It’s a long road before you meet The One, even if you don’t believe in sappy love stories or soul mates. Still, once you’ve met The One, you will think of these five, maybe not all of them at the same time, perhaps one of the five every few months, just to remind yourself how you’ve lucked out.
One day, as you’re making breakfast for your children, you will look down at the gigantic rock on your hand and think about the days in which you were single. How young and free life was, how you could do anything or be anyone. Then you’ll remember how life didn’t feel free then, in fact, you liked to glorify the past, and you will thank your lucky stars as you remember once and for all why you didn’t end up with any of The Five.
1. The Virgin.
He’s so innocent you take his virginity, but you’re so innocent he’s your first relationship. Neither of you know what you’re doing, but you go at it anyway. He studies so hard in college, even ignoring your texts for days. He talks about the future, possibly getting married one day. You scoff. In his dreams. You take advantage of his innocence, manipulating this beautiful specimen into doing things for you. You never go to his place, since it’s dirty and he has a roommate. You make him trek a half hour to you, actually, you make him do everything.
Your relationship revolves around you, only you. No, you never cheat on him, nor does he, but you know you have him wrapped around your finger. He still hangs with the same crowd from high school, and they spend most of their time getting high. He’s even hinted at one of his crew being in the mob, and after you meet said friend, you believe him. Eventually, The Virgin is no longer innocent and out of all people, blames you for it. He wants to try new drugs, and you get scared. You fight, you break up, you fight again, and he breaks up with you in an Indian restaurant for the last time.
2. The Man.
A year or so later after you’ve met The Virgin, had a few casual flings here and there, you meet The Man. He’s a few months shy of being a doctor, soft-spoken and ten years older than you. You wonder why he’s interested in you, whether he’s got something to hide since he’s so old. First he asks you out, then he asks you to be his girlfriend almost immediately after your second date, then he asks you to meet his parents. You realize he really wants to settle down, and while the thought of that turns you off, you still continue seeing him, perhaps even leading him on.
You take him to parties, where at first he stands out, but easily blends in with the rest of the younger crowd. The Man wines and dines you at the finest restaurants in town, but somehow you still think he’s boring. You hate the way he snores and takes up your side of the bed. Your friends drool over him, noting his title and half-Japanese features. One weekend when you’re out of town, you realize you feel suffocated by him. You don’t like anything about him, but your friends pushed you so hard you convinced yourself you did. You even hate his laugh, and soon you hate his face. You start talking innocently to a new guy, and soon after dump The Man for The Talent. He tells you you broke his heart.
3. The Talent.
The Talent isn’t the hottest guy in town, but he’s the most charming. He reminds you of a dragon, somewhat exotic but menacing at the same time. Everyone drools over The Talent. He is the best at what he does. He is undefeated. You fall in love with his power, his sarcasm, his influence on others. One night, you enter an opening for a restaurant with The Talent, and you see The Man with another girl. You gulp, taking deep breaths as The Talent walks over to The Man. They know each other, in fact, they’re colleagues. The Man nods at you, says nothing about your relationship to The Talent, and returns back to his dinner. He’s a real gentleman, The Man.
The Talent drags you inside and somehow, you end up fighting— luckily, not in front of The Man. Months go by, and you’re hungry for the influence The Talent exudes that you, for the life of you, fail to realize he is not a nice person. A conservative man, he despises your liberal friends and orders you not to talk to them. You become weak. You, who once dared called yourself a feminist, let him walk all over you that he cheats on you not once, but twice. Perhaps everyone saw the inevitable breakup coming except you. He breaks up with you two days before he posts on Facebook that he’s in a new relationship.
4. The Bad Boy.
You feel pathetic that you’re lusting over The Bad Boy, who’s younger than you by a year. He knows he’s a rebound from The Talent, but you don’t mind. It doesn’t seem much, but boy do girls mature faster. The Bad Boy may or may not have been your weed dealer, back when you used to smoke and thought you were better than everyone else. Once you started seeing each other, you could use your allotted weed money for snacks instead.
Each time you’re with him, you’re either high or eating under the influence of munchies. You watch trippy music videos on YouTube in his room, decorated with posters of punk bands and Indian tapestries, and make out on his bed that smells like sweat and is never made. He drove under the influence of acid, smoked a pack a day, yet you were still attracted to him. One day, The Bad Boy stops answering your texts and you find out he was arrested. You move on, and to this day still don’t know why he was arrested or why you were even attracted to him in the first place.
5. The Almost-Man.
He’s about as textbook nerd as it gets. He works in a chemistry lab and drones on about cells and you nod, pretending it’s interesting. You first met at a party four to five years ago, and thought he was too nerdy for you. Now, you find his work ethic sexy and sense of humor endearing. You have the same taste in indie music and are surprised when you find out he was raised Catholic. He tells you about his parents, how his mom is super religious and his dad is an alcoholic. He’s a sweet guy who makes you breakfast in bed and always makes an effort to see you after work.
When you finally have the “what are we” talk five months later, he freezes and tells you he’s not ready for commitment. You nod and are mature enough to move on from situations like this, and you part ways amicably. You take all of his qualities, minus the commitment part, compartmentalizing these aspects onto an invisible checklist, and hope the next one will be better. A few months later, lo and behold, you meet The One.