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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Life Lessons

My first live-in relationship ended in disaster… I know I’ve mentioned it before and noted I’d even had dreams about him, promised to write about it sometime and hadn’t yet.

I'll set the scene - It's 1996 and I've broken up with he-who-must-not-be-named, and I'm just starting to explore the possibility of online dating. I start talking seriously with this guy who is witty, sweet, funny and intelligent. I find we have things in common, I get a picture and I find him attractive, and we decide to meet. We both bring friends just in case it goes South quickly, and we meet at a regularly scheduled local gathering. The relationship started much like any other... dates, endless telephone conversations, online chats, sweet emails - and soon we are inseparable. He absolutely adored me, and I felt the same about him. He gave me unconditional love and attention, which was so nice after having my self-esteem battered by the last relationship. Although this was awesome, there were several problems in this scenario. 1) I was still reeling from my 5 year relationship, and had no business getting serious with someone else. I had baggage. 2) I presented myself as I thought he wanted me, instead of who I really was. This was ultimately our undoing. 3) I suspect he had some of his own issues to deal with, although I can’t confirm what they were. I still ponder it from time to time. Of course I’m summarizing here… I am sure I’m missing things so many years later.

We moved in together and although he might argue this point, I really did want it to work. I had this naïve idea about how this was supposed to work out (and of course I still had this notion of happily ever after then). When I finally realized I wasn’t and wasn’t going to be happy - instead of just being honest and deciding the best way to end it like two rational adults, I just sort of moved on and expected him to swallow it, and he tried to hold on despite my declaration of the end. Couldn’t he tell I was unhappy, wasn’t he a mind reader? In the end, we both behaved badly and it got pretty ugly. Although I don’t take responsibility for his actions, and how he handled being hurt, I own my responsibility for being cold, calculating and unsympathetic in the end. I had a lot of growing up to do before I could be productive in any relationship. And, although he handled the breakup rather badly, I’m not here to bash or point fingers. Now, I remember the end with sorrow. Perhaps it was a relationship that shouldn’t have been – or perhaps he would have cared for me had he known me as I really was? Probably not. He wasn’t looking for a hellraiser and a girl with baggage. I still have dreams of regret about him once in awhile, as I probably could have saved us both a lot of trouble had I just been myself from the beginning.

After laying all that on the table, let me clarify it wasn't always bad in this relationship. I have great memories, and for that reason, *I* don't see it all as a mistake. He is the only person I've ever seen a live Cowboys game with, and he was so far from a Cowboys fan... He has this infectious smile... He loved my cooking even when I think he really didn't. We both had a love for music and movies and he always took great care of me when I was sick.

Being in the relationship for just over a year and living with him provided many life lessons that ultimately altered the course of my future for the better. I know now that he is married with children and probably sees me as some distant bad memory, LOL. I only wish him the best, and hope he’s at a point in his life that he’d wish that for me too.

Do you have a relationship that you look back on with regret? Have you ever presented yourself differently that who you really are for someone of the opposite sex? How long did you keep it up? Did you learn from the mistake? Have you ever been duped by someone? How did you handle it?

12 comments:

ScrapAddictNV said...

Yeah I have had a relationship or two I regretted, but the past is the past and is what made me who I am today. I don't really go around discussing any of the guys from my past, or what we did because they serve no purpose in my future.
What does Karl think about all this ex talk? I know that with Ruben there is no point in discussing it, so why bring it up? Let sleeping dogs lie.

LoraLoo said...

Karl is aware of my past... and you're exactly right - it IS a part of who I am today, and it actually does serve purpose in my future, as the past is a reminder of lessons learned and mistakes not to be repeated. Discussing it or not is solely up to me... It is, afterall, my blog (not his).

ScrapAddictNV said...

Yeah but do you talk about it with him? Talking about something without your other knowing is one thing - it's not like Ruben reads my blog, but that could just be a cover too, so I ain't bringing nuttin' up I wouldn't say in front of him, and to us the past is just the past. We made our mistakes, we learned from them, there's no point in re-living anything in the past - cause if your past was so good, how come it's not your present (that's our motto) now it might be different if I had a child with my ex hubby, but I didn't, so no use in talking about what a prick he was, or the other pricks I dated either. Life goes on. But if Karl is cool with you talking about other guy, then I guess all is ok. Sometimes Ruben teases me if I just mention Bryan's name (even tho I haven't talk to him in ages) cause he swears Bry had the biggest crush on me....personally I think Bry doesn't talk to me anymore cause things went a little too far one night on the phone, guess maybe he did crush on me....

LoraLoo said...

I never "OK" topics with Karl but I don't write anything I wouldn't discuss openly with anyone.

That's sort of the idea around the blog for me - an open forum to discuss just about anything I'm thinking about, and I like bringing out subjects that promote discussions such as this. Self-censorship, I do, definitely... but topics like this don't need censorship, because it is, afterall, the past. I guess I don't see the point in burying any subjects unless it's hurtful (and in my case, it isn't).

ScrapAddictNV said...

ok, so why did you change the post from taboo subjects to hurtful subjects? First off let me say that I blog cause I went thru an ordeal and wanted to share that with others, now I just say what I want, when I want. I don't run things by Ruben, and anything on my blog I would say to his face. It's just when you come to the subject of exes we just don't discuss it because there is really nothing WORTH discussing - unless you count the time an ex held a loaded gun to my head. Discussing it won't change the past, we've talked about it all before, there's no need to keep repeating conversations - yeah there are certain things that people most likely won't like about your past, but you can't help that. Neither Ruben or myself beleive in reliving the past. In fact since chemo I don't remember much of my past - to me, when I think about my past it's a whole lotta fast forward, barely any rewind or play. You also have to keep in mind that Ruben was a good friend of mine long before we dated, so he knew all the intimate details of my dating life for a very long time before him. I', sure once we started dating we woulda given anything to have had those thoughts removed from his head!

LoraLoo said...

"Hurtful" was more the word I was looking for in my comment, thus the change.

New White Keds said...

I feel like I just read a very private conversation, but I will interlude anyway...

There are lots of things in my past that I think about -- some happy, and some not so much. But I agree that they are all a part of what make me who and what I am. I would do all of all over again, if I knew I would end up with Ken. But I find that some of those things in my past are best left there, except for reminisching or laughing with friends who survived them with me.

Ken and I read each other's blogs, so I do keep that in mind. Also, Ken does not really talk about his past at all. He feels like they are in the past and hold no purpose. I disagree. I think that things about his past could give me insight to who he is or things for me to or not to do -- know what I mean? But I try to respsect his mysterious privacy and work around it.

Was any of that worth saying? Not sure, but it is written and will soon be in the past :-)

LoraLoo said...

Amy, LOL.

Your comment was definitely worth adding. I know what you mean by insight. I think it helps to understand one another by opening up. But, that's not for everyone...and I certainly respect that too.

ScrapAddictNV said...

so you both know, I meant no offense. I just wondered what Karl thought about ex talk, cause like Lora said, to some it's taboo (oh wait, she erased that word) or hurtful, and to others it serves no purpose. I talk about plenty of stuff about my past, just not my exes, they were all jerks and don't deserve the breathe I would waste on them....actually they don't deserve the air they breathe, and you can see from my loaded gun comment that yes they were that bad. It wasn't just loaded, he treatened to kill me, yet I stayed with him for 8 more mos. It all just makes me sick, really, they do. Thankfully I met a man who knew how to treat me, even as damaged as I was.

ScrapAddictNV said...

also forgot to mention that it's not like we've never discussed any of it, we have, all of it, it's just after 8 years it's not worth discussing anymore, we both know all of each others secrets. how sad is that? we might as well be 50, tho not that far from it. man can you beleive its been 8 years already...you were there Lora, SuperBowl Sunday 2000 the year the Rams actually won. Man time flies and I just feel older!

Teleolurian said...

Oh heck yes... but now she's in a rehab center in Utah, and I'm free to wander Vegas without fear of running into her again.

Ken said...

Wow. So many back and forths. We all have "baggage" that is part of who we are. I randomly remember and ponder past transgressions and incidents all the way back to high school and sometimes even back to my childhood. There are always lessons to be learned that we can look back on either with regret or fondness and go forward.

I don't know what else to say other than while the blog format can be conversational, sometimes it's just better to pick up the phone and chat...