The Opposite Of Wonderful: Why I'm Glad Our Relationship Didn't Work

by Maureen Santos

Unrequited love. One-sided, stupid feelings. A crush turned into an almost lover. We’ve all been there, and we all know that it’s exactly the opposite of wonderful.

He doesn’t look like a Calvin Klein model, or better yet, he doesn’t look like a model at all. Period. He will not capture your eyes at first glance, but believe it or not, he was able to capture mine.

We were asked to wear either red or blue shirts to identify us as freshmen, and he was the only one wearing white. The only white among the sea of red and blue. Since that day, my eyes were set on him.

We became close friends, but not best friends. Sooner rather than later, the crush feelings drifted away. I got to know him a little and realized his attitude didn't fit me. He wasn't relationship material, but the friendship remained.

We still walked home together because our apartments were just a couple of blocks away from each other. He dropped me off first then walked alone toward his place. This became our daily routine.

I met other guys (who did look like Calvin Klein models) and pursued them instead of him.

It was not until graduation season that we became close. One day, we struck up a conversation we never had before, and boom! That was it. The crush feeling from years ago reemerged and it felt way deeper and more real than the first.

Texting. Chatting. Seeing each other. I didn’t realize this was still possible.

The summer after graduation, our friendship turned into something “more,” but neither of us chose to acknowledge it.

We traveled a lot, booked cheap hostels, slept in the same bed. He wrote a poem for me and uploaded it on Tumblr. He wanted to be the first and last one to wish me a happy birthday. He let me listen to his favorite songs on his first-generation iPod. Without asking, he gave me his Facebook password and let me open it.

I met his parents and all of his high school friends back in his hometown. We slept in his room, on his bed. I looked around his humble house, his neighborhood and I thought, “Yes, I’m okay with this.”

I immediately forgot about my big dreams; I wanted to have a big house, but I thought, “Forget it; this is fine, as long as I’m with him.” I wanted to have a job that pays more than just the minimum wage, but I thought, “Forget it; we can survive together.”

I wanted to pursue another degree, but I thought, “That can wait.” I wanted to work in a big city, but I thought, “Forget it; the suburbs are just fine as long as we’re together.”

I altered so many of my big dreams for him. For you. For us. Because, for me, there is an "us." You made me feel that “us” exists. I have never been so wrong.

The real world knocked on my door. I got my first real job. While our “relationship” continued on for quite some time, it didn’t last long enough.

I quit my job and he quit me. No text. No Facebook. No communication. No anything. I felt lost and didn't know where to pick back up. I applied for another degree but didn’t get in. I did everything halfheartedly and nothing even half worked.

I got another job, which brought back the color in my face and squeezed the life back into me. But, I had to do something more.

I quit that job. Yes, I did it again. I said my farewells to my best friend and close friends and flew 1,000 miles away from home to a foreign country where I didn’t know a single soul.

I got hired again. I built better dreams. I realized I have potential to do things I love. I began doing things I didn’t know I was capable of doing. Most importantly, I saw the road where I will go. It’s like somebody wiped the dirty windshield of my car and fixed my headlights to see the road on which I’m driving.

I am myself again. I am completely healed and whole. I have a feeling this place will make my dreams come true. It’s a big world laid in front of me and all I have to do is explore it. Hopefully, I will find love, too.

Every day, I am thankful that I didn’t end up with you. If I did, I wouldn't be where I am now. I would not know the things I now do. Don’t get me wrong; from where I stand, where you are doesn’t look so bad, but it’s not for me.

You chose to go North and I, South. Opposite directions. We have similarities, yes, but our dreams did not and do not match. You’re fine with mediocre, but I want more.

I knew you loved me at some point, but not in the same way I did you.

Sure, you taught me many things. I learned that some people will just pass by you to teach you something. And, once they finish their missions, it’s time for them to go.

But, the lessons they taught you will be engraved in your heart for as long as you live. Those lessons are taught outside of the classroom, outside of the school, and they use emotions like happiness, failure, pain, joy and love.

I believe you just came by to teach me something; it is not your destiny to let your happiness depend on one person. But, it was the best rollercoaster ride of my life.