Friday, July 8, 2016

30 Before 30: Day 19 - First Relationships

Well, this post will not have any pictures for a couple reasons. First, because it would take up to much work to find anything related to it and secondly because it doesn't make sense to be posting pictures of my first ex on a public blog.

But here's the main point of this post: you can learn a lot from a first relationship. Especially if you really didn't understand relationships in the first place.

See, the thing is, with the way I viewed relationships in my early 20's, I saw it as the end all be all and if you couldn't find a girlfriend in college you were doing something wrong. I thought I needed somebody and I think I was a little bit desperate. I think I actually knew how to flirt but didn't know that I knew how.

And within 4 months of being away from home I was in a relationship with a girl that I was automatically bringing home to meet my family. You heard that right. After a month of dating she was going to meet my family.

I would still say the first 6 months were quite nice. I believe some people call that the "puppy dog" phase. But after that, we started telling each other our secrets and that's when all the problems arose. See, when the problems arise a balance must be struck so the relationship can be healthy.

This relationship never got healthy.

It kept getting worse. I started going to counseling for some things I was dealing with. She refused to believe there was anything for her to work on. No matter how much I loved her (and I did) there was literally nothing I could do that would have fixed things except do everything she wanted. By the time that relationship ended, I had lost almost all of my friends. I ended up with a whole different friend group.

When it ended, it turned out most of my friends didn't like her, never really had. Really looking back, she was a bit bossy, controlling, and very jealous. Truthfully the life I was pursuing never would have worked out had I stayed in that relationship.

But those 2 years were very important to my life. I started to realize I didn't need someone to complete me. I learned a LOT about women I didn't understand before. I learned more how to love on a truly deep and human level. I learned a hell of lot about how operate in a romantic relationship. And in those 2 years I learned way more about what it would be like to be married than I anticipated.

At one point a college pastor of mine told me that I'd "learned more in 2 years than a lot of people learn in 7 years of marriage."

That alone says a lot about that relationship. There were multiple times she stayed for long periods down in Kansas with me at my parents house. She even got a job down there one summer. I think a lot of my blind love caused a lot of people frustration. But hindsight is 20/20.

Then one day, after many events in our lives, we decided to needed to take a little time apart. So we did. And then my eyes opened and I realized how much I hated my life. So 2 weeks later I ended it and suffered through an hour of her pleading me not to do it.

And then she went spreading rumors that I had "used and abused it." No one believed her except her closest friends. A month later she was dating another guy that she's now married to.

And do you know what happened when they started dating? He wasn't able to hang out with most of the friends he had previously.

Perhaps the fact that our song had become "Last Christmas" might have clued me into something early on. Foreshadowing?

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