Ghosts Of Boyfriends Past
I believe we are the sum of what happens to us, of the people we meet, of the experiences we live through. We are a map and if you look carefully, you can trace back certain features we have right to the source. On a more personal note, leaving aside Freudian influences of my parents, I carry the marks of the people I shared my life with.
It’s probably safe to consider myself a serial relationshipper. I’ve been in a long-term relationship since I was 16. It’s never been shorter than one year, never longer than five. My vast experience sums about seven people, including Alin, a few flings, and a two great loves.
Is it a lot, is it a little for a 34-year-old? You can be the judge of that. I have been tempted to go either way when comparing myself with different people. More often than not, I tend to think I have wasted all this time; my life would have been much more different with less sorrow, had I met Alin earlier on. But then … I look back and realise: Hadn’t I gone through all of the six dudes before, I wouldn’t have met him, I wouldn’t be what I am today.
Do you know why 30s are great?
Because that is when you start becoming friends with who you are and start to celebrate yourself with your bads and goods. This has a certain wisdom in it.
I realised that I can divide my partners into two types.
1. The ones whom I survived
2. The ones who made me a survivor
Basically, it means there were some that made life hell and there were others who helped me help myself. When I look back, I don’t really regret any of it.
The first type I put in a box and, to be honest, I don’t feel anything toward them. Not even compassion or forgiveness. They are as good as dead to me. I wish I were wise enough to be thankful for all the hoops they had me jump through and, subsequently, all the ways they toughened me up. Unfortunately, after many debates with myself, I reached the conclusion they are just evil and the toughening up process was a consequence of that. I cannot be grateful for such a thing.
The second type are people forever scored on my heart. These are the ones who made me. Through their fortitude, their wisdom, their kindness, their patience, they all taught me how to be a good person and how to recognise one when I see her.
It occurred to me while vacuuming — that is when I get my best ideas — that it is a great thing to be part of somebody’s story like that. We should all be so lucky to have such a contribution to someone’s life. On the opposite side, I think it’s pretty sad when, after some time of being in a relationship, and a consequent breakup, you do not leave anything behind. Not even a void.
There is a deeper layer and a more general rule that derives from all this.
There are two types of people you meet in life: the ones who don’t bring anything to your table and the ones who do. While it’s exhausting to filter life in black and white and try to stay clear of the former, it’s advisable to let go of the polluting factors at some point. We all have our time frames, we don’t always immediately recognise bad or toxic relationships, nobody should rush into anything, but I think it’s good to know these premises and introspect ourselves whenever we got enough courage.