“So you guys dated, huh?”
“Wow, I can’t picture you guys together.”
It’s a statement I’ve heard a few times. The Geek world tends to run in small circles, so it’s not uncommon to run in to ex-boyfriends or dating partners. My goal is always that if we liked each other enough to start dating, we can like each other enough to be friends or at least friendly acquaintances when we stop dating. I don’t need to be their best friend; I just don’t want to be their sworn enemy because we weren’t ultimately a good fit.
It’s easy to pick out the things that didn’t work when talking about past loves. It’s easy to make the other person the enemy or the fool. But the truth is, there was something good and attractive that started the whole thing off in the first place.
The way he smiled at me when I was feeling alone. The way he made me feel beautiful when I really needed to be attractive to someone. The emails he sent that gave me something to look forward to, that inspired me to be witty and whimsical when I replied. The help he gave me when I just wanted someone else to take over for a while.
Even though he may have been the wrong one, each one did enough of the right stuff to get my attention. Sometimes that’s enough to give things a try. Hopefully, I was someone who gave as good as I got – that made the world a little brighter for a while.
I admit it. I like happy endings. I want people to see me and smile; I want to see someone from my past dating life and feel like I can walk up and give them a hug. I want us to be able to be real with each other and encourage each other as we look for new things.
Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward….”
I strive (even if I don’t always succeed) to view past relationships that way. Each wrong relationship shows me what does and doesn’t work for me; what I can and cannot contribute. And each wrong relationship was made up of two people, both who crave and deserve love.
So yeah, maybe to the outside world, our union doesn’t make sense. But for us, for a short time, it did. And I’m grateful for the good things each one gave us.