Sunday, January 21, 2018

My Ideal Relationship

It was the beginning of high school, end of middle school, which also meant the time where people began exploring the idea of love. I remember sitting at the lunch table with my group of friends discussing what growing up meant, as a question got brought up.

"Whats your ideal relationship?"

From a young age I was obsessed with the idea of love. I would watch novelas with my mom, creating an illusion of what it meant to be in love. As I grew, I would watch and read everything Nicholas Sparks because it meant I would know exactly when I would fall in love based on what the stories told. 

I had never thought of what my ideal relationship would be, I just knew I wanted to be loved. So as I went on with the first two years of high school not really paying attention to that aspect, I figured it would be like what everyone said "it'll come unexpected", and that it would be my first and only love. 

The summer following my sophomore year I decided to get a job. At the time a job was a way for me to become more independent and a way to break free from my shyness, I had decided that I was going to force myself out of my comfort zone and that I would force myself to make friends outside of school. 

My first job was at a restaurant a few miles away from my house. I remember being nervous my first day as I had never stepped foot into a room of complete strangers. As I walked in I met a few of the employees that were working that day. After a few hours of learning the basics of keeping the place clean as well as customer service, in walked a guy. 

About five months of working at this restaurant I began building relationships with my co workers and felt comfortable enough to joke around. Yet, I always felt too shy to make conversation with one of the guys that worked with me. The thing about working at the restaurant was that I was the youngest employee working there and that everyone was probably 4+ years older than I. I remember forcing myself to let go of my fears and introducing myself to this guy, because after all he was 6 years older than I and I had nothing to lose. Yeahhhhh, thats what I thought. 

About a year of working here I had developed friendships with everyone working as they all put in a good amount of hours a week and every shift I worked, they were there. I remember one of the girls who worked with us decided to make plans during our closing shift to grab a burger after work, and as everyone agreed I began to feel a sense of excitement. 

After every one left that night I remember getting a text message, and as I opened it up I realized it was from the guy I was too scared to converse with.

I remember walking into work a few weeks of texting him non stop, and walking into the freezer to get pitchers to fill up the salsas in the lobby. As I walked in I bumped into him, and began feeling butterflies in my stomach. That day I told him I liked him and basically asked him out, and following our first date we were official. 

We dated for about 2 & 1/2 years. 
The truth is, he wasn't a bad guy. But if there was anything I learned from this relationship, it was that you should never have to ask to feel loved, you should never feel betrayed, you should never feel alone, and you should never feel like the person who you give your all to does not give you the same in return. 

I remember having thoughts of walking away quite a few times, but always backing out of it as I knew I was not someone who gave up easy. So as months carried on, I remember laying in bed crying after he would choose work over me. I remember calling him only to find my calls going straight to voice mail as he was out clubbing with his friends. I remember asking for help when my anxiety began to act up, only to get a response that read "sorry I'm busy". All I wanted was to feel loved, and to feel like everything I was putting into my relationship was helping me grow as a person. I wanted someone who could keep a conversation, and not just take me home to lay in bed. I remember spending hours making a valentines day card for him our second year of dating, it was a big deal to me because if you know me I live for hallmark holidays. As he came over that night, I handed him what I thought was the most creative gift & homemade card that was written from the heart. He came over only to say he was going to be busy and dropped off a card & balloon. I yet again made excuses "Hey at least he made the effort". As I walked inside to open the card, the inside was blank. 

Once I quit my job I began to see him less and less. Our relationship was still there, but the effort was not being made. I began working at a retail store. About a year or so of not working together our relationship began getting harder as he continued his old ways of ignoring my calls, making no time, and clubbing. I never wanted to be the girlfriend to change him, but I was done laying in bed crying feeling well.. not loved, so I made it my goal to grab lunch with friends, and to go out myself. I became really close to my co workers and felt loved by a group of people who I quickly considered family. 

One night I got a text message from one of my co workers asking if I wanted to hang out. Twenty minutes before this I was crying in bed after getting ignored once again. I quickly grabbed my reading glasses to hide my eye bags and headed out. We spent hours in his car talking about life, and after that night we continued to hangout every few days. The truth is, there was never any intentions there, never once did he make a move to interfere with what I had going. 

I found it difficult to be honest with myself as I found myself growing feelings for him. So as I was texting him one day, I was asking for advice on breaking up with my boyfriend after deciding to do it that day. His response was simply "Do it in a public place, and if you need anything let me know"

The truth is, my ideal relationship came unexpected, and it wasn't my first. My ideal relationship was to feel loved during some of my lowest moments. My ideal relationship was to share a friendship where I could feel comfortable being myself and opening up when I felt like I had to. My ideal relationship was not getting a "I'm busy" message but rather a "I'm here if you need me". For once I understood what it meant to love, and feel loved back, and the best part about it was I never once had to ask.

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