I used to date douchebags, then one day I stopped.
I'm not sure what made me stop acting this way. Maybe I finally grew up. Maybe I became more confident in who I was. Maybe I met the right person.
Or maybe it was all of those things combined.
Before then, I had become so jaded that I didn't believe in any of the dating and relationship cliches polluting the world.
"There is someone out there for you, you just haven't met the right one yet," or "It's all about timing. You'll meet that person who is on the same page as you one day."
Well up until then, it seemed like the odds of meeting someone I was "on the same page with" was nearly impossible. I mean, what are the odds that you'd meet someone who is equally as interested in you and is looking for the same thing as you? Seems slim, right? I still wasn't convinced. The other cliche often uttered to me was "It's when you're not looking for love that it hits." Yeah, right.
Then one day, by the grace of God—I have no f'ing idea why—all those cliches came true.
The cliches came true right as I had given up. After getting hurt and frustrated, I stopped dating. I focused on my writing. I stayed home a lot. I pissed off my friends for not going out. I watched a lot of Purple Rain and had sex dreams about Prince.
A girlfriend of mine had been bugging me to meet her friend. She said we had a lot in common. I had gotten so comfortable living in my little make-believe purple Princeland at home that I didn't go out to meet her friend until six months later. I can honestly say that I don't recall the first night I met previous men I've dated, or sometimes even the first date; but with him, I clearly remember first seeing walk across the crowd.
I remember what he was wearing. I remember being absolutely enthralled when he talked. I remember thinking, "I want to know this guy." I remember thinking how nice it was to feel this way after such a long time. A feeling that I had completely given up on. The night ended, we went our separate ways and I couldn't stop thinking about him. He had given me his business card and at 3 a.m. I texted, "So nice to meet you, I'd love to grab lunch sometime." He later told me that he was in the process of texting me when he got my text, about to say the same thing.
On that night I knew that I could fall in love with this guy, so that is why we celebrate our anniversary from the day we first met. Every Friday. Every Friday we say "Happy Whatever Week We've Been Dating." So many weeks have gone by now that we've lost track, but we still make a point to say "Happy Anniversary" every Friday. Gosh, even writing that sentence made me puke in my mouth a little bit.
The beginning of our courtship was not easy. Not because there was any drama, but because of happenstance environmental factors we had no control over. On our second date, extremely drunken and drugged-out teenage hipsters shot at my car while they taunted us to kiss. I wish that was an exaggeration. They shot a loaded weapon 10 feet from where we were sitting. A little part of my faith in the next generation died that night. We sped off out of fear of getting killed, and it was then that he leaned over and kissed me for the first time.
On our third date, my car was broken into while I watched a screening of his movie. He was so upset over the broken window that the next night he came over and built me a cardboard window. He asked me who I wanted driving alongside me. I told him "The Muppets". In the middle of the street, by the light of my cell phone he drew Kermit, Miss Piggy and Fozzie on my cardboard window. I still have that window. It's been run over, rained on, sunned on, graffited on and taped over numerous times, but I will never get rid of it.
I even got a kidney infection and then a sinus infection within the first couple of weeks of our courtship, but we prevailed.
Entering a relationship where I didn't have to question the other person's interest was new to me, but I promised I wouldn't let my prior dating baggage screw anything up. And it hasn't. To this day, I'm still amazed at how not crazy I am in this relationship. That's insinuating that I was crazy before then, but it was more that I had a tendency to date people that made me insecure in our relationship. Throw in a little early-twenty-something emotionality, and that tends to create the magical wonder known as "passive-aggressiveness."
Now I date someone who is on the same page as me, and it's wonderful. Makes me wonder what the hell I was thinking when I was 21.
But my growing up is only one half of this story. The truth of the matter is I'm dating a really amazing and genuine person. A man who likes to dance, make art, write music, eat dinner with his parents, hang out with his friends and spend time with his girlfriend. A man who has a good career, is responsible, incredibly intelligent, funny and handsome.
How did I get so lucky to find this elusive breed? Was wading through that crap for so many years really only to get to him?
Are all the cliches really true, after all?