I can line them up, almost like a paper doll chain, all the boys I’ve fawned over ever since I was 15. J, B, A, Z, N, R, S. All of them, in my own perception of things, left me broken. No, this isn’t a list of my ex-boyfriends, or even a list of boys I dated. In fact, I never exchanged more than a few words with J. Myspace messaged him a few times, but that’s about the extent of our love affair. These are the ones that really set up camp in my mind. Some for a few months, some spanning years. So much of my thoughts that swirled around them was a fictional narrative. I crafted a fairytale, turning these mediocre men into my Prince Charming. One after the other. There have been plenty of other guys in my life that don’t make that list – one of them being an ex-boyfriend of almost two years. I can’t really rationalize how and why they divide into the two silos – the boys who broke me and the boys who frankly didn’t really phase me. Honestly, there’s probably more men in the latter. A whole other category for the boys I broke.
As I enter the next phase of my dating life, I’m really trying to inspect how I allowed these seven guys to have such a profound affect on me. Sure, I can say now that getting over B when I was a senior in high school was easy breezy, but I know for a fact flipping through old journals that at the time it felt as if my entire world was crashing down around me. I had invested so much into this fairytale, that the realization these guys weren’t what I crafted felt astronomical. If I were to line them all up against what I believe I’m looking for in a partner, none of them pass the test. Nor did I ever think or feel like they were “the one”, but it hurt nonetheless. Sometimes I think there’s no direct line between the heart and the brain. So many signals get crossed, as if it’s a switch board that’s constantly blowing a fuse. I can tell myself “Phoebe, you KNEW this guy wasn’t right for you, why can’t you just accept it and move on?” but it’s lost in transition.
Anyways, hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the thoughts that keep me up at night.