College was slightly easier for me. After the Hot Jock boosted my confidence, I went out to my first fraternity party and picked up the hottest football player I could find. He took me on my first date and we dated for about a week, which seemed like a lifetime to me. Then, the first love of my life arrived: brooding, cleft chin you could drink champagne out of, and green eyes that could burn a hole in your soul. He made a beeline for me at a party, and with one look at this Christian Slater look-alike, life as I knew it disappeared. We spent the entire night talking and kissing on the stairs of the fraternity house.
He said he would call me, he did and I remained interested. The streak was broken! I had a real life boyfriend who took me on dates, gave me gifts and proceeded to treat me like a princess. Except for the night he got so drunk in the frat house that he left me waiting in the lobby of my dorm, frantic that he was dead, I thought everything was perfect. That is, until the night he pulled me aside and told me that he had cheated on me. The spell was broken. The one guy I trusted to break the streak had betrayed me. I dumped him and proceeded to date five more guys throughout college—all of whom cheated on me.
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My dating life after graduation followed similar patterns. I went for guys who were, I thought, deeply interested in me but soon faded away. I dated here and there for two years until I met my most serious boyfriend, the big addiction, a man so damaged and emotionally unavailable that trying to get consistent behavior out of him was like playing Emotional Unavailability Chess with Bobby Fischer. If the other guys had been gateway drugs, this guy was the Rejection Drug version of uncut smack, and I was completely ready to give up life, career, money and anything else that I had to get this guy to stay in love with me.