I arrived at this title and the contents contained within after some time spent pondering a request to write a guest post for another blogger. This particular blogger’s site tends to revolve around love in its many forms, and that made me focus on what I might share about my concepts of love that would engage her readers. Writing of the amazing relationship, full of love, that I have with my brother has already been done – by him – and by me in assorted tidbits throughout other blog posts I’ve written. So I started to think about other loves in my life and my thoughts began racing to all of the romantic relationships I’ve had in my many years.
We’ll bypass the angst of teenage love/high school love. I had a couple of crushes during those years, all of which were unrequited. I did have one boyfriend that I recall but I wouldn’t have said I loved him then, and I wouldn’t say that now. He was cute, as I recall, but all I cared about was being able to say I had a boyfriend. Obviously, that went by the wayside.
I had a boyfriend in college. Terry was a nice guy, and beyond good to me. My problem with our relationship was that he was somewhat of a mama’s boy. His father was gone, and he was an only child. That made him feel compelled to go home almost every weekend. Meanwhile, I had been kept very constricted in social life and social activities while growing up, and my college life finally gave me the chance to break out and explore. Our college was close to the state line, where the drinking age was only 18, and while I didn’t like beer (still don’t), it wasn’t uncommon for a group to cross the state line on a Friday or Saturday night for pizza and beer.
Unfortunately, on one of those yet again weekends that he went home to see his mother, I got invited to a frat party. I wasn’t expecting any problems because these were always keg parties and I knew I couldn’t stomach the taste of beer to have too much to drink. However, it was on this night that I was naively introduced to grain alcohol. Meanwhile, the wall flower that I was stayed to the edges, and then I saw this guy, his entire right leg in a cast, holding a pair of crutches, and figuring he was as lonely as I was against the wall, found the courage to go over and say hello. Because I was naively sipping a punch which I had no idea was laced with tasteless alcohol, the events became very sketchy after that. I remember walking out the door, with my new friend holding onto me. I remember walking face-first into a huge tree, stepping back and immediately, out loud, apologizing to the tree for walking into it. And I remember waking up the next morning in his dorm room. I was assured that nothing happened – I was too drunk and he was encumbered with a full leg cast – but I felt pretty bad about it.
Needless to say, my boyfriend, Terry, was neither accepting of my behaviour nor willing to believe that nothing had happened between us. I made a stupid cry out in anguish, which was eventually enough that my mother was called to come. She took me home, and I never returned to college.
That became a pattern that it took me years to understand. I understand now that I would always find a way to sabotage my relationships becauses I had in innate belief that something would end up going wrong and I would get my heart broken. If I was going to lose this guy – and I always believed I would – then I was going to choose how and when.
Now, here I am, two marriages and two divorces under my belt. I understand now that I married for all of the wrong reasons and sadly, without a concept of what real love was. I’ve been single for a long time, with only one long-distance relationship under my belt in all of that time. I tried numerous dating sites, and had some really bad dates from them. And the longer I live alone, the more I realize that it would be difficult to give up my space, even to share it. I treasure the silent time I have in the early morning hours before dawn begins and the day starts. I treasure not having to clean up after anyone else but me. And let’s face it, my fault or not, I’ve been in enough relationships that I’m not sure I deserve another chance.
I have more than enough reasons to be cynical about true love and a committed relationship. And yet, I am still a hopeless romantic at heart. Some part of me is still open to the idea that a man will enter my life and capture my heart. I don’t believe in that possibility intellectually, but emotionally.
And so, I have chosen to label myself as a cynical romantic…