One week from today, I celebrate the one year anniversary of my relationship with myself. That's my suave, clever way of saying I've been sans boyfriend--single--for a year. So in this week's blogs, I'll be sharing some misadventures in dating for your entertainment and my complete humiliation.
You see, although I tend to have fairly stable (Sam says "boring") relationships, the endings of these things tend to be spectacularly melodramatic. Not because anyone's heart is broken or we slash each others' tires or anything, but because apparently dating me was the last holdout of sanity for most of my exes. Meaning that, shortly after breaking up, most of my exes seem to have gone batshit crazy off the deep end. The level of insanity varies, as do the specific DSM IV diagnosis for each ex, but this pattern seems to hold true for far too many of them.
Although maybe from their perspective, I'm the one gone loony by relocating to the bizarre land of South Korea... But I'll share some of the stories and you can decide for yourself.
Be warned that some of the names of the gentlemen involved may be changed, lest we tarnish their reputations. Poor lads.
My first real boyfriend was the first in a long (ok, three) series of boys named Tom (spelled in various ways). I was 15. I thought I was kind of pathetic being 15, pretty cute, heavily involved in theater, and still never having been kissed. Then there was this cute, funny actor with black, curly hair. I have a thing for guys with black, curly hair... He paid attention to me, so of course I wrote poems about being in love with him (I wasn't... but I was fifteen and a would-be poet).
Then one late night backstage after Chinese food, set construction, and flirting incessantly, he kissed me. I was on Cloud 9. High school was so easy, in retrospect. You kissed someone and then he was your boyfriend. He gave you a rose or two when the show opened or closed and you tried to manufacture times when you could be alone.
Tom #1 thought the poem of Shakespeare's that begins "My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun..." was the most romantic thing ever. I knew that was obnoxious, but I smiled and nodded and looked forward to never having my looks praised. But I guess I was wrong. During one of those stolen moments of fumbling, awkward makeout sessions, I had stopped him from going any further, and he turned to me and said, "God, you're so hot. If I was any other guy, you'd so be raped right now."
Um... the fuck??? Although 15 year old, unconfident me didn't say anything to this jackass comment, even then I knew it was full of shit. I'm supposed to be grateful to you for not forcing me? What strange world do you live in, dude, that this is a compliment?
Oh yeah. The one where you are secretly in love with your best friend, Ben. Now, I don't know if this particular fellow has come out of the closet yet, but I'm pretty damn sure he will. The signs were all there. I just pray it's before he gets married to a woman and has children...
And eventually, he made out with my friend Susan (who didn't know we were dating at the time) at a New Year's Party in front of all our mutual friends (who did know...) while we were still technically "going out," thus ending this charming first attempt at love.
After him was the Thom who stalked me with all the roses. I recently got back in touch with him to find out that he's much better looking than he was in high school, finishing his Ph.D., running a photography business, and married. I wonder if he's still a psycho. I hope not... Especially because he told me his wife is pregnant.
My god... they're breeding.
After the stalker, I took the longest break from relationships I've ever had since that first kiss (although who knows when this current stretch will end). Partly it was because I was madly in love with my best male friend and partly because I was experiencing the most serious depression of my life during my junior year of high school.
These first two romantic forays were not serious, though of course they felt that way at the time. I came out of it all pretty unscathed...except for the unhealthy pattern of forgiving too much and accepting too much shit from guys in exchange for affection. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the younger parts of myself and shake some confidence into them.
But then I wouldn't appreciate how awesome self confidence is. And let me assure you, it is awesome.