Are relationships worth it?

I know it’s tacky, but I’m recalling a scene from “Men in Black” as I write this. Will Smith is discussing love with Tommy Lee Jones. In reference to Jones’ lost love, Smith says “Well you know what they say. It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”. Jones looks back at him with a pained expression and whispers “try it sometime”.

I would like to take you into my own time machine and exhume the morlocks that have been lurking underground.

In total, there have been four long-term girlfriends in my life: Meena, Jane, Sonya, and Daneva.

To use a term that I recently learned about, Meena was what you would call a ratchet girl. When I was a kid, we used to call girls like her “ghetto” and “hoodrats”. She was an avid poker player and borderline alcoholic. She had a temper so intense that you could almost feel the pulsations of rage emanating from her body (I sort of had anger issues myself back then). Although I never told her I loved her, I cared about her deeply, and we were together for three tumultuous years.

Our relationship ended in an unfortunate manner. Although we would fight incessantly, and was fully aware of each others tempers, I was absolutely convinced that deep down, she was a kind person. I called her one night at three or four in the morning and woke her up. I was shocked by the words that came out of her mouth: “You stupid fucking bitch! Don’t you ever fucking wake me up like that ever again you piece of shit!”. I’m really not one of those guys that stands for anyone talking to me like that. I am a prideful person and I will gladly die for its preservation.

The next morning, she seemed to have no recollection of the event at all. She must have been ranting in a twilight state. Whatever the case, I was never able to look at her in the same light again. I felt that her core itself was incompatible with mine and her rudeness was a subconscious extension of her true self. Our relationship crumbled and I don’t think either of us were interested in maintaining a friendship with the other.

After Meena came Jane. Jane was a beautiful girl who was exposed to many struggles since childhood. Out of respect for her, I will not mention them here. But I would like to talk about the results of those hardships. Jane was a defeatist. Artistic by nature, she fluttered through life trying to make the least amount of impact possible. She had no academic, career, or any other type of ambitions at all. If things were difficult, she would give up and let it fade from her mind. But at her core, she was as soft and kind as me. Like Meena, I don’t recall ever saying we love each other, but like Meena, I still cared about her so much. We were together for about two years.

Our separation was a strange one. There was no actual moment of breaking up at all. We just began talking and seeing each other less and less as time went on. For my part, I didn’t have the tenacity to withstand her depressing nature at the time. For hers, I think that I simply faded from her mind along with so many other failed endeavors of her past. Eventually it got to a point where we simply wouldn’t even bother talking to each other anymore. Our relationship was wispy. That is the only way I can describe it.

Although I still call her from time to time, she really hasn’t changed at all. We are still very secretive with each other and I don’t think either of us really care about the other much anymore.

Then along came Sonya. This was the most significant relationship of my life (if you consider the longevity). We were together for about five years and she was the first girl that I have ever truly loved. She was also the cause of my very first heartbreak. Sonya was…everything. I don’t mean that in the romantic sense. I mean her personality itself was a collage of everything that a girl could be. On one hand, Sonya was a lady. She carried herself with a sense of pride and elegance. She was as comfortable in high heels as she was sliding over hardwood floors in her socks. She knew what every fork, spoon, and knife was for in upscale restaurants and she knew how to charm her way up and down the social hierarchy.

But underneath this classy exterior hid another face. She would curse like a sailor (Naval father) and talk trash incessantly around those she felt comfortable with.

She loved animals more than any other person I have ever known. My fondest memory of her is how she would freak out when she would see squirrels: “What you doin up in that tree you little shit? You little fat fuck! Look at your chubby cheeks! You hungry you fat little shit? You like eating nuts? Why your tail gotta be so bushy for huh?”. Sonya’s way of communicating with animals was unique.

If me and a dog were drowning in a lake at the same time, I am positive she would swim out to save the dog, get him back to land, feed him his favorite snack, swim back to retrieve his favorite toy, take him home, warm each other by the fireplace, take him for a jog, bathe him, read him a bedtime story, and then come back to tell me to stop being a little bitch and swim.

Towards the end of our relationship, she was staying with her father in Virginia. We had all these plans for her to permanently move to California and maybe even get married. But as time went on, she became increasingly reluctant to do so. Although her father’s declining health certainly was a concern, I could tell that this was not the only reason for her apprehension.

I don’t know the specifics, but I am fairly sure that she was already beginning to fall for another guy. Heartbroken, I broke up with her in the hopes that she would eventually choose me. But I think this only served to relieve her and she moved on without a second look back. As she’s the type to completely sever the things in her life that causes her stress, we never really spoke again (except one time she hit me up for money).

It took me about two years to finally get over her completely. I recently learned that she had birthed a child about a year after our breakup. Chronologically speaking, this confirmed that she most likely had a guy she was interested in all along.

But for some reason, her child was the final factor in finding my closure. I think about her now and realize I can genuinely be happy for her. I would like to take her boy to the park someday and teach him how to throw a ball. I’ve finally reached the point where I feel I can genuinely be happy for her. I wish her the best.

And now comes the most complicated relationship of my life: Daneva. A few months after my breakup with Sonya, she came into my life. I had lost the will to do anything. I had dropped out of college and was in a constant state of numbness or depression. An angelic friend of mine named Jason took me under his wing and gave me a place to stay while I recuperated. Through him, I met Daneva by chance at a small party at his house.

Timing is such an important thing. It reminds me of that girl in “How I Met Your Mother” that every man wants. However, she is perpetually in relationships and only single for the briefest windows of time. In our case, the timing couldn’t have been more catastrophic.

My mind was far from healed at this point. However, Daneva made me happy. She was this girl bursting with positivity, playfulness, and empathy. I don’t know what it is I felt for her at the time. I wasn’t capable of loving anyone at that point, but I still had the capacity to care.

She believes that she was just one big rebound for me. To say that she is completely wrong would be a lie I guess. I definitely needed someone to care about me and make me feel that I still had value. But I’ve never been the type to go for girls that I saw no future with either.

The initial phase of most relationships is often referred to as the “honeymoon period”. This did not apply to us. When we began dating, it was more of a divorce period than anything else. I was damaged and couldn’t bring myself to focus my feelings for her only. She felt that her inability to make me forget Sonya was a testament to her own inadequacies. It is ironic. In almost every aspect, I should have been the one to feel unworthy of her.

I was the first serious boyfriend she ever had. I was also given the honor of taking her virginity as well. But along with her inexperience, came a set of expectations that she felt was a standard. She really didn’t understand that every relationship is different at this point. She only saw value in the surface relationships of the couples around her and felt comparatively disappointed with ours.

She really isn’t to blame. I am capable of being a much better boyfriend. But I had lost my drive in the relationship prior.

To me, Daneva is nothing short of a hero. She shouldered my pain and nursed it back to health with love and compassion (she is a nurse after all).

However, there were differences in us that proved to be impossible to overcome. Her love has a possessive quality to it. Although I believe she genuinely cares about my well-being, it comes secondary to her own need for validation.

Have you ever been with someone you feel is constantly criticizing you? Even when we were just laying around watching movies, I found myself wondering if she was thirsty, hungry, bored, or wanting to do something else.

On the flip side, she wanted an outgoing guy that would buy her flowers, write her songs, love her family, and grab life by the horns.

Do you know that feeling you get when people tell you in advance what they want for their birthdays? You lose that desire to be thoughtful. You lose the yearning to get them something that would make them feel special. They essentially diminish the magical experience of the whole gift-exchanging process.

But she is not entirely to blame. As I mentioned before, I was pretty fucked up in general at this point. I’m not sure if I would have been able to spark those feelings in me again regardless of who I was with. She honestly believed that the only way to get anything out of me was to ask for it. To this day I am not entirely sure if this is actually an inherent part of her nature or if my reluctance forced her to adapt. Perhaps it is a combination of both.

But despite it all, I believe we were happy. However, things took their toll shortly after her graduation. All the resentment I was suppressing burst at the seams. I broke off the relationship in frustration. However, this was not so concrete as you would think.

At the heart of it, we had become each others best friend. I don’t think either of us could imagine our lives without the other in it. I think both of us were planning to be with each other once more after maturing a bit more as people.

I wanted her to give up her controlling nature and she wanted me to heal and become the positive and romantic guy she’s always wanted.

She was hoping my move to a new city and school would make me truly love life once again. I was hoping that her experiencing the love of others would make her see that our relationship was something pretty amazing.

Although my growth is slowly happening, I feel that hers has failed.

Shortly after our separation, she began dating. I initially saw this as a positive thing. I wanted her to experience many different types of guys and find someone she was willing to love. I felt that experiencing this would cause her to grow.

Maybe she would see that what we had was something amazing. Maybe she would definitively realize that I was the guy for her after all. It was also possible that she would confirm her doubts about us and move on completely. Whatever the case, I supported her happiness.

But she decided to choose another route. She wasn’t out there experiencing love and growing. She was strictly using her life as a single girl for sex and fun.

For example, she let a guy finger fuck her against the wall of a club without even knowing what his name was. This is not the romantic girl that I knew. As much as stories like this turns me on (refer to my sex post), I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am in her. I am really not the jealous type. I knew that sex was to come, but I always thought she would wait for someone she at least cared about.

But in a sense, it finally gave me a sense of closure. Considering the nature of our breakup, I felt…cheapened.

Although sex is not as readily available to me as it is for her, I found it difficult to go through with things like this out of respect for her and knowing how much she would be hurt. I was hurt to find that these feelings were ultimately not reciprocated. It is not so much that she was out sleeping with other guys. It is that she is doing it meaninglessly. The whole point of our breakup is shattered.

I have decided to move on. She is young and deserves to enjoy her life. I will always care about her and I plan to be there for her in times of need. But I can’t bring myself to be with a girl that has such low considerations for my feelings. Perhaps I deserve it.

Whatever the case, I look towards my own future and happiness now.