We accept the love we think we deserve. The aforementioned may sound like some cheesy line conjured up by some guy in a Hallmark factory.
However, in my experience, there is some truth to the line.
For the past year and a half, I’ve been in an on-again-off-again relationship with a woman with whom I had met up after five years.
Circa 2012, the setting was a club called Rehab which was located in the heart of downtown in the college town of Greenville, North Carolina. In Rehab, in accordance with protocol, one would call upon the powers of liquid courage and approach a person of his or her liking.
I always got rejected by this one particular woman. It had become a game of sorts and I would half-jokingly approach her. She’d take great pleasure in shooting me down.
This particular night was following the said paradigm until there was a slight deviation. I saw her, first, in my peripheral. It wasn’t directly apparent to me what had caught my eye; however, I was transfixed.
Normally, I would slip into the corner of the club and keep ordering drinks until I had the courage to make my move. This was different as I put my drink down and approached her right away. I asked her to dance and we engaged in what constituted as dancing in college. After the dance, we parted ways and went back to our respective social groups.
We would meet up, once again, 5 years later at Goji’s Bistro, a Japanese eatery. We picked up from where we had left off with little to no difficulty and things would evolve from there.
Before I knew it, I was in a long-distance relationship. I was residing in the desert known as El Paso and she was spending her time in North Carolina. She was beautiful, intelligent and open-minded and I was happy for the first time in a long time.
Her close friends and her sister all despised me; this was because they seemingly judged me as being the same guy from five years ago. As she would often tell me, she was ignoring all of them and following her heart. I would believe her in those moments.
I flew her out to El Paso a couple of times and we would meet up when I was back home in North Carolina on leave from the Army. I enjoyed her presence and felt as if I could truly be myself around her.
One thing I have learned from this relationship is that it does not matter how badly you want something to work. Even if every fiber of your being is committed; sometimes, in life, things just do not work out as we envision them. You can fight for it with everything you have but there comes a point where you have to take off the rose-colored glasses, so to speak, and see the situation for what it really is.
We would argue here and there; however, I just wrote it off as normal squabbles within the confines of a relationship. Over time, close friends of mine and certain family members would point out that they did not feel she was the right type of person for me.
More often than not, it would go in one ear and out the other as my feelings for her kept me from acknowledging their doubts. In my opinion, many of us fall in love with the notion of finding someone who gets us or understands where we’re coming from, so to speak. With her, I felt I had finally met a person who understood me and, for a bit, I let my guard down and started believing in a future with her.
The relationship has now seemingly run its course, but I know what I seek in a partner for the future. I feel it is important for each person to understand they bring something unique to the table and to realize their worth. A relationship should be treated like an equation and it should be balanced. It should not be up to one person to fight for it; if that is the case, then it is best to part ways before more emotional damage is done.