Originally Published February 26, 2018
It’s hard to live life missing something, but it’s almost impossible and tangibly painful when you are aware of what it is you are missing. What I am struggling with is common. Boys. Ick! I never really cared for them in a romantic sense. They were my buddies growing up. I associated girls with drama and guys were so much more chill. It was easy hanging out with them. Sometimes, yeah, I’ll admit often times, I’d flirt. In my last year of middle school I discovered the joys of flirting. It flustered guys and that made me feel good. It made me feel powerful. Influential. Important. Though, I did not date in my school years, I flirted. Still today, I’m a big flirt.
It was like a game to me. How to make the opposite sex blush. Because that’s often how it would go with the boys in my league. They were shy and quiet types. Often intellectuals. On one of these occasions I got an offer I’d never gotten before. A next step, if you will. By this time, I was 20 years old. I’d gone on one, I repeat, one (there was no second!) date. And now I was offered a relationship request. The last time I had been asked to be someone’s girlfriend was in fifth grade. I ran off the playground and left that kid standing there with his heart in his hands! So you can bet, I considered this request.
In the end, I accepted. This changed my life in too many ways to count. The one change I’m struggling with now is simple. I, for the first time in a romantic sense, got love and affection and attention. Up to this point, I lived my life solitary. It was my normal. It wasn’t a problem. It was just my life. I didn’t know another way… until my first relationship. Yes, my first relationship was at 20 years old. Actually, a month before turning 21! I just barely committed to someone before having my first shot. Also, yes, I did wait until I was 21 to drink. This tells you even more about the type of person I was… maybe still am.
My long winded point being that by experiencing a relationship I got to experience all the wonders that come along with it. For the first time in my life, I had a person. My person. Someone I trusted with all of my secrets. I trusted him with my whole being. I never felt judged. This was HUGE for me. As you lovely readers may have picked up on, I’m wary of people. I don’t open up easily. I have a twinge of paranoia about everyone and everything. I surprised myself with him. I gave myself totally and, arguably, gave more than I had to give.
In return, I got love. Love so deep and beautiful that I had never experienced before. People have loved me before. My parents, friends, and family members, of course. But never an other. Never someone completely distant. Never a stranger who owed me nothing. Never someone who I could not explain away his care for me. Because before we were in a relationship we were strangers. He had no reason to love me. But he did. We clicked. We understood each other. That was one of the biggest things for me. No one had ever tried to understand me. Not my friends, or even my parents. He not only tried to understand me, but I sincerely believe that he did.
Aside from understanding, and genuine love, I got something I had never experienced with anyone before: physical affection. Since I had gone on one date in my life prior to this relationship, I had not done so much as sit next to a boy before him. With him, I learned the beauty of holding someone’s hand and crying in someone’s arms. I was so jittery in the beginning. I could not sit still. I didn’t know how. He taught me it’s okay to just lay with someone. Just lay together and enjoy each other’s presence.
I don’t have that anymore.
It was okay before I ever had it, because I did not know what I was missing. Since I didn’t know, I did not feel like I was missing anything. Back then, love and hugs were like a fairy tale to me. They were this mythical creature that I’d run into in the future. Not a concern of the present. Even after breaking up, I wasn’t too torn up about this. I went a bit extreme. That, “I swear off boys” phase. I really was done. No hugs, no love? I really did not care. I did not want it. I had it and it hurt me. It was not worth it.
If no one had poked my bubble. I would have done fine on my own. I was adjusting well back into singledom. But someone popped my bubble. Now I crave. I want. I need. But I don’t have. And it’s killing me.
I know I let him pop my bubble. It’s just so hard to say no when I have seen life outside this wretched bubble. But it is not time. This is not my hand to hold. I need to remember, and accept, that my life is meant to be alone. I need to be my own best friend. My own support. My own care giver. Then, and only then, can I think of a partner.
Please, wish me luck.