Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How We Met: Breaking Ties

I’ve been reading a lot of “How We Met” stories on other’s blogs and I wanted to record mine. I have previously written the following posts on this topic.

The day after my third date with Matt, the day after our first kiss, I had a date with the Estaban. And I knew that I had a decision to make. Because Estaban and I had been going on dates for a month now and it was getting to that point. That point where you need to have a DTR. And before I met Matt, I was debating with myself on whether or not I should start dating him exclusively, whether or not I should kiss him. But, I had held myself back because… he was THAT guy. That guy that I had dated 5 times before; never had a girlfriend, never had a kiss, never had a job, and didn’t even have a license. I felt so tired of being a first girlfriend, I didn’t really want to do it all over again after I had just done it. I had other qualms about Estaban too. His culture and his family were so different from mine that we had a lot of disagreements. Even though I had a lot of fun with him, I just wasn’t sure if I liked him. But, after meeting Matt, and going out with him three times, and kissing him, I knew, I could not date Estaban any longer. 

So, on our date he met me at my apartment and brought me flowers that he had picked for me. Oh yeah, he was not going to make this easy for me. I grabbed a blanket and we went to a nearby park to watch the air balloons launch for the fourth of July. As we sat there in the early morning, in the cold air, in an empty park, I told him that I had met someone else, that I thought that we were just too different to continue dating. He argued with me, as was his way and tried to convince me that we were not that different and that he really liked me. I’m sure that I hurt his feelings. I felt guilty. I felt guilty that I had dated him for a whole month and our dating ended before it had even really begun. I had to have a break up speech even though we were not exclusively dating. I didn’t like hurting his feelings, but I knew it was the right call. Matt has always said that he is grateful to Estaban because he, unfortunately, was kinda my rebound guy; which means that Matt was not my rebound guy after my bad break up. But don’t worry, not three weeks after I broke ties with Estaban, he met the person who would be his future wife. And he was able to have his first girlfriend and his first kiss with the woman that he would spend the rest of his life with. I think he saw it as a wonderful love story to have his wife be the only woman he ever seriously dated and I was glad and reassured that I made the right choice by ceasing our dating when I did.

I’ve never been really good at breaking up with someone. I’ve done it many times, but I always seem to botch it. I try to make the blow as soft as I can and it always turns out… mean. Perhaps this is because I am too honest. I’m honest to the point of being blunt, and this often comes off as mean. And you would think that since I had found Matt, found the man I married, that it would be the last time that I would have to have a “break up” conversation, but sadly, it was not.

You see, after my break up with Gloomy Gus, I had been going out with a number of different guys from my past, in addition to Estaban. I will now make up fake names for them… we shall call them… Thomas and Andrew. Thomas was an ex-boyfriend who I had known since childhood. He had been in my life a long time and we kept drifting back to each other when our lives were devoid of any other attachment. He was comfortable, familiar, and so similar to me and came back on my radar after my break up with Gloomy Gus because we had always remained friends, even when we weren’t dating. Andrew was an ex-boyfriend from Hawaii. We had a whirlwind romance of one week of dating back in Hawaii before the semester ended and he went on a mission. Andrew went home to Japan after the mission and I went home to Utah after college. Andrew and I had an online chatting and emailing relationship and he turned up in Utah about two weeks after Matt and I met. I had to break ties with both of these guys in addition to Estaban. And because they were all my friends before and after we started dating it kinda broke my heart to tell them that I was no longer a possibility. 

In the month of July, I had to “break up” with three guys before I finally made things official with Matt. With Thomas, he knew that I had met Matt and he had been playing the best friend and the comforter for me. We talked, chatted, or emailed most every day and he was a confidant. When I told him about Matt and how I much I liked him, Thomas simply asked, “Becky, should I stop waiting for you?” And it broke my heart because I knew that he really liked me and cared for me and was just waiting for me to be ready to date him all the many years that I had known him, but I simply said, “Yes.” Because I knew, that I really had something with Matt even though we hadn’t even made our dating official. Thomas and I were never friends the same way after that. We remained friends in a more trivial way, and then later, more acquaintances than friends, but that is as it should be because Matt became my confidant, my best friend, and my comforter. But, it was for the best too because Thomas met his future wife a couple months later.

Two weeks after I met Matt, Andrew, told me that he was coming into town for a visit. Andrew was my dramatic, actor romance. He was an actor and he always made things seem climactic and exciting and dramatic. When I dated him, I felt like I was in a movie because of all the drama. Our dating started with a kiss back in 2004. We were standing on the beach at night, watching the moon and the waves and it was windy and cold. So, Andrew stepped up behind me and wrapped his arms around me to keep me warm. I turned in his arms and looked into his eyes and said the first thing that came to my mind, “I feel like I should kiss you because of the beach and the moonlight and your arms around me,” and then he kissed me. The kiss was passionate and deep and the wind continued to blow my long hair around us as the waves beat upon the beach. Oh yeah, it totally felt like a movie. Our dating lasted exactly one week, but we remained in contact via email and chat.

So, when he told me he was going to be in town (in 2006) and wanted to spend one of the few nights that he was in the country with me (he lived in Japan), I agreed to see him. We got food to go and spread a blanket out in a park at night and ate under the stars and talked about the good old days in Hawaii. (Fun fact, it was the exact same park that I brought Estaban to when I broke up with him.) As I spent time with him, I felt all the old feelings of our one week together come back. I was drawn to him and all his theatrics. Then, when there was a pause in conversation, Andrew said to me, “I really want to kiss you.” Old Becky wouldn’t have hesitated. I would have leaned forward and relived our passionate kiss on the beach right then and there. But, new Becky, the one who had been through many relationships in the past two years since I had dated Andrew, and the one who had just met Matt and really liked Matt knew that I could not kiss Andrew. I had made a rule for myself; that I would never be kissing two guys at once. And I was already kissing Matt, so I could never kiss Andrew. Also, I knew that this was the only night that I would probably see Andrew; it wasn’t worth it to have a moment of kissing only to ruin the start of the relationship that I was starting with Matt. I knew, even though I didn’t know, that Matt was going to be something more important to me than one single kiss could ever be.

So, when Andrew told me that he wanted to kiss me, I said, “I can’t.” And, in true Andrew fashion, sticking to his theatrical side, he said to me, “I understand. You can always be my ‘what if’ girl.” As in, “What if we ever got more than a week together when we lived back in Hawaii?” Or, “What if we weren’t separated by an ocean and could actually have a real relationship.” It was terribly romantic. I could almost hear the epic music playing behind him as he uttered those words.
And that was the last that I ever did see of Andrew. I think that I chatted with him a couple of times online after that, but we never rekindled what once was. He went on to graduate at BYU Hawaii in Theater, then went to graduate school somewhere back east and then I lost track of him because we didn’t stay in touch. But, I’m sure that he is out there breaking hearts and pursuing his acting career.

And Andrew really was the last guy that I ever had to break up with. He was the easiest, since it wasn’t so much a break up as a refusal of a proposition. But after that, I never had to break another guy’s heart again, because I had found my man, though I didn’t know it yet. But that is another story.

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