Simply Solo Spotlight: My Latin American Love Story
Happy Tuesday! Today’s Simply Solo Spotlight is written by a reader who would like to remain anonymous. I hope you enjoy her story about romance abroad.
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My Latin American Love Story
I am many things. But one of the most important things that I am is an artist. I always try to live life to the fullest and give all of myself to whatever it is that I’m doing. My experience of studying abroad in Argentina was not an exception to this outlook in life. I fully immersed myself in the culture. I tried to absorb as much as possible from my surroundings: the city, the streets, the food, the people.
About half-way through my semester abroad, I met this handsome and kind Argentine. We met in the most romantic way I’ve experienced – at a milonga, which is a place where people dance the tango. We hit it off really well and within a week or so, I felt myself completely falling for him. I mean, he was perfect: he sent me really sweet and romantic text messages; he took care of me when I felt sick; he really insisted on helping me study for an exam. He’d come pick me up from my residence, even though it was about a 40 minute drive from one side of Buenos Aires to the other. He even let me meet his family. I spent my birthday with him and he took me to lunch with his parents and his sister. I’ve met his friends and have gone to several birthday parties with him.
This superb Argentine was so emotional that he cried once when I started talking about leaving to go back to the US. We cried together, and after that moment, I decided to block out any thoughts of future and just enjoy the present. Everything was wonderful and rosy until my last week in Buenos Aires. He went from seeing me almost daily, to barely making any contact throughout that week. In fact, I only saw him once in the week before I left; it was the day before my plane departure.
It hurt immensely. All that time I was trying to understand his actions, making up excuses for him and telling myself that he was just too busy to see me. I really thought that because those were my last days in Argentina, he’d spend more time with me. He’d speak of coming to visit me in the States and those words gave me hope. I was so helplessly in love that I clung onto any bit of hope imaginable.
Because of my blindness, I failed to see some of the most important red flags that doomed the relationship. I didn’t realize that about a week before I actually left, he had already started taking steps back from the idea of us. Despite always asking him for his honesty above all else, he chose to let me “figure” it out on my own. It took a few more weeks after being in the US and his sudden “lack” of time to even respond to my emails. All of a sudden, I felt that the entire burden of this long-distance relationship was placed on me. That realization was one of the most emotionally painful moments I’ve ever experienced, but also the most sobering.
I realized that he was just letting it die out on its own. As adult of a man as he was at 30, he didn’t have the courage to tell me that it wasn’t going to work and that he wasn’t going to put any effort in keeping the relationship going.
Some people say that it is better to break away from the relationship right away, and based on my experience I couldn’t agree more. I didn’t understand why he tortured me for a whole month, guessing, making false hopes, false dreams, false everything. I felt betrayed and almost lied to. It just seemed like he knew the ending was coming and he never bothered to let me know. I just had to figure it out on my own.
I realize that people have relationships that last for years and then break up. And I know that my experience did not last that long and could be considered as a summer fling. But the emotions, the life I put into that love were of incredible amount. I’ve written poems, stories; I’ve given my all to this one person who wasn’t worth it one bit. And I learned from it.
It took me about six months to recover from those two months of bliss and one month of hell, but I did it. I guess the most important lesson that I learned was that some people are right for you in a specific moment in time. My Argentine was perfect for me during my experience. He added a lot to what could have been a few mundane months in some city. But he ceased to be perfect for me when I had to come back to my real life back in the States.
The hardest part of this experience was the lack of closure. I mean, I couldn’t even talk it through with him. I never had those words coming from him: “It’s over.” I had to find closure on my own. As hard as it was, I found it in songs, in books. I made up my own closure by writing him out of my system, by telling him out of my mind. I began to notice that the more I spoke about my experience, the easier it became to relate the details and the less pain was found attached to them. I wore that story out until he became but a memory of my past; a beautiful, but painful lesson.