I remember a time when meeting someone who was just as damaged was a bit of a relief. Everyone walking…
There was never a woman more intriguing. I couldn’t believe she responded to my messages let alone allow me in her bed and I was still insecure enough to believe she was out of my league. I laid next to her wondering if I should leave. I mean, it was supposed to be a one night stand but here we were in that awkward gray area where you never know if you should stick around a little longer and chat so it doesn’t feel so disconnected and cheap or do you leave as soon as possible to not make things weird? You would really be surprised at how conflicted people are in the moments after the sex is over. I mean, you could easily just say, “So do you think I should leave?” And they might respond, “Oh, you can stay if you like.” And you think, is she just saying that because she wants to be nice and not make this already more awkward than it is or does she really want me to stay? Or wait, does she like me? Does that mean this means more to her than it does to me? Will she expect to date me? Or she could respond with, “Yeah, you should probably leave.” And then you’re all, wait, was it not good? What did I do wrong? Like what, I’m not good enough to talk to? I am an amazing dude with many levels and so much depth I could sit here and make you laugh all night but psssh, nevermind now.
Trust me, one night stands never go like you expect.
But this time we just laid staring at the ceiling while I twirled her hair while there talking about everything and nothing. I was in a haze of bewilderment. Not only was she sexy and charming, but self-depricatingly hilarious. She over-shared about her life and I could tell she was trying really hard to impress me, which was something I was not accustomed to. She wasn’t very good at hiding her insecurities and it was oddly impressive to be with someone who was so clumsy with her vulnerability. She was a mess and I couldn’t have been more intrigued. I looked at the clock and noticed we had been chatting for hours. Next thing I remember was the sunlight heating up the room and I was waking up next to her.
It was instantaneous. I knew right away that I was falling in love and I before I walked out of her apartment I said, “You know this is going to be a disaster.” And she laughed and said, “If it’s anything like my past I’m sure it will be.”
And it was.
And I knew it from the moment we began our back and forth exchange. She was too charming and intelligent for me to ignore. And when you added in the porn star body… well, I am not immune to the trappings of being a straight male raised on secret Playboy magazines hidden under mattresses. The curse of a sexuality you can’t control, one you can only hope to contain. But I saw it coming a mile away. I may have said it with a smirk, but I was certain it would all go wrong in all the worst ways because I knew that I would never be able to fix her damage no matter how hard I loved her. And that is a recipe for failure. Because no one ever fights as hard to become a better person as you would like them to and she was up against some serious damage.
I learned this how most of do – the hard way. No matter how many of my friends warned me that she was a mess, I ignored them. My common sense made a quick appearance that morning. Not so much as a premonition as much as a reminder. It was saying, hey dude, you know how this is going to end. You have tried this in the past and you don’t have the tools to fix this. Her abuse is way stronger than your love and you’re going to be left disappointed and broken. This is supposed to be a one night stand. Don’t do this to yourself, Chris.
But love is impetuous and reckless. Love believes in itself more than it listens to common sense. Because I learned a long time ago that you should do your best to avoid relationships where you’re constantly waiting for someone to change. No one is perfect and no one will love you in exactly all the ways you want, but if you find yourself constantly reprimanding them for their childish, rude, or unappreciative behavior you need to understand that you guys are simply not compatible no matter how funny they are, no matter how charming their smile, and especially not because of their incredible body. In fact, I should have not walked but ran away from that apartment that day because the best that I could have hoped for – the best that anyone can hope for is to gently and passively influence another person. And I did my best. Literally. I had never fought to love someone so much and so hard in my entire life. And it ground me down and turned me into a shadow of myself and like I predicted, I ended up disappointed and broken. All because I bought into the trappings and intentionally went against my gut and allowed myself to invest my soul into one who wasn’t quite ready.
And while I still am reckless with my love, I have learned to calibrate my sights a little better. Because for all my kicking and screaming and bashing my head against a wall, I am smart enough to now know that my love can’t change anyone… but myself.