Remember those crappy jobs we had in high school? For me, it was the hostess gig that made me realize I never wanted to hold any title other than “guest” at a restaurant and the summer nannying that I’m convinced is one of the most effective forms of birth control on the market. I may not have loved these roles, but it paved the way for what I would do in the future. Subsequently, the worst date of my life (so far) did the same.
I had been talking to a friend of mine for six months, covering everything from just hanging out to dating (there was never any consistency to begin with). But with each month, the tension grew because not only did we talk for six months, but we also didn’t see each other in person. Call it bad timing or mismatched schedules; the point is, there was interest, and after six months, your expectations can’t help but reach unthinkable highs (like, they might have killed a bird or two on the way up). Of course my obsessive thinking patterns and over-analyzing didn’t help the rate at which my hopes seemed to multiply similar to that of compounding interest.
So the seas parted and we happened to be in the same place at once. We went on a date and, although I’ve third-wheeled before, I’ve never third-wheeled in a situation with only two people. It was like having a conversation with someone talking to someone else on the phone, because he was literally on his phone the whole night. I left, unsatisfied with the wasted energy and time I had put into this, and was completely engrossed with disappointment.
While relaying the story to a few confidants, I started to hear how I was describing the night and saw the relationship through new eyes. I’ve never been so quick to defend myself, but I really deserved better. And from then on, I have vowed to myself to make sure everything in my life is because I want it to be there, not because it has to be. Old friends aren’t always the best friends, and just because someone shows interest doesn’t mean they want to commit.
I wasn’t quick to get over it, so he kept letting me down, and I kept giving him second chances. I had to fully give in to fully recover from what I had felt for him, and allow him to hurt me to the point where I no longer wanted him in my life. It’s a lesson we all learn, and if I hadn’t gone through it, I might still be making excuses for people and blaming myself for other situations.
And to think, it only took a bit of heartbreak…
MORAL OF THE STORY: Don’t be so quick to get through the tough times.