"Te quiero (I love you)" he said to me when I was leaving Colombia...
Growing up, I was a hopeless romantic: candle light dinner, roses, watching sunset, etc. I dreamed of finding Mr. Right, that perfect someone who was meant for me, who was going to fulfill all my needs.
I don't have a very normal childhood. I practically grew up in the Catholic church; I spent lots of my free time there. So it was logical that after finishing my high school, instead of continuing my education in university, I went to the seminary to be a priest. It was an amazing period of my life; I used to be very shy and had low self esteem, but then I became more open, confident and outgoing. And I thought that was it - my life. I was the epitome of holiness and devotion; parents wanted their children to be like me, priests called me brother and I had teenagers looked up to me, etc. But at night, when the lights were turned off and I was alone in my room, that's when the tears started coming, that's when the emptiness from deep down crept up and tore away all the happy facade and the smiling mask I was wearing. I cried because I could not reconciled my faith and my sexuality, and the longing to love and be loved by someone.
I spent my twenties looking for that someone that I left the seminary for. Now I'm almost 38 and I only have a 1-year relationship and a 3-month long distance relationship to show for. I used to fall in love very easily and therefore got hurt deeply and regularly. Looking at others, I always felt that I missed out on this: to be in relationships.
While traveling, I had often said that if I found the right guy, I would give up traveling and stay on to give the relationship a realistic chance to develop. I have met travelers who met their partners while traveling, so it's not unrealistic to hope that I would be one of them. But then, it wasn't to be. Lucky or unlucky is relative. Seriously thinking about it, would I really give up traveling?
I realised that it's quite impossible to find ONE person that is everything to you; it's a huge expectation for just ONE person to fulfill ALL my needs; it's a very high order, don't you think? Moreover in our modern days. So, why not have a few relationships going on at the same time. I don't want a boyfriend but rather a few boyfriends. It's not an open relationship as such, but rather a few open relationships.
... So I said to him, "te quiero mucho tambien (I love you very much too)". And I left.