When my last relationship ended, I wasn’t at all devastated. Sure, I did the customary sobbing on pillow and sighing heavily when realizing it was indeed over. But there wasn’t any shower weeping. Not even a week of hybernating under blankets or three to six months of wallowing in my new single status. No. That wasn’t what I experienced when I broke up with Luke.
On the contrary, I felt…free.
I realized early on that our 5 month relationship should’ve lasted a month. It really shouldn’t have happened at all. He was 26. I was 33. He had a daughter. I don’t like to date men with children. He was so Dominican he often spoke of moving there permanently, or at least 6 months out of the year. I’d grimace because he reminded me of every Dominican man I’ve ever known – macho, mujeriogo (womanizer), and in love with himself and the big booty’s that passed him by (he has a wandering eye).
So, you see why I was relieved. Why instead of wailing for weeks I cried for a few hours tops. And that was only because I hated the thought of starting over. Dating again, getting back into the swing of things, was just not appealing. At least not until I met Paco.
I’ve mentioned before that Paco and I had our first date in Las Vegas, only I convinced myself it was a non-date. This was my way of protecting myself from Expectation. She’s done me wrong so many times. So I decided to be cautious. Also, after giving Luke the crocodile boot (old school Dominican men love their fancy shoes), I promised myself the following:
“The next man I am with will be my friend,” I pledged while reflecting on my relationships and finally understanding what Shai’s “If I Ever Fall In Love” was referring to. “I can’t continue jumping into a relationship with a man I don’t know,” I reasoned.
All my life, I’ve been impulsive, particularly in my romantic relationships. I am not fickle, just passionate. I am loyal and faithful and loving. But I eagerly jump into the deep end, no flippers, goggles, or life vest; and I can’t even swim. So, this self-lecture was just that. I was reprimanding myself, reminding myself of what I truly need and desire from a man – a partnership.
And you can’t build a partnership with a stranger.
So, here I was with Paco. On a non-date that was a date that later led to flirtatious tweets, some texts, and a wedding kiss that never was. But he called. Just 3 days after returning from my sister’s wedding and 24 hours from our revealing Facebook chat, he called. And we talked for hours.
I don’t remember our conversation in it’s entirety. And I do want to keep our secrets secret, our inside jokes inside. I just recall feeling like myself. We laughed; he is funny as am I. Our first conversation lasted 3 hours. The second and third and fourth were the same – entertaining, honest, lengthy, and telling.
And I realized after weeks of speaking continuously and never getting tired of hearing his voice, and missing him when we didn’t speak, that he was my friend.
He is my friend.
And there’s nothing to cry about.