From the moment that we are born, our parents, teachers, babysitters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, all encouraged us to play games.
“There’s nothin’ better than a good ol’ game of Chutes and Ladders to cure a rainy day,” Pops would always say, slouched in his brown leather recliner while nursing a steaming cup of peppermint tea.
“Why don’t you girls run along and play with your Barbies while mommy and I have a grown up talk,” Bubbie would often persuade as she stooped over the stove preparing Passover dinner.
Games come as natural to us as coloring in the lines and reading left to right. So it shouldn’t surprise me that boys, whether 12 or 25, love- and I mean love– to play games.
I loved him so of course I had to run away. I gave him no explanation, no formal goodbye, nothing. I will regret that for the rest of my life.
You would think that I would have learned by now… no such luck. I have to disagree with Aslan, for things often do happen the same way twice. That is to say if you don’t learn from your mistakes.
Now I can’t say that I am completely blameless in my own misery. Last week I was sitting with my mother on the way to the doctor- I am at war with a very stubborn cold- when she said something that really resonated with me.
“Abby,” She said turning to me, demonstrating her dangerous habit of taking her eyes off of the road, “if the same thing keeps happening to you in all of your relationships, then maybe it’s because you did that specific thing to someone. Maybe this is God’s way of telling you that you need to make amends.” I stared at her dumb-founded. My own mother was calling me a slut?! But, taking a moment to step back and look at it logically, I realized she was right. No, not about being a you-know-what, but about the fact that I did have a lot of unresolved issues.
My first relationship, if you can even call it that, was in 7th grade and it lasted a total of two days (record breaking, I know). I broke up with him for no apparent reason. That was the beginning of my slow spiral downwards. My next relationship was in 9th grade. We dated for 4 months and things were great. Then he told me he loved me and I peaced out faster than you can say “I have issues”. Then came Will. I use his name because I feel like he is the only one who deserves a proper mention. He was my best friend growing up and I watched him transform into a completely gorgeous young man (think a blond Jeremy from Vampire Diaries) I fell for him and I was lucky enough that he fell back. I loved him so of course I had to run away. I gave him no explanation, no formal goodbye, nothing. I will regret that for the rest of my life. Only one more guy fell prey to my yo-yo. He was a Junior and I was just a Sophomore. With his romantic interest came the coveted invitation to Junior Prom. I told myself that this wasn’t the reason I “liked” him, but deep down I must have known. In the midst of the beautiful gowns and the twinkling lights I stomped on his heart. He never forgave me nor did I forgive myself.
The rest goes relatively quickly. Though I went through quite a few relationships-8 to be exact- the conclusions are exactly identical in every way. It went like this:
Step 1: They like me more than I like them
Step 2: I start to develop strong feelings for them
Step 3: I get attached
They leave me for another girl
Weird right? Very. The only possible explanation for these nowhere near coincidences is that my history, the part where I left everyone for “the next one”, is repeating itself.
So what was my point in delving into the dark corners of my entire dating history? To tell you all this:
If you have been played, you are not alone. If you have played someone else, well you’re not alone either. History tends to repeat itself if you keep doing the same exact thing. Whether it’s God’s work, Karma’s work, the universe’s work, everything happens for a reason. I just hope my bad luck in the relationship department is NOT because God wants me to be a nun.