My first boyfriend was in eighth grade. I had just begun living with my dad and was attending a new school in Massachusetts. I shared the bus with this boy, tall and dark haired, who smiled at me every time I stepped onto the bus. I didn't know him, but then again, I didn't know anyone and I thought it kind of him to be so friendly to a stranger, and so I would reciprocate his friendliness with a wave. This pattern continued, smile, wave, smile, wave, until the day he finally spoke to me and asked me for my Instant Messenger screen name- it was LoverGirl180. What
I think our relationship lasted a week. It's hard to date a stranger. My next boyfriend, a heavy set boy in my new circle of friends, came later that year. He wasn't very attractive, but he was kind. My friends had told me he had a crush on me and soon after he asked me to be his girlfriend. Dating was much stranger back when I was in middle school. There were no dates, no romance, no spending time together to really get to know one another, you simply went for it and that was that. Anyways, I said yes. Not because I liked him, but because all of my friends had boyfriends and I didn't want to feel left out. That afternoon we snuck away from our friends and found a place in the park where we could be alone. He put his arm around me and I felt very uncomfortable, like I was a girl playing make-believe. I wanted to speed up time so I could keep the experience of having been in a relationship, but not actually have to live through it. I broke up with him the next day. I never was very good at pretending.
The following year I moved back to my mom's house, and because my home town is so small, I had to attend the high school a couple towns over. Once again, I was the new girl, well me and the fifty other students from my town. Shortly into the school year I started going out with a boy from the other town. He was tall and goofy, and this time I really thought I liked him. We never spent any time alone together, instead we hung out surrounded by the company of our friends. He would walk me to my classes and give me closed mouth kisses. That was as far sexually as we ever got. It wasn't until years later, well after we broke up, that we actually hooked up, intertwining tongues and rolling around messily in sheets. He liked me a lot, but my eyes started wandering to one of his friends. And with fantasies of his friend swirling in my head, I broke with him after a month of dating.
That friend and I ended up dating shortly after that. We got to know each other over Instant Messenger; affections expressed through the clicks on keyboards. Click click, I like you. Click click, will you be my girlfriend? Oh, sweet young romance. He was very handsome with light blonde hair and an athletic build. One of the popular boys in school noticed for his ability to excel at basically every sport ever invented. I was not particularly popular, though I was friends with the girls who were, and I never saw myself as attractive, so I was always in a bit of disbelief that he wanted to be with me. Our relationship didn't go over too well with the girls in our high school. He had broken up with his girlfriend of a year-and-a-half only a month before we started dating and she was convinced I had something to do with it. I didn't, he and I hadn't even started talking until after they broke up, but she had made up her mind and I was too timid to try and convince her of the truth. So instead I walked through the hallways and heard the word 'slut' slurred at me by girls I didn't even know. While embarrassment and shame clawed their way to my heart, I just pretended I didn't hear it. We spent our weekends isolated, watching TV and making out in his basement. For Christmas he gave me a stuffed frog with a heart necklace hanging from its neck. Why a stuffed frog I don't know, I never expressed to him that I particularly liked frogs. But he gave me another one for Valentines day, so maybe he thought I had, or maybe he just thought their was something romantic about a smiling stuffed frog holding a heart. His was the first penis I've ever touched, though I had told him I'd touched one before. My best friend told me she read in Cosmo that guys like it when you grip it really hard during hand jobs. Well it turns out that's not true, but he politely let me assault his private area while he pretended to like it. Later over IM he told me that next time maybe I shouldn't grip it so tightly. One night huddled over our computers he told me he luved me. Luv is the way you feel right before love, so things were getting serious. I joined the Ski and Snowboard Club at my high school even though I had never skied or snowboarded just so that I could go on over night trips with him. His parents didn't end up letting him go on any of the trips and I snow plowed down the mountains while all my friends snowboarded into tiny dots far ahead of me. One night in New Hampshire, I spent an evening hanging out in the car of one of my Senior guy friends smoking weed and chatting the time away. Well word got back to my boyfriend of who I was with and what I was doing and he was convinced that I had cheated on him. I didn't, other people were in the car too, but he never asked me about it, he just told me that's what I did. And so, two-and-a-half months into our relationship I was broken up with for cheating. I wasn't heartbroken though, I was actually rather okay with it. I was thinking of breaking up with him anyways. I was a bit bored in our relationship and he had decided to go to a school dance with another girl without asking me if I would be okay with that. Perhaps a bit dramatic of me, but I mean you have to admit that is quite rude, going to a dance with another girl when you have a girlfriend. Like, hello, way to make me feel unimportant. Knowing us, we probably broke up over Instant Messenger. Although we saw each other a lot, we never spoke much after our breakup. He ended up playing professional baseball and signing a two million dollar contract. So part of me thinks I should have fought a little harder for him.
What happened next was three years of singledom. There was one boy in my class who I had a crush on for a bit, and for a while we spent our nights Instant Messaging. (Seriously what was with all of the Instant Messaging?? I guess this is how people communicated before texting was really a thing). I liked him and our exchanges of innocent flirtation made my heart warm. One day, I mustered up all my courage and told him that I liked him. As soon as he said the words 'I like you too', it was as if someone had reached inside me, parted my ribcage, went into my heart and flicked an off switch. Suddenly I felt nothing. The openness of his heart closed mine and drained me of any affection towards him. I soon told him I had changed my mind. He said he could be very persistent. I told him not to waste his time. This continued to be a pattern for me, chasing boys until they liked me back and then unintentionally closing my heart to them. Just like the older boy I liked for forever who after a long and well fantasized crush gave me a ride home and asked if he could kiss me. I said no.
The next boy was the first boy I ever loved. Or at least loved in the way I thought love was at the time. My Junior year of high school I became best friends with a girl who has one of the most beautiful hearts I have ever experienced. Ten years later and she is still my best friend. We connected in gym class and soon I started spending every weekend with her and her circle of friends, which happened to include a very cute boy a year above me. I immediately developed a heart-fluttering-can't-stop-thinking-about-him-want-to-fast-forward-time-until-I-can-see-him-again crush, which only developed further each time we hung out. One day I told him, yup over Instant Messaging (I'd start judging me too), that I liked him. I guess I didn't start revealing my feelings to boys to their faces until after college. He said he liked me too but right now was not a good time for him to be in a relationship. I said okay. But my mind was like 'haha we'll see. I'll be so irresistible you'll have to change your mind.' And so I chased him for six months, flirting and trying to steal moments with him every time we hung out. Every once and a while I would tell him that I still liked him and he would tell me that he still likes me too but he still wasn't in a place to be in a relationship. He was the first boy to tell me that, but by now I've heard it a thousand times from boys I've tried to give my heart to. One night our group (mhmm, I was officially part of the group) were hanging out and we decided this was going to be an alcohol filled night. Someone's sister, cousin, friend, I really don't know, bought us alcohol, and this night became the first night and the last night I ever drank Bacardi 151. He wasn't giving me the kind of attention I wanted and so I decided to cuddle up to my new best friend alcohol and drink angrily at him. I proceeded to get drunk all on my own, stealing sip after sip trying to replace my feelings of hurt with the warm burn of alcohol. Later in the night we continued our evening at a girl's house who I knew but wasn't really friends with. I sat on her couch and my head started to spin as the world transformed into a whirlwind of hazy shapes. Naturally, I thought that this would be a perfect time to try and seduce my crush. I sexily (or as sexily as a completely wasted teenager can) locked eyes with him, curled my outstretched finger towards myself and patted the cushion next to me. He sat down and I think we exchanged two words before I leaned over and threw up right in his lap. While my friends cleaned up my mess I sat outside half passed out with him next to me rubbing my back as I waited for my mom to come pick me up. He was a good guy. Two weeks later he became my boyfriend - mostly because I basically pressured him into it. The first time we hung out alone (on the most romantic first date ever - in his car in the parking lot of our high school) we ended up making out for hours. While I sat on his lap, I parted my lips from his and asked "so does this make us..." and I waited for the answer I wanted to hear. And he said it. Swoon! After months of fantasizing about it, I had finally gotten exactly what I wanted. This cute, sweet, funny guy was now my boyfriend. We went to his Senior prom together. We met each others families. He took me out to dinner where I was too afraid to eat because I was trying to impress him. We lost our virginities to each other. One night that summer we were sitting on his couch, his arm draped around me as we watched a scary movie. I was only partly watching though, because I was distracted by the warmth in my heart. This warmth that wrapped itself around my entire body. But it was more than warmth, it was a collection of emotions- happy, excited, comfortable, safe, nervous, peaceful, all blending into one feeling. I knew then that I loved him. Maybe he had been feeling this way all along, or maybe the warmth in my heart was so strong it wrapped around him too, but that night he told me he loved me. And when the same words came out of my mouth, I believed them. But after that night, something inside me felt different, and not the 'I'm in love' kind of different. It was more of a disinterest, twisted in a craving for something more, sprinkled with uneasiness. Only a couple weeks later, I broke up with him. He was stunned and heartbroken. To him the words came out of nowhere. He wrote me a beautiful love letter trying to understand what had happened, asking me not to give up on us. I didn't respond to it. Here was this wonderful boy with his heart laying in the palm of his out stretched hand asking me to take it, and I said 'no thank you.' This is the only breakup thats repercussions have stayed inside me all of these years later. Not because it hurt, I didn't feel anything. But because of the horrible way I treated this person who gave me nothing but love and kindness and appreciation. At the time I didn't understand how my love could have just shut off so immediately, but I get it now. A seed containing the idea that I was unworthy of love had been planted inside me during my childhood, and pieces of my life provided the conditions it needed for germination; my parents divorce - that was the water, my mom's remarriage to an unkind man - the oxygen, my complex relationship with my father - the perfect temperature, and now this seed was beginning to sprout. I pushed love away because deep down, deep deep down to a place where I couldn't see it, I didn't feel like I was good enough to love. Of course at the time I didn't know any of this, I just thought my feelings towards him had changed.
I spent the rest of high school and most of college single. Not on purpose, it's just how it was. I was never very good at talking to guys, they always intimidated me, which is probably why most of my relationships developed over Instant Messenger; I felt safer behind my computer. I also had the idea that I wasn't the sort of girl that guys liked. It wasn't the truth, it was just the truth I created, but because it felt real, I buried myself in this identity that I stitched with my imagination. I'm sure though, that the most monumentally-hugely-ginormous-colossal reason I stayed single during college was because a week into my Sophomore year my brother died and depression became my boyfriend. Over night my world transformed into a hideously morbid place filled with sadness and no sunlight. I began to isolate myself and rely on food and alcohol to escape my pain, and when that wasn't enough I turned to boys to take me away from my reality. And well, you can't really have a healthy relationship with someone when you're focusing on taking all you can from them so you can fill up the dead brother sized hole in your heart. First there was the boy I went on my very first date ever with. I wasn't interested in him at all but I was interested in the experience of going on a date. Well, he got so drunk during our pre-movie drinks he ended up vomiting Long Island Ice Teas all over our table. I left the bar when he was in the bathroom and didn't answer his 'where did you go?' phone calls. Next was the only girl I've ever gone on a date with who after dinner and a little kissing in the park I tried to get to come back home with me but she said no. Then there was the English guy. I fell really hard for him. He wasn't very attractive, but he had a thick English accent and so that earned him at least four extra points. On our first (and only) date he secretly snorted coke in his bathroom and then couldn't get it up that night. He treated me like I was unimportant; a girl without a heart or mind or soul but rather just a living, breathing vagina. I acted the role of his call girl and gave him what he wanted from me in exchange for a little escape and the hope that one day he would change his mind and want me back. He never did. But he was the first boy ever to go down on me, so at least I got something out of it. And then their was the boy I worked with who aggressively pursued me, who I wasn't attracted to at all, like at all, but I was desperate for affection so I convinced myself to like him. We had to date in secret because he told me we had to, and also because we worked with his ex-girlfriend and she was crazy and I was afraid she might hurt me if she found out. One word of advice I have is: if a guy insists on keeping your relationship a secret, saunter as confidently away from him as you can. You deserve to be with someone who is so amazed that he is with you he wants to tell the entire world about it. But of course I didn't think that way about myself back then. So I agreed to be his secret. Our relationship was a mess. He never asked me about myself. He talked to me about sports a lot; I really don't care about sports and I really don't care about talking about sports. The sex consisted of him pulling his pants down to his knees and me on top doing all the work. I used to have to desperately plead with him not to cum because I knew once he did the sex would be over and I wanted to be a part of the orgasming experience too. Second word of advice I have is: a guy worth being with is a guy who wants to make orgasm. The main reason why our relationship was the worst was because he was verbally abusive. He would yell at me all the time and blame every single one of our problems on me. He made me feel very badly about myself. The third word of advice I have is: you want to be with a guy who makes your world brighter not dims your light. So of course, I kept coming back for more. On the second anniversary of my brother's death I spent the night with my brother's best friend getting drunk and taking comfort in our shared sadness. Well my man friend who tended to only think about himself, apparently could care less about what day it was and all the emotions I was going through because he called me and yelled at me for hanging out with another boy and not spending time with him. My best friend held me while I melted into a crying mess on our kitchen floor. There was also the time a bunch of us from work went out to a bar and he told me I wasn't allowed to talk to him because his ex was there and then he got mad at me when I did anyway. Yeah he was an asshole. But I allowed him to be an asshole to me, so a lot of it was my fault. It ended because he was going on vacation with a bunch of his friends and sharing a hotel room with his ex-girlfriend, which obviously I wasn't happy about but he didn't really care, and I over heard her talking to her friends about how much sex they were going to have. At least I had enough self-respect at that point to end things.
After college I continued to descend deeper into my isolated wonderland of depression. My bingeing had become so severe I ended up gaining fifty pounds in eight months. That's what happens when you regularly indulge in a large pizza, eight breadsticks, and a dozen donuts for dinner. The depression mixed with my newly large figure created an entirely different version of myself. I became incredibly insecure. All I could see was a pink squishy mass of un-appeal and I dressed it in a cloak of worthlessness. I became consumed with the idea that I was not enough for this world and so I held myself back before I let the world reject me. I moved to Los Angeles when I was twenty-three and embarked on a very unhealthy journey of pursuing emotionally unavailable guys. I didn't do it on purpose, I didn't set out to find men who didn't want to be in relationships, but then again maybe subconsciously I did. Perhaps because I didn't think much of myself at the time, I chased boys who would validate my low self-worth, you know, self fulfilling prophecy type of thing. I was a contradiction of desperately needing to be loved and not feeling worthy of it. I dated guy after guy who would express that they liked me, take me out on one date, and then fall into the pattern of being their late night sexcapade. They were always quick to let me know that our relationship would never go anywhere because they weren't in a place where they could be in a relationship. Again and again - I like you, I'll sleep with you, but I don't want to be with you. I was just the girl they passed the time with while they pursued the life they wanted for themselves. I always thought that maybe I could be so charming, so funny, so beautiful, so much of a good time that maybe they would change their mind, but they never did. I would take the parts of them that they were willing to give me and pretend it meant much more then it did, and in exchange I would give them my body and my company. I needed these guys, regardless of how I felt about them or how they treated me. I needed them to love me for me because I couldn't love myself. Though I'm certain I wouldn't have been able to receive their love if they had given it to me because I didn't feel worthy of it. Most of the guys I dated I wasn't very interested in, but I was so desperate to be loved that I became great at pretending I cared about them. I gravitated towards selfish and self-centered guys who loved to talk about themselves and never really tried to get to know me. Just ask me one question, just one question about myself so that I know you care about me.
My first year in LA I slept with a lot of men; some were one night stands, some reoccurring affairs. Each one I tried to get to be my boyfriend, and with each one I was unsuccessful. The first person I really dated in LA was someone I met right when I was beginning my spiraling alcoholic journey to rock bottom. I was a lonely, miserable, insecure girl trying to escape myself and he was an egotistical man, ten years my senior going through a divorce. He had a lot of money and liked to use it to show off. I'm not the type of girl who's attracted to materialistic things and so I found it to be quite a turn off when he insisted on getting the most expensive whiskey in the bar and took me on a date in a limo and never let me pay for anything. He was controlling and our entire relationship existed on his terms. He was in his last year in law school and so it was made clear by him that I was very low on his priority list. We met at the comedy club I work at, he was performing on a show and spent the night flirting with me. At the end of the night he confidently asked me if I had a boyfriend and when I said no, he asked me for my number. On our first date we went bar hopping and got completely smashed together like two young kids. Within ten minutes of our date I noticed his huge ego and immediately knew he was not the sort of person I was looking for. And so naturally, since I never wanted to see him again I figured I might as well sleep with him and get something out of the date. And so we did, and I snuck out of his house while he slept. But now that I had given him all of me, physically at least, insecurity swam violently inside me. I felt as though I needed him to want me. I needed the validation that I was enough, that I was worth being with. And so I continued to see him. After our first date, we spent every night together for two weeks. I begged him to be my boyfriend, but of course, he said he couldn't. He was focused on law school and emotionally unable to be in a relationship as he was still coping with his divorce from his wife of ten years. But I couldn't accept that, I needed validation that I was enough. So every night we would get drunk together and I would get emotional and ask him why he didn't want to be with me. On Halloween after only a couple weeks of dating he ended things out of nowhere saying that I was too much for him and we were moving too fast. I had given him myself, and he returned it. We got back together a few days later with the promise to move slowly and what preceded was three months of drunken toxicity. We were in two completely different places in our lives, wanting completely different things, and every few weeks that fact became glaring and loud and we would break up only to get right back together. Although I kept seeing him, after he broke up with me the first time I no longer felt like I could trust him with my heart. And so, I started sleeping with this guy I worked with in secret. He was also very egotistical and all he would do was talk about his ex-girlfriend and his music, both I really cared nothing about. I tried to get him to be my boyfriend too, but of course he needed to focus on his music and didn't want to have a girlfriend, that and he was still in love with his ex. And so I kept dating the first guy and secretly sleeping with the second all the while I was drinking heavily and fantasizing about killing myself. I took their inability to love me as a the truth, rather then their truth and saw myself as unlovable. It was just one more reason to be sad. Then I finally got tired of crawling around rock bottom and I finally muttered the words "I'm an alcoholic and I need help". Getting sober was my last attempt at trying to save my life and I knew I shouldn't be in these unhealthy relationships if I was to put my entire focus into my sobriety and getting better, so I broke up with them. The first guy didn't take me seriously because we had broken up so many times before and he continued to pursue me. I was unresponsive and after a while he stopped calling. The second guy didn't really care.
When I was sixty days sober I met a boy at a sober party (yup those exist. Just because we don't drink doesn't mean we don't like to get crazy on Red Bull every once and a while). We spent most of the night talking and I suggested we get together sometime and do something. I wasn't necessarily looking to date him, I just wanted to surround myself with sober people. We went to a museum as friends but it soon developed into a date. He was nice, a bit boring, but nice, and I immediately thought he may be the person I marry. He was also newly sober with just a few months more than me and we were both crazy. That's what happens when you take away alcohol from an alcoholic, we lose our solution to living and it takes us a while to readjust to life. My dependence to alcohol converted to a dependence on boys and I fell really hard for him. I kept trying to pull everything from him that I didn't have within myself and he was incapable of giving me anything. He had nothing to give, for he was broken too. I thought we were dating and he thought we were just enjoying each others company. Whatever we were, we existed on his terms. I find that mostly to be the case with the guys I date. My needs never get met and I exist in their world wherever they want me to fit in. A few months into us seeing each other, he relapsed on heroine. It broke my heart. It's really hard when someone you care about is in so much pain and there is nothing you can do about it. After that I decided I wasn't going to date or have sex for a while. I was clearly using boys much in the way I was using alcohol and I really wanted to stop trying to escape myself. This pledge of singleness lasted six months and was broken by a two week romance with someone who was only two months sober. (Yes, I've learned my lesson. I promise to no longer date newly sober people). I was in a much healthier place, but he was still very much lost. The night I slept over his house, as we kissed I felt as though I was going to fall very much in love with him. I never did and I'm extremely grateful for that. I see him now and I ask myself 'what the heck were you thinking??!' But we all have those guys in our past that we can chalk up to temporary insanity. For so long I have been this girl with a heart I was so willing to give away, placed on an outstretched palm, and it seemed as though no one wanted it. A lot of it comes from a place of control. I'm not good in the gray areas. I need to know what things are and where were going, that way I can prepare myself emotionally for it. Labels and definitions, that's what I'm most comfortable with. But mostly it's caused by an extreme sense of insecurity. The loud voice that tells me I'm not worthy of love, I'm just desperate to prove it wrong. This boy and I ended things because he told me he wasn't sure what he wanted and didn't know if he saw me as just a friend or more. I told him I wasn't going to waste my heart on someone who wasn't sure how they felt about me. He stopped talking to me after that which was quite bizarre and rather uncomfortable given the fact that we were part of the same friend group. But after time it got less and less uncomfortable and eventually his affect on my life diminished into nothing. That's what's interesting about relationships; you can have such strong feelings for someone and after time you can feel nothing.
Eight years after my last boyfriend and I broke up I met a boy in an improv class, who took me on a date, who I slept with three days later, who soon became my boyfriend. He was extremely handsome with a body that made me feel so insecure about myself I insisted we do it with the lights off. After a couple months of being in class together we had one night of particularly intense flirtation and so I asked him if he'd like to hang out sometime. Well our hang out turned into the most romantic date I've ever been on. After only a couple weeks of dating we became exclusive (per my request, of course) and a couple weeks after that we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. He knew that's what I wanted and so he gave it to me. If you haven't noticed, I tend to pressure guys into relationships. I don't mean to. It's just that well I'm incredibly insecure and also I feel anxious to have the experience. So when I connect with someone it's like okay lets do this. Which may not be normal (or healthy), but I always felt comfortable jumping into something with my entire self and if it doesn't work out that's okay, at least we tried. Because my heart has been hurt by every guy I've ever given it to, I thought that if he was my boyfriend then my fear that he would suddenly leave me would disappear. The 'we're official' title would give me the ability to trust in his feelings for me and the insecure-too worthless-for-love identity I had for myself would stop existing. But it turns out that was just the fantasy I had of a relationship. I soon found that having a boyfriend isn't a magical cure for deeply rooted feelings of self-hatred. No one can fix you, you have to fix yourself. And so our new relationship status was not the deep breath I was looking for and I continued to feel incredibly insecure and untrusting of his feelings towards me. We were both really busy working as servers and trying to make our dreams come true, and so our relationship existed in the late hours of the night. It felt the same as all the other guys I was intimate with. Like we weren't actually a part of each other's lives, we were just stolen moments in the night. But still, I was beginning to fall in love with him. He was too, or so he said, but that's to be debated. It turns out I was right in feeling insecure about his feelings for me because after a messy night where it seemed like he was trying to start a fight about things that didn't exist, he told me he wasn't happy and needed space to figure out what he wanted. Whelp, he didn't want me because the next day he broke up with me stating that he just wasn't able to be in a relationship right now. Then a slew of confessions spilled from his mouth. It turns out he lied to me about a lot of things. He smokes weed every day and not that I judge people who do, do whatever you want, I just don't want to be in a relationship with someone who uses drugs everyday seeing as I don't use them at all. I knew he wasn't sober and I willingly got into a relationship with him, but there is a difference between dating someone who drinks and does drugs sometimes and someone who does them everyday. We'd just be living two completely different types of lives. And the fact that he was sneaking around and doing it behind my back, well that just made me feel dumb. Even though he never said it, I think he was uncomfortable with my sobriety. Sometimes being with someone who's sober mirrors your own substance abuse and maybe that just wasn't something he was willing to face. And then he told me the thing every girl wants to hear during a breakup; I'm still in love with my ex-girlfriend and I tried to convince myself I wasn't but I couldn't. It's like he had an entire monologue going on inside his head during our relationship and he chose not to share it with me. That's the thing about keeping secrets, it's selfish. Honesty is the quality I value most in a person and all of his lies made me lose a lot of respect for him. If he had told me all of these things in the beginning and never gotten into a relationship with me, that I could understand, pretending to be another person I can't. Maybe this sudden out of nowhere breakup was karma for the abrupt way I broke up with my last boyfriend. In the end, and after a lot of distance, I knew it was a really great thing that he broke up with me. I was in a pretty bad place when we were dating; my depression was severe, I was bingeing a lot and besides my relationship status I was unhappy with my entire life. My mental state got even worse after our breakup and I started using things to escape in a similar way I was using alcohol. Food, isolation, TV, cutting, all became my solution to happiness. Our relationship was nice, nothing spectacular, but enjoyable, however, I am extremely grateful for it. Not for the short experience I had of being with him, but because of all the things I learned from our breakup. Getting to such a dark place while in a relationship made me realize that outside things won't make me happy, I have to build that happiness within myself. And because I was sober during this extremely dark time after our breakup it made me realize that not drinking isn't enough, I also need to change my behavior if I am going to ever have a bright and beautiful life. Plus, if we were still together I'm sure I wouldn't have ever thought about moving to a new city and I really feel like Portland is where I'm supposed to be right now. I also learned that if your boyfriend tells you they don't smoke weed everyday, spy on them to see if they're telling the truth. So thank you ex-boyfriend for ending our relationship. I just wish you didn't do it the day before New Years Eve. It made for a very depressing New Years and and a really shitty celebration of my one year of sobriety which is also January 1st. I don't feel like this counts as an official relationship, like I almost want to take back ever calling him my boyfriend. After all, it was only a month and a half from our first date to our breakup and in such a short period of time, how much can you know someone? Apparently not a lot as I found out most things about him during our breakup. We didn't build anything together, we didn't meet each other's families, we barely saw each other in the daylight. I'm no expert on relationships (clearly) but I just think they feel differently then this one did. Since I can't go back in time and revoke his boyfriend title, I will say that this experience counts as half of a relationship.
Only three weeks after my breakup, while I was nurturing my bruised heart, a friend of mine wanted to set me up with one of his friends. I was kind of in a 'boys suck my heart hurts I want to be alone' sort of headspace, but my idea of a good time lately was eating a whole pizza to myself, so I thought it may be a good idea to get out of my house and socialize with someone who wasn't my cat. A connection effortlessly sparked between us and it was one of those nights that you wish would last forever. We continued to see each other after that. He of course, wasn't looking to be in a relationship, and so we became something ambiguous, existing in the space between romance and friendship, twisted up in emotions. We talked everyday, made time to see each other each week, fell asleep with our bodies entwined in affection, but both of us knew this would never go past whatever this was. He was always extremely preoccupied with work and so we had to exist in our own world, stolen moments in the late night. I tried to lose myself in him, to exist in the love of someone else, but he wouldn't let me. Instead he helped me become whole on my own. I loved him, I could tell by the way my heart felt so warm when he held me, like it was engulfed in something wonderful. The words practically spilled out of my mouth every time we where together, but I hadn't said 'I love you' since my boyfriend in high school and I wanted to make this collection of moments special. His Birthday was coming up and so I wrote him a love poem and at the end I told him 'I love you. I love you in all if its terrifying and magical capacity'. He said it back, and from the way he kissed me, I knew it was true. We were in love, but we were still standing in the same place we had been in five months ago, existing in this undefined space. He still can't be in a relationship and now I'm moving, so I can't want that from him anymore. And so we're just us; eclectic conversations and limbs entangled in lust. It's the first relationship I haven't tried to define. The only one I've let exist in feelings and unknown places. No labels or titles or exclusivity. For six weeks now he'll be gone, traveling the country for work. On our last night together we got into a bit of an argument because he couldn't articulate how he feels about me. I understand that we're not together, but when the person you love is traveling around the country for the summer with musicians, it's nice to know how they feel about you so that you don't feel so left behind. He said nothing. He couldn't even tell me that he'll miss me. He had told me he loved me, but what do those words really mean if he is so willing to experience this world without me? I think I want to love someone who makes me feel more special than that. Maybe to him the words are as meaningful as he's capable of giving, I just have a different definition. Were on a pause now, though we never directly stated it, it was just understood. He's off having his adventure and I'm here having mine. We haven't spoken much since he's been gone, and when we do it's just a few simple exchanges of words. When he comes back we'll have a few weeks left before I move to Portland. I'm sure we'll see each other, but I'm not sure it will be in the way that we had; His kisses, wild and uninhibited, hard and gentle all at the same time, the taste of something beautiful on his tongue. His breath on my skin, painting it with affection. Eyes looking past eyes into souls. Hands entwined with a million feelings sprouting from our fingertips. The undefined parts of us expressed through silence. All of that, all the parts of him I love may be in a chapter that's already ended. Soon it will be my turn to leave. And we'll say goodbye, and then there is only the unknown.
So I guess I have had a boyfriend, four to be exact (because my eighth grade ones definitely do not count), it's just at twenty-six years old I've never really had a boyfriend. And I'm okay with that. I know many unhealthy people who have found love in their storms, but that isn't my story. I had to go through all these unhealthy relationships in order to find a way to love myself. A lot of my past relationships were so messy because as much as I wanted to, it was impossible for me to give love when I didn't love myself. This is not a tale of 'poor me why can't I find love', it is a tale of gratitude, because now I am whole on my own, having a man in my life is just icing on an already delicious cake. As my mother always says, "your life is a circle and men are meant to make your circle bigger, not complete it". One day I would love to have a partner by my side to go through this world with, and maybe that day is tomorrow, maybe that day is years from now. Either way, I'm not worried, because until then, I am just going to enjoy the loving relationship I've created with myself.