Because I have gotten to a point in my life where I appreciate my past experiences, both good and bad, I try not to look back on them with regret. But allow me to reflect upon a lesson that I wish I didn't have to learn the hard way.
There was no start date to the relationship. It went from subtle flirtation to the blossoming of feelings in 6 or 7 heartbeats. She was a sweet young lady, extremely talented and gifted with a lot going for her. I believe that my oversight lay in the ever-present sign of trouble surrounding her. She was very confrontational and used every opportunity (it seemed) to ruffle my feathers. Now most people that know me have, ironically, rarely or never seen me angry before. But there were times when my emotions bordered on rage when I was with her. I have a lot of female friends, and this was a fact that she was never okay with. The arguments caused by this simple fact were too numerable to count, her frustration taking its form in an ultimatum when while driving she told me that if I mentioned my closest female friends' name one more time that she would get out of the car and walk home.
As you can imagine, I was thoroughly incensed.
It's no secret that the relationship was tumultuous and very trying for me. A number of times I prayed for understanding, for patience, for resolve. I thought that loving someone enough and being there would be enough to shake them out of the way that they are. My mother told me that "men see women as they are and women see men as they could be." This meant that women seemed to have the foresight to see the potential that a man can grow into, and that men relegate women to where they are in life, indefinitely. I, for one, did not want to perpetuate this myth, so I looked upon the caterpillar and dreamed of the butterfly. My mistake was in thinking that I had the power to accelerate her metamorphosis. Silly Me.
No matter how much I loved her and showed her that I was different, that I was sincere, that I was me, there was still a point of disconnect. There was something there that could prove injurious to me over time; it was my stubbornness. I didn't want to give up. It seemed like everyone else in her life did, and I didn't want to be the next person to proceed through the revolving door. After all the "I love you's" and "You know how much I care about you's," how could I? But my health was taking a toll as a result of the stress that I endured.
I am by nature a person who has no problem proving his loyalty. I am a man of my word and I try to be forthcoming. I provide honesty that is cradled in the graceful grasp of tact as much as possible. It was in this vein that I had to end this relationship before I lost more than I could bear. I asked her that fateful night, "Is what we have greater than what we have to overcome?" She couldn't answer that question and that was the all the response that I needed. Where was the misdiagnosis you ask? Simply put, I placed kisses where hugs should have been; I tried to be her man when all I should've been was her friend.