Three years ago I had one of the simultaneously best and worst days of my life. It was Valentine’s Day, and it had snowed. A few friends came over to my house, and we sequestered ourselved with board games and booze. We built snowmen, and threw snowballs, and met a very large Great Dane. It was a great day. But somehow, it decended into a devilish sort of fray by that night. This was when I was first dating Jeff. We had hit the 4 month mark, and while we weren’t seeing anyone else, we also weren’t calling each other girlfriend/boyfriend. (Sound familiar??) Without going into detail, let’s just say things went terribly wrong that night. Reservations were missed, clothes were left at the dry cleaners, and we broke up. We didn’t even make it to dinner.
It was truly a horrible night for me. But something made me stay in touch with Jeff (quite possibly all the friends we had in common!) And six months later, we decided to try again…As girlfriend and boyfriend, and knowing that if we got together, we were headed toward marriage. We lasted four months. Things went cockeyed again, and we realized as much as we loved each other, a marriage would be a bad idea.
The significance of that relationship had been somewhat lost on me for a long time. I knew it was important, I knew I loved him, I knew it was a relationship that would always mean a lot to me, but until this Valentine’s Day, I didn’t realize, he was the first and, to date, the last guy I have ever fought for. In the end, I am sure he would say it was me who ended it. That I got distant, and uncaring, but the reality was, I did that only out of despiration and sickness at watching the best thing I had fall apart and the person I cared about most, self-destruct over and over again. It was far easy in that last month to give up. I had realized the relationship would never be a happy one, no matter how much I tried. But prior to that, we had both fought and worked to make something of the relationship. We bent and gave and conceded, and in the end, it wasn’t enough. But I’ll be damned if we didn’t try.
I tried to tell him months later how much it hurt me to end the relationship, but he never believed me. He saw me as cold and calculating. Which is sort of ironic, because throughout our relationship, he had always beent he first to see right through me. But in the end, I manage to stuff my feeling so far down, that even he couldn’t find them.
Being dumped four days before Valentine’s Day last week, and realizing there was nothing to fight for, and that the biggest loss had been my Valentine’s Day date brought back my tortured relationship with Jeff. It made me realize how much I miss what we had, and how, as much as I fought to make it work, I could have fought harder. I don’t think it would have ever worked for us. We are just too much alike. But I think we could have gone farther. We could have loved each other longer.
So, to Jeff, a belated Happy Valentine’s Day.
I will always love you, even if I can’t be in love with you.