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Walking away from the love of my life was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It wasn't a perfect relationship, there is no such thing, no two people will agree on everything all the time. That's just the way it is. It wasn't that we fought all the time, in fact we hardly ever fought hard over anything save for minor disagreements. It wasn't that either of us were unhappy in the relationship or had strayed in any way. We were the perfect couple, who met at the wrong time. Although, perhaps meeting at the wrong time is a strong statement, having the history that we do was the solid foundation upon which we would later build a strong and healthy relationship.
Let's back up to the beginning of this story.
When I was seventeen I graduated high school and the next week I was on a plane to Belgium. I had been granted the opportunity of a lifetime, to work for a five time Olympic, five time World Equestrian Games eventer (which is a whole other story that I won't get into now). I needed to get away and explore who I was as a person and this was the perfect way to do that.
All throughout high school I was a shy person who had been subject to bullying. I don't use the word victim as it was never something I felt victimized by, just something that happened in my life. To me, leaving my own country was my way of coming out of my cocoon and trying to become a butterfly. Because of my awkward personality and having never been completely accepted into any social circles, I had no skills at all with members of the opposite sex. Sure I had friends in high school but aside from the few and far between I had never truly connected with anyone and as a result I mostly kept to myself, never stepping outside my social comfort zone.
When my plane landed on the other side of the world, I had never even held a man's hand, let alone done anything else. Hell I had never even been invited to a movie by some awkward, brace-faced boy like most girls had by the time they were in their late teens. I was ready to mingle with men from another country where I was unhindered by my parents and somehow I felt more free to be "me," whatever that meant.
Now here I bet you're thinking you know where this story is going. I'm going to meet a tall, handsome man from a far away land and we fall hopelessly in love with each other before I am dragged back to my own country and distance rips us apart.
I flirted mercilessly with many men while I was overseas, but a grand total of none of them wanted anything to do with me. Perhaps it taught me a little bit about how to speak to the male creature and helped me later, but all I truly know is that I got shot down more times than I care to admit, and when my plane left the tarmac for Canada I had still not held a man's hand. Much less had my first anything.
While I was exploring the world and myself, my family back home had made some new friends and among them, a rather drunken young man with abnormally tiny nipples. I bring this up because the first time I saw the man I hope to one day marry was over a crackly Skype call and our unofficial meeting was brought on by the words, "You should see the size of this guy's nipples! They're like chocolate chips!" And that was it! That was the first and last time I would see him for the next six months or so.
Finally I arrived home, having left behind many memories and people who are still a huge part of my life four years later. It was time to join the real world and get a job, and I was lucky enough to be hired on at a plywood plant that payed me rather well. Between readjusting to life with my parents and to a graveyard shift that would later make me insanely depressed, I met Tyler face to face.
Our first meeting was at a small dinner party with some friends that are still in our lives today and Ty was drinking coke, saying that he was laying off the beer for a while. He had just incurred his second DUI and was trying to be more responsible. Why was I drawn to him aside from that fact that he was beyond attractive? Who knows, maybe that was all it was at that point.
From then on we had a whirl-wind romance, from my first kiss laying on the floor in a beam of sunlight, to long rides in the woods and long drives spending our time discovering each other physically and emotionally. We were perfect for each other, but something was wrong. Or at least wasn't right.
We were both terrified that we would move in together, get married, have children and then start to resent each other for never knowing anyone else in that way, even though at the time we were still hopelessly in love with each other. Over the course of two weeks we went from laughing and talking about potential weddings to broken up and broken hearted. I knew he was the love of my life, and I couldn't handle the fact that I had walked away from him. He himself having only been with one other woman before me, was in the exact same place that I was, knowing that we had been a perfect couple but unsure that someone better than perfect was waiting just around the corner.
I have to admit, even now, writing about this part of my life gives me a sinking feeling in my stomach, as though I not only can't breathe but the air is being sucked from my lungs.
Spending the next almost year with a man whom I had convinced myself was the perfect remedy for my aching love for Ty was probably the worst thing I could have done, but it happened and there is no taking that back. I ran away from home to live with this person who had been a friend to me before thinking I could just ignore my problems in a different province and my life would be okay.
This man treated me so well while we were together. He doted on me like a queen and always tried to do everything he could to make me happy. The problem that I couldn't admit to myself, much less to him, was that I could never be truly happy while I was still in love with another person. Sure I had days where I was convinced I was over Ty and I was happy where I was, but no sooner had I thought that then I would realize it wasn't completely true.
There was one person through this whole experience knew the whole time what I was feeling, even if I didn't know myself. My step mum and I have always been close as we are a similar age. Though it's not as odd as it sounds. She and my dad were together at thirty five and twenty one. Over the course of the year, me hanging up on her angrily for telling me about Ty bringing a new girl around, her yelling at me to make up my mind about what I want and finally a subdued conversation where I started to realize what I had been feeling all along, she got through to me at last. She had known the whole time what was going on in my head, and thank god for it.
I came home, planning for a month, although I think everyone knew it was going to be for much longer. My relationship with the "perfect guy" wasn't working. We were no longer a couple, but closer to roommates who shared a bed and never talked. We ended up leaving on good terms, agreeing that we were on completely different paths in life.
Now here we were. Two single people who loved each other and wanted what we had before, but were unsure about moving forward. I know that I am a very jealous person, and even the thought of Ty with other girls made me feel as though my heart was being cut out of my chest with a spoon. After some time though, we decided to get back together officially. This is not however, the end of this fairy tale, if once could call it that.
Now we were together again and I could not be happier. I knew that I was in this for the long haul, Ty being the person that I was, and still am, prepared to spend the rest of my life with. There was a few things to over come however. Ty had to learn to love me fully again, and I had to learn how to overcome my incredible jealousy.
It has taken time and hard work, and I am still trying to cope with my feelings for the women who in my mind are far superior to me. We are learning how to live with each other as the people we are today, not the people we were four years ago. Dealing with layoffs, normal life issues, and our different personalities has not been easy, but it has been so worth it. We are back together and planning to build a home and in the future, a wedding and children.
I wish I could tell you that we are a perfect couple, but I can't. There is no such thing. However, to me our relationship is the stuff Disney and DreamWorks make their movies from. Being apart was exactly what we needed to realize that this is what we want, and nothing can change that now.