I'm scrolling through my Facebook timeline and I can undoubtedly say that I have a lot of really good looking single friends, men and women, who are having all sorts of feelings about Valentine's Day. It seems to be split between those who are very vocal about wanting everyone to know how very, very okay they are with being by themselves and the other camp hates everything heart, couples, romance or love related.
It doesn't even make sense. You all are attractive people. You are doing really cool things with your lives. Unfortunately, we can't make the world stand still and we can't make the past the present regardless of how hard we protest.
I carry these moments with me.
- He'd ask me to stay. Don't go. Just stay a little longer. And his embrace was so warm. I didn't want to leave, but we all have responsibilities to fulfill. I'd look deep into his eyes a second longer. I always thought they looked like chocolate dipped almonds, deep and decadent. Those small moments when you let your guard down were the glimmers that kept me coming back.
- That first time he said "I love you," he choked on his tears as the words threw themselves out. And then we spent the rest of the night saying "I love you" as many times as possible as if overwhelmed with relief that we had finally found each other.
- When our drink turned into an accidental date, you invited me for one last drink in your apartment. We sat in your library in front of a fire like in a romance novel. I still didn't realize that you liked me. We sat looking at each other and talking closely. Then you leaned in and kissed me. I felt like the luckiest girl and yet it felt so natural.
- You held my hand on a beach under the stars. I knew you wanted to kiss me, but I wouldn't let you. I was afraid of letting you. That moment between us felt electric. Honestly, it reminded me of the Saved By The Bell when they all are camp councilors and Zach Morris kisses Leah Marie Remini during the fireworks. It was that level of fairytale romantic.
- We just got in a huge fight before walking into a club for a friend's birthday party. I was stiff and clearly annoyed. We were waiting at the bar for a drink. You turned me towards you and made this sad face and just said "I'm sorry." You meant it and I melted. The rest of the night, strangers kept asking us if we were engaged.
- We would sit on the couch in your living room and watch tv. There were tons of windows and the breeze was always floating in. Sometimes you'd be rubbing my feet. We'd have lengthy conversations about life. It was peaceful and always seemed to be candlelit even though there were no candles around.
I am with none of these men anymore. A couple ended really traumatically. A few ended in the way most relationships do. They just kind've fizzle out until they are done.
The hurts from past relationships are real. Science even says that the loss of a love relationship can feel like a withdraw from hard drugs. For a very long while, looking back on these moments was the most hurtful. In each memory, it's the eyes that really stand out to me, looking deep into them. It's like we tapped into something for a brief second. It felt like the moment when the magnet finally gives in.
I'm learning to be thankful for these memories that float up in my mind when I'm thinking about romance. Yes, the male lead in each of these stories might not have turned out the way I was hoping, but those moments are still so precious to me. They are moments that I feel fortunate to have experienced, because they have given me glimpses into that "real, real" we all want. And I'm thankful to these men for sharing that moment of our lives. I have to remind myself of that.
Even more, I'm not stressing about it. when these moments left. More moments always came. I can't force the past into the present. I just can't. I can't force these little cracks in the matrix to be a permanent situation. At some point, we had to walk off the beach. At some point, I had to leave for work. Life propels us forward. Always.
We can't stop it. So, what life do you want?
We owe it to ourselves to let the love back in.
Yes, it can hurt. And putting yourself out there is not without risks. But when we act in a way that is hurtful, that is just continuing the cycle. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy for you and you are planting the seeds of hurt in someone new.
It is our responsibility to act in a way that is honest to ourselves. Live your truth and all that. Through honest interactions, we can heal our own hurt and attract the right people to us. When we lie to others through our actions, we lie to ourselves.
Even so, on this Valentine's Day, I can't say I'm not jealous of people getting heart shaped pizzas right now. I just can't justify eating a whole pizza on my own, heart shaped or otherwise.