There’s been a lot of relationships in my life lately, but I mean regarding my friends, not myself.  One of my friends is in a new relationship, one is getting to know someone, one is getting over someone.  And it’s got me to thinking about my previous relationships.

Now, it should be said that I’ve only had 3 technical relationships.  (There was one other guy… but I was “only” in love with him; we never dated.)  The last one treated me quite shabbily (he didn’t last long).  I’m not sure what the middle one was thinking since I basically never saw him after we started going out (he didn’t last long, either).  The first one was, in hindsight, the best by far.  And not just by comparison.

My first boyfriend genuinely liked me for me.  He wrote me love letters, drew me comics (one I distinctly remember had him punching out some guy who was flirting with me), called me every day, drove his scooter (moped?) to town to visit me at work (he didn’t have a working car), was considerate, cared about me, and I could go on.  I’m not sure how long we dated, maybe three or four months?  And do you know why I dumped him?  Because he liked me so much, and I didn’t know what to do with that.  What can I say?  I was 18 and I didn’t have a clue what a healthy relationship even looked like at that point, much less how to have one.

There are a number of sad things about the end of this relationship, most of which I am not going to talk about.  But the one that hit me yesterday was that I don’t have anything from him.  I’m a purger by nature, so after we broke up, I destroyed all his letters, pictures, everything that even looked like a memory of him.  (Although, some memories you can’t get rid of: whenever I smell something that reminds me of how he smelled, I immediately remember him, remember the feel of wearing his sweatshirt, that safe feeling of being in your boyfriend’s hoody, like being wrapped in his arms.)

There have been many times when I wished I hadn’t gotten rid of everything, when I wished I had put it in a box and given it to someone to keep for me, for when the memories were sweet and not painful.  Unfortunately, I did not.  But, I would hope that if I had a relationship in the future worth remembering (and if it had some rocky times) that I would resist the urge to purge and would save my memories instead.  It’s always possible to get rid of something later, but it’s never possible to bring it back after you’ve gotten rid of it.

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