Going from Serial Monogamist to Serious
I was a relationship girl in high school. Correction: I’ve been a relationship girl since preschool, cuddling cute-boy Will during nap time. Will had curly hair, and that’s about all I can remember. I was four at the time and he moved away when I was five. He left me with a broken heart and a mini Cinderella snowglobe.
I swore off men as long as I could, but come kindergarten, a boy proclaimed his love and I was at the mercy of romance. We had pretend weddings and lived in bliss until I heard he wanted to kiss me for real, then the honeymoon was over.
My love life has been constant and under my control. I bardered for my first kiss and treated boys like bucket lists, hopping from one to the other, checking off experiences. Adolescent Alicia spent her time googling when the “average girl” did what, but she never stopped to think things could happen naturally.
Senior year of high school was the year I swore to focus on myself. Instead, I started a three-year relationship which consumed both my time and his. I planned our future down to his choice of education, constantly pressuring him to meet my requirements. When he cheated, I justified it as a bump in the road and claimed it made us stronger. We broke up, got back together and broke up again. I was left feeling lost without someone to “fix.”
But what about me? My problems have been paved over by male distractions, using them to kill time and accomplish goals I thought would define me. Now it’s as if I’m trapped in a jello mold with past lovers surrounding me like chunks of canned fruit no one wants to eat. I feel tainted and used like an old rag, and it’s too late to tell my teenage self that people can be better than the ones you think up on paper or plan into existence. No credit score or college degree will make someone the partner you want them to be. And the love won’t feel real until you let yourself really feel it without contingencies.
Despite my best efforts, I have a new boyfriend. But it really does feel different. The focus isn’t us, it’s on him and me separately. We’re young and, for the first time, I’m in no rush to figure out the future. I’m on a mission of self improvement, and while I don’t need help, he wants to be there to hold my hand as long as he can.
It might not last forever, but that doesn’t matter. Life may be short, but it’s all we have. So it’s time to stop curating my fairytale and start appreciating what I have while I have it, even if it isn’t perfect. Taking caution to the wind requires more self control than micromanaging my relationships. In the words of Cee Lo Green, “You really think you’re in control? Well, I think you’re crazy.”