A Happy Self Discovery Thread About Love

So, here’s my story, which I am sharing in the hopes that other Dopers will share their happy self discovery stories about love.

I’ve just turned 21. At the end of 2003 I began my first real relationship with a member of the opposite sex, let’s call her Heather, and it lasted 19 months, until just recently. Now 4 or 5 months into this relationship, we both naively decided that we knew we would get married in a few years. We both quickly abandoned that particular brand of naivete, but a far more insidious one began building itself up in Heather’s mind. For my part, I went along with it to the extent that I thought marriage was still a possibility.

Now, enter Melissa (another fake name). Melissa and I went to high school together, although she’s a year behind me, and we had maintained a very comfortable friendship with one another since, although it did begin a slow crescendo this past fall. So as the spring of 2005 proceeded, I had my steadily ramping up friendship with Melissa and my ostensibly very strong relationship with Heather. Now comes June, and Melissa invited me to go to Scotland with her for a week. Originally her brother was supposed to go, he got a new job, blah blah blah whatever. So I went to Scotland with Melissa. During the trip, I fell in love with her.

I should clarify this word “love,” since that’s the whole self-discovery part of this story. I realized that I was never really truly in love with Heather. The fall of 2003 was my first semester at college, and I wasn’t emotionally ready for the independence that brought. I only got together with Heather after a period of unrequited affection for another girl. What happened was, rather than being emotionally attracted to either of those girls, I was simply dependent on them for my well being. Some love probably did grow out of that dependence with Heather, but I can’t say how much, and at any rate dependence should grow out of love, and not the other way around.

In other words, what I thought was love really wasn’t. So Melissa, after taking some time to think it over, agreed to start dating me, and we’ve been happily enjoying the fruits of our new closeness (not that kind of closeness, you pervs)for a few weeks now. :smiley:

Now it’s your turn. Share your happy self discovery stories about love!

Hmmm, I’m afraid that 30-some years on the dating scene hasn’t provided me with anything more than fleeting, self-delusuional happiness (but, hell, I’ll take what I can get!).

Started out with an entree of a man I loved but who saw me as a “pal.” The main course was a big, wise-ass bartender who thought I was the perfect broad for him. I was awfully fond of him, but his three diviorces and his fondness for alcohol and cocaine somewhat took the blush off the rose. I ended as I began: Fell for another guy who just thought me to be “one of the guys.” Eve Arden Syndrome.

After awhile it’s not “optimism” anymore, it’s “masochism.” No more dessert for Baby, please! I’m on Atkin’s.

As Mrs. Parker said,

The sun’s gone dim, and
The moon’s turned black;
For I loved him, and
He didn’t love back.

I’ve had a semi-large string of one-nighters and two, maybe three, relationships.

My first girlfriend was a bisexual ameuter soul singer named Verse [nickname] who was seriously involved with a man at the same time we were dating. She was gorgeous and sensual and we carried on the polygymous relationship for about six months, until she married him and failed to tell me. Did I love her? Yeah, I adored her, but I wasn’t in love with her and I was too young and inexperienced to be in a poly arrangement. That’s not to say it would never be for me, but it wasn’t then and isn’t now. After Verse, I had a short rebound relationship with Jenn, a very sweet, quiet butch who deserved better than the likes of me. It lasted for only a little while, and I broke it off after realizing I loved her as a friend but wasn’t remotely attracted to her sexually.

A few months after Jenn, I met Mrs. Chatelaine. We met on the Internet and were 400 miles away from each other. After a brief back-and-forth dating period, I moved in with her and that, as they say, is that. She’s the best company I’ve ever kept, and through her I’ve realized the most important rule of marriage, IMO – marry someone you can talk to for hours and not grow bored, and marry someone who can make you laugh. It’ll be six years on August 1st, and she really is the very best butch a girl could fall for. How a scroungy, penniless girl from the gutter ended up so lucky I dunno, but I’m grateful every single day.

Ya know that feeling you got in the pit of your stomach when you saw the person of your (wet) dreams when in highschool? I bet you look fondly back on it, the ache, like something was burrowing out of you, needing to get out. The feeling of heat and sparks and crazyness when you brushed up against that person? Wow that was great! Why don’t I feel like that anymore?

Because I grew up. Just because all that drama felt wonderful then didn’t mean it was any good for me. It took me a while to figure out that a real, lasting love is made out of different stuff than that crazy first-touch rush. It’s like a drug, I will always crave it, but I’ll be much better off without it!

Yes, I too fondly remember discovering self-love…

What?

Oh.

Sorry.

My most important discovery is that there exists, in no explicit order, plain ol’ lust (an attraction for the delightfully shaped container a person comes in, even if she herself — or he himself, if you so gravitate — is a hateful specimen; can include, in addition to bodyshape, things like sound of voice or how she moves when she walks or how she dresses, but all superficial stuff); loving someone (a sincere and heartfelt fondness for the person and a wish for that person’s happiness, an emotion that can outlast sexual attraction and need not ever involve it in the first place); and being “in love” (whereby you study every little detail about the person and find each of them spectacularly wonderful; you can’t eat, can’t sleep, sigh a lot, can talk with her for hours and feel ecstatically happy the whole time, and would turn your back on everyone and everything else in order to be with this person).

And that the delicious one, the one that brings the most fun and sense of bone-deep fulfillment, is the last-mentioned of the three. (It’s important to be able to distinguish it from the middle one, though, and to acknowledge how much of it is chemical, especially if you have to undergo breakup: the withdrawal effects are truly horrid beyond comprehension).

heh heh heh. That’s what I was thinking, too. You know what they say, a dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste.