The past five or so months, while being a period of enormous personal growth that I’m thankful for, has been a tumultuous back and forth with the boy situation. It has only been in MY mind though. My dear friends, all of them, have been unanimous in their disapproval of him from the beginning. After yet another episode of heartbreak and disappointment which culminated in me sitting outside my apartment in the car with my two best friends at 1 am, still agonizing over staying or leaving, my friends asked me why I loved him. “Cause of all these reasons”, I said, showing them the last post. They patiently explained to me how those were just romanticized versions of non-reasons I was creating in my mind as excuses for his behavior. That hit home. Why did I have the need to make these excuses for him? Why were my standards so low? Suddenly, I remembered why.
Now this may sound very Amy Schumer, but this is my truth. I remember this one time when I woke up next to S when we were together, about 5 years in, I found him watching me. “Why are you looking at me like that? I asked. “Cause you’re beautiful”, he said. I remember this so vividly because this was the only time he called me beautiful during the eight years we were together. And I remember being overjoyed! Finally! Maybe now he will think I’m pretty enough to be his wife (I know, I wanna give twenty three year old me a hug too, after first smacking her in the head that is). You see, I asked S out. More like confessed/blurted out my li’l crush on him as he was trying to set me up with his friend. He said no at first because he had feelings for another girl at the time. A week later he told me he was beginning to like me. That’s how we started dating. Since then, he’s changed me so much, in terms of physical appearance, like Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. We worked on my hairstyle, clothes, vocabulary, perfumes and more. So I was never really sure if he actually found me attractive. Why would he change anything about me if he liked how I looked?
And him being very vague about his intentions for the future did not help either. For eight years I waited and hoped for S to propose. I wasn’t even allowed to bring up the topic – he would get angry. I accepted that, wanting to be the cool, non -crazy gf, thinking at the time if I just make myself just a little better, I may become that girl soon enough. I cringe at my naivete. I now know that soon enough was never going to happen.
So when J started talking about marriage in two weeks you can imagine how that little twenty three year old in me must have felt. Every time he called me beautiful, I clung to the emotions that brought on, mostly of relief. I was lovable after all! Someone did think I was good enough fo be their wife.
J was saying to me exactly the things what I was waiting to hear for almost a decade.
‘Saying’ being the operative word.
I couldn’t hold back the tears once this realization came upon me. Is this why I was putting up with everything J was doing or not doing?
“You deserve to not be left hanging for two days”, M said. “You deserve the good morning text, the random check-ins, being asked about your day. You deserve to not be put in physical danger. As we see it, even if the guy after him is much better, he’s still not gonna be good enough for you as far as we’re concerned.” But life has been so hard on him, I reasoned. What if he’s actually a good guy I’m about to hurt?Patiently, for what seemed like the hundredth time, my friends explained to me that that was not the case, what I deserved, what was out there that this was holding me back from.
My friends asked me to make them a list of reasons why I should not be with J. It’ll help me forget him faster, they said, stop wanting to text him all the time. Yes, I will, I promised. So here goes:
1. He does not treat me well.