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How Sixteen Candles ruined my life

Let’s get this out of the way first, shall we? My love life isn’t exactly considered mainstream or even acceptable in some polite conversations. You won’t go to your local Cineplex and see the latest “it” girl starring in a heartwarming Hollywood rom-com with my name on it anytime soon. The crazy part? There is a happy ending, several in fact! But my happy endings aren’t exactly the formulaic ones we were brainwashed with as sweet little girls. The crazier part? My happy endings just might be your happy beginnings.

love life

It all started at the tender age of five when I won the coveted ‘Most Boyfriends’ award at the end of my kindergarten year. I know what you’re thinking… ‘big deal, it’s just kindergarten.’ But that was a pivotal moment in my life. Even then I realized that I wasn’t like the other girls. I thoroughly loved boys. OK, that’s kinda normal right? But ask yourself this… on Valentine’s Day, did you pick out that one special card for that one special boy? Or, did you have to search through the lame box of $2 cards agonizing about finding five cool cards for the five boys you were in love with? That was me. I didn’t want just one boyfriend on the playground — I wanted five. Not such a big deal when you’re eight, but by the time I hit puberty, I was already feeling the peer pressure.

Why wasn’t I satisfied with me plus one cute boy equals exactly what I’m supposed to want? Maybe that’s because, growing up in the ’80s, I learned everything I needed to know about love from John Hughes’ movies. Sixteen Candles told me that if I could just hold out for that one special crush, we’d kiss on my dining room table over birthday candle flames and live happily ever after. Or, like Claire in The Breakfast Club, I’d meet my soul mate in detention and then understand the meaning of my life. Thanks a lot Mr. Hughes. I don’t know about you, but that’s not exactly how my romances turned out.

All through my 20s, I tried really hard to want the life that everyone else seemed to want. You know what I’m talking about… the accomplished man, the amazingly sexy relationship, a few above average kids and a California mortgage we’d never pay off. And so after plowing through a laundry list of boyfriends and a few live-in romances, I got exactly what I thought I wanted. He was the perfect combination of sexy wannabe rock star and sensitive, let’s-talk-about-our-feelings lover. I was totally in love and thoroughly convinced that our marriage would outlast a zombie apocalypse.

Not so much. Throughout my marriage, I never felt like I was being true to myself. Divorce forced me to finally get real. What did I want anyway? Monogamy? No. And I wasn’t afraid to finally admit it. Kindergarten me had a good thing going. She knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to make it happen. So that’s what I did. Paradigm shift from what society told me I wanted to what I really wanted — an open relationship with more than one partner. There, I said it. And I think more women need to feel good about trying it on for size. It just might be the perfect fit.

Seven years into this and I can’t imagine my love life any other way. I’ve never been more satisfied with my relationships and my life as a whole. Really. I get fabulous sex, deep friendship and real intimacy with some really hot guys that each turn me on in a different way. Not to mention, I have focused time for my kids and my work and myself. Make THAT movie, John Hughes, and the world just might be a better place.

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Photo credit: Universal Pictures via WENN

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