Love is Blind
We always say we are never going to be that girl or guy — the one who is so blinded by the power of love that they lower their standards and expectations, and ultimately forget what it is that is truly important to them. Not to mention manage to look like a total idiot when all is said and done (yes, I am speaking from experience here).
We all know it happens, and whether you have been directly affected, or are a victim of someone else’s erratic lovesickness, you are all too aware of the symptoms. A few of my most recent experiences (personal and observed) have included things like the fear-of-break-up compromise and what I like to call the over-giving of the “benefit of the doubt” to people who don’t exactly deserve it. Other common symptoms can include avoiding certain situations that lead to unwanted truth, tunnel vision and ignoring the blatantly obvious (most of the time only observed by us outsiders, unfortunately).
It can happen to anyone, and yes, I’m sure you saw this one coming, it happened to me. But hopefully my confession will help some of you avoid similar situations, and have a good laugh at my expense.
I met a guy at an event I was working, and after the event ended, we continued to talk long-distance. At this point, I didn’t have any expectations being it was pre-lovesickness, but the next time we were in the same town again, he took me out. From there things seemed to heat up rather quickly. Two days after returning home, he flew me into where he was living and we spent an unforgettable four days together.
We had “the talk” at the end of my visit and decided it would be best for both of us to not remain exclusive for the sake of the business of both our schedules and the distance factor. We both really liked each other, but did legitimately have a crazy few months ahead of us work-wise, and didn’t know when we were going to see each other again. That didn’t stop me however from marking my territory by strategically leaving one of my dresses in his closet (in plain view of his bed I might add) for potential female visitors to see. Some call it crazy, but I call it tactic.
Most people can’t honestly look back and say they can pinpoint when the lovesickness actually set in. But I sure can. How could I forget? After changing my flight so I could stay just one more day, he dropped me off at the airport and we said our goodbyes. It wasn’t until I got in the security line at the airport that I lost all control.
I reached into my purse to pull out my ID and all of a sudden I realized I was crying. Was this really happening? Was I really crying in an airport over a guy I barely knew? And in a public place none the less? I thought this only happened in the movies!
But I couldn’t stop. The waterworks continued until I got to my gate, and after going to the bathroom to try to compose myself and failing rather miserably, I tried to find an unoccupied gate in an effort to avoid the stares and whispers that were being shot my way by God knows how many strangers. Could this get any worse?
Apparently so. I managed to see one of my co-workers in the most remote airports in the state of California. Figures. Try explaining that one on Monday morning.
I tried to get back to life as usual once I returned home, but as expected for someone in my condition, it was next to impossible. Lucky for me, I was able to hide it from him, which was definitely in my favor. No one wants to be known as a crazy girl, even though all girls secretly are.
We talked a few times a week, but for the most part texted as our work schedules never seemed to allow for much else. Things seemed to be going well, minus my fast-progressing illness that is, and before we knew it we had planned another visit.
But this time it was different. What had once been over-the-top effort on his part slipped to marginal. At the time, however, I just played it off as his work commitments and tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, what guy wants a girl who won’t accept his best as good enough? I went along with the change of pace, continuing to be supportive, and trying to remind myself of the other stressors in his life that were likely the cause of it all.
Even after finding another girl’s lip gloss next to his bed, noticing he had removed my dress from the spot I had strategically placed in his closet and finding a picture of him and another girl at the bottom of his laundry basket (I was not snooping, I was cleaning) I didn’t acknowledge the obvious change. Why ruin our time together? It was short, and I technically couldn’t be mad since we weren’t exclusive.
Looking back, this is where I start to feel really stupid. If he is careless enough to leave another girl’s lip gloss in plain view when he knows I am coming to visit, can’t find a better hiding spot for his picture framed princess and can’t think to bring my dress out of hiding before I get there to notice it is missing from where I left it, what is he really trying to tell me here? I should have realized right then and there that the time and feelings I was putting into whatever was going on between us was a waste of my time, but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to hear the truth.
After I left to go back home, things started to go downhill. He was not calling when he said he was going to, texting me back sometimes days later and when we did actually speak on the phone, things were different. And as badly as I wanted to bring up the obvious change, I didn’t in fear of losing what connection we still maintained. I continued to accept his behavior and make excuses for him, and even sent him a birthday package (a damn good one I might add).
And even after he conveniently decided to visit his family in another city at the last minute when I was scheduled to be in town for a family vacation, it didn’t dawn on me that I should speak up. I again reassured myself as I had been doing all along and continued to feel the complete agony that had now overtaken by daily life.
It wasn’t until my sister-in-law, who had met him when he took me out on our first date, inquired about how things were going between us that the truth I had been avoiding all along dawned on me.
What the hell was I doing? I credit her (and a few other people I ignored throughout this four month process) for bringing me back to reality. I had done something I promised myself I would never do — settle. I can’t tell you how many times I have preached to my girlfriends about lowering their standards, forgetting about what they wanted and deserved. And here I was allowing it to happen to me. How did I let it get to this point?
There is only one explanation — love is blind. And until you are ready to see things for yourself, no one is going to change your perception.
From that moment on, I ceased all contact, and realized in the process, that was what he had been trying to do all along — the infamous fade-out (I personally, I am not a fan of the fade-out, and prefer the cut-off instead, which I am rather good at, I might add, but everyone is different I guess).
As I have been able to look back on this situation and reflect on what has happened, I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. Though it was disappointing (and embarrassing, let’s be honest) to be in this situation, I in no way blame him for my ignorance. He taught me a great deal about myself and I will never forget the way he made me feel — and for that I thank him.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is true. I have been that girl. But in my defense, it is hard to walk when you can’t see.
-Justine is a humor writer and blogger specializing in exploiting her own humblest moments and wittiest triumphs through her journey into adulthood–aka the real world. To read Justine’s blog, Confessions of an Almost Adult, visit missqueencity.wordpress.com.