Poetry, parking lot dancing, and pretty words.
That tortured soul, that rebel without a cause–he was a recipe for cliches and disaster that my nineteen year old self was too naive to see coming together.
We danced in big, empty parking lots to my favorite song, “El Tango de Roxanne” and he read me his poems about birds as we watched them swoop and dive from a corner of the lake.
And, like it was written in a script hidden only from me, he left without saying goodbye. And I was sitting on my bedroom floor left to pick up the shards of our short-lived romance that cut into my hands every time I tried to gather them up. The blood from those tiny gashes swirled with the saltwater that escaped, gasping, from my eyes and they clung to each other in some sort of melancholy waltz that stained the memories of us together.
Sound a little dramatic? Yeah, I agree. But (to risk a real cliche), the heart wants what the heart wants. *sigh* And the door to mine was swung wide open. So instead of bowing to the sweet allure of pain, I thought up some advice:
1) Please double check whether he’s gay or not. If rumors swirl about him struggling with homosexuality and you’re a girl, don’t give him the benefit of the doubt. Chances are that he probably has eyes for a guy too. Trust me: the dramatics above are a case-in-point.
2) Just because he’s a gentleman in actions doesn’t mean he’s a gentleman in character. Sure, he pumped my gas, got my doors, paid for stuff, and embodied the word “romantic,” but he still moved away without saying goodbye and–oh yeah–lied about essentially everything. Even a robot knows how to do the things it’s been programmed to do.
3) You know the first part of Proverbs 31:30 that goes “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting...”? It’s true. I wish I wouldn’t have lived through it to finally come to that realization. Think Mr. Darcy versus Mr. Wickham. Charm is a glittering facade that hides a plethora of dark interiors. Not everyone sets out into relationships to hurt people, but baggage and selfishness make it easier for them to justify or ignore the fact that they are indeed hurting people. Charm isn’t inherently bad, but it’s usually dishonest.
4) Don’t “talk” to a guy. That’s just emotional investment without commitment. For either party. It’s just two people who care a lot about each other both pretending they don’t care. It becomes a game to see who can care less. It’s late night texts and infatuation and feelings that are “no big deal” and it makes it easier to do the same thing with multiple people. But it’s not cheating, right? Even if you don’t know they’re saying the same things to another girl (or, in my case, guy)? I mean, there’s no title on it. So it doesn’t matter. (That was all sarcasm. Of course it matters. If he’s telling you the kind of stuff that is reserved for telling only one person, don’t ever let him off the hook)
5) Pace yourself. In all aspects. Physically, emotionally, mentally. If he hasn’t proved himself to be trustworthy or reliable, does he really deserve your lips, your time, your effort, or your secrets? There are things in all of our lives that carry heavy emotional weight. And not everyone deserves to see those parts of you. Because they’re pieces of you and a man will either (cheese alert) treasure and guard those pieces or discard them as he turns his attentions to someone else. If you feel like he’s not spending a lot of time thinking about you, you’re probably right. Why on earth does he deserve the time you spend thinking about him? I know. You’re thinking it’s easier said than done. And that’s true. But fighting for yourself is a worthier cause.
6) Make him prove himself. No, I’m not talking about making him live up to standards of perfection. What I mean is that he should be able to show you–and the world–that he’s ready for something. There needs to be space between him and his problems and signs that he’s actually healing from past mistakes or heartbreaks. Otherwise, you’ll let his charm to convince you to believe that he’s recovered. And the secrets pile up until the levees break and suddenly you’re the one drowning in them while he evacuates and starts fresh.
Let’s take some advice from John Green. This is, after all, technically a book blog!
“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world… but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”