The beginning of February brings on many mixed emotions throughout the American population as Valentine’s Day gets closer and closer. Hallmark Channel is doing a Countdown to Valentine’s Day, three movies targeted towards couples are being released on that day, and people are sent into a frantic frenzy of frivolous freak-outs. The people in relationships worry about what kind of gift to get their significant other. The single people worry about dying alone and not having a date for February 14th.
I decided to take a step back and talk about my relationship history. For the longest time, I always saw myself as having the worst luck. Either the guy I had feelings for didn’t return my feelings or the relationships were with the wrong guy. It took me some time to realize that one major problem with my crushes and relationships was too much emotional investment, too little rational thinking, and a lot of bad timing. To save myself and the parties involved major humiliation, I will use pseudonyms. Brace yourselves. You’re in for a long story.
My first relationship took place when I lived in California. George was my friend from eighth grade. He had a weird, dry sense of humor and our friendship was a bit strained while we adjusted to high school life. But after a bit of flirting, he finally kissed me. There was just one problem…I had to move across the country. I had to leave California dust bowl for the wide open skies of Texas.
To say that the move was unwanted at the time was an understatement. With time, I realized that George saw our relationship as good as over, but I still held onto hope. I lived with that delusion up until one of my friends, whom we’ll call Lydia, sent me a message via MySpace (the early 2000s version of Facebook). Lydia told me that she saw George dating someone else. Except she forgot to mention that she was the girl George was seeing. I didn’t find that part out until years later, when I was in college when I saw Lydia’s profile picture, which featured a picture of her and George together. I was furious at both of them, to the point that I contemplated making them the antagonists for a book I was writing.
It wasn’t like I still had feelings for George. I was just mad that I never got closure. To me, it felt like my friend stole George from me. But I let that grudge go on for a lot longer than I should’ve. With time, I learned to forgive both of them. I’m actually still friends with Lydia and talk to her sometimes on Facebook. And while I haven’t talked to George since I moved, I hope for the best for him.
While I was still in high school, getting over George, I had a friend we’ll call John. John was your typical high school bad boy, complete with the fact that he was spiritual, but not religious. He made me laugh like no other guy ever did. I could talk to him about anything and everything, so falling for him was basically inevitable. But like any relationship with a bad boy, things were complicated. He was living with his exgirlfriend by the time he and I got together and I was getting started with college. Although we never had sex, I gave away parts of myself that I shouldn’t have. On top of all that, he was also enlisted in the military. Most of our time together was spent over the phone and John’s time in the military changed him into someone I didn’t recognize. He went from being agnostic to losing faith in everything altogether. By the time I was in my 2nd year of college, my friends made me realize how wrong for me he was. I basically got to the point where I would either let him back into my life or dive into my renewed relationship with God. During the winter break of my 2nd year of college, I chose God.
But that’s not to say that my college years were all about studying and developing my spiritual life. I kind of look back on those years and see myself as clueless and boy crazy, having a crush on a different guy almost every year. Then, during my third year of college, there was David, a guy I met in a dance class. I took dance classes as a way for me to improve on my social skills. He was tall, charming, and shy. And like a fairy tale prince, he was there for me when I had a bad day. Then I made a big mistake. I made a move on him and said “I missed you.” Things cooled down between us until Valentine’s Day, when he called me up and asked me out on a date. It was awkward to say the least. And the dates we went out on after that were still awkward. I felt like I was pulling my teeth as I was trying to maintain a conversation with him. And I probably would’ve backed out with less pain if it wasn’t for my best friend, Angel , who insisted that things would work out.
Well, things didn’t work out between me and David. I felt devastated. But looking back, I realized that he was sending me a lot of mixed messages. He was a nice guy and he had good intentions when he kept talking to me after breaking things off, but it took a long time for me to stop beating myself up or blaming him over what went wrong.
Before I knew it, I graduated college with no clue to my future. I stated on this blog before that I had a toxic friendship that could’ve led me away from God and turned me insane. Angel was that friend. I’m still trying to sort out the emotional trauma I experienced, but if you want more details, I’ve written about this friendship in previous entries. I don’t consider this a relationship so much as a toxic friendship with major emotional manipulation, but Angel considered it a relationship, which is why I’m mentioning it.
But there is a blessing that came from all the hurt and pain. I learned something from each relationship. I learned that timing is everything. I learned the importance of having shared values. I learned that you have to let go of something bad for you even when you don’t want to. I learned that in the end, you have to trust God over anything else. And eventually, I learned to fall in love again. But that’s another story.