I was that typical little girl, the one they talk about in romance movies. I was the one who, as a child, dreamed of finding that one person, my true love, thought the first one would be my forever, my other half, and we would get married and live happily ever after.
But it turns out it is just not that easy. Life does not work that way. Love does not happen that way, as I dreamed and hoped it would. Life is hard, love is hard, finding love is hard. Not too hard, but, hard. I wish it wasn't hard. I used to imagine finding love as, one moment in time when everything felt right, and then everything else after that was just perfect. Now, whether that means that I just haven't found my true love yet and that one day I will have that, or I'm stuck in a fairy tale and have to accept that no matter who you are with that life and love are going to be hard sometimes, I don't know. But I want to know, I want to find out, I want to find out the hard way and learn the truth and find whoever is meant to be my other half. Though instead, I am sat here in the grass on the hill, holding the last little pink flower of the bouquet Matthew gave me before we broke up, playing that 'he loves me, he loves me not' game that children play when they first begin to develop attraction towards one another.
'He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me...not.'
I have been in five relationships. All of which ended for an array of different reasons. First was Caleb, who had to move with his family to Switzerland, and did not want to be with me if we had to be apart, he preferred leaving and letting me find someone else than to have me wait for him. Second was Josh, he was always out with his mates, we never really spent any quality time together, and he didn't care for planning dates or anything, so we didn't really get a chance to develop a strong connection and within six months it was over. Third was Shawn, he was amazing at first, we did everything together, I was made to feel really special, but by the fourth year we had grown apart, needed to live different lives that we weren't willing to live with each other. Fourth was Hamish, he drank a lot, played sport on the weekends, and when I found him in the bush by the cricket pitch with his sister's best friend, I was beside myself. I couldn't believe I had fallen for someone who treated me with such disrespect, I was so stupid. I walked away in that moment, walked the 10 kilometers home, and I haven't seen him since.
This time was even stupider than the last. Matthew wanted me to dye my hair blonde, but I like my brunette tone, it's natural, it's me. I do not have to do it if I don't want to. Matthew though, did not approve. Despite my disagreeing with him on the idea the other day, he showed up to our picnic on the hill today expecting that I would go and get it dyed and surprise him today by showing up with blonde hair. He had brought me flowers, pink daisies in a bouquet, my favourite, they were beautiful. But when he saw me, and my red and white polka dotted headband was on my head covered partially by my brunette hair, the arguing began once more. I just didn't see why it was so important to him that I have blonde hair, and was so upset that he didn't seem to love me the way that I am. We argued, screaming and cursing at each other, for what felt like hours. It ended with him throwing the flowers at me, they hit my arm and then fell to the ground in a heap, as he stormed off yelling "I'm done, I can't do this anymore, this is pathetic, you're ridiculous Annie, we are OVER, goodbye forever."
So now I sit here on the grass, with a history of failed relationships, five failed relationships. I sit here with what's left of the flowers in my lap, wondering if I will ever find my one true love, if I'll ever be happy, and if my childhood dream will one day become a reality.
Later that night, once I had managed to calm myself down, pick myself up and walked home, I went and talked to my mum about my relationship struggles. I went over everything, from Caleb to Matthew, talking about how I felt when I was with them and how each of my five relationships had ended.
My mum told me that for her, love was like a flower. She told me that it takes approximately seven seconds for the human brain to develop an opinion on a person, which is why first impressions are so important. Although, a person's ability to make a good first impression does not define them as a person. I asked her more about how love is like a flower. She explained that a love flower has seven petals, and the petals represents how many times you will be with someone before you find the one who truly loves you as much as you love them. Mum referred to the game I was playing earlier with my pink daisies, saying that on the seventh petal I will say 'he loves me' and I will know that he really, really does love me. She asked me to think back on my different relationships and ask myself if the men I was with loved me or not, in order. I thought for some time, and then realized that, in my opinion:
Caleb loved me, but had to move away and just wanted me to be happy.
Josh did not, he didn't see any importance in being with me, I was more like an item or a label for his confidence.
Shawn loved me, though it did not last.
Hamish did not, he was disrespectful and mean and did not appreciate my efforts at all, he betrayed me and did not see how much he hurt me.
Matthew loved me, once, he did, but I guess he doesn't anymore.
After explaining these thoughts to mum, I noticed a pattern. He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me...but I still don't understand. Mum said that some people, such as Hamish and Josh, don't really love you, even if they say they do, they just like to have you there to make them look good. She described how some people love you at the time, but can't love you forever...this made me think of Caleb and Matthew, because it was love at one stage, but it faded. And finally, she said that some people don't or can't love you in the way that you need and deserve to be, which reminded me of Shawn, since he couldn't stay and didn't want to continue long distance.
I sat silent for a while, and eventually mum said that one day, I will find the one who loves me, the last petal on my love flower, who will be what I want and what I need for now and forever. She went on to say that sometimes being with people who don't love you is a blessing, because it allows you to move on and get rid of the feelings from the ones who did, as well as teaching you to better appreciate it when someone really does, even if their love is only temporary.
Does this mean I will have one more relationship before I find my true love? Do I need to have someone that doesn't really love me so I can move on from the others that didn't as well as those that did? Do I deserve this pain? Why is this so hard? Is he even out there?
When will I find my seventh petal?