I’ve had my fair share of relationships where I was under the impression that I was in love. It was that weak at the knees, butterflies in the stomach, heart skipping a beat kind of feeling that made you believe. I had the idea that if you are in love with someone then you would be with them forever. I was so very wrong. I have been in love three times in life and I wish I could go back and tell myself that what I was feeling was something else entirely.
When I was fourteen, I had the worst self-confidence. I was constantly teased because of my name and how I looked. I wasn’t pretty like the other girls. I believed no one wanted to be with someone like me. I had never been with a guy before so when one looked my way I would get a surge of excitement from the attention I had been given. A boy named Ken, I had known from my childhood came into my life once more, but he wasn’t a boy anymore. He had grown up nicely, handsome even. Striking green eyes, wavy brown hair, and the vibe of a rebel that made me want him more. We spent most of the night together doing sinful things. “If you love me, you’ll put it in your mouth,” he said. I didn’t realize that what I was feeling was lust; the desire that someone actually wanted to be with me. I was willing to do something that was not comfortable with. After the act, he shut me out. I didn’t see him again until I was eighteen.
When I was sixteen, I wanted to experience high school in a memorable way such as skipping class, going to parties, school dances, and basketball games. The one thing I had yet to experience was having a boyfriend. That changed when a new guy joined my homeroom class. Compared to the other classes, our homeroom was the smallest. We had 10 people usually, but mostly 8. I don’t recall exactly how we started talking, but I had two other classes with him and I was the only familiar face out of the 1,000 people in the student body. Our relationship was a whirlwind of exploring and experiences. We spent a lot of time getting to know each other in different ways. Our first is kiss was when I decided that I loved him and from there, our relationship flourished. I thought we were going to be together forever. He broke up with me three months later. He never told me why or gave any closure. Part of me today still wonders what happened and why everything ended.
When I was eighteen, I had just started college. I met B. We shared many experiences together, ones that changed me as a person. The way I felt about him was different than I had ever felt about any other guy. I couldn’t understand it. It was as if he had a hold on me. He knew that I would do anything for him because I wanted to make him happy. I learned a lot about myself during this time in my life. Just because you have sex with someone doesn’t mean they love. I found that out in the most naive way possible. After he finished and we were gathering our things he said to me, “I like how we can just do this as friends.” I didn’t want to be friends. He didn’t feel the same way I felt about him, yet at times he acted as if he did. I remember when he told me loved me, he doesn’t remember.
Despite everything, I keep telling myself that love still exists and it may be out there waiting for me to find it. I feel like the guys I’ve encountered broke me. They gave me unrealistic expectations. I have also scared a lot of guys away. They see a broken girl, who wants to be loved, but can they provide me with that? I am still learning to love again. All the hurt that the guys I loved had caused has stuck with me. It makes it hard to put myself out there; to let myself know that there is something else better than what I have had. Maybe my move here will change that. Maybe someone here will change my perception of love. Maybe I will love again.