I was in our
family fitness center basement tonight, preparing an old chalkboard for Pinterest-inspired-first-day-of-school-photo-opp goodness when I saw it: my first true love’s smiling face. No, he didn’t creep into my house and chill in the shadows, nor am I really having an affair, despite what my last post suggested. It was a picture.
That picture got me thinking about some of the guys I dated before meeting Zach (and why no one has noticed a picture of my ex-boyfriend in our house). Those past relationships have taught me something about love, life and myself. And that karma is so, so kind.
Forever and a Day. The smiling face in the picture was the boy I started dating my sophomore year of high school, continued dating through my first year of college, and thought I would marry. He treated me like a queen, made me feel beautiful, and signed his notes “I’ll love you forever and a day.” And then he cheated on me. Ouch. That would be a deal breaker for most, but I just did not get the memo that we were over. In fact, when we were home on break, I went to his PARENTS’ house at MIDNIGHT, threw ROCKS at his window, and begged him to come outside and talk to me. I just knew seeing my sad, pathetic, tear-stained, snot-nosed face would change his mind and he would instantly fall back in love with me. Not so much. He promptly started dating another girl back at his school, and I skipped class and wrote emo poetry. Fast forward a few months and my parents’ words turned to truth; they kept telling me that he would be back and I should be ready. Wouldn’t ya know that the second I was over him, he showed up at my house, looking to reconcile! Thanks, but no thanks.
The Lesson: Broken hearts suck, but overcoming them makes a gal feel like a superhero. I was all “girl power!” and he was all “but I miss you!” It was karma at her finest.
Random dates. These guys aren’t really worth mentioning by name, but have taught me invaluable lessons: dating your friend’s twin brother = WEIRD; Boston accents are sexy; when you give a guy your number and he doesn’t call, do NOT call him and ask why; we’re not meant to marry every man we share a meal with–don’t start designing your engagement ring after one good date; there is no shame in keeping a guy around because his ridiculous hotness makes other girls jealous; just because his family is nice doesn’t guarantee that he is.
Rebound. Regardless of how much time has passed since the first relationship ends, there is always a transitional period/person. Some of us are smart and this transition lasts a week or two (or a night?!). Or some of us are gluttons for punishment and our transitions last a good year. Enter: My Rebound.
He was fun. He was popular. He made me feel important. No, scratch that. I felt important because he let me be with him. You’re wondering where all that girl power went to, huh? Yeah, I wondered the same thing, especially when Mr. Rebound insulted me on the regular, once even telling me I needed to lose weight! Why, oh why, did I let this guy talk to me that way? Why, when he told me that he didn’t want to upgrade our relationship status to boyfriend-girlfriend because he wanted to keep his options open, didn’t I kick him in the shin and run? I. Have. No. Idea. What I do know is what finally pushed me over the edge: he wouldn’t sing happy birthday to my dad. A girl’s gotta have limits, right? Instead of joining my family around the table, he kicked back in the game room and watched some U2 documentary. That was it. I went on spring break with a few of my girls, and came back with a new eff-you attitude. And a few days later, my Rebound came groveling back. I’m talking sobbing. Knocking on my apartment door at 6am because he wanted to snuggle. SNUGGLE! Hilarious.
The Lesson: If you can’t make yourself feel important, no one else can. Oh and I think I’ve changed my mind. This was karma at her finest.