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My lemon was a failed relationship. My first love. My lemonade was having my eyes and heart opened to finally recognize the “right” woman for me, which led to a wonderful marriage.
When I was 27 I was in a relationship with a girl that I thought was “the one”. From the moment we met, Paula and I hit it off. She was a friend of my sister so there was some familiarity. We had similar family backgrounds – divorced parents, Jewish and only 2 ½ years separating us from our siblings. We laughed a lot and had a good time wherever we went.
After four months of dating, Paula had to move for work to the east coast. We kept dating and I visited her on a few occasions. It was hard to maintain a long-distance relationship, but I was committed. We talked 3-4 times a day and had been using the “L” word for many months at that point.
For me absence made my heart grow fonder. For her … not so much, unbeknownst to me.
Roughly six months after her move, I could tell things were on shaky ground. The calls became infrequent and when we spoke there wasn’t much to talk about or there was a distraction or interruption. But then the “good news” came. She was going to move back out to the west coast and into my neighborhood. Naturally, I was excited and ready to pick up where we left off.
Yeah. Left off. She was mentally done with the relationship a month or two before moving back out, but didn’t have the heart to tell me. So she sort of pretended that we were a couple when she came back. Movies, dinners and drinks were the norm. Just no romance.
Long story short, I was devastated. This was my first “true love” and I thought this was the woman I was going to start a family with and “live happily ever after”.
After the break up I decided that I wasn’t going to let the experience be for nothing and I had to make a good situation out of it. I realized that the relationship taught me some good lessons:
1) I was able to be vulnerable, committed and passionate.
2) I wouldn’t stand for deceit in any relationship going forward.
3). I had a stronger sense of who I was and what I needed as well as what attributes I needed to look for in a woman.
Well guess what? A short while later I met another girl, someone whom was also friendly with my sister. We’ve been together for 15 years, married for over 12 years and have two amazing kids.
When life gives you lemons you gotta make lemonade. And I sure did!