Once upon a time I was a hopeless romantic, who used to dream of her prince charming coming to rescue her on a white horse drawn wagon, literally. In complete costume and everything. Don’t ask me why I dream in period pieces. But, I did and I would be whisked off into the sunset rescued from the depths of muddy despair wearing peasant clothing from the 18th century.
My romantic notions hadn’t taken shape yet due to lack of experience. Let me rephrase that, lack of bad experience. I truly believed fate was going to lead me to my soul mate. This idea that there was this one person who would fit me so well that the stars would aligned so that we could find each other and all would be perfect in the universe once we were joined. So, I wasn’t worried. While my younger sister was off dating boyfriend after boyfriend to systematically find the ONE, I remained happily singularly myself.
I had one high school boyfriend who was really just my best friend. He was the sweetest boy I had ever known. He showered me with affection I didn’t know what to do with. But, I felt in my heart that the world was so much bigger than what it was at the moment and I couldn’t settle for just that when my life was just about to begin. We broke up after 6 months when I started to not return his phone calls and we slowly become distant. I felt it was for his own good. A couple years after high school graduation, I went to his wedding. He is now married with three beautiful children. Everything he had wanted, he got. Sitting at another friend’s wedding reception, our catch-up conversation was intermittent when he had to chase down his children to get them to eat their dinner. I secretly thanked god, that that wasn’t me. Is that bad?
I went on dates in college. No serious dating. My motto at the time was if it wasn’t the ONE, it wasn’t worth a second date. I thought I knew from the first 10 minutes of meeting someone. I was also busy taking 21 units a semester and working part-time to pay for college. I was meeting a lot of people through extra work. I had a good group of college friends. I had a great music buddy who was my partner in crime. I liked my social life. It was fun and carefree and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by not having a serious romantic relationship.
It wasn’t until grad school at the age of 25 that I had my first real serious “I think I’m in love with this man and can picture a future with him” boyfriend. Needless to say after three very high highs and very low lows years of a tumultuous romantic love relationship my heart was left broken. The kind of broken that leaves you curled up in a ball in the middle of your bedroom floor bawling yourself to dehydration. The kind that shatters your snow-globe interpretation of how love’s existence. The kind that has broken your trust in the world.
I am now 29. It’s taken a lot of healing. I am a different person because of it. It does feel like the change is for the better but I’m not quite sure it is. I suppose time will only tell. All I know is that we have the capabilities to destroy the human spirit in one other whether with or without intention and that we should use caution when we hold that kind of power in our hands. But, I am hopeful. I still believe that I am definitely a hopeless romantic at heart but maybe just a more cautious one.