Okay so some time ago, part of the daily challenge or whatever was to write about loss, and it mentioned that this topic would be revisited later as a series of sorts, so I set it up as such. Thus, part two of the series is here. This time, I shall focus on the loss of friendships/relationships due to the dissolution of romantic relationships. Oh boy, here we go.
This form of loss I feel has probably proven to affect me the most in my life so far. Some I could not have cared less about at the time (but would later), while others cut me deeply and left scars, and a few were outright confusing as hell. I should point out that collateral damage occurred from some breakups as well, meaning that relationships of friends of the main person were lost as well due to the logical conclusion of never seeing each other due to guts-hating or whatever it is women do to people they don’t care to see anymore. For the sake of anonymity (like anybody would read this or know who people are anyways), I will leave names absent. The situations can speak for themselves. Some of these stories are pretty dated by now (I’m ancient according to teenagers), so they might be a bit fuzzy but at least accurate from my point of view.
I was slow taking a shine to the ladies, that’s for sure. Junior or senior year (again, fuzzy), I remember a girl thinking I was cute and got my number, and then I remember hyperventilating for hours before calling her to tell her I wasn’t ready for that sort of thing. We hadn’t even hung out or anything. And she was the opposite of an uggo, from what I recall. Never did hear from that one after that. Wouldn’t even know her now. I was on another girl’s hook (any HIMYM fans will get this one). Of course, nothing ever remotely happened with that, and eventually I gave up on that pipe dream. What an idiot I was. There were dunces who knew nothing about how to behave around females, and then there was me.
That being said, I somehow managed to have an actual girlfriend before graduating high school. I feel I should put a disclaimer here before getting further into this: unless you’re 120% sure that the person you’re dealing with is who you’re going to marry later, it is probably best not to engage them if they are often close in contact with you in small settings, such as church, youth group, a small school class, etc.; it makes for an awkward time to say the least if things don’t work out. Anyway, I experienced a lot of firsts with this person. No, not the big ones (you dirty pervert). You know, things like dancing, dating, kissing, and baring my soul to another person, which, if you’re a guy like me, can be very difficult to do. I can’t speak for her, but for me it was a great time, exploring perhaps a small fraction of what it meant to love and be loved in a unique way, different from parents or buddies. Life was good. Then college came, and I was now 5 hours away. It wasn’t very long at all before she was telling me she was quitting on us. I’m sure she had decided that a long time before she had actually said it. I’d like to think I understand women better now (I’ll never understand them completely), but I’ve learned that women break up with you mentally long before they do out loud. They go through it then, so that when they actually do break up with you, they’ve already gone through it, so that’s the last piece for them to be done with it and move on. Guys, on the other hand, tend to treat relationships like a bandaid being ripped off. The action happens first, and then they deal with the aftermath and have the feel all the sad and depressing feelings for as long as they must. But I digress. So she calls like a week or two into college to say she’s done, and strangely I was okay with it. I would like to think I put her happiness over my own and let her go, but that wasn’t it. I was in a new world, and she gave me an excuse to be free in that world. I was surprisingly chipper that day, letting it be known that I was single. And the next day. And the next. A week or so after that, I started to actually think about what had happened and, you know, feel feelings. It turned out I felt crappy. What followed was some unfortunate messaging and stalkery of which I am not proud. Nothing major, just things like “What’s up?” followed by “What’s your deal?”, and I couldn’t understand how she was so winter cold towards me (see above for how women deal with breakups). She deleted what we had. It was like she acted as though we never happened. I think it was that which bothered me more than her being cold; she chose to act as though our time together never existed. Maybe that’s what she needed to do to move on. No interaction with me, fine. But to erase me? Let’s just say I felt pretty low for quite a while. In retrospect, I probably failed the test by casting her aside, so I got what I deserved. Maybe we are at a point in life now where she doesn’t hate my guts for some reason. I’ll probably never know, and that’s okay. I’ve since learned that I can’t please everyone or be everyone’s friend. Some people just hate, and that’s on them. I know I’ve apologized and made my peace. I’ve also learned to deal with the choices I make in an adult way.
Some time after that whole mess, I barely tried to get back in the game. I attempted to hang out with girls at times but nothing past friendship. I think I just feared losing any more friends by making them girlfriends.
A few times I had been hooked up to a date by friends knowing I was on the market. One of them was a big fail. I’ll just leave it at that. Another was during one summer. I had known her before when I was taken. I got to know her a bit better, and she was all that. I had never known anyone like her before. However, being seemingly one of the few guys these days not okay with cheating, I never acted on it. Well, there she was, and I was a free man. We did the typical date night business, ending with some kissing, an unprecedented yet welcome ending to a lovely night. Then, well, I’m not really sure what happened. I went back to school. We talked for a bit, but the whole thing somehow just fell into nothingness. It was probably more my fault than hers at that point. I think I was trying to play “maybe the grass is greener” for some idiotic reason (probably because I was an idiot), but it turned out there was no grass on the other side, and in the process I had lost the lawn I could have had. We’d end up rekindling things a little years later, but then I think that where I was as a person at that time caused me to come on too strong, and it scared her away. We chatted here and there after that, but it was never the same. I think she has a girlfriend these days, so maybe that explains some of why she wouldn’t want much to do with me. Still, I hope she has found happiness as I have today.
Another person I think I technically dated for a grand total of two or three days. This was someone I had known for years through friends, and I was in for the holidays. We were all together for the festivities. I was in a place of loneliness, and she was a friend who was easy on the eyes. We sat up all night talking about philosophical things that intellectuals tend to talk about at the wee hours of the night/morning. The next day I was goaded into asking her out. Part of me knew that it would just never work, but they just wouldn’t leave me alone about the night before. Succumbing to peer pressure, I asked her out. I saw her the next day and left back to school with a heavy heart. I believe it was either that very night or the next night that I talked to her, explaining that what I had asked for days before was not what I wanted. She was civil about it, but of course, our interactions (or lack thereof) were never the same again. Years later I tried to play rescuer to her damsel in distress, but it ended up as nothing more than me being on another hook. Thankfully, it didn’t take me long to realize that.
Another person I actually considered my girlfriend for a while. I was rolling on a long patch of singleness at the time, and sure enough the first week back to school we just clicked. However, it was very similar to my first real relationship in a lot of ways. She was knew to the world of relationships of that nature. Things were great for a long time and then suddenly (for me) they were not. She said it wasn’t working out, and we broke up. We were involved in many of the same things, so I had to see her all the time. Worse, as a typical woman, she had moved on long before breaking up, so she was soon dating again, and people I knew who were also involved in a lot of the same things on campus. I’ve never gotten very dark, but I was dark for me for the better part of that semester. It has been said that it is darkest just before the dawn. I would buy into this because it was not long after this time in my life that I met the woman who would be my wife.
I am sure I’ve missed details and things in these glimpses of my past, but I have found some commonalities in all of these situations. I lost some friendships for sure. All of these people in my opinion at the time were cool, interesting people to me. I’m not saddened by missed chances to be with hotties. I have experienced loss in that I miss being able to just be around them or have a conversation with them. These are/were cool people who simply aren’t in my life anymore. At the same time, I don’t regret any of it. I believe that there is a plan for each of us in this world, and I believe I had to do some dumb things and experience some pain and loss, so that I would be ready for my future wife. None of these people are my wife, who is awesome and THE person for me. Therefore, I have no regrets. Things happened the way they were supposed to happen, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sometimes we have to lose, so we can find.