One of my favorite movies is “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” I guess I like the idea of a man overlooking the silly dating mistakes women tend to commit (even if she was doing them on purpose and he only stuck around for the sake of winning a bet). Also, I find the movie hilarious.
I think that as women, and human beings with feelings, we hope for a sense of romanticism from our significant other. We think big gestures, meaningful compliments, magical moments, balloons, handwritten letters delivered by carrier pigeon and singing animals holding heart shaped roses could be on our horizon. And while I haven’t had much luck with the aforementioned, I have walked away from every relationship having learned something new — it’s how I learned to skateboard, fish, rock climb and curse in Italian.
That being said, I found it easy to lose a guy in three months without trying to drive him away. My latest relationship fed my cynicism, but it still taught me some valuable life lessons:
Tom* and I met in school about a year ago, but since I used to think he was married, and I was dating someone else at the time, we didn’t get together until this summer. We attended the same high school where we had similar friends, we lived in adjacent neighborhoods which means we shopped at the same stores, we both majored in Civil Engineering at the same university, we had many of the same college friends and we had been to the same tailgates and parties on multiple occasions, yet our paths had not crossed. Looking back, had we met back on any of those occasions, a romantic relationship wouldn’t have flourished, teaching me that sometimes it’s the right person but not the right time and it is worth the wait.
The difference between commonality and similarities
We don’t have much in common: not the same TV shows, not our eating habits (I am vegan) or any of the same interests. However, we are very similar individuals: both being spiritual without being religious, our approach to running and yoga, reading habits, placed importance on family and sexual compatibility. I have never felt so at home and comfortable with someone from the get-go, teaching me compatibility can be achieved in many ways.
Star Wars can be sexy
I am going to keep the particulars about this one to myself, but use your imagination to fill in the blanks. You’re welcome.
You don’t always get smoke signals
Our relationship was particularly meaningful to me; it was the first one I attempted since my last longterm relationship. While I did date, I hadn’t gotten serious about anyone new until Tom. I was surprised at having opened up so much, but not as surprised as I was by our breakup. After a phone call from my ex-boyfriend on what would have been our three year anniversary, he didn’t talk to me for a week. Did not pick up the phone, did not text back, nothing. Good thing he had the time to update his Snapchat story or I might’ve been worried, or something.
Sometimes relationships end for no good reason
Ever been on a date where it was perfect based solely on the company? We went to more coffee shops that I could count – yup, we are old souls. Old souls that would indulge their wild side by hitting the bars with friends. One of my favorite dates was when he took me to a vegan restaurant (I know it was a big step for him). We used to go on late night motorcycle rides and quietly enjoy each other. He went to one of my races (I’m a runner) to show support. It was all rainbows and butterflies, or so I thought.
On the last day of our happy time we went to a brewery with another couple, had dinner with his family and watched one of my favorite movies. That same night, when I got home, I received a phone call from my ex-boyfriend and now family friend. Tom spent a week not talking to me while convincing himself of non-existent problems, all because of a phone call.
Afterwards, I got a lengthy text message outlining the reason for our breakup: we did not have much in common, I don’t feel comfortable leaving my medical alert service dog home and I still have my ex-boyfriend in my life. So, although he liked me “so much”, I had met his entire family and there had not been any particular problem or fight, he decided we were “too different” and it was “best to part ways before we get any deeper.”
What it means to “invest” in a relationship
I used to not understand what it meant when some would say they “invested” in a relationship. Did they mean money? Time? Emotions? Or all of the above? But now I see it in a way that makes more sense to me: stock. Our relationship was stock. The market was doing well, the stock was gaining value and he got paranoid and gave up and sold it too soon, losing his investment and the opportunity to obtain stock from that company again.
It hurt that he didn’t have the decency to break up with me in person, but he taught me some valuable lessons. So thank you for the good times, but good riddance.
*Name has been changed