I. Breaking up:

If you are in abusive relationship, leave. If you can’t tell whether or not you’re in an abusive relationship, leave. If you aren’t happy, leave. If you’re happy but you could be happier, leave. If he threatens to kill himself if you leave, leave.

You’re not heartless, you’re just trying to save the one you have. If your parents don’t like him, they’re probably onto something. If he cheats on you, leave. If he cheats on you but promises to change, leave. If he doesn’t treat you right, leave.

If you feel uncomfortable, leave. If he does something wrong, give him the chance to fix it. If he doesn’t, leave. 

If your feelings change, leave. Love is not always reason enough to stay.

II. Moving on:

To put it simply, it’s hard as fuck. It takes forever and aches all the time.

There’s nothing you can do about it, all there is to do is hurt. You just have to hurt for awhile and eventually the pain subsides. Don’t be a cliche. Drinking doesn’t really numb the pain it just makes you cry and text him that you miss him and then cry harder when he ignores you.

Cutting doesn’t help either. Pain is temporary, scars make it permanent. Don’t you fucking dare wear your sixteen-year-old heartache on your wrists for the rest of your life.

Delete his number and all the pictures on your phone. Unfollow him on Instagram and unfriend him on facebook and do not watch his fucking snapchat stories. When he gets a new girlfriend, try not to let it break you, okay? She’s not prettier than you.

III. Sex:

Have it. Or don’t.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a virgin at 16 or 36. It doesn’t matter if all your friends are doing it. There is no number that coincides with the loss of your virginity. People will tell you that losing your virginity doesn’t matter. That’s not true.

The truth is that it doesn’t define you. But it does matter. Not because it means something important or because it changes you or the way people see you, just because it’s an emotional thing and it’s really fucking personal. And no, you don’t have to have sex with someone you’re in love with, but you do have to be comfortable.

You have to want it. You’ll know when you’re ready because you won’t have to question it, and it’s okay to not be ready for awhile. Don’t do it because your boyfriend is begging, if he pressures you, refer back to “I.” If it hurts, stop. Use protection. It’s not what you see in the movies and it’s definitely not what you see in porn.

If you get sexually abused, go to the police. He can’t touch you like that and get away with it. You’re allowed to say no. You’re allowed to change your mind. You don’t owe anybody anything and it doesn’t matter how fucking short your goddamn skirt is or how drunk you are.

IV. Your body:

You’re probably not going to like it very much. You’re going to hate the way your tummy looks when you sit down. You’ll stand in front of the mirror and suck in. You’ll hate the way your thighs rub together and the little bumps you get from it. You’ll manage to find something wrong with everything, your left boob is bigger than your right, one of your eyes squints a little more when you smile, your hands are too small. People will tell you to love yourself and to be body positive. No one really acknowledges that it’s not that fucking easy. Learning to love yourself isn’t the same as learning geometry, there’s no textbook or answer key or teacher. There are going to be things that you hate about yourself that you learn to love and there are going to be things that you hate about yourself that you’ll always hate and that is okay. 

Fix the things you can fix. If you hate your nose, get a nose job. If you want to lose weight, go to the gym and eat healthy.

If you’re sick of your hair, change it. Change the things you can change and accept the things you can’t. By the way, everyone has stretch marks and cellulite, they just don’t talk about it.

V. Other things to remember:

If you’re gay, you’re not obligated to come out. You don’t have to tell your parents. Live your life and love who you love. It is nobody elses business.

There is no such thing as “girl code.” If you and your best friend like the same boy and he wants you, you’re allowed to be with him. You need to put yourself first and do what makes you happy. Don’t put boys above your friends but don’t put your friends above your happiness.

Try really hard in school. I mean it. You will thank yourself later.

You don’t have to have a relationship with your parents, sharing blood with someone doesn’t give them the right to treat you like shit.  Don’t keep toxic people in your life, it’s okay to cut them out. Do what is best for you.  Don’t drink to black out, it’s dangerous and it’s not fun.

None of the bad stuff lasts. You’ll be fine.

6 comments add comment

  • anonymous lover
one year ago

HOLY SHIT THIS IS AMAZING and I needed it so much and I'm crying right now and... and... thank you.

  • Just a random anon
one year ago

I actually really, really hate this letter. If your parents don't like him, they may be racist. Your parents do not always know the best thing for you-after a certain point, they are often projecting what they want onto you. Do not mistake what you know for what is best.

If your feelings change, evaluate why that is. Love is not a feeling, love is a choice. Are you guys compatible? Do you guys have something that is good, that is going through a fixable rough patch right now? Communicate with your partner. Let them know. Do not drop them in a sea of confusion because "love is not enough" because they did not know what you were feeling.

  • lh
one year ago

This is such a great, great letter! The letters on this website in my opinion are often too devoted to an idea of love that can be extremely damaging. I may not agree with every point you make, but your letter feels like a much needed breath of fresh air, and i hope people out there take it to heart. thank you!

  • rg
one year ago

Thanks. It's in my bookmarks now, for future reference. It's a good reminder to take care of yourself..

  • anonymous lover
one year ago

Lovely letter. Good job 😊

  • M
one year ago

I sent this to my closest friends, because some of us need this from time to time. Will print it and put it in the living room where the three of us can see it and be reminded that we are worth it and our happiness is the most important. Will credit with the link as there is no other choice.

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