Before I begin, I’d like to express my condolences to those affected by Hurricane Harvey and blessings to those that have pitched in and either helped find missing persons, partook in rescue efforts, or those that are giving support via money or goods! May God bless you all and help with a speedy recovery to rebuilding. I donated to the Red Cross today at my local Publix!
This has been the week of one particular topic – relationships! It has come up multiple times. Let me start from the beginning:
After a rocky start to her high school career, my daughter began her sophomore year with better intentions. Come September she started dating a senior. They hit it off well and spent the year together, making great memories, having fun, hanging out, going on trips with each of our families; in my opinion, he is a great kid. A few months back, he graduated high school. The summer was tough for both of them as they knew he would be heading off to college in August and she would be starting her junior year. Currently he is in his dorm at college a couple hours from us.
At the early part of this week, he told my daughter he wanted to take a break. This was a break alright – including a break on her heart. She was devastated. I was called by her mother to stop by on my way home from work and as I went into her room, there she was on her bed crying her eyes out.
She eventually told me what was going on.
The next day, she text me to let me know that everything was OK, that they were gonna be fine and that he is just confused.
I can fully understand both ends of the spectrum. I would go so far as to say I saw this coming.
The next night, my daughter came by to see me and broke down into tears again. Apparently he decided he wanted to make it official. He needed a break. Aside from that, he removed all their pics from his social media and it really hurt her.
On a side note, it’s not obvious that he has already met someone new, or is interested in someone and doesn’t want to be in a relationship. When I started my freshman year at UF, my buddy Dan was dating Becky. Dan was a freshman in college and his girlfriend just started her Junior year in high school…exactly the same scenario. They made it two months until they realized it was time for them to call it quits because they were living two very different lifestyles.
So I’ve been around and have seen it happen. It’s hard to make situations like that work. It’s no one’s fault, really. Just a difference in cultural changes – well, for the first year college student at least.
Her mother and I have been consoling her. She’s doing a little better, but one day at a time. This was her first true love. Still is. My heart breaks for her as I know how it feels.
I was seventeen when I met Stephanie. She was fourteen at the time and she lived near my father whom I only visited for the summer. That was in the Summer of 1993. She was beautiful, spunky, and had a STUNNING personality, but I was starting my senior year, she lived miles from me and it was a fun summer fling and that’s how I saw it.
Fast forward to the Summer of ’95…
I just returned home from my first year in college. I had a good year and was looking to work and have fun with friends during the summer who were also home from college. Late in May, Stephanie called me and asked if we had anything going on. I told her we could talk – and we did! I don’t know what happened but she won me over – and I let her!
I drove up to spend four days with her and we fell instantly in love! After a month of not being with her, she was partying and going out and doing things that normal high-schooler does before starting their senior year. I went back to visit her because I had a feeling something was slipping. She was distant, detached, and I wasn’t feeling right about this. I left that day and drove home and didn’t feel right about anything that went on.
About a week after I returned home, she called me one evening and told me she wanted nothing to do with me anymore. It hurt something fierce and I experienced my first heartbreak. Of course, her living 3 hours from me, being in high school, and me being in college, wasn’t a key for a successful relationship. You don’t know these things when you are that young because you haven’t fully developed a logical mindset.
As for my daughter, she will be just fine. We spoke today and she is doing a little better. She is still holding on to hope, but I can’t convince her not to. It’s just natural for someone who loves someone else to hang on to when they feel that there’s a threat of not being together. I don’t foresee this lasting and eventually my daughter will understand, too. But for now, I can only be a source of comfort, advice, and someone she can vent to until she is ready to move on and let the healing begin.
I miss that kind of love – so young and innocent.
I bring up the relationship topic this week because I was having lunch with a good friend the early part of the week.
“Hey man, when are you gonna finally get someone in your life? You’re a great guy, great Dad…just overall great human being?”
“Thank you for the compliments, but I’m just not interested in it anymore,” I said smiling.
“Come on. You can’t give up. I’m sure you’ll find someone.”
“I don’t consider it giving up anymore. I’ve been single for fifteen years; sixteen come January. I’ve had my fair share of so-so dates, horrible dates, and a couple opportunities I missed out on because I just wasn’t very smart at the moment. At this point, I don’t consider it giving up, I consider it retiring. I have other interests like securing myself financially, traveling, and developing myself into the best person I can be…not just for me, but for those around me.”
He laughed and said, “Now that’s an answer I guess I can’t argue. I still think you shouldn’t retire,” with his fingers in air quotes.
I’m surrounded by great love stories – some of my best friends have them to share and it makes me happy to know that they were able to find it. And I’m OK if I’m not one who will experience it.
It’s my job to be there in case she needs me, like trying to figure out what do with a broken heart. No matter how big she gets, she’s my little girl. She knows I’m there for her and that’s the kind of love I never have to worry about losing!