Avoid these mistakes
When I met Gaurav (name changed) for the first time in 2017, I was fascinated. He was smart, funny, and had a varied range of interests (he was a metallurgical engineer — you can imagine the kinds of hobbies he harboured). Of course, the fact that he was 6 feet tall, had skin the colour of roast almonds, and silky black hair that fell to his eyes didn’t help.
And to top it all, he was a shayar — a connoisseur and writer of poems in Urdu.
I was smitten. I had a HUGE crush on him.
We had met at a Majma (meet-up for creatives where every attendee performs a poem or short story of their own creation) at my college. From the moment I heard him recite his poem, I wanted nothing more than to be liked by him.
After the event, I approached him for a walk around the campus. To my delight, he agreed.
We had the most wonderful evening — walking around moonlit streets, talking about the most nonsensical stuff like “How important is the word ‘virgin’ in ‘virgin mojito’ and ‘Melody inti chocolaty kyu hai’.
It felt like we were soulmates. I remember having the most fun I had in a long, long time.
After talking for around two hours, he asked me, “I am going out clubbing with a few friends tonight. I would love it if you would join.”
If you know me, you would know that I am an introvert. Loud music and large gatherings give me a headache.
But this was Gaurav. I would anything to make him like me.
“Of course,” I said, without thinking.
What followed was a night of mindless drinking and dancing — most of which is a blur in my memory.
I woke up the next day with a terrible hangover. I shook off the covers, feeling miserable.
My phone beeped with a message from Gaurav. “Last night was WILD. You are a fun person to hang out with :),” it said.
In spite of myself, I smiled.
What followed were weeks when Gaurav and I hung out every second of our free time. The weekends were spent in drinking, dancing, and partying till we passed out. He introduced me to all his friends — Sahaj from Varanasi who was always inebriated; Rishav from Mumbai who was shy in general, but outspoken when drunk; Vivek from Delhi who had a steady girlfriend, but thought it was cool to hit on other girls; and Shourya from MP who called me Bhabiji even though Gaurav and I had just started dating.
In the first few days, this was fun. I liked Gaurav. I could bring myself to like his friends too.
This is what I told myself anyway.
But as the weeks turned into months, I found my productivity dipping. I woke up most days feeling tired. Weekends were the times I usually relaxed, but with this hectic schedule Gaurav had gotten me into, I barely had the time to breathe. All the drinking and dancing didn’t help. Going to work on Monday with a hangover was a nightmare.
The hardest part was when all I wanted was to curl up in bed and read a book, Gaurav would call and I had to go meet his friends, smile like everything was okay, and laugh at their stupid jokes so they don’t figure out something was amiss.
Suddenly, all the magic Gaurav had brought into my life faded. I had dark circles around my eyes from lack of sleep and I was always miserable, even while clubbing or wasting my nights playing stupid drinking games.
I resented Gaurav for doing this to me.
Because he didn’t understand what the problem was, Gaurav took no definitive steps to mend our relationship, and before either of us knew what was going on, all hell had broken loose.
I started snapping at Gaurav for small reasons.
He stopped inviting me to his parties.
Our evening walks were filled with awkward silences and forced apologies.
One day, out of the blue, Gaurav told me, “Anangsha, you have changed.”
This made me lose my temper. “What do you mean I have changed? You have become all aloof and distant like you can’t wait to get rid of me.”
“You no longer invite me to parties. Your mind seems far away when we are together. Even Shourya calls me by name these days. You know what, I am so done with this bullshit.”
“Wait, do you even want to be invited to my parties?”
“No,” I fumed.
“Then why are you making a fuss out of this?”
I flew into a rage. “I am making a fuss? You never understand me…..”
And on and on it went — the two of us going around in circles, attacking each other with words that we knew couldn’t be taken back, trying to be as hurtful as possible.
After three hours of screaming, crying and playing the blame-game, Gaurav and I broke up. It was done, once and for all.
To my surprise, I was more relieved that heart-broken.
Where had the magic of first love gone?
What are some amateur mistakes in the early stages of a relationship that can cost you dearly?
Based on my experience with Gaurav, here is a list-
- Don’t pretend to be someone you are not in order to impress your crush.
- Don’t say yes to things that would ultimately hurt you.
- Be your true self instead of ‘putting your best foot forward’.
- Draw boundaries and encourage your partner to maintain healthy boundaries too.
- When you are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable about something in the relationship, communicate. Don’t let the resentment build up inside you till it bursts one day.
- If you feel like you need time off to clear your head, take it.
- While having a disagreement, don’t use vague terms like “How dare you say…” or “You never understand”. Talk about the problems clearly and concisely and focus on getting the issue resolved rather than winning or losing.
Life is too short to spend your days locked up in a place that gives you no happiness. Break free from what binds you down. You have the power. You know it.
These were the lessons I learned. I hope you will find them useful too.