*Names changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty).
I grew up with this very clear idea of what my future would look like in my head. It was only when I became an adult that I realised just how unrealistic most of those ideas really were. Real life wasn’t that clear-cut, and it wasn’t like the movies.
When I met James, I was only 19 and believed I was unstoppable. I was someone full of confidence and ballsy personality, but always felt a little insecure when it came to dating, courtesy of a previous relationship from hell.
With and without relationships, this is the difference between being single and not single:
James and I didn’t just click, we seemed to meld together like two pieces that were meant to be one. I’ve always been someone that falls hard and fast when it’s the right person, and before I knew it, we were both falling in love. Barely a month had gone by before we had both tentatively swapped the “L” word with each other.
I lived at home, and James, recently divorced, was living with housemates, and had his son part time too; so, meeting up wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, but when we did get to see each other, there were no nerves, just sparks, flames, and fire. We were electric together and it felt like the rightest thing in the world.
But there were cracks and chips that even I wasn’t blinded to. A few weeks into dating, texts started going unanswered, and phone calls wouldn’t go through. James reappeared, calling from a “private number”, and replaced texting with messaging via Facebook messenger – from a very blank, new-looking profile – but I was just glad to have him back again. Sure, I thought it was odd, but the feelings I had for him were winning at that point, after all, I was still just a teenager, and love was very new territory for me.
We continued dating, and falling more and more for each other. I met his son, and in that moment, with the pillow talk words still ringing in my ears, I could picture us and our future. I could see the house we would have, and the kids we would fill it with. The jobs we would work, and the power couple we would become. The future looked bright, shiny, and nauseatingly love-filled.