“Ex” Them Out

Something I subconsciously do on occasion is compare my relationship with my boyfriend to my “exes”.

I don’t like to refer to them as that because none of them were real relationships, but it’s the simplest to say. I say I subconsciously compare because these thoughts, like several, are random and usually pop up late at night when I can’t sleep for one reason or another.

At the time, I felt like I wouldn’t move on, that I’d keep wondering “what if”, that I’d never get anything better out of dating. You get the idea. Now, I genuinely feel like it doesn’t matter at all they once crossed my path and, to an extent, it feels like I never did meet them. On top of that, I feel like I would’ve been miserable if any of them had lasted.

The best example I can give is the one who came right before my boyfriend. To sum it up, even if he didn’t make me miserable, his lifestyle would have. Long story short, his time schedule was so constantly full, in the year we spoke to each other, we never once met in person. Going by what he told me, his life was full of business, constant travel, a lot of people, and very little down time. Nothing wrong with that lifestyle, but I hate traveling and I am not a people person. I’d only be going along with it because I’d have nothing better to do and didn’t want to be alone constantly. There’s no way I’d be happy.

In somewhat of an inverse, I’m the busy one while my boyfriend is often free, but I still make time when I can. Really says something that we live in different states, and can still manage to see each other every week or every other week, but that’s besides the point (my ex lived in the next county over!). I am a lot happier with him than I was with my ex, and he’s told me more than once he’s happy to be my girlfriend.

The other exes either only wanted sex and no real relationship, never made it off the dating website, and in one case, wanted kids later on.

I used to think of my exes as stepping stones I just had to take to get to my boyfriend, but now, I don’t even feel like that. If someone asked, the truest thing I could probably say is I dated around, found my boyfriend, and that’s it. Maybe it’s somewhat cold to say, but it does feel like they never existed to me, or never entered my life. That’s probably the very best way to feel about exes.

If my boyfriend ever becomes an ex, which I hope to high heaven never happens, he’ll probably be the one I consider “got away”. Unlike the others, I would’ve actually had something meaningful with him, and thus, a reason to really be heartbroken about. Of course, simply wanting a long relationship isn’t a good reason to keep it going if it’s failing, so letting go would be for the best. But in a way, I still feel like we’re in the “honeymoon phase” (how long do people say that lasts?). Early this morning, when we were discussing these thoughts I have, I told him, “Half my soul would die without you.” Dramatic? Maybe. True? Yes.

When I lost the first ex, my heart was broken for a week. When I lost the others, I was sad for a day. If I lose my boyfriend? That’s a pain I only want to know in my nightmares. And not even then.

In truth, I shouldn’t make these comparisons to begin with and I feel upset with myself that I do. My exes aren’t bad people. They just had ways of living that didn’t work well with me, and vice versa. This isn’t a rant about how evil my exes were because they weren’t. But I’m happy and very relieved they’re little more than distant memories. I don’t care about “what could’ve been”. I care that I have a loving boyfriend, and I’m happy now.

He’s also the reason I now believe in this quote. ❤

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Don’t Be A Judge

I’m not talking about the career path. I mean being judgmental in general.

Nearly two years ago, I wrote out a post on things I’ll never do in my life. At the top of the list was drugs and for good reason. Even without knowing just how bad drugs like tobacco and alcohol are, having people in my family who do them tells me enough. However, lately, I feel like I’ve started understanding just why people turn to drugs.

I’m stressed out and that’s a way I’ve been feeling often, as of late. For the most part, I manage to handle it, but every now and then, there’s a day where my thoughts turn to drinking. Not only having one drink either. These thoughts are usually binging on alcohol until I pass out and there have been times where the only thing that stops me from doing it is not wanting to deal with a hangover later on. To compensate, I binge on soda when I’m very stressed out, which isn’t healthy either, but won’t get me drunk. Unfortunately, soda doesn’t always work.

If that’s how I feel within a day, it’s not so hard for me to see what leads other people down that path. Before I go any further, let me stress I am not condoning alcoholism or other drug addictions. They’re still terrible. I’m only explaining I’m beginning to understand why people turn to drugs to cope. If you told me I could have something that’d block out my senses, and make me forget every single thing that’s plaguing my mind right now, and the only side effect was falling unconscious some time later, I would take it. I just don’t want to risk addiction, so I don’t do it because I know if I start using those as a way of handling stress, I won’t stop.

My problems are far from the worst there could be. If I’m having thoughts of drinking myself into unconsciousness from the stress I’m feeling, how must some people who have it worse than me feel? I’m not surprised someone would decide they’d rather put up with the bad effects later on to feel good now for a while. What about the people who feel like they have nothing else to lose? Truthfully, that’s one of my reasons sometimes. I feel like I’m at the bottom as it is and I can’t get any lower, so what’s the worst that could happen if I got drunk for a day or night? I know what’s the worst, but on my worst days, I feel like the risk would be worth it.

I’m aware addiction hurts more than the person with it and that’s another reason I try my hardest not to give in to the thoughts of binge drinking I have. Despite how much they’ve hurt me, I don’t want to hurt my family. I especially don’t want to hurt my best friend and boyfriend, who have never hurt me. I don’t want to lose being able to see my clinician, who’s become somewhat more of my friend now since I’m out of high school, and going to the events she hosts and as open-minded as she is, I’m certain she wouldn’t want someone with a drug addiction around her family, especially her niece and niece’s friends. I don’t want to lose me.

In short, I’m trying to stop a bad habit before it starts. Yes, I know there’s such a thing as moderation, but that’s not something I feel I can trust myself to maintain.

While that resolve of never using drugs hasn’t changed, my perspective of people with those addictions certainly has. I have no room to judge someone about binging on alcohol when I’m having thoughts of doing the same. If nothing else, the stress I’m dealing with and the thoughts I’m having are teaching me two things: 1) I’m not above anything and 2) this is why it’s critically important to never judge someone. People are different and you have no idea.

Game Over

Let’s run down the list of men I’ve had the pleasure of meeting from OKC. None will be named.

  • Three who I met once and never heard from again, one of whom I had a very unpleasant experience with and I will never engage in that particular activity.
  • One who wanted me for literally nothing more than sex, the one who I cut off, reconciled with months later, and was dumped by for being too nervous and twitchy.
  • One who I had a one month long relationship with that he ended because he wanted to solely focus on school.
  • One who I never met in person because it seemed there was never a good time, and arranging even one meet-up for a day was apparently complicated.
  • Finally, one who I’ve been seeing regularly since March and still am. I’ll talk more about him later.

Now, I won’t pretend I didn’t get good times out of the ones in the middle. When the problems were aside for a while, I genuinely was glad to know them and have them in my life for the period of time they were. However, all of the above, with the exception of the last one, brings me to this conclusion: Dating sucks!

I would not repeat any of those experiences if I had the chance, but the upside of having them is I’ve learned a couple of things from each. Really, the unpleasant activity I mentioned probably had the strongest lesson, which was do not let your curiosity get the better of you! That’s literally the only reason I did it. Yes, stupid, I know.

I’m glad I waited until I was an adult to jump into this game, however. I really can’t say any of these are experiences I would’ve wanted to have when I was still in my teens, even if I was 16 or 17. While I don’t believe I would’ve been more easily influenced, I do believe they would’ve had a greater negative impact than they did. Not to mention I would’ve given up much sooner and probably wouldn’t have met who I’m with now due to age difference (18yrs w/ 16yrs = jail time!). Sure, I wouldn’t have known him, but since I do, I’m happy I stayed out of the game until later.