Sometimes, even at the ripe age of 23, I look back on my dating life and say to myself, “What was I thinking? No, seriously, what?”
I’ve always been the kind of girl to be in a long-term, committed relationship. I’ve never had flings, or one-night stands, or any of those things that people cringe at when they think back on their college experience.
At the very most, I’ve had three serious relationships in my lifetime so far.
In fact, I was, for the most part, with the same person throughout college. We broke up after realizing that we weren’t as strong as we thought we had been all along.
That shocking realization came once I was accepted into graduate school out of state. He and I didn’t live together while I was in New York, but decided with my acceptance we should take the plunge and just do it.
The step would move us in together after being a serious couple for over three years. To top it off, we’d be moving in together in another state almost five hours from everyone we knew.
It was definitely a make or break situation. Obviously, it was a break.
After that, I made a few mistakes, dating some people who, looking back on it, really weren’t worth my time or up to my speed.
I guess my first clue in one of those minor disasters would have been when I was asked by someone to “keep the intellectual conversation in the newsroom.”
Yeah. I know. Winner.
But that’s another story for another time.
And then the world stopped. I thought I’d found the out-of-this world, meant-to-be, soul-mate love with someone I had known for years and had come back into my life out of no where and when I needed it the most. The only problem was he now lived about 1,000 miles away after moving back home to Miami when he was finished with college.
But it turned out that didn’t matter. In the short time that we were, we worked through the distance seamlessly with trips, constant communication and what we thought at the time was a perfect connection.
What could go wrong?
So, I made my final trip to Miami before I was to move down there. My seemingly perfect real-life fairy tale was about to begin.
Basically, I was just sizing up the joint before I packed my bags and I should have come back with boxes and estimated prices for U-Haul trucks.
Instead, I came back from the trip with souvenir nightclub matches and a wake-up call.
It took a while for me to realize I wasn’t to blame for everything going haywire and I never really wanted what was there. Instead, I listened to everything that was said to me and mimicked it.
I’ve realized it’s really easy to say things you don’t mean, conjure up feelings you wouldn’t naturally have, and play it day-by-day like you need something in your life when you really don’t.
I guess to quote Taylor Swift, “when somebody tells you they love you, you believe it.” Unfortunately, I didn’t have the excuse of only being 15 years old at the time.
Which leads me to now.
I’ve stopped searching for that ultra-commitment, because at this age, I shouldn’t be in something that could prevent me from being me. I barely even know who me is at this point in the game and I definitely don’t want to stunt whatever I could become.
It’s finally time to take my mom’s advice and just enjoy what I have in front of me. I need to stop searching for something better. Like mom says: The life of a 20-something, both professionally and personally, is what we all reminisce about as we grow older and accept more responsibility.
Another piece of advice my mom has always told my brother and me is to stop looking for fireworks. Things that explode quickly and overtake you will just as quickly fizzle out. You need to be able to explore, learn and laugh with someone in order to build a solid foundation in a relationship.
(Hi mom, yes, I was listening to you all this time. Surprise. I can’t say the same for my brother, but that’s why I’m secretly your favorite. I know, it’s cool.)
I have who I need, what I need and what I want in my life. That’s enough reason to stop searching and start enjoying.
Plus, maybe it’s the ultra-commitment right off the bat that ruins it, because what I have going for me right now is pretty fantastic.
You can follow Dating Diva on Twitter: @LisaDiVirgilio