Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Ex Files

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Four years.  It’s been just over four years since my first love totally turned my life upside down, and I’ve never had any closure.  But I guess it doesn’t matter anymore. 
I was recently lurking on Facebook when a mutual friend who never pops up on my feed made an appearance and mentioned him in a post.  I hadn’t been on his profile in over two years and, curious, I clicked on his name to have a look.  I feel…really complicated, and I just want to get this down in writing.

A little background info:
I was completely devastated when our relationship ended; it took an unreasonably long time to get over him.  It seemed so heady at the time, but in retrospect, it’s probably how all first loves feel like.  It’s funny because I was initially much more interested in his buddies than him.  But over the course of that first evening, I fell very hard, very quickly.

I thought that he was everything I could ever want in a man.  I couldn’t believe my good fortune; I felt like I’d completely used up all my good karma and all my good luck in meeting him.  He was intelligent (well, he was book smart anyway, because he was a doctor), he was four years my senior (hm…I see a pattern…), he was handsome and athletic and exotic, and he showered me with an intoxicating brand of adoration that I’d never encountered before…I was entirely overwhelmed by him and by the whole situation.

I used to think that he was the best-looking man I’d ever known and I knew with absolute conviction that I’d never have any interest in any other man besides him.  Now, looking at his picture, I can see that he has an athletic build and a decent face, but I no longer understand how I could’ve been so bowled over...  Sweetheart has a full head of hair, beautiful hands, broader shoulders, better pecs, and 4 inches (In height! Get your minds out of the gutter!) on him – so much better!

I felt like I would never and could never feel the same way about someone else ever again.  But now that I’m older and know better, I can see that what I felt for him was just good, old-fashioned, common infatuation.  That’s exactly what it was.  The novelty and intensity of it is, in retrospect, a very common beast.  It’s so basic and ordinary and plebeian, nothing like the earth-shattering, ground-breaking kind of emotion I thought it was.  Everyone thinks they invented all-encompassing love when they fall for the first time, and everyone is prepared to sacrifice a ton when they are hormonal. (I kind of want to set my 22-year-old self down with an emphatic “Bitch, please!” complete with heavy eyerolling.)

What’s more real is the kind of relationship I have now, where I can envision a future with all the practical and unglamorous but important details, because I’m with someone that I can see myself forming a true partnership with.  This is worlds away from being swept off my feet in a pretty city, as a young, inexperienced, and naïve girl, in an exciting but ephemeral vacation setting.  Knowing that the person I am with is trustworthy, dependable, and full of integrity is so much more…genuine and valuable.  This is real life.  This kind of love is the real deal that can withstand challenges and time.       

I’m still completely flummoxed as to how someone who supposedly loved me so much could also treat me so cruelly in the end.  But I know this is nothing new in the world – it’s only this shocking to me because it happened to me.  I mean, when Fantine’s baby daddy left her, I’m sure she felt as devastated and bewildered as I was* - okay, she probably felt much, much worse because she was also pregnant.  But you know what I mean.  I just have to let this go.  And to be honest, I don’t really care anymore how he could’ve been so heartless.  It really doesn’t matter; I have more important and better things to worry about now.

*I know, she’s not a real person, but stories about relationships are based on experiences that people can relate to because it happens in real life, okay? :P

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