It never happens the same way twice. You never love someone the way you did the last. I never really thought about it, because let’s face it, how many guys have I really loved? Maybe two. I’ve never been much of a dater until this year, honestly. I dated the Marine off and on for a few years. Then I dated the Doctor for almost five years. I guess you could say I loved them. I don’t know. And there was the Teacher. Oh and I guess I did date the Dairy Farmer for a couple seconds way back when. But whatever. Was it ever really love, though? I mean, looking back, I know I cared deeply about each one of these men. Some more than others. I mean, obviously, I spent 4 years (give or take) with the same guy so I had to care on some level, right? I think my idea of love was kinda twisted though. One thing I do know is this: you never fall in love the same way twice. And that’s the dadgum truth. Even if it wasn’t necessarily love, per se, there was a level of emotional investment that can’t be denied.
The Marine: We grew up together. Friends for the majority of our lives. Kind of like “The Boy Next Door” kinda guy. He was a simple, small town, family loving, kind of guy. We had fun doing anything and everything, whether it was going to the drive in movies or just laying in the floor watching Dumb and Dumber, eating PB&J sandwiches. When he was 18 and I was 16, we started spending just about every waking second together and became really good friends. He graduated from high school at semester and left immediately for boot camp. He wrote letters to me quite often and I always wrote back right away. He even got to call me one night close to his boot camp graduation and, I’ll admit, my heart was going pitter pat the whole time. But I dismissed those feelings as just being excited to hear from him!! The night he was supposed to be home from boot camp, I was waiting at his house. Something went wrong with his flight, though, and it was going to be really late when he got back so I decided I’d just wait until the next day till I saw him. Then, sometime close to midnight, just as I was about to crawl in to bed, I saw headlights coming down my drive. I just knew it was him. He hadn’t even gone to his house yet. He had his mom drive him straight to my house. I remember seeing him standing there in uniform and thinking, “Oh. My. Gah.” And the rest was kind of history from there. We spent every second together while he was home. Then he left for Fort Leonardwood but we continued to talk every day. One night, he sent me a text that said, “Roses are red, violets are blue, if I asked you to be my girlfriend, what would you do?” All I could think was “be still my heart….” So this went on for a while. He got sent to Japan. We stayed together. But in the end, it just didn’t work out. I moved to Dallas for two years when I turned 18 and we didn’t speak at all for those two years. Then I moved back home right around the same time he did. We ran in to each other in town and decided to have lunch. It was like we’d never skipped a beat and we dated again for another year but once again, things just didn’t line up and that was that.
The Doctor: I met the doctor at work. I’d been single for a month and in my stupidness (cause there is no other word for this situation), I gave him my number. The Doctor was 20 years older than me. Okay, let me just say that, in my defense, he didn’t look 20 years older. I thought maybe ten. So we went out a couple times. I knew he wasn’t a long term player, but I didn’t really care. I was still on the mend after the break up from the Marine, so I was just gonna do whatever I wanted. We started hanging out in September of 2007 and by February 2008, we were living together. I know. I was an idiot. But life was glamorous. I’d been to Vegas, I had a trip booked to Mexico, I was livin’ la vida loca. And then reality set in. And I was like, “Oh _______. This just got real.” Life wasn’t so glamorous anymore. And I wanted to leave, but I never could. I NEVER stayed for the money. In fact, I always paid my own bills, the entire time I was with him. But he had me pretty convinced that I’d never amount to anything without him so I stayed for way too long. In January 2010, I decided I was leaving, though. And I kinda sorta did…..
The Dairy Farmer: So, I had just left the Doctor in January 2010, got my own little apartment on The Square downtown, was feeling pretty good about life and the decision I had just made. I was standing in the barn at the college one afternoon, about to palpate a cow, when my phone alerted me that I had a friend request on Facebook. I had to ignore it, though, because my hands were kind of preoccupied. So after I had been elbow deep in the uterus of this cow, I was able to see who in the heck had added me as a friend. I didn’t recognize the name so I had to do some investigating. We had no mutual friends. I knew nothing about him. So I sent a private message and asked who he was. He apologized and stated that when he sent the request he thought that I was someone else but that it was a pleasant mistake because he thought I was really pretty. Well, that’s all it took. I agreed to meet him. The first night we met, it started snowing very suddenly and he had to go right away to check for any calves that might have been born in the last hour or so because they had to be taken to the barn. So. I went along for the ride. And that was the first of many calf checks that I assisted in. He was a nice guy. He liked my family. He had cows (which was a HUGE plus for me). But, I wasn’t done with The Doctor. After about six or seven months with The Dairy Farmer, The Doctor convinced me that life with him had been much better and that if I would come back, he’d change his ways. So I milked my last cow, said my final goodbyes, turned in the keys to my apartment, and in August 2010, I was right back at square one with The Doctor.
Back to The Doctor: From August 2010 to October 2011, I seriously might as well have lived in Hell. I would have had a better life rooming with Satan himself. The Doctor got me back, just like he wanted, and while he had promised change, it definitely wasn’t in the way I had expected. I mean, it wasn’t all bad, only about 95% of it. But I left in October 2011 and I’ve never looked back. Smell ya later, dude.
The Teacher: We met in February 2012. On Valentine’s Day to be precise. He was tall, dark, and handsome and I couldn’t stop staring. He was dreamy. I wanted to feel his biceps. And then, when I did feel his biceps (in the parking lot of Sam’s Cellar to be exact), I absolutely knew I had to see him again. We started spending basically every second we possibly could together, just laying around watching Golden Girls and starting traditions of Taco Tuesday. He was great. My family LOVED and adored him. He loved and adored my family. We had a lot of things in common. But the differences far outweighed the common interests and life views. And I knew I had to end it.
Basically, all this to say that even though things didn’t work out with the marine, or the doctor, or the dairy farmer, or the teacher, I am sure of one thing: I trust in His unfailing love; my heart rejoices in His salvation. He has been good to me (Psalm 13:5-6). I honestly can’t help but laugh when I look back over the last ten years of my life. Oh Lord. But at least I can laugh, right? Each person was different. Each person brought out something different in me. I loved or cared about each one of them differently. And you know what’s really cool about never loving the same way twice? When the good Lord does decided to bring The One in to my life, it’ll be brand new. He’ll be the first person I love in the right way and he’ll be the last.
See ya on the flippity flop! ~Rach