I used to like boys. A lot. Now I like one particular boy who makes me laugh every day and keeps my feet warm on cold nights. Before I meet Ben, there were lots of boys in my life.  I wish there hadn’t been so many sometimes, but, unfortunately,  I loved to flirt. I don’t like to relive these relationships, but I have thought, on more than one occasion, that these boys each added or removed characteristics for which I am glad to have or not have now. Here is the list:

Boy #1 Bobby- I liked this kid forever.  We were friends from 4-7th grade when he asked me to be his girlfriend. For reasons that I still don’t understand and regretted forever, I said I didn’t want to “ruin our friendship”. How does a 7th grader come up with this? TV I suppose. I told him the next day I changed my mind. I guess I was too late. I liked him for most of high school, but I knew that my chances with him were zero. Lesson learned: think before you answer the first time so you don’t have any regrets.

Boy#2  Steven- He is proof that a good boy is not enough sometimes. He was one of the nicest guys I ever dated. What was the problem, you ask? The truth is I have no idea. Honestly. But we broke up and got back together a few times. We didn’t have any mutual friends and our interests had changed (I quit playing basketball, etc). Lesson learned: mutual interests and mutual friends are important to a relationship.

Boy #3 Bradley- This was my longest continuous relationship in Highschool. He was kind and quiet and made me laugh a lot. My friends thought he was too quiet and it made me sad for a long time and also a little determined to make things work. He graduated and moved to Chattanooga (away from our small town) and, at that age, the distance got the best of me. Still a year and a half was a pretty good run for a couple of teenagers. The lesson Brad taught me: Patience and perseverance.

The College Years…

Boy #4- Jimmy- I met Jimmy at a concert. We went on a few dates, didn’t talk for about a year, and got serious (for about a month if that counts). I was pretty sure he was “the one”. He didn’t call me after a date and I didn’t hear from him again until about another year later. Luckily I was a little smarter the second time around. There are lots of things I learned from Jimmy, but to sum it up: hold all things loosely. (I could probably also add that the person who cares the least in a relationship holds the most power.)

Don’t worry…There are only a few more left.

Boy 5#Anthony- Anthony is a guy that I liked for his singing voice and good looks. I’m not sure what he liked about me because we were very different, but he taught me a pretty important lesson: Relax. Don’t seem desperate. It’s unattractive. It was a dose of a needed medicine.

Boy #6 Andy- We dated pretty seriously for a few months. It was probably good that we broke things off, but from Andy I learned to have fun and be spontaneous. Example: we literally drove an hour from Jackson to Memphis to get Girl Scout cookies from his mom who was a sponsor. I also learned that relationships don’t have to be full of angst. It’s actually a lot more fun when they aren’t.

Boy #7 Rob- Rob was one of the smartest guys I dated. He is now at Vandy working on his doctorate degree in Medical Physics (Andy is the other smarty pants…He is in Dental school now). He was a good and sincere guy and is now married to a wonderful woman (who is a pharmacist…Yeah, they’re going to be raking in the dough). From Rob I learned to make a clean break when you end a relationship. None of this “we’re still friends” crap. MOVE ON!

The Last and Greatest of them All:

Benjamin- I say often that I wouldn’t want to be single again. Ben agrees. The great thing about our relationship is that we suffered some injuries in our dating life, but there is so much to be said for what we learned. I would, by no means, recommend my dating life as the ideal, but when I met Ben I was ready for something good and lasting. So, here’s to all those boyfriends in my past. I hope your life is so rich as mine.