Looking Back at Love Lost
I know this post may, at an initial glance, have no place on a wedding blog. Everyone is looking for this blog to be all cupcakes and rainbows – and trust me, it will get there if you keep reading. But for now, I’d like to discuss with you the taboo topic of ex-boyfriends. Yes, I heard you gasp. Be forewarned, my relationship history isn’t insanely robust but it’s average I think. For the purposes of this post, I’m only going to mention post-high school exes.
In college I dated someone that we’ll just call Intense Guy to be nice. We met when I was a sophomore, so I was still naïve, and although we had a lot in common I felt like he had so much to show me. We were together for a year and a half, and during that time I really learned a lot about life. He helped me get my academic efforts together and really pushed me to practice more. (We were music majors.) But then his planning and passion for learning focused on the future. What were WE doing for grad school? And then when would WE get married? Little things like passing tests for classes that we had together became pressure-laden land mines that I avoided at all costs. It was too much for me and I ended up wanting to just enjoy life now and make decisions for myself. I couldn’t handle the pressure so when we went through a break-up/make-up period, I eventually held him to it and we broke up.
I learned from that one. I wanted Intense Guy to chill out and let me run a little bit of my life! So the next guy was suuuuper relaxed. We’ll call him Doormat Guy, because instead of pushing his opinions and plans on me as Intense Guy had, Doormat Guy left all of the planning to me. He was the sweetest guy ever and would give me anything and everything I wanted, but he didn’t have any opinions that he’d share. It was a very “whatever you like” time in my life, if you’ve seen Coming to America, and much like the royal prince of Zamunda I wanted a REAL relationship with someone who wouldn’t bark like a dog if I asked them to. I wanted an equal, a partner, not someone that I had to drag along through life! We parted ways after a year.
By this time I knew I couldn’t be with someone too intense, but I didn’t want to be with someone who was spineless. Maybe this time I’d find a nice mid-road guy. And mid-road I found! This should be it, right? He wasn’t too passionate, but he knew how to stand up for himself, even for us. We had fun together during the honeymoon phase, but as things progressed and I was ready for a real emotional connection I soon found out that I was with Emotionally Unavailable Guy.Every time I tried to progress our relationship and get closer, there was a wall. He gave me just enough to give the illusion that we were moving ahead, like asking me to move in after a year and then looking to purchase a house together a year later. We had a lot of fun together, but we fought a lot too because I was really resentful of coming SO CLOSE to finding what I wanted but then being blocked. He was supposed to be it! He seemed like he was the guy, even my family thought so. When I eventually realized he wasn’t, I’d spent 3 years waiting for a future that was never coming. I had to do something drastic so I walked away. He didn’t follow me.
At the time, I tried to be positive. I tried to tell myself “now you’re free to meet someone who’s right for you!” like all of the books say to. Unfortunately I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed some tears over it. Being lonely sucks! But then something happened – I started to see what I had learned. I now knew that I needed someone who was passionate about life and wanted to plan our future, but wanted to plan it together. I needed someone who I would have fun with, but also someone who wanted to really connect with me and give me emotional support. I started to take comfort that being single really was giving me the freedom to find the one.
As luck would have it, this knowledge served me very well and I met him – the one, that is. When M and I began dating, I was able to feel confident that if it didn’t work out I would learn something and move on to a relationship that fit better. This confidence allowed me to be brutally honest. M knew early on that I needed him to talk about the future, but that it needed to be a group effort in planning our life. He knew that I was the marrying kind and understood when, after he asked me to move in, I told him that if I parked my toothbrush next to his I expected him to put a ring on it within a year. Yes, typing it out I am able to see that it may come off as an ultimatum. But it wasn’t really for him, it was for me. I didn’t want to have to be drastic again and uproot my life because I was shuffling around waiting for someone else to make my life start.
I felt empowered in our relationship because I took control of what I wanted and was no longer looking for someone to give me everything as some sort of participation gift. Instead, I had taken charge and went looking for a partner who was right for me. And I found him on my terms. Looking back, I’m able to have fond and thankful feelings toward the exes. They led me to him. And in a cheesy therapist way, they led me to me. And now, I have it all.
See? Cupcakes and rainbows. 🙂
Thanks for reading. – A