Dating horror stories: Looking for love in the wrong places

EMMA ISABELLA



My relationship lifetime, if at any time charted on Google Maps, would have purple area dots (damaged hearts) all above the Better Los Angeles location. By age 48, I’d authorized also several Angeleno males to stomp on my keen, open coronary heart. Emotionally, I felt like the doormat exterior my Atwater Village condo. My path looking for really like had been long and circuitous and took me as a result of a lot of L.A.-region neighborhoods.

It appeared every single guy I’d dated possessed a personality one of a kind to the region in which he resided. The erudite graphic designer, patrician in appears, nonetheless married to his spouse, lived in a grand home in Hancock Park. The block experienced leafy eco-friendly trees, a extensive street and immense yards — a stateliness that hid the confusion he struggled with in reconciling his homosexuality.

Our torrid affair lasted 4 months. All through that time I’d decided he was “The One.” I was deep in appreciate. Bummer for me, but I wasn’t the one for him. The graphic designer informed me he even now had a couple points to figure out.

Following came the tremendous hot repertory theater actor who lived in Silver Lake. I disregarded the common admonition to under no circumstances date an actor. Guaranteed enough, as with his eclectic, mercurial, artsy neighborhood, I by no means realized how he felt. His flighty strategies reminded me of the breezes blowing this way and that throughout the Silver Lake reservoirs. They could change at any minute. They could also end out of the blue.

He broke up with me after 5 months of harm and despair. He may well as properly have ground my coronary heart into the sidewalk on Rowena Avenue though donning a pair of black leather-based boots from a production of “Othello” in which he performed Iago. I ongoing to run into the actor and his next boyfriend at the fitness center on Hyperion Boulevard or purchasing at Trader Joe’s. The hurt kept on offering.

Even now licking my wounds from the actor partnership, I received sober. I understood I needed to confront my addictive behaviors. My drinking had been a dilemma for many many years. It almost certainly affected the adult males I authorized into my everyday living. A aspect advantage to sobriety? It took me all in excess of Los Angeles.

I attended Alcoholics Nameless conferences in West Hollywood, the Fairfax district, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, the Valley and Silver Lake. At just about every of the hundreds of meetings I frequented, I seemed for my future boyfriend. The rooms ended up full of great-looking adult males.

I hardly ever observed appreciate, but I uncovered to value far more of L.A. though remaining sober.

I kept on courting also. I even now experienced a couple of neighborhoods — and adult males — to take a look at.

There was a brief dalliance with a sweet, young guy, a fashionable home goods designer, who lived in the hills of Echo Park. He experienced his very own Tv set present and a number of publications revealed. There have been lots of “anti” indicators, these types of as switching programs at the past minute. Even now, I made a decision, as with some others prior to him, he was “The 1.” He strung me alongside before dumping me. At least I’d used excellent time in Echo Park.

I also attempted to get in touch with my erotic self. This practical experience took me to a canyon in Sierra Madre for a weekend workshop put on by the Body Electric University. A team of homosexual guys attended a touchy-feely collecting aimed at integrating our sexuality and spirituality. Magical experiences I however treasure, but none led me to him.

The closest I acquired was meeting an oversexed therapeutic massage therapist whom I fell for, even nevertheless he was obviously unavailable. He drove up from San Diego to visit me in my new condo in Atwater Village a handful of situations. But San Diego and Atwater Village had been as well considerably apart — as ended up he and I — for nearly anything meaningful to create.

All those purple hearts on my relationship Google Map remained broken.

Nonetheless, I acquired from all people lousy dates that I necessary to regulate my outlook to obtain a appropriate mate. I had to clean up up my conduct so I could be a particular person somebody else would want to have a relationship with. And that was not a gentleman who drank far too a great deal, nor one who acknowledged just about every male he met as romantic relationship product right before even finding to know him.

Then just one March night I opened my front door, and there he stood. His title was Robert. We’d achieved on a courting web site, and this was our initially time assembly in person. I recognized he experienced curly brown hair, comfortable brown eyes and a beguiling smile. Then I seen he remained on my doorstep. I stepped aside and invited him in.

Our courting life took us amongst my rental and his position in Burbank, a metropolis I did not know properly regardless of doing work in the region as a element movie advertising marketing consultant for lots of a long time. We took our time obtaining to know every single other. But he fast turned my “One and Only.”

Unlike the many others, he was readily available, he didn’t engage in games, and he was just one of the sweetest persons I’d ever achieved. I knew he was the a person for me when my 78-year-aged mother advised me for the duration of a cellphone connect with, “Tell Robert he gives the most effective hugs.” Need to have I say far more? We have been collectively for 13 years and dwell in Glendale, a different town I didn’t know effectively then but do now.

On my Google Maps appreciate tour, a remaining (unbroken) crimson coronary heart can continue to be pinned appropriate there.

The author writes fiction, nonfiction and plays. He is on Twitter @cgregthompson and Instagram @cgregorythompson.

Straight, homosexual, bisexual, transgender or nonbinary — L.A. Affairs chronicles the search for appreciate in and about Los Angeles, and we want to hear your tale. The story you convey to has to be legitimate, and you must allow for your title to be released, We shell out $300 for just about every essay we publish. E mail us at LAAffairs@latimes.com. You can obtain submission tips right here.





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