I can sum up all of my significant relationships in one word, based on the overshadowing element that drove it:
They’re seemingly progressively depressing. Is it that the older relationships aren’t as fresh in mind, so I am able to blur out the bad parts? Or, was I just a different person before I had my heart broken so many times? Is it even relevant? I mean, I can’t change any part of it at this point…
I was thinking about the topic of exes yesterday and how unique we are as humans. Animals, don’t have to worry about running into ex-boyfriends at the mall and making that awkward catch up chit chat, because it is so uniquely human. It is in our human nature to spend our lives looking for the right mate. Whether you’re looking for a relationship or just a hookup, you’re really just driven by your biology. When you think about it, it just seems kind of surreal that you can share such an intimate, sometimes long period of your life with someone, sometimes thinking that they will be the one that you will spend your life with, only to have to remove them completely from your life when they fail to posses the qualities you are looking for in a mate (i.e. honesty, fidelity, etc.). It’s weird. One day, they’re your constant, a steady element of your life, the next, they’re gone forever. Sometimes your only option is to kick someone to the curb when they don’t treat you the way you deserve.
When I think of former relationships, I think in general feelings about how it went overall and why it ended, which colors the way I view the relationship in retrospect. As someone with memory issues, emotion is stronger than the actual events (which may just be another element of human nature). Have you ever been a relationship, broken up, gotten back together after some time, only to realize that you are horrible for each other? Maybe you can remember only the good times, because those emotions overshadow the painful ones.
I have been in more than one situation where I felt nothing but relief to be out of a relationship. I remember after packing my bags and driving away from number four, the more distance I put between him and myself, the lighter I felt. I remember crying for a few miles, then, the tears just dried up, and the seemingly permanent scowl on my face softened. All I could remember was the pain he caused.
Number Two has sort of become the standard to which I have compared all subsequent relationships. I am fully aware that we weren’t right for each other, but I can’t help but think things were better back then. I remember the end, which was the most catastrophic end to a relationship I’ve ever had, but there was something in it that I’ve never really had with anyone since: passion. If we were happy, we were exuberant; if we fought, we threw it all out there. We loved hard and there was this unspoken understanding that we were in it together, deep. I can’t help but let the passion we had for each other overshadow how it all fell apart, even though, in the end, the passion just became too overwhelming.
I was young, naive and consumed. Two is the one relationship I remember the best and the worst parts of. Living passionately is experiencing everything in a raw, genuine, and honest way, which can be exhausting and, which explains why I think it’s so difficult to maintain a passion in a relationship. A passionate relationship must be a mirror and I think it’s very difficult to find someone who sees that matching passion in you. I don’t think there was any point during that relationship that I thought it was going to last forever; I was young, so I wasn’t thinking about marriage, and my outlook and expectations of any relationship have always been molded by my belief in the inevitable failure of relationships (a more recent phenomenon).
It’s safe to say that it takes a lot of licks to get to the Tootsie Roll center of my Tootsie Pop, in that I take my time in giving trust and love. I won’t say I love you back, just because you say it to me, which I guess requires some patience. But, at least I’m not being disingenuous. I hate dating. I’d rather be friends with someone first so I know who they really are before I start dating them.
The beginnings terrify me. I would prefer to jump past all the butterflies and excitement of the beginning of a relationship to get to the part where you are comfortable with the person, because you know you can trust them. I think that’s why I hate ending relationships so much. I see it not only as a failure but that you’re just back at square one, wondering where you’re supposed to meet the next man that’s going to disappoint you. It’s exhausting. To answer your question, I guess I turned into such a pessimist regarding relationships after being burned one too many times. Some people say that what’s important is that you learned something. But, what’s really important is that you actually use what you learned in the future.
I’m standing at the beginning currently, though not really interested in being in a relationship right now. But, I feel like what I have learned from previous relationships is finally sinking in. I think for the next one, whenever that may be, I will be smarter.
Song I’m listening to as I press “Publish”: Flaws by Bastille