Oh The Folly of Young Love

Many moons ago I wronged a former boyfriend egregiously. It was a confusing time in my young life and I was making some selfish, ill-informed decisions that I wish I hadn’t if only for the fact that I was kind of a jerk to aforementioned boyfriend. I re-friended this former flame on Facebook today (our paths have virtually crossed due to mutual friends and we’ve ever-so-maturely decided to let bygones be bygones) and discovered that the always-vigilant social media powerhouse had kindly saved all the messages of our past life together five years earlier. And, man, love makes me moronic.

I’ve addressed before what a nitwit I have been in my younger years. So I’m hoping that age 21 was yet another one of those periods in my life when I was just a complete idiot. Though it likely points to the fact that in five years I will look back on 26-year-old me and think, “Wow I was just full of bollocks back then.” (Because I will be British at 31.)

Worse case scenario? Being in love turns me into a complete dolt. I’m going to go with the young-moron theory because the other option just doesn’t bode well for my future in romance—plus, in my, defense I have had a relationship or two since then that didn’t involve strange attempts at dramatic discourse every time I felt a tug of love. As such I would like to say a few things to the fresh of faced overly dramatic young lass I once was and you, dear reader, shall be privy to this tongue-lashing. Huzzah!

Dear Lovely, Naïve, Stupid, Stupid Girl,

It’s come to attention that you could use a little guidance in how to deal with all these feelings that are stirring up in your underdeveloped heart these days.

Right now it may seem like a terrible offense, every time Boyfriend eschews your company in order to study especially given the long-distance nature of your relationship, but suck it up young lady. Being committed to learning is an admirable quality and while it shouldn’t take precedence over you in the grand scheme of things, sometimes you are just going to have to deal. And if you do find Boyfriend neglecting you a bit too much, go easy on him. He’s young and dumb just like you and a little gentle guidance will yield much better results than tearful accusations.

Moreover when you feel you’ve been oh-so-wronged by your dear boy, maybe don’t have those conversations over Facebook. It is not the appropriate venue for long, drawn-out and overly dramatic games of “What if…will you?” (Actually maybe don’t play that game at all.) Not only will you get nothing accomplished, but the seemingly permanent Internet vault will bring these messages back to haunt and embarrass you in a future life. Plus, there is the creepy, stalk-factor of Facebook now. It lacks the capabilities in your current time, but eventually the omnipotent social network is going to start recommending counselors and relationship books based on your arguments.

Probably the biggest lesson you will learn in the fiasco that your fickle young heart is going to cause involves intentions of friendly guys who vie for your attention no matter how attached you are. Just because Friendly Charmer insists that he admires the relationship you have with Boyfriend and that he thinks Boyfriend himself is quite cool, doesn’t mean he’s not trying to get with you. He is. No matter how much you insist that he’s just being friendly. He’s not. He wants you and he will break you up with Boyfriend to get you. And Friendly Charmer will turn out to really, really suck. That’s not to say that you and Boyfriend should stay together. Or that you will want to take back the entire awful relationship you have with Friendly Charmer. It will shape you in more ways than you can possibly understand at the time, even though it broke you for a time. You will live, learn, grow and all that other crap that’s supposed to make suffering worth it in the end. No, that course of events was quite all right in terms of the master plan. It’s how you handled the transition that should have been reconsidered.

Just because Boyfriend is incredibly trusting and doesn’t question your friendship with Friendly Charmer doesn’t mean it’s ok for you to string him along while you figure out what you want. That’s disrespectful and unacceptable. It’s going to hurt Boyfriend and Friendly Stranger. Neither of whom deserve it, especially not Boyfriend. You will regret how selfish you were and in the end it won’t be worth the additional time you bought to make up your mind. You will convince yourself that by taking the time to make sure you want to be with Friendly Stranger rather than flip flopping after the decision is made, you will be doing the right thing. You are wrong. You are lying to yourself and you are lying to trusting boyfriend. Don’t do it.

Lastly, cutesy nicknames are not endearing. They are annoying and so embarrassing. You will never want to explain to someone how you decided to call Boyfriend, Schnookums, Pookie or Butterbottom in daily conversation. So don’t put it in writing. Old-fashioned ones like Darling, Dollface and Kitten are ok.

Sincerely A Wiser, but Still Hopelessly Flawed, you.