Every so often I need to give myself a pep talk. Writing everything out here helps me process my feelings, as does getting all your lovely comments and insights. I love being challenged to dig deep into myself… so thank you.
Sometimes I think I’m just screwed up when it comes to relationships. I wonder if I just don’t know how to have a healthy relationship. I certainly don’t think I’ve ever had one before. My relationship past is littered with heartbreak. Of course, I am not without blame; I played a role in it just as much as the guys did.
This is a history of my significant relationships:
- J: My first serious relationship. I met him when I was 17… only I lied and told him I was 18 (I met him in an 18+ dance club I had used a fake ID to get into). J was 25 but lied and told me he was 24. I lost my virginity to him but told him it wasn’t my first time. I was intimidated by this “older man” and wanted him to think I was more experienced than I really was. He had all his shit together, i.e. he had already graduated from a prestigious private university with a degree in mechanical engineering and was an airplane navigator in the Navy. We dated for a year and even seriously discussed marriage when he thought he was going to be relocated to Spain. Instead, he was relocated only about 150 miles away so we maintained a long-distance relationship for the last half of our relationship. Our demise ultimately happened when he lost his wallet while helping me move. I found it a few days later under the outdoor stairs of my apartment complex. I checked to make sure everything was intact and found a business card for a matchmaking service. I still remember the name of the company: Successful Singles International, now defunct. I calmly called him and broke up with him over the phone. We kept in touch occasionally after that but have been Facebook friends for the past 7 years. He’s divorced with 3 kids.
- Brat: I was 22, Brat was 24. We met at work. I was a student intern; he was an environmentalist. We had an off & on relationship for over 2 years. He had a leg fetish and loved when I wore stockings or tights. He gifted me many pairs of tights and then would rip a hole in the crotch so he could caress my legs while we had sex. Ultimately, I moved on because he was unable to express his feelings and I doubted he loved me. He was pained by my decision to end the relationship. He even asked me if I put a spell on him because all sorts of bad things started happening to him after our final breakup. And then the kicker: he said, “Laur, I think I love you” and it only pissed me off further. (Not to mention it made me think of The Partridge Family.) He thought he loved me? Dude, that’s not the way to win back your ex-girlfriend! Own your feelings! He was too afraid of the L word. I don’t know Brat’s current whereabouts (he is mysteriously absent from all social media) or marital status but I am pretty sure he still works at the same company.
- Gravy: I was 25, Gravy was 28. We met while on an exchange program in Germany through our university but we didn’t start dating until we returned to the States. To this day, I think of him as the “one who got away”. We only went out for 6 months and would probably still be together had he made me more of a priority. I came after his job (he owned his own company), university, and rugby (he was pro). When I asked for just one standing evening per week I could count on seeing him, he balked and refused. Oh hell no. I wasn’t going to be at his beck and call and I didn’t think one standing date night per week was too much to ask, but it apparently was. Our relationship was awesome otherwise. It was a sad and brutal breakup. He tried to get back together a couple years later but by that time, I was seriously dating Mars. Thanks to internet stalking, I just so happen to know he now lives within a few miles of where I work, is married with twin girls, and his wife is a Type-A superstar clothing designer that works for Athleta.
- Ratbert: I met Ratbert while bar hopping with friends in San Francisco (despite living 100 miles away) when I was 26. He was 29. We lived in different cities so we didn’t have our first date until several months later. On our second date, he professed his love (whoa, dude!) and told me I was the perfect woman for him. I was suspicious but thought, ‘hmm, maybe he knows something I don’t….’ We were engaged 2 months later and immediately started planning a fall wedding. I quit my job, left my friends & family, and moved to southern California / Orange County to build our life together. Once in southern California, I had my doubts about our compatibility but wasn’t a quitter. Two months after I’d moved in with him and completely upturned my life, he told me that he wanted to postpone the wedding. I was crushed. I had made all the major life changes; he’d made none other than making room in his condo for me. So many thoughts were racing through my mind. If I agreed to postpone, how long would we postpone? Would he change his mind again? Why did he propose if he wasn’t ready to get married? In the end, I told him that we would either go ahead with our original fall wedding date or cancel altogether. I gave him a weekend to think about it and he took off on a solo backpacking trip to do some soul-searching. He came back and told me he wasn’t ready for a fall wedding, he just needed more time. I firmly said no and told him to call his parents to break the news. He did, in a sad gravelly voice. We lost lots of money on wedding venue and vendor deposits. We continued dating while I lived down there (he was my only local friend) but I knew in my heart there was no future with him. A few months later, I relocated to San Francisco… and have been here ever since. Ratbert and I keep in touch every 4-5 years. He’s married and still living in southern California. Last time we’d had contact, he told me he and his wife were undergoing many failed fertility treatments hoping to have their first child. I hope they’ve succeeded by now. **Ratbert is the last love interest I met “the old fashioned way”, i.e. not online.
- Mars: I met Mars within 3 months of moving to San Francisco. I was 27, he was 31. We got married when I was 32 and were married 12 years. You all know the story – I won’t reiterate. I don’t regret marrying him. I made a great choice for a husband and the father of my children. Since divorcing, we are happily co-parenting.
- Tex: Tex was one of the first guys I dated after separating from Mars. You can read about our first date here. There is plenty of reading material regarding Tex on this site for the backstory if you’re interested. Our entire relationship is detailed on this blog. Our relationship ended ridiculously but the silver lining is that he made it very easy to walk away and never look back. Easiest breakup ever! I will say that my standards were much looser immediately post-marriage. I was emotionally raw and needy. I know for a fact I wouldn’t have ever had a relationship with Tex if I’d met him a year later. I have no regrets but, in hindsight, I was way too tolerant. I think my excessive tolerance was rooted in a belief that I should try harder in a relationship after a failed marriage… nevermind that the relationship was all wrong. I’m pretty sure he’s in a serious relationship now.
- Hayden: My current love. You all know the story here. My relationship with Hayden has been detailed since our very first date.
As you can see, I don’t have a healthy relationship history or else I’d be living happily ever after. None of the relationships were abusive or necessarily problematic other than being dysfunctional.
My quest for a healthy relationship continues and I suspect it has to start with me. I freak out, over-react, and get spooked easily. I overthink.
I need to calm the fuck down and relax.
I saw Hayden on Wednesday night. We went to Mexican food, had copious sex, and watched 2 episodes of Six Feet Under. I’m seeing him again tonight (woohooo!) – we’re going to see Wonder Woman. And we may even see each other tomorrow night, too – our plans to see Beauty & the Beast in the park might still be a go if he doesn’t get overly sensitive about seeing each other 2 nights in a row as he sometimes does.
Things are going really well with him. He checks in via text every day and evening on the days we don’t see each other so I’m feeling secure in the frequency and quality of our communications.
A dude asked me out on OK Cupid a couple nights ago and I still haven’t responded. Maybe now is a good time to deactivate. I have no business being on there if I feel weird about accepting a first date. And I would feel weird. Should I be dating if I’m professing my love for someone else? Probably not.