All my life, I have always been a hopeless romantic at heart. Even growing up, my mom said I was always a little boy crazy, starting when I got my first crush on a boy in pre-school (I might've looked him up on Facebook last month, and boy am I glad that didn't work out). Needless to say, I have always been in love with the idea of love, whether it be rom-coms, high school sweethearts, first love, love at first sight, soulmates, you name it. I love that sh*t.
However, when it has come to my own relationships, I haven't always had the same kind of experience that Noah and Allie did in "The Notebook," or Ross and Rachel in "Friends." Although I know it's unrealistic to have such high expectations in real life, nothing ever stopped me from believing in love, especially when I fell in love for the first time myself.
We first started talking a few months into our junior year of high school, and although we didn't date for several months after we started hanging out, it was pretty apparent that we were a good match for each other. Having been in a few relationships before, I was weary of getting my heart broken again and he was completely understanding of that, even though I'm sure it was frustrating at times. After we became official, we did all the things that high-school couples do; went to school dances, attended each other's holidays and family events, went on way too many movie and dinner dates to remember, and truth be told, it still leaves behind absolutely nothing but memories and the best two (almost three) years of my life.
This isn't to say that our relationship was a walk in the park either because just like any relationship, sh*t got real sometimes. He put up with all of me - my flaws, annoying habits, moodiness during PMS, and most importantly, my anxiety. Before I met him, I had never found anyone who tolerated and embraced all of what I thought made me unwanted or imperfect, which is why it was so easy to love him.
When we found out that we would be going the distance for at least a couple years while in college, that didn't sway the way that we felt about each other. We agreed that no matter what, we would make things work and for a while, things did work, until we encountered what some might call "bad timing." I, however, prefer the term "sh*t happens," because after all, sometimes life just happens like that.
I came across an article about the excuse of finding the right person at the wrong time, and if you would've asked me three months ago, I probably would have had the same perspective as the article did. I would've told you that true love can conquer and no matter what, people will make it work if they desperately want it to work. However, I can honestly say that after my long-term boyfriend and I recently ended things, I see that excuse completely differently, and almost as a valid one.
If you would've asked me this time last year if I thought that I would be single, I'd genuinely tell you no. Before I went away to school, people told me I was absolutely crazy for choosing to stay in a relationship while going away to college. "Don't you want to live your life? Don't you want to be able to experience college without being tied down?" they'd ask. I found out rather quickly that I actually hated the college hookup scene, and was thankful that I didn't have to deal with any of it. However, college didn't get in the way of our relationship, life did.
Yes, we both made several sacrifices in our relationship in order to make it work, but sometimes it's more than just making sacrifices. I felt as if I wasn't giving him what he deserved in our relationship, and I felt our love beginning to grow selfish. I was juggling a full-time internship, a part-time job, and a babysitting job, barely leaving any time for myself, let alone a boyfriend. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed and realized that although he was nothing but understanding of my busy schedule, that deep down I knew that continuing our relationship simply because I was afraid of losing him was selfish of me. So, I decided it was best to end things, despite still caring for him more than anything.
I've always been a big believer in "if it's meant to be, it'll be" and maybe that'll be what happens with us, maybe it won't. I just think to write off someone's excuse of finding the right person at the wrong time as lazy is definitely a bit of a reach, considering that every relationship is different. Yes, I have come to know a lot of people that simply weren't willing to put in the effort to make a relationship work, but that doesn't mean everyone is like that.
I didn't think it was possible to have to break up with someone who you still loved and cared about. Nonetheless, I didn't want to continue my relationship based on the fear that nobody else would love me like he would, or tolerate the crazy sh** that I sometimes do, like most girls. That to me would have been selfish, holding onto someone because I'm scared he might love someone else the same way he loved me.
I have never believed that each and every person only has strictly one soulmate, simply because that would mean that we'd only have one chance at finding true love.
I think we actually have several soulmates, so it's not to say that I missed out on the one great love of my life. Our love was great, but I don't believe it was our last shot at finding a great love.
My last relationship taught me so much about love and life itself. I learned that sometimes loving someone means letting them go, even if that means that you might have to take a chance at them falling in love with someone else. I learned that you have to trust wholeheartedly that whatever higher power or God, the universe, or just plain old fate will bring you exactly where you need to be. I learned that there is absolutely nothing liberating about living in fear of what the future might hold. I've learned it is okay to be happier by taking some time for yourself.Most importantly, I've learned that sh*t happens.