by Madeline Laughs
Over lunch one afternoon with a dear friend she remarked to me, “How do you do it? You ended up with such a great guy. How do you make such great choices?” As she reached over to pat my arm with admiration, my entire dating life passed before my eyes.
How did I do it?
Thinking back to all of the potential suitors I had before I met my future husband might give some clues. Allow me to take you on a trip down some of the most memorable parts of my memory lane.
My first heartbreak was a guy that was ten years older than me. He was in a big hurry to steal my virginity and I was stubborn about keeping it as long as I could. He painted the most beautiful portraits and I loved his dark moodiness and artistic flair. Visions of being married to this handsome, mysterious creature danced in my heart on a daily basis.
After a month of dates that ended in him stomping away angry and frustrated, someone finally took me aside to fill me in on his less than stellar past.
He was dishonorably discharged from the military when they busted him for selling LSD on base. They really weren’t able to confiscate his stash during the bust though. He usually hid the drugs, wrapped in aluminum foil, inside of one of his paint tubes and as the MPs crashed through his front door, he stuck a tube of cadmium red in his mouth and sucked paint, acid and many of his brain cells down his own throat. He spent two years in a psyche ward recovering before they gave him the boot.
Thus the dark moodiness and my subsequent fade into his less than stellar past, with my virginity still intact.
My second heartbreak wasn’t much better. My next relationship was on again and off again spanning a time period of seven years. I thought he was The One for a long time. His parents thought I was The One for him too, even after they realized he was back to his old ways.
He had been in and out of drug rehab for years and had starting doing drugs again not long after we started dating. I wasn’t aware of his habit for a long time. He would periodically disappear from my life and I never knew where he was and would move on. Then suddenly he would show up again and want things to be the way they were before.
His parents finally told me the truth about his vacations from reality. They were frightened for him and thought I could save him.
I knew I couldn’t.
Years later he had one of our mutual friends bring him to my apartment. He was dressed in a suit and looked very healthy. I was happy for him. Then he asked me to consider marrying him and I had to turn him down. That was the last time I ever saw him.
Finally I learned a valuable lesson. Ask the guy about his past history. Ask lots of questions and get to know his friends.
I was in a healthy and committed relationship for eight years with the man I planned to marry when he was killed in a car accident. That broke my heart and nearly broke me for good.
In between tragic love affairs, I dated.
There was the romantic boy that doused himself in gallons of patchouli oil. I could smell him through my front door before he knocked and everywhere we went on our date that night, people all around us smelled him too and weren’t terribly pleased about it.
There was the boy that took me out to dinner and then sat down to write me a three page, front and back, letter that same night. He slid it under my door for me to find when I returned home from class. I think I made it through the first two paragraphs, which extolled his virtues as my future and only mate. Then I stuck it in a book and thought I’d come back to it another day.
I guess this broke some unspoken rule when I didn’t respond right away with fawning gratitude because the next night he spent banging on my door, waking my neighbors. When I didn’t answer and the neighbor across the hall threatened to call the police, he went down to the street and screamed up at my window for hours. Someone finally did call the police and I was given a full account when I returned home a few days later. I was out of town with friends enjoying a break from school while he was professing his undying love to my empty apartment.
There was the heavy makeout session with a rock star that ended abruptly when he whispered in my ear “Talk dirty to me bitch.” My mind went from blissful to an automatic shutdown. “Um, what?” So he expanded his request with examples of what he wanted to hear me say. Now I’m not a prude, but I’m also not much of a dirty talker either.
I thanked him for his lovely kisses and went out to get in my car and found the word SLUT scrawled in the dewy surface of my windshield.
Evidently the bartender thought he should be the one being kissed that night and when he saw me take off with the cover band singer, he decided to let me know his opinion of me.
There was another rock star that thought babytalk was the way to win me over. After giving him several deadpan responses to his high pitched googoogaagaa pillow talk and hoping he would get the message that he was turning me off, not on, I gave up. I just couldn’t continue to kiss someone that talked like a baby.
There was the Coastie that mailed a letter to me from his ship. He addressed it to Maddie Sweetie with my address. This was incredibly romantic, but when he had already married me in his mind before his next shore leave, without even getting to know me, I had to wreck his ship. So to speak.
There were the half dozen guys I dated, but wouldn’t have sex with. At the time I had a lusty roommate and she would have sex with them, and did. Behind my back. Of course, they felt inclined to continue to romance me, just in case I decided to miraculously give in one day. It didn’t take long to figure out they were carrying on a clandestine affair with my roommate, since she was inclined to tell me every time it happened. I dumped each one of them like a hot potato.
Did they decide to date her instead? Um, no they didn’t.
There was the really cute guy that fixed my car and then asked me out for coffee. He forgot to tell me he was married with three children under the age of five at home until I volunteered to drive and pick him up at his house. After all, my car worked great! I advised him to do some work under his own hood, because he wasn’t getting anywhere near mine again.
There was the sexy guy from Panama that kissed me so much on our first date that he gave me chapped lips…and head lice.
And then it just happened.
We met, we talked, we laughed and he kissed my hand when he said goodnight. He never pressured me. He always called when he said he would. He showed up on time. He cared.
He was gentle and good to his bones.
He did everything right, but best of all…he loves me without conditions or demands or expectations. He loves me in the moment and in the future and every time in between.
Was I lucky to find him?
Maybe I was.
Maybe it was fate.
Maybe our connection was destined to happen.
Meant to be.
In the stars.
I think that knowing what you want and knowing the person you want to spend the rest of your days with, is when love is at it’s best. Knowing yourself means knowing where you fit and if it will last.
Every relationship requires commitment and balance in order for it to work and to sustain itself over time. Love happens and when it does it is nothing short of miraculous. Respecting one another and communicating daily can carry a connection farther into the years than anything else I know.
Most of all, being friends, best friends, is what makes a relationship worth coming home to.
If you’re out there right now, and you’re looking for love, don’t despair. Love is out there. All you have to do is open your eyes and your heart to receive it.
Good luck ❤
- Everyone remembers their first love, their first kiss. (angelwanderer.wordpress.com)
- On finding love in a hopeless place. (thisismygreatperhaps.wordpress.com)
- Romance (thebridgetjonesexperience.wordpress.com)
- That mad, passionate, raw, intense, enduring, animalistic kind of love. (indulgeadventures.wordpress.com)
- Love vs Happiness (misifusa.wordpress.com)
- Thank God I Married The Bashful Salad Boy:) (marriagemotherhoodandmadness.wordpress.com)
- Love Isn’t Something You Find – Love Is Something That Finds YOU (luckyrose2013.wordpress.com)
- Love: the Rollercoaster of Emotions (picklesandmustard.wordpress.com)
- Rheum and the Single Girl (mlleaurore.wordpress.com)