After falling out of love with my first love, I changed my dating tune. The guy I dated immediately after I didn’t really like, but I liked being liked and he made the pain feel less intense. Then I gained a conscious and knew I couldn’t continue to be with him without liking him, so we broke up.
Thus began my cycle of dating casually. When people would ask why I was still single, it was mostly a mixture of enjoying learning about myself and learning about the types of guys out there. Plus, I wasn’t ever hurt. Dating was safe and just a way to gather experiences, preferences and memories.
Then I met him, and it all seemed to change immediately. Within a few hours, I felt totally at ease and fully comfortable as myself with him. We knew each other’s general histories and our plans for the future. I could laugh with him easily, he was attractive and treated me with respect.
Over the next 48 hours, I had met a number of his friends and I brought him along to meet mine. We seemed to fit almost too well considering the short timeline we had been present in each other’s lives. We’d text constantly without being obnoxious. I would find myself excited to leave my friend’s house after work just because I knew I would see him.
We talked about our future together, our plans for where we’d want to live and how many children we would have. We laughed at how different our families are, and what our parent’s would and wouldn’t like about each other.
We just worked in a scarily quick and easy fashion.
Then we hit our two-week mark, and he ghosted hard. I went through an intense two-day mourning period, as if we had been together for years. I felt sick to my stomach, and my heart felt as if simply beating was exhausting. By the time he came back a week later, I wasn’t ready to let a flake back into my life. He was quick to remind me that we weren’t dating, as to justify that my feelings didn’t count. My head told me he was right, we got in over our heads way too fast, but my heart didn’t see the logic. It just felt the spark and then the absence of it.
Looking back on it, he wasn’t “the one,” and my heart and head are in agreement of that fact. We didn’t have the same values, and he was the type of guy who treated a woman like a princess, but acted differently in groups of people. I would have had to spend my life making excuses for him.
And while in hindsight it is easy to distinguish reality from my feelings at the moment, I can’t be happier to have felt so strongly for him, only to be crushed. I could have done without the heartbreak at the end, but it was refreshing to be reminded about what it felt like to deeply care for someone again. Feeling someone’s absence reminded me of how wonderful it is to feel the warmth of someone’s attention and love.
After over a year of being alone, I became accustom to meeting men that I would eventually walk away from. I actually started to believe that those butterflies that I used to feel just as a teenager didn’t exist in adulthood. Perhaps adult relationships were supposed to be safe, without the spark. But with his quick entrance and exit from my life, I was at least reminded how great it felt to feel those butterfly wings fluttering against the lining of my stomach.
A bit of heartbreak gave me hope.