The UnCowgirl: An Introduction

Welcome to my new weekly column on relationships. Kind of like a college Sex and the City thing, except less sex and more substance. I don’t mean to deprive you, but around these parts your tales of sexual proclivity are generally unwelcome, so in keeping with things, I feel it’s probably best to keep that mostly private.

Growing up in Oklahoma, I’ve known a lot of people who are and expect others to buy into the entire Oklahoma cowboy stereotype, but I’m here to tell you that I’m getting as far away from that as possible. So this is my weekly column, The UnCowgirl, in which I talk about life with those people and my dating successes and fiascos. Please comment and I hope you enjoy it!

First, let me tell you a little bit about my life, just so we’re square here.

I grew up in central Oklahoma, went to public schools my whole life, and now attend a private, religiously-affiliated school in the state. You might consider going to college in my same state somewhat redneck, but on the whole it’s been one of the better decisions I’ve made in the past five years. I have great friends, mostly great parents, and I’ve enjoyed college without gaining fifty pounds from constant alcohol and drugs, like many of my high school fellows.

I’ve also pretty much dated someone since I turned 14 and got into high school. The boys varied over the past seven years (now I feel old, seven years??), but on the whole it was the same scenario. I don’t have a stick up my ass, but for one reason or another it just hasn’t worked out. I’ve only dated two people somewhat seriously, and ironically the relationships practically mirror each other – they also happen to be the worst relationships I’ve been in.

My type tends to be taller than me (I’m 5’8″ with heels every day, so judge me, but I need a tall guy), a little stocky, and generally some kind of artistic, whether that’s performance, visual art, languages, etc (read: a little bit nerdy). If you balled up all of the guys I’ve dated, you’d have Ross, described on IMDB as:

Dr. Ross Geller (full name Dr. Ross Eustace Geller) is Monica’s brother, and always was their (Jewish) father Jack and mother Judy’s favorite, as she was horribly fat and silly, he a fairly loveable nerd. The rivalry between the siblings always remains, so deep-rooted it easily tempts them to obsessive competition, although they have grown together quite tight. Ross made his hobby into his job which he excells at, becoming a professional paleontologist (‘Dino-gay’ in Joey, Rachel and Phoebe’s simplistic terms), yet only Chandler, who was his college roommate, has any respect for his academic achievement, while once he becomes a professor his students respect isn’t quite a given either, and his incurable clumsiness all but helps. His lovelife is tumultuous, several times he gets married, and soon heads for divorce; only his first wife, who turns out to be a lesbian and runs off with another woman, the incarnation of Ross’ humiliation, gives him a lovely son, Ben, for whose sake they are forced to find a three-way modus vivendi.

I mean, obviously Ross has a lot more life behind him than anyone I’ve dated, but I can easily see any of my exes turning into him. So I’m trying to get out of the Ross Rut, and date some different people this year.

My first “serious” boyfriend was when I was 16. For protection he probably doesn’t deserve, we’ll call him Sam (going with Sex and the City, you can probably figure that one out). We dated for six months, during which I was convinced we would be married in college and happy forever. Well, that came crashing down around me when I discovered that he had been cheating on me the entire time we’d dated. We broke up two weeks before junior prom, still went together (worst mistake ever), had a miserable time, and I wasn’t over him for probably a year after that. I was really bitter about it until about my sophomore year of college, so during those few “between” years anyone I dated really got the short end of the stick.

And then the summer before sophomore year, I met my Mr. Big. For two years, I was convinced (off and on) that he was everything I could ever want in a significant other, although I was miserable the entire time and we fought almost every day (he was too insecure to handle my sorority, my friends, my parents, my good grades, etc. – you get the picture). When we were happy, it was ecstatic, but when we weren’t happy, I just doggedly hung on until the next happy period. We broke up every few months, only to be so unhappy without each other that we came crawling back. So finally, in July of this year, he ended things for good. Was I upset? You bet. I was devastated. I had no idea things were headed that way, and I was crushed. For about a week. Then, I started to realize how poorly he had treated me. We hadn’t had a healthy relationship in any sense of the phrase, and it wasn’t good for either one of us. It was one of those things where you can’t see the problems until you’re really ready to see them, and boy howdy, I found that I was ready.

It’s now September and we’ve only spoken once since then, out of necessity, and I told him I didn’t want to talk to him ever again. It was painful, and maybe a little unnecessary, but I don’t regret it. I did mean it, even if it did sound a little harsh.

Thanks to those two experiences, I’m a weird mix of jaded and still optimistic. I consider myself fairly mature as far as relationships go, partly because I’m practical and logical to a fault, and learning to move past all of this has been somewhat difficult but also one of the most valuable experiences for me.

So this is my background – I’ll go more in depth as necessary, but my goal here isn’t to crush anyone or to gossip about past boyfriends. I want to write about how I felt and am feeling, and create meaningful posts that can maybe help someone who’s struggling with something similar. Although I was devastated by all of this, I feel that it was probably a pretty generic experience, as far as bad relationships go, and I’m hoping to be able to make some sense of it all.

Here I am, the UnCowgirl, ready to stop looking for love in all the wrong places, and start making the right steps toward what’s best for me. And if you’re coming along, I’d love to have you.

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