I remember our last date in Chicago, six years ago. He wanted it to be special so we went to the Peninsula Hotel for the spectacular views of the city down below. He was graduating, heading to Wall Street. I was going home to take a finance internship at Cisco. I could’ve kicked myself for concentrating all my efforts on California. I should be in New York with him. I made him promise to visit me. “You want me to?” He asked shyly.
“Of course!” I gushed. “If you don’t, I’ll come chase you down in New York.” I thought I could have married him.
He never visited. True to my word, I literally chased him down on the Upper East Side. He was no longer interested. Either he met someone or just knew long distance wasn’t going to work. I was crushed.
By the time I graduated, though, I’d dated plenty of others I thought I could have married. A girlfriend once challenged me, “If you could have married them, you would have. But you didn’t.”
I became giddy this weekend when I walked past the Peninsula Hotel. And my heart fluttered when I came in contact with ex-flames. What if I’d moved to New York? What if I’d moved to LA like a friend of mine who, of course, ended up getting engaged and married her business school crush.
I think you can have many loves in life. At one point, you find one who is perfectly aligned with your personality, your values, and your timing. Then it just clicks and you’re heading down the aisle.
There was a poem I kept in my diary when I was a kid. The gist of it was that a broken heart develops a hinge, so when it happens a second or third time, it just swings open then shuts like a gate.
It’s never as crushing as the first time, but when an email comes through, “I heard you got engaged. Please tell me it isn’t so.” Your heart sinks, and you can’t help but wonder…what if?