Dousing Old Flames

As we get closer and closer to the wedding date, I find myself pondering the commitment we’re about to make. Every time I thought I had it figured out before then, I turned out to be completely wrong. (Cue Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road”.)

I started out with the right idea in middle school, when I went for the nice guy. However, he was a little too nice–I quickly got tired of holding hands timidly during movies, and was soon swept up into a whirlwind romance with an older man (yes, he was in high school). However, this Spring Break romance didn’t last long past my first kiss on the cruise ship. That summer, there was the guy from camp. But, we lived half an hour apart and had to depend on our parents to cart us to and from dates, so that didn’t last too long. As sophomore year began, so did my far-too-long tumultuous romance with the debater. Late-night phone calls, controlling parents, and sneaking around satisfied the drama I craved at this point in my life, and lasted through most of my high school career. During our off-seasons, there was the airplane guy, the band geek, and the co-worker. Freshman year of college I repeated the cycle; again, we had the nice guy and the older man (part 2), and then there was the fling (x3), and the mistake.

With the risk of sounding completely cliché, I’ll admit that I learned something from every episode of my dating life. After hitting rock bottom with the mistake, I knew that things were bound to change. I’d experienced a lot during my freshman year of college, and this time around, I knew what I was looking for. I had my eye on a certain Blockbuster Boy, and although our relationship felt like it was off to a rocky start, I soon realized that all those bits and pieces I’d been drawn to in those other guys throughout the years had culminated in my Blockbuster Boy. 

When I hear other people reminisce about old relationships, or talk about re-kindling an old flame, I feel so grateful that I’m no longer in that position. It reminds me of the movie He’s Just Not That Into You–if it didn’t work out the first time, 98% of the time, it’s not going to work out subsequent times, either. And those 2% of old relationships that somehow become successful? Those are the exceptions. Instead of holding onto those memories as false hope, I wish more women would use them as learning tools. I know it’s easier said than done, but I also think it’s a matter of self-respect.

And, suddenly, I didn’t miss any of those past relationships. I spent too much time missing these guys, wondering how I’d messed up, wishing for things that would never happen. Now, I find myself rolling my eyes at the political Facebook statuses from the debater. I applaud the airplane guy, who serves our country overseas. I occasionally catch up with the guy from camp for lunch or a cup of coffee. The fling and the mistake? Yeah, I un-friended them.

One thought on “Dousing Old Flames

  1. Pingback: The Seemingly Impossible | Sharing Closet Space

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