Our eyes met and locked in a gaze that lingered longer than expected. Strangers passing in a crowded room don’t usually do that. I was intrigued. My heart skipped a beat as Terrence decided against following his friends into the sea of bodies in motion and instead offered his hand and hello to me before I departed.
In spite of this initial spark, within a few weeks, our flame fizzled. All the sparks in the world couldn’t make him the kind of guy who called when he should and who followed through on the plans we made. And it couldn’t make him not confuse me for someone else (another girl he was talking to, I assume). How, you wonder? Perhaps it was the fact that in numerous conversations he kept mentioning my “love for Brooklyn.” Funny as I’d only crossed the East River into Brooklyn only once at that point.
With Matt, our first encounter started off in almost the same way except we kept our attraction under wraps for a little longer. We’d exchange glances for about an hour before we finally were in close enough proximity to exchange words. From that moment on, it was as if no one else in the room existed. I wanted to absorb everything that was him – his words, his scent, his touch. But that pesky thing called distance and our 25-year-old immaturity prevented us from pursuing anything further. However, our connection was so strong that months later when we ran into each other again, it was impossible to even pretend to be coy or front like the chemistry wasn’t still there. Within minutes we were seated side by side, fingers entwined, ignoring the world, having eyes only for each other.
This close encounter of the sequel kind was fun while it lasted, but in the weeks following the rekindling of our flame, I realized that it wasn’t distance alone keeping us from a relationship. It was the fact that we were just different people on different paths wanting different things in the years ahead. About a year after that, when I randomly ran into him and his girlfriend at the time, I also discovered another reason we would never make it as a couple.
He needed someone who needed him more than I ever could.
Then, there was Jason. Jason and I had more than enough in common. And just like Jerry Maguire said, he had me at “hello.” I was hooked. I thought for sure that our intense, can’t-get-enough-of-each-other chemistry would develop into something more significant the first time. But it didn’t. Perhaps I came on too strong or he was too distracted by his first year practicing law. Or, perhaps it was the distance once again. I never asked. Instead, the glutton for punishment that I am, tested the waters again years later and thought this time would be different. My heart told me no (if it was suppose to work, it would have the first time!), but my mind, intoxicated by the smell of his cologne, made my body remember how it felt when he was near. The butterflies in my stomach. The tingle that migrated up my spine when his hand merely grazed my face. My mind and body tag teamed my heart and convinced it to say yes. To go down this unknown path with him again.
For whatever his reasons, he didn’t want to commit to me. And after running the relationship through my head a billion times and asking my friends the questions I wanted to ask him, I finally made peace with the situation.
I came to the understanding that there is someone out there that is better suited for me. Someone with whom I’ll share not only a physical connection, but a mental, emotional, and spiritual connection as well.
The moral of my not-so-fairy tales – chemistry alone does not a relationship make. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think you can have a relationship without it. I see it as the glue that holds all of the other pieces together. Without it, aren’t you just friends? However, the key is to not let your intense connection cloud or skew your judgments. Keep your eyes open to see him for all of what he is, including his flaws, his differences. Be aware of deal breakers and signs that you aren’t meant to be. Be with the one who embraces you for everything that you are and everything you are not. The one who returns your phone calls, knows which boroughs you’ve been to, and finds your independence exhilarating. Be with the one who makes you a priority because you are so worthy.