Big Girl Relationships

When I was a teenager I remember standing at the phone that was in our living room waiting for it to ring. It would ring and I would jump to answer it.
I needed to know where he was, who he was with, who was driving, how long he’d be gone. Even my mom would say S chill out. He’s just hanging out with friends.
If he wouldn’t ask to hang out that night my weekend was ruined.

It took me a few years of growing up to realize what an unhealthy relationship it was. Don’t get me wrong, it was only that way because of me. I was crazy when it came to him. Absolutely crazy. I loved him so much it was kind of scary. My happiness or lack of was completely based on him. He loved me just as much, I don’t doubt that anymore, but his love was a little more mature than mine.
He did things for me, for my family, he took care of me, to the best of his ability. He worried about me and did his best to calm my craziness. When most people would have ran, he attempted damage control.

When I met my husband it was different. No crazies. No panicking or freaking out. He came and went as he pleased. It was a healthy, loving, trusting relationship. I knew he wasn’t going anywhere and I believed he loved me. I was confident in myself and my relationship. It seemed like a much better, more mature relationship.
The kind big girls had.
Adults.
Us.

I remember thinking to myself: I do love him, it’s just different. It’s a more mature love. He’s my best friend. We have fun together. There was a lot of teasing, joking back and forth. As time went on I started to realize that I never felt the same with him as I did with my first real boyfriend. I never had the same I’m crazy for you feelings.
Should I?
Was something missing?
I mean, I was excited to see him and I looked forward to time with him but that I have to see you now or the I miss you so flippin much it hurts… That wasn’t ever there.

As the years went on I fell more in love with my husband.
I definitely loved him more at 5 years than the beginning. We did life together. We had kids and bills and debt and vacations and holidays. Life. He was my life partner. I loved holding his hand while we walked through the store or sitting across from him at dinner but that crazy, passionate lustful love?
We never had that.

Now that he’s gone and I can think about it from the outside looking in I realize a lot of things.
I realize that we loved each other. For a little while I think we were really in love. The butterflies ended way before we ever even said “I do” though.
I have a set of friends that were married when I was a preteen and they still have that look in their eyes. Still. I know it’s possible so why did I settle for less?
Because I thought that’s what big girl, adult love was. I thought it was logical and it just made sense.
It wasn’t healthy to be so bugged out, crazy in love. It was obsessive and possessive and well, honestly? It was amazing. I was just too young and too immature to know what to do with all those feelings. I think they were what true love feels like though. Not “I can’t live without you” but “I don’t want to live without you.” I just wasn’t mature enough to get the difference yet.

That relationship taught me so much about life, about myself. That relationship is still teaching me. I loved that man. With every ounce of my heart, soul, mind and body, every little bit of me was so in love with him. Kissing him gave me butterflies when I was 14 and they were still there at 19 or 20. I didn’t know what to do with those feelings.
It took a lot to get those feelings out of my system. A lot.
When I would allow myself to go there though, I knew I was missing something. Something wasn’t quite right.
I know now that you need a combination of both. You need that lust, that passion. You also need the responsible, trusting, grown up, bill paying, family vacation taking stuff too.

Big girl relationships are different from teenage love. I know that. I also know that I want butterflies when I kiss him. I think it’s ok to love more with each passing year. That’s an amazing thing. But I want to be in love with my best friend. In love and love are two very different things. Very different.

-S

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