At a young age, I wanted to be in love. Don’t ask why—I don’t know the answer. I do know that I was taught by friends and sisters to have crushes on boys and my imagination ran away with that idea. But most boys weren’t interested in me: the shy, smart girl with glasses who hardly said a word. When a boy did show interest, it frightened me and I didn’t really know what to do.
I had a boyfriend at 15, but that was a bad idea. I believe there’s a good reason our church encourages us to wait until we’re 16 to date, and to wait even longer to enter steady relationships. In my case, the drama might have subsided and reason prevailed if I waited to date until I was in my 20s.
Because there was drama. I wanted to have a broken heart. Does that make sense? Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me, either. All I can think is that, in my mind, a broken heart was at least a heart that had loved and been loved. A broken heart was a feeling heart. My teenage emotions were a roller coaster. What I didn’t experience in reality I experienced in my head. If a real opportunity came up, I added a dash—or even a bucketful—of drama in an attempt to recreate the stories I read in books and saw in movies.
My 20s and 30s were a dramatic period for me. In fact, the only thing that cured my dramatic flare was meeting my husband. We had our ups and downs—and still do—but they weren’t injected with the desire to reenact the drama I read or watched.
By then, I had had enough of a broken heart. My focus had changed from sad, tragic endings to happy ones. Before he was my boyfriend, Brett was my best friend. I was real with him in a way I wasn’t with everyone else. Daydreaming and planning an unpromised future gave way to a real future with real hopes and real dreams—and real emotions.
When I watch dramatic movies or read dramatic books, I no longer feel as though I need to live them. I have my own love-life now. It can be boring, mundane, uneventful—but it’s mine. At times, I know that Brett and I break each other’s hearts, but it doesn’t take long for the bond we have to repair them. Living is no longer evidenced by a broken heart, but two hearts broken, changed, and knit back together as one.