The first guy I ever fell for, was when I was 16 yrs old. We formed a friendship almost instantly but I soon realized my feelings for him were way more complicated. I eventually fell hard but he kept me in the friend zone. So, like a good friend, I stood by him as each of his relationships would fall short of 'happily ever after'. And there I would be, wondering why he didn't choose ME instead? We spent almost all of our time together and with the exception of sex, it felt like we were dating more often than not. I remember feeling as if i was playing the role of his girlfriend just without any of the benefits. And I guess I played the role a little to well, because he kept me around. There would later be blurred moments on and off of us crossing the friend line. But the universe always seemed to stop us before we went too far. Eventually, I would move to another state and years later he would end up in that same state. No, not for me. But with his then, wife. He would later confess to me, that he had often thought "what it would be like" if we had ended up together. I guess he finally realized what he had in front of him all those years. But by now, I was in a long term relationship and wasn't looking to go down that road again.
Then there was the guy who I would sneak around to date because he was old enough to buy beer and I wasn't. SORRY, Mom! He was in his party phase when we first met and I was still in high school. Our physical attraction to each other was always stronger than anything else. We dated on and off for a few years and even again in my twenties but I couldn't find myself sticking around long term. I think when you're younger, you like the chase more than the actual idea of a relationship. We are completely different people and ultimately that is what drove us apart. That and the fact that I couldn't see myself with him indefinitely. He was always way more into me than I was into him. Although, he is the kinda guy that you wish you could see yourself with.
Over the years there would be a few other guys. Nothing serious and nothing long term for the most part. And there would even be a guy I would later date and reluctantly go out with. He was the "new guy" in town and started working at the same job as me. He told everyone he was a "business guy" in between jobs and had just relocated back to the city to be closer to his family after a recent separation with his wife. He was charming to say the least and made friends with everyone we worked with. But he had everyone fooled, including me. Until one day, all of his lies would surface and his past would come back to get him, literally. He would end up in jail, tell me it was all a "misunderstanding" all while pleading his innocence. By this time, I had already fallen for him and his story. So much so that I visited him in jail for weeks, paid for numerous collect calls and lied to my parents and friends about what was really going on. Only to eventually watch it all unravel in the end. I will never forget the day I sat with his mom while the Feds came and picked him up from county jail. As I sat there behind the thick glass of the visiting room, it felt like I was watching a scene from a movie. Except it was my real life and I was living it. Needless to say, I ended things that day.
The next guy that would come into my life would leave a mark forever. To date, my longest relationship of 6+ years, with a man whom I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. I spent the majority of my twenties learning this lesson. The years you're supposed to be single and/or dating just for fun. I thought I was ahead of the game and found "the one" early in life but later that would prove not to be the case. We met while working at a restaurant together. We had mutual friends but had only met each other in passing initially. One day during a casual conversation, we discovered that we both had moved to Georgia from South Florida. We also realized that we had both graduated from the same high school (3 years apart) and lived less than a mile from each other in that same city in Florida. It seemed like destiny at first but destiny like many things in life can be total BS. We had a great relationship until it wasn't. And in between that was love, cheating, making up, breaking up, moving in, moving out and eventually more heart break than either one of us could bare. We would try and put the pieces back together too many times to count. Fear of letting go would keep us holding on but we both knew it was also tearing us apart. We were never really out of each other's lives even after we broke up for good. And a part of me wanted to believe that he could change and be the person that I first fell in love with. I think a part of him also wanted to believe that as well.
When he found out I was moving to New York. He asked me to stay. But I left anyway. A year later, he told me he wanted to try again and said he was ready to settle down. The one thing I always wanted but never got from him, was commitment. Here he was telling me what I had always wanted to hear but now it wasn't what I wanted. I traded in that dream for a bigger one. A dream driven by success on my terms, happiness within myself and living in the one of the greatest cities ever, New York.
So, if you have a Single friend, don't ask her 'why'? Don't look at her as damaged. Just know that there is more that lies under the surface of why she is protective of her heart. I still believe in love and hope one day there will be a man who will make me forget any of the crappy relationships I've had. Until then, I am enjoying being single. Because it's gonna take one hell of a guy to change that.