How to lose a guy in 7 days

It was the shortest relationship I’ve ever had.

Laughable, almost.

***

I don’t like to put a timeline on my life. I don’t like to say you should arguing with your S/O over how many pillows you should have on your bed at age 27. Or you should be making x amount of money at the age of 30.

I don’t believe life should or can be lived that way.

Life comes and goes as it does. People enter and exit whether we want them to or not.

***

Men should be so lucky to date me. I tell my friend in full confidence over $10 vodka sodas at Union Market. I mean it, I really do.

And not in a “I’m too good for everyone which is why I’m single” sort of way. In a way that I’m aware of the qualities I posses and I know someday I’ll find someone who complements in a way that I see fit.

Sometimes I get impatient is all.

I wasn’t as self-aware a year ago. As I have talked about many times, I had been exiting a toxic thing, my career was in shit, I was lost living life in an endless fog and every one else was to blame for my problems.

From there, I started to take more control over my life and the decisions I made. I was more proactive instead of reactive. Thought with more logic and stopped putting my mental health in the hands of someone else. Life got exponentially better.

***

The story was so eerily similar and triggering I can’t explain why I stuck around.

Well, maybe that’s why I did. The story — the characters, the setting. It was practically the same.

Two men. Same occupation, covered with tattoos and realities they couldn’t face. Subconsciously, I wanted to fix the problems they had. And in retrospect, maybe I wanted them to fix mine too.

He was creative. Passionate. Edgy.

Two drinks in and his hand touched my thigh. I told him I didn’t like PDA. As we walked to the next bar, he pulled me to the side. I know you don’t like PDA, but this outside of the bar, so does it count? He put his hands around my neck as he kissed me. We’re awesome, he whispers in my ear.

The emotions were intense from the beginning — on both ends. He was vocal about how he felt, forward if you will.

I go away for a few days, our texts were frequent. He informs me of a “primary partner” in his life. I inquire further. He labels it as “progressive.” I’m skeptical and a bit taken aback but I don’t really know him all that well, who am I to judge?

We are so awesome together, Beth.

The red flags become brighter, but I’m already wrapped in. Besides the chemistry in the bedroom, there’s something more here too. I wasn’t sure I was looking for something serious, but he was insistent that this was where it was going.

It feels weird to bring this up on the second time we hangout, but I can really see this going somewhere Beth, I like you so much.

We’re outside. It’s 1:30am. The night is still warm, the ground wet from the rain fall. I tell him I feel the same way. Because I did. I did feel the same way. I rest my head on his shoulder. It feels right.

I ignore the hours and hours in between text messages. With our work schedules, it was inevitable. I didn’t need to text him all the time anyways. I ignore the times he “forgets” about our plans and the false promises to spend time together outside the confines of our apartment bedrooms. I ignore the verbal warnings from not one, but two women about his past behavior.

He passes them off as “crazy.” I nod.

I call him out for being a narcissist. I’m kidding, but like not really actually at all. I can practically sniff a narcissist from a mile away at this point.

I’ll spare you the countless bickering and back and forths we’d get into over him being sketchy. Gimme a break dude, I’m fucking working. Do you even work? How do you have this time to text? I ignore this blatant disrespect for my job and ignore. However, when I don’t answer him…y’all know how this game goes.

I confide him with details about my previous relationship to explain why communication is important to me. He seems to be completely understanding and supportive.

We progress. Or at least I pretend that we are. Our feelings for each other are intense. One moment we’re having this incredibly engaging conversation, the next moment we’re having mind-blowing sex and the next moment we want to rip each other’s heads off.

Have you forgotten about the primary partner yet? Ah yes, by this point he has completely ended things with her. For me…apparently. Similar to my previous relationship, she has mental problems too. However, she’s “supportive” of us. She wants him to be happy.

Here’s where things get good. Strap up ladies and gents.

We had just finished yet another night of arguing. He comes over before work, I’m crying. He knows he has me. A string of lies and false promises spill from his lips. We kiss goodbye.

I finish a spin class. I haven’t heard from him in a few hours, I’m assuming he’s busy. I go to the store and pick him up a coffee to surprise him at work. The establishment is empty. I walk to to the back where he works and I pause.

I’m horrible in awkward and tense situations. We all say nothing. I poke him. I know who she is and she knows who I am. My head sweats, I break the silence with a hello and a swift exit.

He races me to the front door, what’s up babe? no hug or kiss? I explain to him I’m upset but I’m not about to talk it in the middle of the sidewalk. He looks at me confused. Nothing is going on babe, you know we’re still friends, she came here to help me with work stuff.

I put my head down and walk away. I cry for a second time before the night falls.

I find a random alleyway and sit down and continue my cry sesh. I’m caught up in this shit againFuck. I think about the hell of the year I had and the progress I’ve made this far. My hands sit on my head. My mascara stains my white shirt. I think about the breakdowns I’d have in the corner of my room. Single stream tears erupt into never ending currents. Strong and forceful. You ok over there? A random passerby inquires. Yea, thanks. 

I lie.

I forgive him, because that’s just what I do with guys like this. I forgive. I forgive them without ever forgiving myself.

I can’t quite remember the timeline correctly, but within the next couple of days I am his girlfriend. I thought that may be the solution to all of our problems. Well, I knew it wasn’t but he asked me, and I said yes.

The term “girlfriend” holds some sort of validation to me, still. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t been someone’s “girlfriend” in years. Or perhaps when he said it, it held more weight because he had been convincing me since basically day one that I was the only one he wanted.

Or maybe I was just convincing myself.

I know what you’re thinking. Beth, he’s a fuckboy, why are you falling for this shit?

I said it earlier, I like to fix people. I think I can fix people. Ok, I know I can’t fix it all, but I get some sort of high from being the positive part of someone’s life. It’s selfish, really. It’s like I think I’m less fucked up then them, so being around them makes me feel better.

Yeah, I know it’s fucked up.

I tell my mom and sister about him, then my friends.

I could’ve predicted the next series of events if I really dug deep…I just didn’t know it would be so soon.

7-8 vodka sodas deep, I am drunk. I want my boyfriend to meet up with me, he’s being non-responsive and sketchy. I knew in my gut something was going on. In a sad, drunken slur I give him an ultimatum.

What is going on? Why are you always so sketchy? If you don’t meet up with me I’m never going to see you again!!!!

His ex picks up his phone. She knows about me and sounds sweet (I know this is weird). I’m silent. He’ll never give you what you need, Beth. I learned this very early with him. You’re not special. 

Him and I meet outside in a public place. My make up is fucked up from the tears and my hair is a hot mess from the humidity. I want to change my shoes because I have been in heels for 6 hours. We sit down and start to talk.

Suddenly, his ex turns the corner. She sits down on the ground in between us as I stay silent. This situation is sobering me up REAL quick as I’m waiting for a camera to come out from the bushes with a producer screaming YOU’VE BEEN PUNKED!

They start to engage in a rather loud argument about their fucked up shit they have going on. I chime in. Apparently he had just asked her to be his girlfriend moments ago but is now denying it. He also claims we have been dating for a day (wrong, it had been approximately a week…to get technical). I call him out. I quickly find out he cheated on me. Twice. He’s confused. As am I.

The cigarette smoke blows from her mouth.

I told her I wanted to be with you, Beth. She acknowledges this. We’re on the same page for a very, very brief moment.

There were so many words happening at once. She claims to be on my side and stands up, for me. I don’t really know her and not totally understanding her intentions, but I also decide I’m too drunk for this shit. I stay silent. He asks her to let us talk, she stays.

I should have just gone home, but I wanted to talk to him, only him. I’m still attached. He gets up in anger, claims he’s going to pick up some other chick and leaves. I watch him go and sit in a whimpering, pathetic cry.

I call out for him (Jesus, this is more of a reality show than I thought), and she’s still there. I politely ask her to leave. She goes. I meet him down the road a bit of the ways. The drama continues. We talk about us briefly, but he realizes that she took all of his shit in her car with her to Maryland or somewhere…like, everything he needs for work the next day. I laugh internally and then let out a snort. I can’t help it.

He’s freaking out, I’m a drunk, well now a pretty sober, mess and so much shit just happened that I’m unsure what to do next. I should go home, I really should. But I also know that I need comfort. And I know for SURE my drunk ass does not have the will power to just go home in this state. For Christ’s sake, I had just exited a reality show stint.

We lie in bed and he tells me he is falling in love with me..I hesitate. He takes a swig of  whisky and brushes the ash from his cigarette off the sheets onto the floor. It’s 4am. I tell him I’m no longer his girlfriend. We have sex. It’s meaningless. He sleeps past his alarm the next morning. Somehow, this is my fault.

I wish this was the end, I really do.

I leave his spot the next morning.

Your ex just walked into my spot. We’re about to take a shot together. 

I freeze in the middle of the street. My phone lit up. Ok, ok, cameramen, where the HELL are you?

What? I respond.

He knows about our past. I expect him to be cordial and not fight my battles, but I am at a loss for words.

I expect him to act the way that any good person would, but then again I am understanding that he’s well, kind of a shitty person. Ok, I knew this all along…but we already went over this. I call him.

Why are you freaking out? Want me to fucking kick him in the balls? Like what the fuck Beth?  I’ll call you back. 

I’m at home. Writing this makes me realize how many times this man brought me to tears…fuck, man. The next text brings me to a full blown anxiety attack.

It’s a picture of him and my ex that he sent. To my phone. Followed by a *heart faced emoji*

Note: we’re talking about the same dude who told me he was falling in love with me like 12 hours before.

I slam my laptop I sit in the corner of my couch infested with dog hair that I had failed to vacuum this morning while covering my face. Hyperventilating. I grab my journal and start to write. It’s not working. I rip the journal page out and throw it on to my coffee table. My dog sits and watches this unfold and puts his head on my lap.

I find comfort in my friends.

He then sends me a string of texts attacking my character as laid out my ex boyfriend (a source worse than Wikipedia). I want to disengage. I want to block his number and not participate. I feel the need to protect my reputation to people who never actually mattered in the first place.

I’m protecting my reputation to two men who still, to this day, have yet to admit their faults in the situation. I’m protecting my reputation to two men to have such a false and narrow view of the world that they probably never will.

I’m protecting my reputation to essentially, two narcissists , two people who will never apologize, because to the world, they are superior. <–click for a link to a great article and perspective on narcissism.

Are you still hanging in there? We’re almost there.

Mmmmmmmk here’s where I get REAL pathetic. Yeah, I still talked to him after all this. He knew all the right things to say. I was still upset and had a glimmer of hope that I could open his eyes that I could be good for him…oh, Beth. You’re so cute.

About a week later he brings up the reality-show pilot — Love Trifecta, I’m calling it. I’m at fault for the whole thing apparently. Jokes on me! Apparently there WERE people filming, I am now “the drunk chick screaming at *** in front of the ***.” I’m scolded for ruining his “brand.” I know this is not true. I snort out in laughter, because although I was drunk, this was simply another deflection tactic. Everything’s my fault, remember?

A) He’s not that important and this ain’t Hollywood. B) I wasn’t causing the scene. C) No mention of the whole cheating thing though!! Did they catch that on video!?!!?

Ok, ok, I’m not going to be petty, this was just one of the many things that has now turned into an “eye-roll” incident for me. Note: this was only brought up after the fact I suggest we talk about the fact that he cheated on me.

I call him out for being an ass. He says all the right things. I’m brought back in.

We feel so strong together. 

What I’ve wanted has never changed. I want you. Just you. 

Passing your building right now. Miss you!!! 😦 

Ya know, generic shit that I continue to call him out for in a string of frustrating texts.

So, shit ended.

You guys are still here? Damn.

***

Per usual, I never know how people are going to react to these kinds of posts. If you’re an avid reader, you know not this is and will never be a “bash your ex” blog and I hate that I still give this disclaimer after all this time, it just feels necessary.

Writing helps me work through things, and you guys seem to like it. Life in the dating world as single-something is entertaining, and unfortunately, I think there are more people than you think who have been through similar shit.

As for me, I’m ok. Pretty great actually. It’s amazing what cutting toxic people out can do for ya! Although I’m not proud that I diverted back to old “habits,” if you will, I was able to catch on and detach myself much quicker than before. If there’s a silver lining to any of this, is that this relationship ONLY lasted for about a month (well, officially a week), as opposed to on and off for a year.

While things still lingered on a bit through text after it “ended” I was still doing my own thing. I knew how to exist without him. Ok, yeah, the entirety of “us” was about 90 days — but an intense 90 days!

That right there is important. Whether or not you have a significant other, ya gotta be your own person — have your own dreams, alone time, opinions, etc. etc. Yeah, its cliché, but you know how a cliché becomes a cliché?

I acknowledge that there are still things I need to fix about myself. I write all the time about self love and confidence, but here I am identifying all the red flags from the second date and still going for it. I know it’s problematic and it scares me too. It’s not a habit I want to fall into simply because I don’t like the type of person I become when I’m with toxic people. I don’t want to be the person who lets men get in the way of my own shit,  but I recognize that I can be that person.

With this guy, I knew he wasn’t The One. He had “I have a lot problems I don’t want to deal with so I’m going make self-destructive decisions instead” written all over him. It mad me ask myself, “What things about myself do I not want to deal with? Is my ‘self destructive behavior’ men like this?” Possibly.

 

***

He was saying all this shit to have sex with youYou’re dumb.

Mmmmm. Maybe. But I did take him home on night one, and I think he knew he didn’t really have to try that hard. I even offered casual sex! To which he was “saddened and offended by.” Anyways, I could spend forever searching for these answers that I’m not even sure exist.

It was only 6 weeks, you crazy.

Maybe. But my story remains the same. I was crazy for him because he was crazy for me too..or so I thought. I’ll never know what was genuine and what was total bullshit. He claims it was all “real” but I think reality is still a fragmented construct he has created in his own head.

I find myself asking “Why?” a lot. I know the problem starts with me. I know that I need to identify exactly what in my life triggers me to fall weak to this manipulative behavior. While the sex was great and we had glimmers of happy moments together, that was sort of it. I don’t like drinking whiskey out of the bottle at 4am. I don’t like talking about all of his big career moments without one mention of mine. I don’t like waiting around, wondering when his text will come…if it ever does. Simply put, I don’t like the person he is.

I was more sad about the fact that I had fallen victim to yet another person like this rather than losing him. There are plenty of “hims” out there. I know this. In the same way that I wasn’t special to him, he wasn’t all that special to me.

I haven’t lost faith. If anything, it gives me more stories to tell you guys.

So, I’m just moving along. Swiping left and right (mostly left), having safe (and consensual!!!) sex with cute dudes, finally sorta kinda developing abs? Idk, life hasn’t been so bad to me.

Like I said, you’d be so lucky to date me. 

Just ask my mom!

I decide it’s ok to give a shit.

Do you get a weird source of inspiration from public transport? Like, I always feel like I’m at my peak of inspo wen I’m on a train, plane or bus. I’m not sure if this is a normal thing, but I always get my best thoughts out at the expense of a $3.65 metro ride…or $178 round trip flight.

I say this slightly intoxicated on my flight back to Boston. By slightly I mean 3 whiskey shots, 1 Sam Adams Summer and 2 vodka sodas deep. Sorry, mom.

I’ve had an interesting love life the past few months. Active, yet unactive. It’s strangely familiar. Guys have sorta sucked, but that’s nothing new. Again, it’s familiar.

I expressed my sentiments to my best friend, sober, “Why don’t guys wanna date me?” I felt desperate asking this question, yet I find myself genuinely curious. It sounds like plea from sad, single girl who is searching for love in all the wrong, yet seemingly right places. Yet, I don’t really give a shit. I’m just curious.

I see couples all of the time. Holding hands down 14th street or intensely making out at my bar, I replay my girlfriend qualifications.

-smart

-friendly

-attractive

-kind

-gets along with moms

-gets along with friends

-cool

-chill

-fun

etc.

I engage in an internal debate about casual sex. While I once was so confident in the fact that I, Beth Cormack, am SO ok with casually sleeping with men, recently I have began to question that notion. I feel like from a societal standpoint, my reaction towards casual sex should be, “This man’s penis entered me. We were safe and consensual. Welp, onto the next one! It’s cool!”

Am I allowed to feel there is something more to sex than just sex? Can I believe that I am able and willing to engage in “casual sex” yet still expect to feel some sort of way about it? Is there an in between on the sliding scale of a giving a fuck?

Names have been changed

***

Are you going to talk to me after we have sex? Drunk words slur from my dry mouth. He’s laying on top of me in my twin size bed. My phone lights up. “Want me to sleep at Kate’s and leave you two alone in there?” My roommate was good at casual sex. I told myself I didn’t like one night stands.

Because I didn’t.

Of course I’m going to talk to you. I just can’t really do girlfriends right now. Those words weren’t enough. In the moment, I pretended like they were. The next morning he was gone. I picked the red condom wrapper up from the floor and felt my eyes fill. I was ok with this. I can be cool. Days went by. A blank response to my “Hey how’s your week going text?” Crickets.

I saw him at the library the next week on campus. I smiled and looked his way. He burrowed his face in his book.

***

Hand jobs and blow jobs were fine. I let him touch my breasts and basically do everything but “go all of the way.” For a while anyway. When you have sex with a man right away, he’s going to view you as a slut and will therefore never date you.

I didn’t want to be a “slut.” Well, I didn’t want other men to label me as such.

It took a few weeks of drunken sleepovers before I let him enter me. I felt safe and comfortable. I didn’t feel like a slut. Nor did he make me feel like one.

We didn’t have “casual” sex for too long before I started to question where this was going. Late nights turned to longer mornings. Drunk sex turned into sober sex. Less casual sober sex.

I love you, he muttered. I love you too. Maybe casual sex wasn’t so bad. Maybe men would still acknowledge me and want to date me after all.

***

I was excited to start swiping left and right in my new city. I sat on my bed in night one and scouted out my prospects. Different from Boston. More attractive, yet more douchey, it seemed like.

Hey, how are you? David messaged. Jack Rose was our first date spot. I, in a black mini dress paired with gold sandals and a long necklace. He, a suit with a pink tie. A consultant at Deloitte. Attentive via text before and after our date. Did I hit the jackpot within my first few weeks in DC?

I felt an instant disconnect after the first night we spent together. A not-serious relationship hanging on by threads. We sleep together a few more times. Texts less frequent. Sorry super busy at work. Can’t hang this weekend. Eventually leading to nothingness.

A few months went by. I hardly remember his existence. My phone lights up. It’s David. “Hey, I hear you work at Hawthorne. Any chance my friends and I can cut the line?”

Crickets.

A year goes by. I’m his bartender. Can I have a Tanqueray and tonic? Oh, wait, your name’s Beth right? I pour him Bowman’s. Your Tanqueray is going to be $11.00. 

I wanted to say, yeah, it’s Beth. Your penis was inside me, remember? Same.

***

Harry. How do I explain Harry?  He’s a guy that I had been on and off hooking up with for the past 2 years. Very very on and off. I consider him more than a late-night text even though 95% of our texts took place after 2am. Definitely didn’t “date” although when we were together, I considered what that would look like.There was a connection we acknowledged, sober and drunk.

A connection defined on our first “real” date after 2 years of nothing but late-night texts. Coffee followed by laying in bed fully clothed, reading the depths of each other’s personal essays. Silent yet intense. “I don’t meet many women like you.” “I keep you at an arms-length because I don’t want to hurt you.” Divorced with two kids, I guess I kept him at arms length, too. “Casual” sex that I’d label as something a little more than casual. Emotions were felt on both ends. At least I think so.

Things came to an unexplainable halt the week after he drunk called me spilling his feelings. I don’t know what could be. I’d be lying if I still don’t think about it.

I wonder if he does too.

***

I was intrigued by Luke within the first few moments of catching his glance. The bar was crowded, full of intoxicated fools on Sunday evening. The music was loud, the shots were cheap. Who’s that? I asked my friend. That’s Luke, she introduced me. We hit it off instantaneously, chatting at the bar for quite some time. Tall and handsome, we continued to show interest in the coming weeks. I noticed hints of jealousy on his end when he saw me with other men. Interest from both ends intensifies.

I call him out for being a minor fuckboy. In a joking way. I recommend him to a friend for a job. Thank you so much, this is really going to help me out. I’m happy to do it.

Sleeping together was inevitable, although the sex was less than decent. The flame was short lived. He has a way with words to get women into bed with him, perhaps that’s all he wanted from me. I can’t be sure. I still run into Luke on occasion — we pretend like the other doesn’t exist.

He doesn’t even pet my dog. I can’t explain this. Have you seen my dog?

My half-joking preconceptions of his fuckboy tendencies were accurate. Maybe he expected me to get attached — to give him attention or fit into the “clingy” mold.

It’s a strange juxtaposition. I care but I don’t really care.

My interest in him was short-lived even though I continued to sleep with him. I never cared to date him. Our feelings were clearly defined the last time we slept with each other. Afterwards, we laid in bed and talked about how much we missed our White Buffalos. Yet, I still sort of give a shit.

white buffalo: a term for “the one that got away” or “first love” 

It was the initial spark that drew me in and the sudden disregard that keeps me engaged to some extent. This draws up a debate in my head. We had sex…a few times. Yet to him, I am no longer worth a hello. I am nothing. Is this worth mulling over? I don’t know.

***

I met up with John for coffee about 6 months ago. We both swiped right! He was in the midst of a 30-day alcohol detox, so he suggested Colada Shop. Coffee? Obviously I’m down. I had just re-downloaded Tinder and I was lucky to match with this attractive, down-to-earth, successful & super sweet guy.

The date was wonderful, so much so we made out a red light in his car. I felt like I was in high school again. Months went by and with our busy schedules it was hard to make something out of it although we occasionally kept in touch via text and Snapchat.

Our second date took place at the Kygo concert with his friends — an evening that I never wanted to end. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen with this guy, although I wasn’t really thinking about it. It was a fun, spontaneous date. What happens would happen.

A week goes by and neither of us reach out.

In a sweet and genuine (and very long) text about a week later he informed me has been hooking up with another girl and apologizes for not reaching out sooner.

Is now the right time to tell him that I hooked up with someone else the night before the concert? I didn’t feel the need to share my sex life with him. Is that wrong?

I showed the text to my guy friends. They read it as “he totally wants to see you again but he’s just informing you of the situation.” I don’t really know how to read it, but it was a sure sign that I have grown numb to disappointment in the dating world as my initial reaction to his text was, “wait, lol, is it bad that I don’t care?” It wasn’t an I don’t care that actually meant I do care but I’m trying to pretend like I don’t care because I’m ~chill~. It was truly and I don’t care.

Wait, so am I ok with casual sex? Again, this confuses me.

***

I decide it is ok to give a shit when a man’s penis enters you.

I decide it is ok to expect some sort of respect from the other party.

I decide you can still engage in casual sex while also giving a shit.

I decide to expect respect. I decide that this is OK to expect.

I decide I give a shit when there is a lack of respect.

I don’t think I’ll ever be the woman to not feel some sort of pit in my stomach when I don’t hear from someone after spending the night together. Even if the sex is shitty.

I believe sex is a natural, liberating experience that should be enjoyed in a safe and consensual setting. I used to fear the word “slut.” Years later, I realize the ignorance behind labeling others as such.

I look back on my sexual encounters and the men involved. The debate over casual sex continues. I don’t quite know how to define “casual sex” but I also believe there’s no, single universal definition to it.

Most of the time, the pit in my stomach feels unwarranted for. I don’t expect nor want a relationship from most of these men, but I still expect something from them after the fact.

I fear falling into the “clingy, psycho girl” mold. A mold constructed by (mostly) men — I decide to be ~cool~ and not care.

Maybe I shouldn’t expect anything. Maybe that’s where my disappointment lies.

Maybe respect is too much to ask.

‘It’s complicated.’

About a month ago I wrote a blog about how I wasn’t ready to date.

A simple claim that I had recently come to grips with at the time. I received a lot of feedback from people who shared their stories with me. It was a roughly a 70/30 split between people who have experienced similar situations versus people who were encouraging me to put myself out there.

Someone will come around when you least expect it. 

I semi-believe this but also believe that things sort of align with the place you are in your life. The right person might come along, but maybe you’re at a point where you’re setting for the wrong guys. Idk. It’s a process.

Dating in 2018. Have you tried it? It’s weird.

One moment I’m aggressively swiping through apps cramping my thumb from the abundance of leftward motions and the next moment I say fuck it and just hope Prince Charming will be sitting at my bar.

You’ve gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. 

If that’s the case, there’s an serious overpopulation problem. Like China except Toad Land. Kidding, sort of. I’m not bitter. I swear.

But yeah, it’s just so weird and complicated. Half of the time I blame myself and the other times I blame the toad pool. I don’t know who are the “right” people to date for me versus the totally wrong people. Or if there even is a right or wrong way of doing things. Ya feel me?

With each ending relationship, I learn something new about what I want and certainly what I don’t want — but will this just be an ongoing learning experience rather than actually finding the right right guy? On paper, I know who I want. Or, rather, who I should want. I’ve had a few instances with guys where I’ve mentally gone through the checklist and they are seemingly the perfect person for me.

Then I lose interest. Or they do. Whichever comes first.

And most of the time, I don’t know why. But I’m also at a point where I don’t really care. Like, I feel like I’ve sort of expected things to be doomed from the beginning which sounds so depressing, negative and pathetic but in my head it’s really not. It’s just simple statistics. And I don’t mind it.

I used to care a lot more about what men thought of me. I would meet a guy that I was remotely interested in and suddenly I’d start planning my future with him. You’re lying if you didn’t go through a similar phase. It was like every guy I made out had to be my boyfriend at some point or else I’d feel a pit of rejection in my stomach that wouldn’t go away until the next potential suitor came along.

Hey Beth, what are you doing tonight? GUYS OMFG HE TEXTED ME. PAUSE EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING AND TELL ME WHAT TO REPLY. HOW LONG SHOULD I WAIT TO TEXT BACK? LIKE 8 MINUTES YOU THINK?

*48 seconds later*

Hey! Not much, just hanging with friends. And you? 

It was as if waiting 8 minutes would make me seem less psycho and eager. I don’t know. It was college. Times were different, I guess.

Now, tbh I don’t really give a shit. I’ve sort of gotten over letting guys judge my “crazy-ness level — whatever that means these days.  If I’m interested in someone, I talk to them. If they fail to put the effort in on their end, I lose interest pretty quickly. I don’t overthink a double text and I certainly don’t wait 27 minutes to text back if they took 21.

I take 18. 

In a sense, I’ve made dating less complicated, but I also don’t think about it as much. Well, like, guys are quite often ~on the brain~, but so are the thousand of over things going in my life — things that are usually more important.

I’m busy and I need coffee, always. My ideal relationship would be with someone who is equally as busy but makes time to bring me coffee and call me pretty. But I’m also OK with doing those things on my own.

So, um, I guess I’m actively dating again. But it wasn’t because one day I was like Ya know what, Beth?! Pull your Tinder bootstraps up and get back on the dating train!!!

Tinder bootstraps? What?

It more just sorta happened? I stopped putting pressure on myself to move on and decided to just rise above what happened and be better. He’s not the reason why I wasn’t ready to date. It was me. I guess I started being open to new possibilities.

I’ve chosen to spend my time with people who are simply worth my time. If it turns into something more, great. But if not, that’s cool too.

***

Recently, a guy asked what I was looking for. Relationship-wise, of course.

At first I was sorta taken aback. Like, wooaaaah how dare you ask a super valid question before we go on our first date? I showed my friend, how am I supposed to answer this?

Um, idk Beth, maybe you just be honest? There’s a thought! 

I told him I didn’t know. It sounded like a cop out answer, but I don’t really think I’m in a place where I want or should put a pretense on someone or something that may turn out to be just another toad in the toad pool. I’m not saying all toads are bad people, I’m justing saying that most toads won’t be the right toad for me.

How many times can I use this metaphor without exhausting it? The limit does not exist.

It would be a lie to tell him that I’m actively searching for a committed relationship but it would also be a lie to tell him I wasn’t. I just like, don’t know, ya know?

My last relationship made me second guess everything. I always felt like I was being too needy. Too emotional. Too psycho. Too everything. It was exhausting. I really hate that I keep talking about the same dude, but like, whatever man. Feeling all that shit sucked and I continue to learn more about how it impacted me. And I guess I can thank him for giving me some solid content to chat about with you guys.

Point is, I don’t want to second guess anything when it comes to relationships, platonic or romantic. Wishful thinking, I know. I just want things to, like, be. You know, just some dude who likes a gal enough to bring her coffee and call her pretty without being a shithead.

Sorry, that last part was aggressive. Just keepin’ it 💯!

Speaking of aggressive, I called a dude a jackass recently. Like, last night. We had been sorta on and off for quite some time and it wasn’t a complicated thing…until it was. Sure, I was a few vodka sodas deep and maybe I should’ve just let things go naturally. But also, it’s how I felt. Simply put.

I tried coming up with a nicer noun, but I guess that was the first thing that came to mind. Nobody’s perfect, and I’m sure there has been points in my life where I’ve acted like a jackass, but at this point in my life, I’m just kinda over the what is this? banter. Long story. Possibly might get into it at another time.

As humans, we naturally complicate things. We take a scenario and twist it into some convoluted mess that can’t really be explained to anybody not involved in the mess itself. Usually this doesn’t end so well, but we continue to do it anyways.

I’m about to sound soooo basic and soooo pathetically single and sorta aggressive. Ready for it? I simply just don’t have time for stupid shit. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.

That’s not to say I won’t continue to deal with stupid shit, but hopefully it’s stupid shit that I can’t control. Ya feel me? I’m also not quite sure how I define “stupid shit” but I think we all know what constitutes as “stupid shit.”

 

Per usual, I don’t really know where this blog post was supposed to go. I guess it’s just refreshing to say that I’m at a point where I’m equally as comfortable dating as I am not. It’s refreshing to say that I can confidently call someone a jackass and not later label myself “crazy” for it. If it’s deserved, of course.

I used to think that if you were engulfed in the dating scene, it had to be a main focal point in your life. Like, you had to actively make it a part of your day to find the right toad.

I’ve been on 4-5 dates this past month with different guys. Sure, they took up the small amount of free time I had, but they were dates that I wanted to go on. Some were better than others, but there was no pressure to make it something more. No pretense that it had to be something more. Just two people who showed a genuine interest in each other and wanted to act on it.

The best part? All Most of them didn’t turn out to be a convoluted, complicated mess! It’s great!

I’m not naïve and I won’t say relationships aren’t ever complicated, because they are. That’s just howwww the cookie crumbles. But, I suppose there’s a spectrum of complications and I’m just out here tryna fall on the right side of it while also trying to to avoid the spectrum entirely.

I have really cool stuff going on in my life — stuff that I am so damn proud of. It’s crazy to think how much I was holding myself back when I was with someone who took up literally all of who I was. I knew there something more out there for me, but I was so consumed in this “relationship” that I never acted on it. I don’t want to be at that point in my life again.

I don’t know the type of person I need to be with. I don’t where he is either, but he’s out there somewhere.

I can wait. Hopefully he can to.

While you’re waiting, FYI I usually drink hot coffee with almond milk. It’s an easy order to remember. You’re welcome. 

Let’s talk about it: Pt. 1

Hi everyone,

Again, want to thank you for all of the kind words I have received over the past couple of days and an extra thank you to those who shared your story with me. I received tons of questions/responses via email, Insta, Facebook, etc., which I promise to answer by the end of this week!

I addressed a few responses through here (with permission of the senders) touching on some issues that I think we can all benefit from. I didn’t get to all the points I wanted to address but I will be creating part 2!

Plzzzz excuse the awkwardness – I’m still new to this whole “Vlogging” thing.

So, let’s chat:

Blended thoughts on a burnt relationship.

Hey,

It’s me. Again.

I’m sorry to bother you. I would ask you how you’re doing, but I don’t remember the last time you asked me how I’m doing, so I won’t.

I guess I’ll just tell you how I’m doing instead.

Continue reading Blended thoughts on a burnt relationship.

 Just go the f*ck home.

 

“I’ll just have one more,” he promised. “I swear this is the last one.”

I laughed, knowing very well that this was definitely not the case. I pulled the Yuengling handle down and tipped the pint glass underneath.

“So, how many more beers is she worth?” I asked as I placed the beer in front of him.

He had been sitting at the bar for a while, chatting with me about this particular woman whom he had been sort-of seeing for the past month or so. I didn’t mind as I was debriefing about my guy frustrations as well. Continue reading  Just go the f*ck home.

You are not a fool

I’ll never forget the first night we met. A salmon summer dress, cheap strappy sandals. He, plaid shorts and and collared Ralph Lauren polo.

Clear vodka in a clear Poland Springs bottle. Sticky fraternity floors and strobe lights against the graffiti-filled basement wall.

An early September night, sweat dripping down my neck. A promise that you were the luckiest man in the room.

A promise I held onto for the rest of the night, for the rest of the semester, for the rest of the 7 months we were together.

Study dates that turned into late nights back in your dorm room. Love notes that turned any fight into a minuscule thing of the past.

“I love you.” It was a love that was intoxicating, something that I had never felt before. A love that made me so high that I’d always want another hit to avoid withdrawal. A withdrawal that left me alone on the cold tile of my dorm room floor crying, wondering how I could fix what I had broken.

How I could pick up the broken pieces that cut my fingers open every time I tried. “Don’t do that,” I told myself. Stop mending something that makes you bleed.

I love you, Beth.

I love you too.

A face in the mirror became someone I didn’t recognize. The only mirror that mattered was you. Tell me I’m pretty. Tell me I’m losing weight. Tell me that you always want me.

“Only eat a half cup of ice cream tonight at dinner tonight, you’ll thank me later.”

Tell me that I’m good enough. Because if I’m not good enough for you, then I can’t be good enough for anyone. You told me that, and you were right. You were always right.

I love you, Beth.

I love you too.

Dinner dates. Love notes. Teddy bears. “You look beautiful today”s.

A love that was promised for forever. A forever that had no light at the end. Instead, replaced with darkness, incontestable holes and sharp edges.

A darkness that was once thrilling, now destructive.

Although not taller, you were stronger than me. Pinned wrists to the pillow. A demand for an apology, one that I refused to give. My eyes swollen shut from the tears, although I couldn’t look you in the eye. Looking you in the eye was my weakness. Your eyes were the promise you made me the very first night we met.

Your eyes were the “you’re good enough.”

Minor bruises, but never major physical ailments. But, you were the shards of glass that scraped my skin. Over and over. Leaving scars that will never be erased, despite the years that have passed.

I want to blame you for things about myself that I am not particularly proud of. Questionable decisions I make, people I waste too much time dwelling on. Pathetic drunk texts to non-interested men. Perhaps it’s my self-esteem to blame, much of it that was destroyed by you.

I want to hate you. I wish I could live my life free of you, free of your memory, free of your entire existence. You make me sick. You make me bleed even 5 years later. You are still shards of glass sitting in my memory. Although, I know longer want you piece you back together.

Fool me once, fool me twice. Fool me three times, I am not a fool.

You, are a fool.

A fool who I want to forget, but I cannot. A fool who I can only hope is no longer a fool.

A fool who I hope is a man. A man free of empty promises. A man who is gentle, kind, and  who makes every woman feel the way you made me did on my first night out with you.

Beautiful and wanted, all of the time.

Inspired by Hozier’s new music video.

I want to bring light to relationship violence in colleges. I want to be a voice, be someone who knows what it’s like for your friends to roll their eyes at your desperate attempt that “it will be different this time.”

You are not a fool. You are not desperate, pathetic, or needy of self-recognition. It’s important to educate people on emotional abuse, what it’s really like to be addicted to an intoxicating kind of love with potential withdrawal effects.

I went to a 4 year university. I was not a math or science major, I took classes on social constructs, communication patterns, rhetoric theories. Although, my freshman year revolved around fulfilling general education requirements, none of which prepared me for the social scene outside of the classroom.

Watching Hozier’s music video to Cherry Wine, a song that I had always felt attached to, inspired me to write this. You can outsmart people. People will believe you when you tell them “he’s different.” That “he changed for you.”

Maybe they won’t, but they grow tired of telling you otherwise.

I don’t have the solution to stop this problem. I can only hope this reaches the right people. That this gives a voice to the voiceless, that it makes you feel something. Makes you feel enough to speak, and perhaps even reach out.

Just know, you are not a fool. He or she does not make you foolish. He or she makes you high.

A high that always makes you want to take another hit.

You are not a fool.

Read the original story here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Want A “Better Half”

I am a firm believer in true love. I do believe that there is someone out there for me who will eventually sweep me off my feet and make me wonder why I ever settled for anybody else. There is a man out there for me who I will celebrate countless anniversaries, Valentine’s Days, and birthdays with. There is a man out there for me who I will be able to trust with my heart, forever. There is a man who I will be able to get through any fight, long distance, or hardship with and know that nothing will ever change. There is a man out there who I will share an unbreakable bond with held together by the deep desires of love.

But, not today.

I don’t want someone who I “won’t be able to imagine my life without.” I don’t want someone to “have my whole heart.” I don’t want someone to be “my whole world,” or “my rock,” or “my better half.” I don’t want somebody who can understand me better than I can understand myself.

I want to feel whole. I want to be my own rock, my own anchor, my own soulmate. I want to understand myself better than anyone else can. I don’t want to look back and hate myself for altering my future for someone else when I know I wasn’t ready to.

That’s why I don’t want to find the man I will love forever today. Or tomorrow. Or the day after that. Maybe I already did find my “true love,” but I’m not ready to find out.

For those who know me, you know that when I fall, I fall fast and I fall hard. I am a hopeless romantic who wears my heart on my sleeve. I simply love the idea of being in love. I can’t remember a time in my life that I didn’t have some type of interest in a guy. I love having a “texting buddy,” I love feeling desired. I have gotten hurt a few times, but I always pick myself up and try to move on. But moving on is hard for me, simply because I love being in love. I’ve called guys my “better half,” and “my rock.” I’ve convinced myself that I couldn’t picture my life without them. I’m starting to realize now how that’s the last thing I want in my future relationship. Especially as a young woman in my early 20’s. Before I enter into any serious relationship, I need to feel like I’m complete. And I need to be able to feel complete, while completely alone.

Too many women depend on men to make them happy, and I would be lying if I said I haven’t done that myself. At this point in my life, I don’t know how to be completely independent when I’m in a relationship. I know many girls who can be, but personally, I don’t know how.

I need to feel whole before I can invite someone else into my life, or else I’d feel like I’d be giving half of my heart to them. I want to establish my own plans, dreams, and life decisions on my own. I want to grow and find myself before I’m ready to grow with anybody else.

I have dreams. I have plans for myself, that only involve myself. I’m at a pivotal point in my life where I get to decide where I go from here. I can travel, move across the country, and make stupid spontaneous decisions, just because I can. As of right now, there is nothing holding me back from where I want to take my life–well, having a bit more money may be nice, but, I’ll figure that one out eventually. I don’t want to find my true love yet. I’m not ready to settle and I’m not ready to alter my personal plans for someone else. The only thing I’m ready for is to discover where my life takes me post-grad. I’m ready to move across the country. I’m ready to travel. I’m ready to make new and beautiful memories with people that I’ll meet along the way. But, I’m simply not ready to fall in love again.

As my college career is coming to a close and I’m starting to find out what I want for my life, I’m starting to realize that I never want to fall for a guy who I consider my “better half.” I don’t want a better half. I want to be whole. I want to consider myself and my happiness as more important than relationship I will ever be involved with. Does this make me selfish? No. This makes me able to know that I can and will be happy alone, no matter how many heartbreaks will come my way.

Many people will marry their high school sweethearts, some of my friends included in that. And I love them for that. I think their relationships are healthy and I have loved watching them grow independently even though they have a significant other, and I admire them for that. There is nothing wrong with already finding the person who you want to spend the rest of your life with. You can still live a complete life with a boyfriend/girlfriend by your side at age 21. But, I know myself enough to know that I’m not at the point in my life where I can do that.

As I apply for jobs far, far away from here, I’m realizing that I need to be alone. I don’t know myself well enough yet to attempt to try to know anyone else on that deeper level. I need to have the peace of mind that the only thing holding me back from me and my future apartment in San Francisco is a job and a wad of cash.

I want to imagine my own life. I want to be able to navigate through life’s exciting opportunities and devastating disappointments independently, and if and when a guy decides he wants to join me, I’ll still be able to have the peace of mind that I can do it alone. I will be able to imagine my life without him, because at that point I have already done it alone.

Many of you may read this and view me as a loner. Or maybe you’ll think I hate the idea of love. Believe what you wish, but neither of these assumptions are true. Like I said before, I can’t wait for the day I find my true love. I can’t wait to be able to look a guy in the eyes and say “I love you,” and know that it means “I love you forever.” I can’t wait for a guy to love me, challenge me, and support me every day for the rest of my life. That day will come, but I haven’t lived enough yet.

I’m 21. I have too many stupid decisions to make before I decide my fate. I have the rest of my life to find the guy who gives love a whole new meaning for me. I have the rest of my life to find the guy who wants to share the many adventures of life with me.

That day will come. Just not today.

“Love”

I never get into anything too emotional or personal on my blogs. Sure, I rant about “how to be happy” and things that I have learned about life from my past experiences, but I never get into too much detail about what these “past experiences” are.

I laid in bed all day yesterday due to Saturday night filled of “Beth’s Last Night To Go Out In Amherst” activities…if you catch my drift. So, naturally, I’ve been hanging out chugging water bottles and watching corgi videos on YouTube. When those got old, I switched my attention to another blog, Sparkles and Secrets. I truly admire the author of this blog. Her writing is beautiful and entertaining and as a fellow blogger, I really enjoy reading her stuff. Anyone who has the courage to out their emotionally wrenching (and sometimes humiliating) stories to the world always give me the inspiration to do the same, although I never have, until now. So, thank you Mackenzie Newcomb, your blog gave me the strength to do this.

I don’t like being alone. And I’m not ashamed to say that because I think at least 85% of the girl population would say the same. I am always “talking” to a guy or am in a relationship. That’s just how I am. Do I need men to make me happy? Absolutely not. I am a firm believer in the fact that you have to love yourself before loving anyone else. However, it’s rather flattering to know that someone is attracted enough to you to want to talk you all the time. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t think the same.

What I am about to write is about a past relationship I had, many of my friends know about it and some even experienced the events that took place first hand. I’ll warn you, this is going to be a long one. It’s my story and I think censoring any of my feelings would make me feel worse. I want to get it all out there. I am not writing this in spite, or to “get back” at him, any taste for revenge has been long gone because doing that would only bring back the nightmare that I have tried for so long to get away from. I’m doing this for myself and for the well being of any male or female who can relate to a story like mine and maybe have the courage to escape the situation all together and avoid any emotional scarring. I have changed names and small details for privacy reasons. I’ve tried to tell this story as un-biased as possible, and the purpose of this is NOT a “Bash Your Ex” blog whatsoever. Please try to understand that this is tough part of my life to dive back into but I think it’s important to tell some stories to the world, because in a sense it is kind of relieving. And I know, there are two sides to every story, so this is my side: (the right one..in my eyes)

Meet Joe:

It was the first week of my freshman year at college (I know, I should’ve just started with something even MORE cliche like “one time at band camp..”), and just like any freshman, I was vulnerable and ignorant to the college life all together. Going out to all of these huge parties, being exposed to so many people outside the relatively small, white-dominant town of Braintree was so new and exciting to me. I called more people my “best friends” in my first week of college than I have in my whole life. I’d overexaggerate my drunkenness at times to impress people and made it sure that EVERYONE who follows me on my social media pages knew that I was in COLLEGE and I was having the time of my life. So, basically, I was a stupid and embarrassing freshman.

Some girls and I went to a different dorm to pre-game with some guys that my friend knew. We walked in and thanks to some liquid courage in my system, I made small talk with this one guy. He complimented my dress, and we talked about things that anyone would talk about upon meeting someone for the first time: where we were from (should’ve known the fact that he was from a rival town was an automatic red flag), what we majored in, things like that. He was a year older so I felt pretty cool. And he was cool to talk to, not awkward or shy, seemed really nice and decent guy. He told me my dress was pretty and then from there we acted like a couple for the rest of the night. We danced, held hands, and then I went back to his room that night. Since my friend had known him before hand, I felt pretty comfortable doing so. We didn’t sleep together, but we talked and joked around all night. It was fun. Everything was OK.

I went back to my room the next day and told all my friends about him. I told them how great he was, such a sweetheart, always complimenting me and making me laugh. Granted, this was a drunk interpretation of him, so I’m sure it was heightened, but like I said before, having a guy around to talk to and getting told your pretty is quite satisfying.

I started seeing this kid every day, constantly talking, I guess you could say that I was a little obsessed. But looking back, I think I was just more obsessed with his company rather than him. It was probably 1 week in when he told me he loved me. This kind of took me as surprise, it did seem very early and I hadn’t really gotten to know him that well yet. I sat there in shock unsure of how to react, so I kind of awkwardly laughed. He sat there on his bed and had the most depressed look on his face. So, I said it back, and the smile instantly came back on his face.

The more we hung out, the more I began to realize something was off. I’m not sure if it was the almost-perfect SAT score he told me got, or the ring he “got” me for our one month which was a stolen form his mom’s jewelry box, where I knew this kid had some type of lying problem. But you lie, I lie, we all lie. It’s human nature to spit out something stupid in the moment or just lie to avoid a conflict all together. Seeing as though I lied when I told him I loved him, I let these slide.

I was truly infatuated with him. Talking to him 24/7, eating every meal with him, going to the gym, basically being with him ALL THE TIME. My friends had called me a “house cat” because I would be gone for days at a time. I’m not sure why I would spend so much time with him, because I actually really like spending time by myself, better yet I NEED time to spend by myself. It all felt like too much. But, he made me laugh and liked the sound of my voice, which was nice.

We would always get in small arguments over him lying about something so stupid. I thought I had finally got him to end with the stupid lies, until he told me “Went out of his way all day to get me these gift cards.”-this was 2 weeks into us talking-and I don’t know how I knew, but I knew somethings was fishy about it. Who buys a college girl a Build A Bear gift card? My inner-psycho girl tendencies kicked in and on the way back to my dorm I called the phone numbers that provide the balance on the back of the cards. As I had mentioned before, these gift cards were not new. It wasn’t the money that mattered to me, it was the lying. That was the first screaming fight I had ever gotten in. I screamed so loud that the RA had to come in and tell me to quiet down. What was I turning into? I never scream at people. Well, whatever I was turning into I didn’t like it.

I never wanted to get into an argument like that again. It seriously took everything out of me. He wrote me a love letter through text, and then suddenly everything he did was totally OK. I was suddenly so happy again.

I could get into the all of the arguments we got into but that would take up way too much of mine and your time. They basically started and ended the same way. He lied, we screamed at each other, I’d break up with him then storm away in tears, hating every inch of myself, then he’d construct some type of story to make me feel sorry for him, putting the fault on me, then we’d get back together and act like nothing had ever happened. His enraging eyes would turn into a bright smile, and everything was OK.

Why was I so weak? Perhaps it was the emotional state I was in upon coming into college, dealing with struggles at home. Or, maybe it was the relationship that was making me weak.

When you think about what an “abusive relationship” is, you usually think about bruised arms and a helpless woman crying in the corner. It’s hardly ever connoted to an emotional scarring relationship, which is usually just as bad. But, I’d never allow myself to get into an abusive relationship!!! I’m way stronger than that. Or was I?

It took some time for me to actually admit to myself that I was in a abusive relationship. The first week, it was all smiles. I was in a fantasy world with myself, allowing someone to tear the wall down in front of my heart just because he could make me laugh, which, for those of you who know me, is not that hard to do.

He was obsessed with the gym, which I can’t criticize him for, because first of all, it surely contributed to my 20 pound weight loss as and I am now a gym fanatic myself. I started seeing changes in my body and I was proud of myself. But, it was never good enough for him. I felt judged whenever I would eat something unhealthy in front of him, and I was only allowed “1 treat” a week (am I dog?). When I’d ask him if I looked good (weight loss wise), he’d say yes, but then always end it with something like, but I think you could look better if you did more. I’d spend over 2 hours with him at the gym every day (and yes 7/7 days because if I had to skip one day because of homework I’d get the “you ate a cookie last night” lecture) doing mindless cardio activities because I was just waiting for him to be done lifting weights (who knew lifting took 2.5 hours). I wasn’t paying attention to school, my friends, or anything besides him, for that matter. Everything was OK, though.

The fights continued, and just intensified as the months passed by. I felt myself emotionally breaking down, hating myself. I’d fall asleep every single night wondering, “How can I break up with him without him flipping out?” “How can I escape this relationship that is turning me into a person that I hate?”

Wearing skirts out when Joe wasn’t there was slutty and was a form of cheating.

Yoga pants were frowned upon because other guys would be looking at me.

If I was blonde I would be way prettier. Dark hair didn’t look good.

It was OK that he asked another girl to send him nude pictures, because he was only going to show them to his roommate.

I’d gain all my weight back if I had a bowl of ice cream.

Even though I needed money, getting a job on campus would take up too much of my time, and I didn’t need one.

I wore too much make up.

Joe expecting me to cook him something and then leaving his dirty dishes for me to clean and cater to his every need was perfectly acceptable.

My mom didn’t care about me or love me.

Neither did my dad or sister.

I skipped classes, meals, and fun-friend things, for him. If I chose to do something over hanging out with him, I feared what he would say to me, or if he would be upset. His reaction was always unpredictable and I just didn’t want to deal with it. So I figured if I  just did what he wanted me to do, it would avoid an altercation.

My friends had seen me at my worst. I’d always complain and tell them about the fights we got in, but then the next day I’d show them the cards he made me, or the loving texts and desperately tried to convince them that he was changing, but I was really trying to convince myself. I was trying to convince myself that this guy was a good one, even though I knew he wasn’t even close.

If I didn’t feel like staying over, because I had class in the morning, I’d get a response like, “Ok, but I brought you a smoothie to your room earlier and do a lot for you, and I just don’t think you really appreciate me or care about me and it really hurts me.” I would then pack my bag and head on over, no matter how late it was.

I really don’t know how to describe it. He made me feel like the most amazing girl in the entire world, but made me so miserable at the same time. I had never felt so loved by a guy in my entire life. He told me he wanted to be with my for the rest of his life, and kind of convinced me that I did too. It was never “love.” It was an obsession. And I guess I was kind of guilty of being “obsessed” too.

I broke up with him in February, we broke up pretty much every week, but this time I convinced myself I was serious. About 3 days later I received an email from the President of Joe’s company that he worked for. It said something along the lines of: “Hello Beth, This is ______ from _____ and Joe has been telling me that you needed a summer job. He talks so highly of you that I’d like to offer you a position for the summer, 35 hours a week, $20 an hour plus tips. Let me know what your thoughts are. I emailed all the paperwork to Joe so you two will need to meet to discuss the logistics.” I gasped at my computer screen. It was too good to be true, but I somehow believed it. I mean the email WAS from the guy so how could it be fake? I guess you can bet what happened next: I met up with Joe, did some paperwork, and we got back together.  The next day I even had a phone interview with the President and it seemed legit, so I was pretty excited to start. This story I’ll finish at the end.

The biggest blowout we had was on my birthday. It was on a Thursday and New England weather decided to PMS and snow in the middle of March. So, myself and a few of my friends stayed in and did birthday-like activities. Joe came over to join and things were going great, and eventually we went back to my room. I had never really opened up to him about my personal life or anything that I was dealing with. I spilled the news that my mom was dating a girl and I was really struggling with it (Surprise to everyone who didn’t know that!–and no, that was not the reason my parent’s got divorced, so shush- and my mom still rocks). Normally, when someone tells you something like that, you reply with something sympathetic or at least a nice gesture. His reply “Well, um, doesn’t gay run in the family? So, like, are you  lesbian too?” and then laughed. That was the first time I’ve ever smacked a guy across the face. I told him to get out of my room and never speak to me again. Joe did the thing he’d always do when he’d get upset. He’d clench his fists and start shaking, and make this weird face, and then break down in tears.

He wouldn’t leave. He was scaring the shit out of me and I was stuck in this tiny dorm room with him and he wouldn’t leave. He punched my wall, then threw my phone against it. I tried to get him off my lofted bed, but that would have ended bad for both of us. He eventually left, with the peace of mind that I said “We’d talk about it tomorrow,” although, I was never planning on it. About an hour later, I was still crying. I then felt a bang on my door. I looked through the peep hole, but a finger was blocking it. I knew it was him. I didn’t answer at first, I was absolutely petrified. I had a broken phone, and had no one to contact. I sat in my room trembling, as he continued to bang on the door. He then said “I left my backpack in your room, please babe, I’ll leave right after I promise, I’d never hurt you.” So, naturally, I totally believed this and let him in. What I didn’t know is that I was letting in my worst nightmare. I gave him his backpack and instructed him to leave. He kept asking if we were together, and I said I didn’t know. He got worked up again and punched a wall, then threw his phone against it. I tried to leave, he wouldn’t let me. He held my wrists down to my bed. I was hyperventilating, begging him to let go of me. I said I’d do anything if he’d just let me go. He wouldn’t. Not until I got back together with him. Through my tears, I somehow managed to say “OK.” His hands released from the grasp and a bright smile appeared on his face. Everything was OK again. While I slept, he packed everything for me for spring break, and cleaned my entire room. He posted sticky notes around the room with little compliments on them. It was quite nice to wake up to.  Everything was OK.

That week I had set up an interview to meet with someone at Joe’s company to talk to about the job I had been offered. Me and the President, we’ll call him Adam, had been exchanging emails back and forth since the first one, so I was looking forward to this. Joe came with me, but as soon as I got in the car he mentioned how Adam’s mom passed away and how he couldn’t make it, but Adam said that he wanted Joe to show me around the place. Although I had woken up early, missed out on a party the night before with my friends, and gotten dressed up for it, everything was OK.

Things were surprisingly going pretty well with Joe. I mean, I wouldn’t say I was happy, but we weren’t arguing, something that I avoided more than anything. I got back to school after break and set up another interview with Adam. It was on a Saturday so I spent $40 on a Peter Pan bus to head back to Boston for this interview. Joe came with me as well. I went into the interview thinking that he was just going to tell me my schedule and when I would start. I was mistaken. It wasn’t Adam who I talked to, it was some other guy so had NO idea who I was and he had no idea that I had been in contact with Adam. Strange. The interview ended as any normal one does, “We’ll call you if we’d like to hire you.”

The phone call never came, but I had the job, right? It was a week before my summer break began and I put it upon myself to call them. I did and the man I spoke to at the interview said “We’re sorry, we’ve chosen other candidates for this position, but we’ll keep your application on file. And by the way, I’m not sure who you talked to but I spoke to Adam and he said he never spoke to a Beth. Must have been a miscommunication.” My heart sank. Not only was I unemployed for the summer, but I had fallen for one of Joe’s masterfully crafted bullshit lies. I had always questioned it, but it seemed serious. I kept trying find reasons to think this was one big lie, but I couldn’t. I later found out he was using a prank email website to act like he was the boss emailing me, but it was Joe the entire time. One of his sick, twisted, tactics to get me in a room alone, and tell me that I was nothing without him, and I could never do better so I had to stay with him.

I broke down crying in the library. Was I crying because I didn’t have a job? No. I was crying because I was ashamed of myself. I was ashamed that I had let myself get so deep into a relationship that I was so unhappy with. I was crying because even though both my head and my heart were telling me no, I kept it going. I was crying because I let this stupid douche bag make me feel worthless and question who I wanted to become.

I was in one of the private study rooms, and Joe was on his way to bring me lunch like he did every Tuesday/Thursday. He saw my tears and immediately knew. He knew he was caught red handed. He did the “Joe thing” again. Shaking, quivering lips, pacing, clenched fists when I told him what had happened. I told him I was done and to never speak to me again, and this time I knew I meant it. But then, he wouldn’t let me leave. He blocked the doorway to exit the study room and had an enraged look in his eye that brought me back to my birthday night. I dreaded that look. I broke down crying, but tried to keep it quiet because we were in a public setting. I escaped and went to the girls bathroom to wash my face. He followed me to the bathroom, and although he didn’t come into the bathroom, I could still feel his presence, which terrified me. I called my mom and told her what happened and that I was scared. I waited in the bathroom for 15 minutes and then just figured he had left. I was wrong. He waited outside of the bathroom. He then followed me all the way back to the dorms, and I was still on the phone with my mom, narrating every detail to her. My mom was just as scared as I was. She told me to go into the safest building, and since it was a Saturday, nothing was open. The walk from the library to my dorm was under 10 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime. He took a different path, but then appeared. He was harassing me, kept asking to talk to my mom, basically talking nonsense. A few threats were thrown at me, but I did make it back to my dorm area safe. It was then when he came up behind me and grabbed my arm and ripped my phone out of my hand, hanging up on my mom. He still had that enraged look in his eye, I knew I needed to get away. Somebody from above was looking down on me that day, because as he was threatening to kill me, and himself, I saw two of my friends. He told me “Don’t you dare go to your friends.” Obviously I didn’t listen to him, and ran to them, snagging my phone out of his hands on the way. Joe continued to harass me and follow me until I went into my dorm and immediately to the Resident Directors office, shutting the door behind me.

Oh–and that “phone interview” I had, was his friend.

There was legal things involved, he got charged with various violations of the Code of Conduct, but I won’t get into that.

If you made it all the way to this point, congrats, that was a long one. But again, this post is not to slander Joe. I’ve mentioned this before, but writing is my escape. I write to be happy, I  write to cope, and I write to move on.  And writing about this is always something I wanted to do, but I never had the courage. His presence still scares me. We see each other on campus occasionally, and I get this weird uneasy feeling, although we have not been in contact in about 2 years.

I know he has a new girlfriend now, they started dating less than a month after we broke up. And I truly hope he treats her with the respect that she deserves. Joe did do a lot for me, he’d do a lot of things to make me happy, but there was always a hidden agenda.

After reading this, you probably see me as weak. Many of my closest friends don’t even understand why I stayed with someone like him. But you don’t get it until it happens to you. It’s a trap with no escape. Getting told every single day that “I could never do better,” “I wasn’t good enough,” and, “No one will ever love me as much as Joe did” sticks with you. It gets injected into your mind in some twisted and fucked up way. One moment they’re making you so happy and the next moment they have you thinking that you are the worst human being on this planet. It’s an abusive relationship. They give you false hopes for a better tomorrow, a false hope that they’ll change because “they love you that much.”

This extends beyond Joe. This extends to anyone who has ever let someone make them feel like they’re not good enough. I’ll tell you one thing, you ARE good enough. If you are happy with yourself, then that’s all that matters, don’t let some jackass tell you otherwise. NEVER ever ever ever settle for less than you deserve, in any aspect of your life, because you’ll end up feeling like a helpless piece of shit like I did.

I’d actually like to thank Joe. Thank him for making me realize what I most certainly don’t deserve. I’m not the skinniest girl on earth, I have plenty of flaws that I’d like to fix, but I’m happy. I’m happy with the choices I make and the people I choose to associate myself with. The fact that I let someone tell me otherwise makes me sick. Never do that. Never let a guy change the person you are, because you rock just the way are.

I met one of the most amazing guys in the world, and we’ve been happy together for over 7 months. And I appreciate him more because I know the bottom of the barrel feels like. I don’t have to fake a smile, fake an “I love you,” or fake anything for that matter with him. He’s awesome. I’m genuinely happy and I love it. So, YES Joe,  I did do better than you (although that’s not too difficult), and I did find someone who does things to put a smile on my face just because he enjoys to, not to burden me with it later down the road. He likes me with brown or blonde hair, doesn’t think its gross when I sweat at the gym like you did, and thinks I’m the hottest girl around. I love him for many reasons, but I mainly love him because he makes me a better version of myself, something you, Joe, never did.

So moral of the story: When a guy tells you he loves you after a week of meeting you, don’t walk or run, SPRINT THE FUCK OUT OF THERE. Kidding, kind of. But in all seriousness, please take what I said and try to apply it to your life. If you are talking to a guy that makes you feel like shit, say sayonara to that asshole, because, sweetheart, you can do better. You’ll find the guy that makes you feel like a princess, I promise. Don’t rush into anything because you feel forced to. Be honest with yourself and your heart.

What I learned: Love is amazing, so love the people who love who you are. Always put your friends first because friends are awesome and cool. Rushing into a relationship is one of the worst things you can do, so take your time, if the guy matters, he’ll wait for you. Any guy that expects you to pick up after him is a loser. Don’t say “I love you” unless you mean it, use those words wisely because when you say it to someone that you actually do love, it’ll feel that much better. And for those wondering, smacking a guy across the face is just as satisfying as it sounds.

Joe- When you glare at me at the gym: yes I still workout (Wow! Shocker! Because you had me thinking I NEEDED you to have the motivation to do so!)  yes, I still occasionally wear those Nike sneakers you got me (Sorry not sorry?)  and no, I don’t give a flying fuck if you stare at me.

And no, Joe, “gay” does not run in the family. You’re an idiot.

Disclaimer-If you find yourself in a relationship like this, tell someone. Don’t let it go ignored. The best thing I could’ve ever done was talked to someone, and got law enforcement involved. My university was EXTREMELY helpful and understanding, and it most certainly gave me a peace of mind. Silence is a virtue, but it can be your worst enemy too.

I do highly recommend you check out Mackenzie’s blog. It’s awesome. Here’s the link: http://sparklesandsecrets.com/