Do you watch the Bachelor?  I am patiently waiting for the finale, and I’m embarrassed to admit that I am excited to see what happens.  Let me state that I did not get into this show from the beginning.  I hosted one of my best friends a few weeks ago, and she got me hooked.  These women are crazy and I love it.  I mean, we all kind of are in our own special way, so it’s nice and reassuring to see that not everyone out there is perfect.  I know I’m far from it.  In fits of hormonal rage, especially when I’m hungry and training for a show, I’ve been known to throw cinnamon rolls on the floor.  I’ve screamed at my boyfriends for no reason, and I’m well aware that there is a certain time of the month that everyone gets on my nerves, and EVERY commercial deserves tears.  I’ve been unfaithful in relationships.  I’ve lied to my parents.  I’ve hidden many mistakes from my past.  I also drop food on the floor and still eat it.

I’m not perfect.  I’m FAR from perfect.

I used to think that I wanted to be one of those girls who remains friends with her exes.  I thought it was realistic to want that.  I mean, we care about each other, why couldn’t we be friends!?  Simple.  Because it’s impossible.  It always hurts someone.  Feelings always get in the way, and as much as you try to deny it…you secretly want that other person to want you forever.  I know, I know…there are always exceptions.  But I’ve never experienced one.  I also know I’m not an expert on breakups, I’ve just been through some big ones.  They suck, they hurt and they are never EVER fun.

I’ve been on a journey of “finding myself” for the last, well…forever.  Just after High School, I was hospitalized after a breakup led me to take every pill in my mom’s medicine cabinet.  Not my proudest moment, but it was a moment.  I will never forget that.  Heartbreak is the worst pain you will EVER experience.  Luckily, I had the support of my parents and some great friends who helped me move past it.  I also sought out a therapist, and although I only saw her for a short time, it was helpful.  If you ever need someone to talk to, please talk to someone.  You’re too important.

My first boyfriend in college was totally different than anyone I had met before.  It was kind of exciting, and it was new.  We partied A LOT (I mean, I could drink now since I was 21), and life was a, well…party.  Our breakup was a little crazy and he went a little crazy.  Threatened me and my roommate, stalked me at work, called me all kinds of terrible things…yeah. So….that happened.

Finally, I met an amazing guy in college who I seriously thought I was going to marry.  Great group of friends, great head on his shoulders.  We had so much fun together.  He adored me.  I adored him.  But life just sort of happened with us.  Over three years, we broke up and got back together a few times, but we always seemed to find our way back to each other.  Even after I moved to San Diego, we found ourselves in each other’s arms again.  I loved him.  Probably my first real love.  We were there for each other after significant deaths in our families and would skype frequently, but one day it all stopped.  Still not sure why.  I was devastated.  But eventually I moved on and he got married to someone else.  Insert more heartbreak, and more finding myself moments.

In San Diego I managed to have a few significant relationships.  I fell for a guy who broke up with me three times in six months, and then I dated one of his friends quite seriously.  That relationship really helped me see that I had some ISSUES when it came to love.  I did not love myself, I did not love others and I certainly didn’t know how to let others love ME!  It wasn’t until I found out that  I was going to be proposed to when I threw that relationship away.  I wasn’t ready.  It was crazy because it was exactly like I was on an episode of the Bachelor.  It was what I had always dreamed of.  We had our problems towards the end, and he wasn’t perfect, but there was a time when I thought, “this amazing guy wants ME!  To spend a life with ME!”  But I pushed him away and thankfully he encouraged me to start seeing a therapist.  I was convinced that I wouldn’t date anyone for at least a year after that.  But of course, in true Taylor fashion, I quickly began to date again.  I had no idea that this next relationship would shape me into the woman I always dreamed I could be.

But for a price, and it cost us both much more than a rose.

On again, off again.  Nearly three years of amazing moments.  Nearly three years of terrible moments.  The best and worst versions of myself.  We broke up a few times.  I begged for him to take me back.  I hooked up with other guys when we were apart and lied about it when we got back together.  I was selfish, I only cared about myself and I lost the respect of his friends and family.  I was the worst girlfriend.  I know I wasn’t happy and I should have let him go, but I couldn’t.  I think that when you hold on to something that doesn’t exist anymore, you suffocate any chance there may have been.  I wanted to love him the way he loved me.  I wanted to actually let him love me.  But to me, as great of a guy as he was, there was always something missing.

 And I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to tell him what it was.

As I continue to write, I realize that for me, heartbreak is the deal breaker.  I’ve been on both sides, and neither one is awesome.  Friendship is impossible at that point.  But all we can do is learn from our mistakes, decide not to make them anymore, and do better.  I’m certainly trying this time around.

This real life stuff is hard.