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Simply Solo Spotlight: My Latin American Love Story

March 29, 2011

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.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: simplysoloblog@gmail.com.

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.

man and woman tango dancing

Wouldn't it be so romantic to meet someone tango dancing? Photo courtesy of Ma Gali

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.


21 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2011 9:18 am

    I’m sorry that you had to go through that. It really sucks when the other person won’t be open and forthcoming.

    Good for you for finding your own way to get closure!

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 29, 2011 7:06 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. 🙂

  2. March 29, 2011 9:23 am

    Wow, what a powerful story. Those kind of stories shape who we are.

    I am intrigued by your thoughts on closure. For me, I have come to realize that I may never have closure by conversing with my ex. We’ve talked. And I still feel confused hours or days after speaking. I think closure comes from us. And from us alone.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 29, 2011 7:14 pm

      KD, indeed…those kind of stories definitely shape us. And the best thing is that I don’t regret it one bit.
      I totally agree about closure! It has to come from within. I’ve asked many times the opinions of my friends if I should contact him or not…The best advice I ever got was to never break the “no-contact” rule. I really believe in that for getting over someone.
      I also realized that closure is whatever you want it be. It shouldn’t necessary mean exact words like “It’s over”.
      Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

  3. March 29, 2011 12:19 pm

    Beautifully written! The line: “some people are right for you in a specific moment in time” is so simple and SO true. I have learned a little from every relationship I’ve ever had, even moreso from the one’s which ended painfully.
    Great post!

    • March 29, 2011 3:12 pm

      Love that too!

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 29, 2011 7:15 pm

      Thank you! I think one cannot grow without intense experiences in life. And it just so seems that we tend to learn most from the most painful ones.
      Thank you for commenting and reading! 🙂

  4. March 29, 2011 1:26 pm

    In complete agreement with Tori about the line: “some people are right for you in a specific moment in time.”

    I honestly think that is a lesson we all end up learning sooner or later, but the perspective it provides us is priceless.

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 29, 2011 7:16 pm

      Perspective! So hard to come by in most difficult of times.

  5. Zak permalink
    March 29, 2011 8:22 pm

    My thoughts, for what they are worth:

    What happened to you, Anonymous, sucks. Big time. Surely this Argentine lover should’ve been a bit – re: a lot! – more kind and been more upfront. I can certainly and without a doubt fault him for his methods.

    His reasons, his actions – and I base this solely on what you wrote – seem reasonable, however. You were leaving him, and perhaps he had never thought to move away from home (and that might have been what he thought the next “step” would be in your relationship). Perhaps he was scared. Sure, usually it’s – at least in my experience – the female who hasn’t explored, traveled, experienced, but perhaps you were the stronger of the two and when you left, expecting him to follow, a mistake was made on your behalf.

    My apologies if it feels like I am attacking you. I don’t mean to be. I am just pointing out that I can see his perspective, even though you were the one writing. To me, that means I think you did a fair job of not being one-sided.

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 29, 2011 10:41 pm

      Zak, thank you for your thoughts. 🙂

      I can also see his perspective…now. I guess what I wanted was honesty and I didn’t fully get it.
      The thing is that I was foolishly planning to come back to Argentina after graduating college ( I had 1 year left at the time). And now..a year later, I am even thankful that he let me be.
      I don’t regret anything. For me, the pain was well worth the happiness that I felt when I was there with him.

  6. March 30, 2011 1:25 am

    I sort of had the same thoughts as Zak. I think he probably pulled away as much to protect his own heart from what he viewed as an impossible situation. He had a crappy way of doing it, but I doubt his motives were to cause you grief and anguish.

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 31, 2011 10:36 pm

      Thank you for reading. 🙂 I’m pretty sure that he also wanted to protect his heart..it is what it is.

  7. March 30, 2011 7:13 am

    Cripes- that sucks! But at least now you can just look back at it as a source of literary inspiration and move on 🙂

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 31, 2011 10:36 pm

      Kat, definitely! Though, I’m pretty sure with this little write-up I have finally put this story to rest. And it feels so liberating!

  8. March 30, 2011 7:18 am

    Lovely post! Long distance can be hard… but glad you gave it an honest shot, even if it ended sadly.

    Wink’d
    http://www.winkd.me

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 31, 2011 10:37 pm

      Thank you for reading 🙂 I don’t regret it one bit!

  9. March 30, 2011 1:00 pm

    It’s with admiration that women who’ve either experienced it or not read your story. A lot of us have been there and can relate to your pain. Although you already know this, the best thing you took from that relationship was lessons learned. You “loved” in the moment and you had a great summer, but most of all you grew from that experience.

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 31, 2011 10:39 pm

      Exactly. Despite the pain, I am proud of having the courage to be so open. That’s why it was so hard to recover. But I’d rather go through a disappointment again than miss out on true emotions – I was the happiest in those months that I can ever remember.

  10. March 30, 2011 2:33 pm

    This made me so sad. It’s an awful feeling, to think you know someone and have someone’s respect, only to learn (the very hard way) that he might not be the person you thought. I see what you’re saying here – all you wanted was enough respect for your relationship for him to give you some closure. To be honest. I can see where just backing off was the easy way out for him (and can even see why breaking up before you left was probably the best thing for you both), but that doesn’t take away from the pain of how he did it.

    And because Catherine likes to reference Sex and the City – it’s like when Burger broke up with Carrie on the Post-it note. It’s not so much the break up itself that hurt (although we all know how painful those are in and of themselves), but the way he broke up with her. He didn’t give the end of their relationship the respect it deserved, and that, unfortunately, is what happened to you. It’s a lack of decency from someone with whom you shared love, and that’s a terrible feeling.

    I’m sorry you had to go through it, but in the end, at least it’s one of those experiences that have added color and flavor to your life. Thanks for sharing!

    • The Fool Who Wrote This Post :) permalink
      March 31, 2011 10:41 pm

      Thank you for reading, Katie!

      Ha! I love your example from Sex and the City :).
      At least I know in my heart that I would never do that to anyone.
      It was a great lesson indeed. Probably learned a whole lot about myself as a result of that.

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