I'd like to think it was because we forgot to forward one of those chain e-mails in seventh grade, and we were serving our "five years of NEVER HAVING TRUE LOVE." Or maybe God decided we had so many blessings that we had to be cursed in this one department.
Whatever the case, when it came to love, my friends and I were late bloomers. None of us even remotely came close to a relationship until late college (and by that, I mean ONE of us was in a relationship during senior year).
It's not like we were all pathetic, asexual losers. We had our own variations of what I like to call almost-relationships.
My one friend exclusively hooked up with an older guy for two whole months! Then he studied abroad for a semester and completely forgot about her upon his return.
My other friend was dating a guy for an entire semester! Then she found out about the girlfriend he had back at home.
Oh, then there was my friend who really thought things were going somewhere with the guy she was seeing... until he told her he was gay.
You get the picture.
We didn't exactly have the best of luck. Or, at least, that's what I liked to chalk it up to. I mean, I'm COOL. The only people I know who are even cooler than me? My friends!
There's nothing wrong with us; it was just the evil cosmic curse that was cast on us for not forwarding that chain e-mail to a tenth person... right?
Well, no. Unfortunately, I've recently come to terms with the fact that we might have had a bit more of a hand in our romantic fate than I thought.
This was our problem: We all thought what had happened in those first failed attempts at love was going to happen in every one of our future attempts.
In other words, instead of enjoying new relationships and trusting that things were good at that moment, we would drive ourselves insane hyper-analyzing every little thing he did or said in a mad hunt for clues of the impending end.
He texted me "hi" instead of "hiii" like he normally does; it's already starting to fizzle. He told me he was too tired to hang out; he's probably with someone else. He talks about Tom Brady like A LOT... he's gay.
The sweetness of every new beginning was always a little tainted by the inevitable end, because the end is all we'd known.
The problem is, when you're looking for something wrong, odds are you're going to find something. Even if it's the smallest thing, you're going to find it and run with it. And at that point, the option of being cursed by e-mails isn't even on the table anymore.
Because if you assume your relationship is going to fail, it will. It's that simple.
But wait! We don't have to end on this dark, depressing note.
Eventually, my friends and I all managed to "un-curse" ourselves. I'm not saying we all fell madly in love. But some of us got in real, bonafide relationships, and the rest of us started to at least make an effort to put ourselves out there and give people a chance.
I've gotta be honest, we didn't change the sorts of guys we were into. There were no cosmic changes in the air. And we didn't even really make an effort to tone down our, frankly, super obnoxious personalities.
The only thing that changed was our attitudes. Dwelling on every little thing that could possibly go wrong just got exhausting and depressing after a while. And after so many almost-relationships did go wrong, we realized maybe a relationship not working out isn't even the worst thing in the world.
Simply put, we chilled the fuck out.
We started assuming things were going to work out, and — get this — a lot of the time, they DID.