to love myself and to be enough for myself. Some people have to leave in order for you to fall in love with yourself and as it turns out, my ex did exactly that. He made me love myself and my life. He taught me how to be independent, both emotionally and mentally, and to never let anyone dull my shine. And it’s because of him and what he did to me, and because of the subsequent realizations that I made, that I decided to give up on love.

You might say that I’m just being bitter, but in all honestly, valuing and prioritizing myself has made me experience what it actually feels like to be genuinely happy. And it’s something I wish that all of you get to experience one day, whether you give up on ‘love’ or not.