12 years ago, I broke up with my boyfriend. On Super Bowl Sunday. Two hours before I was supposed to be at a party he was throwing. That might not be a big deal to some: artists, bookworms, Eskimos, Amish... But, to this guy it was the equivalent of kicking down the door on Christmas Eve and telling a five-year-old Santa doesn't exist. I'm not comparing myself to a saint (or him to a child) but you get the point. I didn't recall the date but he sure did, reliving it with me two weeks ago when we met up for drinks.
The message is not how awful I was or how much he delighted in reminding me, it's that we met up for drinks! It's been happening across the country for awhile now. We've hung in Manhattan and Brooklyn, San Francisco, LA, even Park City and caught up over email, text and GChat at all hours of the day. Post-breakup, which was messy and ugly and drawn out, that seemed unfathomable. Even years later, the prospect of us being legitimately good friends with no feelings, animosity or grudges proved daunting. But, here we are, both happily married, with kids and patient, understanding and loving spouses (They're the saints, putting up with us two!) who are better matches for us than either of us could've ever been to each other.
My match and I took three years to get our act together. The first overlapped the aforementioned aftermath of the relationship above and I was in no condition to begin another. The second started promising but he moved and I wasn't interested in long-distance. The third? Was still from separate states but there was no denying the chemistry any longer; it overrode everything. Love can do that. But you have to be ready. And I finally was.
My point on this Super Bowl Sunday, over a decade after my first real heartbreak, five and a half years into my successful marriage and a week before Valentine's Day, ladies, is that you never know. Had you told me in my twenties that I would recover from the devastating loss of what I thought was my one true love and that we would some day be involved and caring friends or that, the "boy" I often thought about and just as quickly and frequently wrote off and I would finally manage to make it work, if you told me that I wouldn't end up alone, unhappy or settling, I wouldn't have believed you. Because for years, I was in a dark, doubtful place. So, I get it. I get where you are, where you've been and what you're going through. Because I was there too.
The trick is, you don't have to believe others. You just have to believe yourself. Believe in the who and the what and forget about the how and the when. Who you are and what you want. Not how and when you'll get there. If you're true to yourself and good to yourself, the love will come. But if you're too focused on "the one", you might miss the others. I thought the super bowl guy was the love of my life. And he was. One of them. Lucky for me, I've had several. None greater than my husband and daughter.
So stop with the regret, the what-if's, the negative self-talk and thoughts, focus on bettering yourself and others, choose to be surrounded by positivity and light and your future, I assure you, will be bright. And may even include that dream love life, once or twice.