Nowadays, online dating is the norm. When apps like Tinder, Bumble and Ok-cupid hold promises of long perfect romances or steamy one night stands, who wouldn’t want to give love a shot? At the palm of her hands – YouTuber Brittani Taylor, had it all. So why not give love a go? Brittani clicked and swiped “her little heart out.” Entangled in the messy sometimes weird wonders of online dating; until a seemingly perfect individual popped up on her screen. This European heart throb swept her right off her feet. Little did Brittani know, it wasn’t love that kept her floating, but an undeniable fear she herself couldn’t comprehend. A Sucky Love Story: Overcoming Unhappily Ever After, isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s not a love story. But one of a courageous women, doing whatever it takes to protect herself and her son.
Like many people, I’ve watched Brittani Taylor for as long as I could remember. Her positive energy and heartwarming smile were one of the many reasons online strangers repeatedly clicked on her videos. So, when Brittani announced she was engaged and pregnant, it was absolutely shocking. I witnessed many of her followers search and question what changed and how she was able to hide it for so long. However, as her videos indulged further into her personal life – at least I began to understand. I mean she seemed happy. And to many people that was the most important part. But that’s one of the many mishaps with abusive relationships. Things seem to be a lot of different things, to a lot of different people, even to the people in them.
“For him it was “love at first sight,” but for me, it was “anxiety on every date.” Something was telling me to run— but for two years, the only running I did was straight into his arms.”– Brittani Louise Taylor
This book is both intense and heart wrenching. As Brittani Taylor recounts her experiences with love, you can feel the fear and heartbreak in her writing, “that was the worst part about love, discovering that what you had had was no more. One too many fights, or crossed wires, and feelings had disappeared. Now that I had made a decision, the emotional stress was also causing me physical stress. I was having a hard time eating, suffering from indigestion and acne.” Every detail of her survival is outlined – the angst in her words within every page, was immensely felt, and you can’t help but to shiver as you read it. I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting this book to be as daunting as it was (even though I knew what the outcome would be). The manipulation she went though is intense and often hard to read. I was expecting this story to end like most domestic violence story’s do; the abuser is capture, prosecuted, and finally the survivor can breathe. However, it was nothing like that. In reality, we know happy endings aren’t always happy. You can hope, but sometimes endings are just endings.
What Brittani went though was horrific and I think its easy to point out what you would and wouldn’t do in a situation, until you’re the one in a similar situation. Therefore, I’m glad she wrote this book. If not for herself then for others. The reality of dating is scary. Especially if you’re meeting someone online. Its easy to lie about yourself and make people see what you want them to see. I believe it takes a powerful person to realize that the person they’re in love with doesn’t love them in the same safe ways that they do – and it takes a stronger person to leave.
Sometimes you look for love in hopes for a fairy tale ending, but end up in a very real nightmare. Narcissistic, manipulative people will beat you down until you can’t say no to them. Or until you become unrecognizable even to yourself. This isn’t a made up story. Its real life survival that Brittani went through. That someday her son will read. And one she chose to speak up about, even though she was scared. I want to thank Brittani for telling her story. It takes courage and power to do so. I also want to caution everyone to be careful when searching for love. To watch out for red flags and listen to your body and mind when it urges you to run. Or in Brittani Taylor’s words, “Don’t be afraid of love. Just do a background check first.”
Josie M. Hulen
Josie Monet Hulen is a writer with a Bachelors degree in literature. She’s passionate about the written word and often spends her time with her nose in a book or in the middle of writing one. Her hunger for knowledge and determination to learn about everything she can, landed her a job as an office manager. She has also been an intern for 8 months with an online publishing company and one day hopes to be an inspiring writer.