roses are red, exes are blue

3:30 PM

Valentine’s Day and romance go hand in hand. I’ve always been a far-reaching romantic with a weakness for flowers, grand gestures, surprises and kisses on my forehead. Every Valentine’s Day, I not-so-secretly hope for a secret admirer to sweep me off my feet. This Valentine's Day is no different. I have no true Valentine (unless you count my cat), so I've thought about the almost valentines - the romantic trials and tribulations I’ve experienced over the past year. It’s no secret that I share a decent amount about my love life on my blog - be it for self expression or therapy - and again, today is no different. To walk you through the past year:
Last February I had a wild crush on a guy for months and shortly after Valentine’s Day he finally gave me a chance. I was convinced that he was perfect for me and I was on top for the world for a few weeks, but it didn’t work out. To his day, my best friend still likes to call him “the one that got away” - and maybe she’s right. I still don’t think I’m past the 'idea' of him. 
I called it a loss, ran away to California, and casually distracted myself with a boy from Coachella for a minute. I wast then caught completely off guard by a guy I had met at a bar who asked me out on a date. Physically and on paper, he wasn’t my type at all. He was a dog dad, a corporate executive, an ex-frat bro, and an extreme sports fanatic. Nothing could have been more opposite of what I’m initially attracted to until I got to know him - but that's how he hooked me. He loved indulging in good food, he sent flowers to my office and Ubers (or "chariots") to pick me up for dates and poked fun at me all day. He was outrageously intelligent, fucking hilarious, and always had something to talk about. I felt like I could learn something new from him everyday. I felt safe with him. The left side of his bed and the other toothbrush in the bathroom felt like they were mine but I was sorely mistaken when I realized that other women probably thought their lives would fit perfectly with his at the same time.
It took me a couple of months, a fling with a much younger Australian tourist, a few horrifying dates (one with a Parisian guy who took so much offense to my choice to use Instagram as a creative outlet that he screamed at me in the middle of Bedford Avenue and another guy who got so wasted he started screaming Asian slurs out the window at a sushi restaurant), and a trip to Europe to allow myself to understand that I was not the problem in the previous situation. I still wonder often what I could have done to make that work while consciously avoiding anywhere we could cross paths so I don’t beat myself up all over again. After I returned from Europe, I dove head first into work as a way to protect myself from getting hurt again.
There were a couple people since then who have come and gone quickly. I choose not to waste anybody's time if I don't feel like we were a good fit. Admittedly, I may be picky to a fault now. The moment I'm turned off by something, I have a hard time backtracking and retracing why I had feelings in the first place. I remove myself and go completely cold almost immediately. Over the past couple months, I've had a confession of love from somebody a couple weeks in, pleads to go home with somebody a couple hours in. I got dinner with "the one that got away" only to feel nothing anymore. I've rekindled a friendship and have had hour-long conversations with my ex-boyfriend from years ago. I feel settled with each situation I've been in over the past year with no desire to return.
I guess the only direction to move is forward.

Photos by Alyssa Timoteo
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