I am Relationship.

 'I don't think we should date anymore'. Stop. I want you to stop and think for a moment about your first break-up. Who knows how long you were in that dark place or if you're even out. I thought I was far from the days of listening to 'Tears on my Pillow', myself.

So, I'm 28 and dating. If you're older you're probably thinking, 'You still have time' and if you're younger you'd start off with, 'You're not that old, you still have time'.

My first break-up (gulp) I found out that my boyfriend was dating another woman on Myspace. I happenned to stumble upon her page and there my boyfriend was with a Happy New Year's tiara face planting someone I never knew exsisted.

Did I mention, we lived together? His excuse time and time again was, 'Do your thing, go hang out with your friends. Someone has to work around here'. This was ironic because I was going to school full time and working two jobs to live this fabulous independent lifestyle in a trendy city with my boyfriend.

That was break-up number one. Now, I could sit here and divulge each and every horror story to you about how terrible men were. It's incredible to think about how you actually got there. Many of us were raised in these upper middle class loving households with parents who are still together.

And maybe...that's it. They're together, even through the bad times and we were the one's who had to endure what seemed like, almost divorce for years and now what are they doing...Retired and happier in their marriage than ever before after 40 something years.

So what I'm saying is, we saw the bullshit and knew how much sufferring and work it takes to make a marriage last and then naturally we apply it to our relationships.

But, mistakenly or not....that didn't erase that two serious boyfriends cheated on me with the one they were going to marry and the last one beat the shit out of me and I stayed around to have sex.

What's wrong with you...why would you do that? Women are natural fixers. I'm a perfectionist and a Psychology major myself with a once over-active ego who thought I could and would fix anything with persistence. I mean, that's how it worked with everything else, right?

Epiphany. Two years after living in the same town I graduated in and realizing that partying was slumming and people didn't live there to be successful just get to the beach quickly when it was warm outside. Two years after going through relationship, commitment, and self-esteem issues it may be time to move closer to home and that's exactly what I did, I quit, I dropped everything and left my alcoholic boyfriends and roommate behind.

I mean, I guess what courage it must have taken for me to leave a really shitty place behind. However, I do give myself credit because it took courage to say, 'I'm out, this placeis not good for me'.

Fast Forward, my sister signs me up for an online dating site and pays for the first month. She felt that it was something I should do because I'd 'recovered' and done so much for my confidence in the past year. 'Get to dating' she said and so I did.

I went on three dates. Yes,  I could of gone on more, but....online or not the pickings are slim when you have some standards and yes....all of a sudden now, I have standards. That's what happens when you trade your flip flops in for heels.

The men I dated were full of good looks, accomplished and had charms. But, there was always something slightly off. No, don't hide behind your high profile career...is it possible you are just a little bit, shall we say...socially akward?

Then there was, let's call him, 'Decklan' (a name I wouldn't dare but, want to name my never to born because I will be barren and rotten for all eternity), he was a foreigner who studied in America and got his Medical PhD.

Right? Check so far. He had an accent, he was accomplished and he had a great hook, 'Don't write the guy before you, do you know he has a habit of asking women to marry you on your first date'. Oh wait....that may have been a subtle warning sign of, 'I have commitment issues when I'm not in control'. But, he was worth exploring.

Okay, okay...so whether it's for me or for you, he was not the typical type of guy I dated. You know? Those thrill seeking, hottie, bad boys with mother issues who had a lot of money. This guy was in control of himself, his world, and his destiny. Which was attractive at the time because me and all of my friends and family thought, this might be the One to settle her down.

He took me to really interesting and exotic places with great views that felt exclusive and only for the priviliged. Well, they were for the priviliged and I didn't have the heart to tell him, back when I didn't have bills and student loans or cared about them that these were the places my friends and I would go and blow 300 dollars, sometimes literally.

I followed the rules for a bit of time. He'd pounce and I'd push him away. But, something was always a little off about our chemistry. Now, before you go judging me here...have you ever been on a diet?

I say this because he was fit and well....shorter than what I had been with. My profile said I was bi-racial so maybe he expected a little less curvy side. But, I began thinking about my weight so we could be more, 'compatible'.

He had a fast little hot car and he just seemed perfect. My peferct man list made back in 2004 was just about 92 percent complete.

He did everything right, he called and he made plans for me in his busy last 5 months of his fellowship program and I felt 'special' because he was so important. Red flag. Why does it take a man to make me feel special and shouldn't I be the one who was important? He maybe sensed that..but, I am not going to give him too much credit.

Time went by and I didn't follow the rules and his interest lessened. I panicked searching for answers from friends, family, and even my own physician.

Then, he called and would asked me out again. But, it finally came to hault the night before our date. He told me his 'mood changed'. Was it because I was fat? Was it because I was begging for commitment? I followed the rules, I pulled back, did he sense I wanted marriage and I planned out our colors. Stop.

Firstly, women tend to blame themselves incredibly about what went wrong in a relationship. A recent Cosmpolitan poll indicated that some 43 percent of men are freaked out by commitment because they're feeling so vunerable. Am I a victim of a statistic, am I a statistic of a statstical situation? It's happened before, girlfriend and it could happen again?

Whatever the reason, he started out, 'I'm not dating anyone else'. Lie, he back on the site. I pitched the friend thing and the whole, I was gonna be myself with you thing. Truth. He didn't have it. It was over and three dates later I see him purusing the site. NOOO, not because I stalked him because his face blared out of a page of men saying, 'You failed again'.

So what did I do, I went to a dark place, pushed out all the emotions and drank myself into a happy Pinot Noir bliss. This is how I felt about rejection after five (honestly, fabulous) dates? I mean f-ing seriously? Friends said, 'Go out and ride that horse' or 'It's okay to be upset'.

I was more upset with the fact that I was upset with some guy I met for like a half a breath of my entire life. But, maybe it was more than that..

I got my period. Which was violent because I wasn't taking care of myself because I poisoned myself all weekend and wanted, no it decided to let me know how stupid I really was. I was almsot comatose for three days in emotional and physical agony. But, there I went through a 10 year archive of diary pages. And each time I turned the page, I got wiser. What guy was this? How is this different from the last? It was NEVER about the guy, it was about this ideal relationship that I casted myself into.

A fairytale delusion because there's tragedy in every good novel and fairytale. That's how, or rather WHY we feel it's so good to have something.

Sure, I wish him to vanish in the 'pit of despair' and come back grovelling to avenge the six-fingered man and tell me, 'As you wish'. But, he hasn't and I'm not sure and for the first time accept that he might not.

Surpringly, I'm okay with that and again maybe that's because he's reassuring me that I can be by myself and take care of myself or maybe because I threw myself into turmoil in all those past relationships that this was a light blow to the eyeball. But, I still cried. I still think about it. I still wonder how it could be. But, it's easier now because I accept how it is.

Thanks for the lesson, Decklan.

But, we tend to forget sometimes and this is the point. Which I'm sure you can understand....that we sometimes get so wrapped up in what we are suppose to be doing that we forget what we are doing and who we are.

We obsess with our bodies and fears that it could never be better than this. But, time and time again we've proved to be survivors because, yes...we surprise ourselves because it always has gotten better than what we compartmentalized our situations to be.

We waiver back and forth. Like I am deciding how to end this...is it, 'I'll write you when he calls and he begs me to marry him' or is it, 'i realize I have a lot to work on'. Or could it be okay to feel and know that both are true?

(Gulp) Although wine, a good cigarette, and writing occupy my time at this moment I can't help but think, is it just that I am trying so hard not to think about him that I end up writing an endless tribute to him?

Who can say? But, what I can say is....I'm pretty sure, that it's the truth. The truth to me and intergral part of me says instead of everything happenning for a reason I am going accept what's happenning and I'm going to survive like many if not all of us once have.

There's some quote out there that I'm sure would be applicable in ending this here....like no man's journey is greater than another man's journey or life without love or to get what you want you have to know yourself....the point is, it's what's important to you and what makes you feel inside and if you're still feeling something, whether torment or bliss it validates that you, you're human therefore (gulp) as I know you're relating to this in some way you're acknowleding that avoiding the situations that we've found ourselves would be as hard as denying that we are human.  



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