Never Mind.

Well, this is awkward.

It’s nearly 1 a.m. and I just installed the WordPress app on my phone for the exclusive purpose of writing this post. But I couldn’t sleep, and I needed to write (and didn’t want to turn my computer on), so here we are.

I got broken up with tonight. Dumped. Kicked to the curb.

It’s over.

(In other news, from here on out any and all future boyfriends are staying OFF THE BLOG. I knew I would jinx it! Haha.)

If I’m being completely honest with myself and you, I wasn’t blindsided. In fact, I had invited my boyfriend over tonight because I wanted to talk. Things had not been feeling right for me for weeks, to the point where nearly every time I hung out with him I found myself feeling incredibly upset. I’ve had more massive crying fits in the past few weeks than I had ever had in my life, including this time last year when I mentally absolutely hit rock bottom. I may be no relationship expert, but it seemed to me like this wasn’t how relationships were supposed to make you feel. 

I blamed absolutely everything under the sun for my emotionalness of late. I thought I had suddenly developed an extreme case of introversion, where I simply could not be around other people…until it happened when I was just with him. I blamed the weather, thinking that I often fall into a February funk, and despite a surprising abundance of sunshine last month, perhaps the constant single digit and subzero temperatures had done me in. I blamed my birth control, and even got my doctor to take me off it, which was great…until the first time I hung out with him post-BC, and still totally lost it.

That happened this past Friday. I cried and I cried and I cried, unlike I’ve cried in front of another person in years. I said that this keeps happening, and I thought I had gotten it under control, but clearly I was wrong. He asked, “What sets you off?”

I didn’t have it in me to tell him it was always and only him. 

(Oh hello there, ENORMOUS RED FLAG WITH FLASHING NEON LIGHTS AND SIRENS. Please don’t mind as I oh-so casually ignore you for the sake of preserving this clearly floundering relationship for all of an additional 72 hours.)

I journaled for a very long time on Saturday, trying to figure out what was going on with me. I came to a lot of conclusions, chief among them: I am wildly insecure. (Other conclusions I came to that day: the sky is blue. The grass is green. I.e.: this was hardly an earth-shattering realization on my part. I’ve known I was insecure since before I think I even knew how to spell insecure.) I needed a little more reassurance that this was going to work, and while telling my diary all that was an ok place to start, it really would be much more effective to tell, you know, my boyfriend.

There was a small voice in the back of my head that said, “You know, Bethany, maybe all of these things that you are interpreting as him having lost interest really DO mean that.” But my gut, oddly enough, said no. My gut said, “Shut up, anxiety brain. You’re not welcome here.”

So he came over last night. We made small talk. He left to go to the bathroom. I practiced my speech so I could deliver it with convincing eloquence when he returned.

He came back. I asked if he felt better. He said, “Not really.”

And then he broke up with me. 

(Before I even got to deliver my highly rehearsed, painstakingly revised speech. What an ass. 😛 )

I got angry. Blindingly angry. Punch my bed and say “f*ck” a lot angry.

We sat in silence. 

Then I got sad. Ugly cry sad. Desperate sad. 

We sat in silence.

Then I delivered my speech, because man, I spent too many commutes not reading this new book I’m really into and practicing what I was going to say to not deliver it, you know? Like, what a waste of my time would that have been? I even expanded upon it, added details: “I sat right there, right there with my back against the dresser and cried, even though I had wanted to watch the Oscars. And then I went over there, and sat on that spot of the floor, and pretended I was talking to you.” Because I figured why not?

We sat in silence. 

We looked at each other for a long time. I refused to be the one to break the stare, because I didn’t mind making him squirm, making him feel uncomfortable. He said he wished I had said all those things earlier over the course of a few weeks.

(Pro tip: this is a shitty thing to say to someone you just dumped. Don’t instill false hope or unnecessary regret just to fill the silence, you know?)

We were not friends before our relationship. We never knew each other outside the context of dating the other person. We talked about the likelihood of us having a friendship outside of this, but I think in our heart of hearts we both knew when he walked out my door, we would never see each other again. That friendship, even casually, was extremely unlikely. So I didn’t say see you later. I didn’t say until next time. 

I said goodbye.

And then I returned directly to my room and called my best friend, who both talked me through the next hour while I cried, and provided some shockingly accurate insight, considering how little my best friend actually knew about our relationship. 

That him breaking up with me because of fundamental character traits of mine reflects far worse on him than it does on me. 

That, realistically, we had nothing in common aside from each other, and the fact that we both usually go to church on Sunday mornings.

That he seemed less interested in actually learning and adapting to how I function and thrive as a person, in meshing our lives together, than he was in attempting to force this square into his proverbial circle, if you will–bringing me along for his ride, instead of asking where I wanted to go and if we could find a nice compromise.

That just because he was good on paper (and oh, was he ever good on paper. Tall, attractive, an engineer with a penchant for the creative, a Christian with social views that fit my own, outgoing, incredibly optimistic…) did not at all mean he would be good in real life.

And that, more than anything, I have many, many people who love me, exactly as I am. 

Real talk: never having a boyfriend before took a major, major toll on my self-confidence. I know we all have our own insecurity demons (if you don’t, I have more than enough to go around, and would be happy to share if you’d like), but this was one of my biggest ones. It’s not that I never had a boyfriend before because I was so picky, or because my standards were so high. I never had a boyfriend because no one had ever liked me like that, or at least not enough to do anything about it. I never turned down a potential boyfriend. I didn’t have anyone to turn down. 

That was extraordinarily difficult for me, especially as I watched many of my childhood and college friends get married. Despite my occasional bravado, this fact made me feel utterly worthless — like I had failed as a human being to do the one thing I was biologically meant to do: attract someone. Anyone. I felt, truly, like a waste of life. 

That’s a pretty rough way to feel about yourself. It wasn’t constant, of course, but I have spent an embarrassing amount of mental and emotional energy trying to figure out what made me so exceptionally unattractive. I’m not pretty enough. I’m not thin enough. I’m not fun enough. I’m not outgoing enough. I’m not loud enough. I don’t party enough. I don’t dream enough. I don’t thrive in crowds enough. Pick an adjective, pick a noun, any one you could think of: I was not anything enough, so of course no one liked me. Why would they? I was worthless.

Oh, but my best friend. My beloved, beloved best friend. Without even needing to say any of that to fish for compliments, my best friend said, “I’ve said it many times before, and I’ll say it again: I love you. I love you exactly how you are.”

And you know, it’s kind of terrible, but that had never even occurred to me before he said it. That there ARE people–not just mythological “there’s a better guy out there for you somewhere” people, but real, living, breathing human beings in my life right now–who DO love me. Who don’t see me as someone who needs to change. Who don’t see my character as a roadblock to a relationship with me. Who can look me in the eye and say, “Bethany, I love you and accept you.”

And my God, what a blessing that is.

I anticipate that today will be tough (if for no other reason than that I’ll be lucky to clock four hours of sleep tonight. Oof.). Tomorrow may not be the best either. But realistically, I saw this a mile away. I have known, deep down–even though I fought tooth and nail to deny it–that this was coming since the end of January, and certainly since mid-February (Starved Rock, though beautiful, was actually a pretty lousy weekend for me, and definitely the beginning of what I ultimately knew would be the end. I left that weekend thinking we needed to break up, but hoping I was wrong.). It could have been so, so much worse. 

I know I’m breaking every blog rule (and probably some good human behavior rules) in the book right now. I’m not supposed to put up picture-free posts, especially two in a row (so gonna lose my WordPress domain for that. Haha.) I’m CERTAINLY not supposed to blog a breakup, or anything personal like that. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCE should I openly admit that I have a world of insecurity issues for all the Internet to see. 

But I’m doing it anyway (because I pay like $26 a year or something for this corner of the Internet, darn it, and here we follow MY rules!), because I think it’s important. I think it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes life goes right, but sometimes it goes very, very wrong. And that’s okay. That’s what makes it life. That’s what creates our stories. That’s what makes us who we are. 

And maybe, someday, someone else will be up at 2 a.m., unable to sleep with a broken heart (or even a cracked heart, which is more of how I feel). And maybe they’ll pull out their phone or their computer or their tablet, and maybe somehow they’ll find this post. And in case they do:

You, whoever you are. I want to pause right now and list off five people who love you. Family, friends, your dog (they absolutely count as people), whoever.

These people see you. These people know you. These people fell in love with you because of who you are as a human being. Not because of your credentials. Not because of your kickass abs or your shiny hair or your clear skin or your 5K time or your job title.

Because of you.

Don’t ever forget that, even in this darkest of moments. You. Are. Loved. 

If you’d like to throw me a pity party, by all means: be my guest. Don’t let me stop you 😛 General thoughts are also welcome. As for the tire slashing party mentioned in the Starved Rock post, I think we should save that until my now ex-boyfriend gets his new car (I’M KIDDING OH MY GOD I’M KIDDING. Let’s not commit any acts of vandalism, okay?)

24 thoughts on “Never Mind.

  1. Hey, Bethany, I can totally relate. I had my first real relationship last year and the last month before we broke up I was actually miserable because I was so afraid of having “the talk” and scaring him away that it ultimately ended in his breaking up with me before I could give the speech. I didn’t sleep for two days; I called out of work. I kept replaying the conversation and relationship over and over in my mind. We weren’t friends before either, and even though he said we could be after, it still has never happened. It sucks, and hurts and is definitely not easy, but hang in there, girl. If we all married our first boyfriends, how would we ever know what we actually like in a person if we only knew one type? Keep company with friends and have lots of late night chats with them, even if they do involve mourning the boy; eventually you’ll realize you are so much happier without him. And it’s his loss.

  2. Oh, man. I’ve been there. And, yes, it SUCKS. It sucks so much. But your best friend said some amazing things to you and I’m glad you listened. Heck, those are things that everyone needs to hear no matter if they just got dumped or not. They’re just especially helpful when you do get dumped 🙂

    As for tire slashing, I’ve never been that kind of gal. Now, burning pictures? That I’ll do 🙂

  3. Hey, I’m super sorry to hear about the way that all went. The first thing that struck me actually was: how refreshing, someone actually opening up and posting real shit when crap goes wrong! I’m a big advocate of transparency both in real life communication and virtual communication (blogs etc). I understand why the ettiquette is there, so that others don’t feel uncomfortable, but screw that. Second thing I thought was: at least you knew something was wrong. Trust your gut. Some people really do get blindsided because they don’t pay attention and don’t acknowledge their unhappiness as something important or a red flag. That’s good to note. Kinda basic stuff for introspective people like yourself, but still, rocket science for most non introspective people. Third thing I thought: relationships come at those times when you’re so in love with yourself and what you’re doing you’re not paying attention or invested in commuting to one. Successful relationships stay when you stay in love with yourself (and/or your partner helps you love yourself and see your awesomeness more in a way that sticks internally). Its a process of course, but I’ve found, as have most, that if you are so busy being awesome and having fun with YOU, people are drawn to that. Introverted, extroverted, fit or not, doesn’t matter. And yes, love the people who love you as you are because those people are gems! You should be part of that crowd. You’re awesome from my standpoint, and thank you for this post. I’m trying to let go of a guy who let go of me (still in love with his ex), so this was relatable and timely.

  4. I read this and just felt so awful. I’m SO sorry. Like so, so sorry. That is the worst and was my biggest fear as well when I started writing about other people in my life on the blog. I always tell my friends the same thing whenever they recently go through a breakup: “You don’t want to be with somebody who doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you.” It’s also what I used last year when I got royally screwed over by someone at the running store, and what i told myself when the guy I visited in Missouri (aka my best friend and the first person I ever really “loved”) dropped off the face of the earth without any explanation. In a weird way, it helps to look at it that way. You have the right attitude about all of this. You do have people that love YOU for who you are. I love your honesty in your posts and relate entirely to just about all of them. I completely understand that insecurity- I STILL have it since this is technically my first relationship as well and I’m dating someone several years older than I am. It’s intimidating. And like you, have spent several nights in tears (for various changes happening aka a pseudo long-distance relationship) which doesn’t happen very often as I’m not a super emotional person.

    Anyways, I just want to say I’m thinking of you and I know someone will find this post when they need it most. Actually, I should probably save it for myself because who knows… it could be me next. Maybe slashing tires isn’t the best idea, but we can all eat some cake/cookies/ice cream in your honor 😉

  5. BIG HUGS, Bethany!!! I’ve been there and it is an awful feeling. (Regarding the tire slashing, two music videos come to mind – “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson, plus “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. Let’s just say that I watched Kelly Clarkson’s video more times than I care to admit after I went through a break-up…)

    Your best friend, Erin, Lia, and PickyRunner all said a lot of what I would say in this situation – so I’m not going to repeat everything. But what I will repeat, because it so bears repeating, is that YOU ARE LOVED FOR BEING YOU! You have done nothing wrong! Just because things didn’t work out is by NO MEANS a reflection on you. He just wasn’t the right guy for you.

    In the meantime, take extra good care of yourself. Do things that you especially enjoy, surround yourself with friends and family that you love, try to get as much rest as you can. I am thinking of you!!!

    MORE HUGS!!!

  6. Bethany,
    Wow. This was such a powerful post. Who the hell cares that there were no pictures lol I know I certainly do not. My favorite part of this is that it seems like you took your journal, rewrote the words on here, and hit publish. That’s the kind of things that we want to read. I love getting to know you like this.
    First and foremost, breakups are the worst. Mine was a little different in that we were together for four years, but that last year I had that SAME gut feeling, the one where you just know in your heart of hearts it’s not going to work out. Where you picture yourself raising kids with that person and you don’t like the picture you see. Giving yourself 100% to one person and then having your gut screaming at you from the inside begging you to let it go is the worst feeling ever. You constantly think “it’ll get better” or “he’ll finally start to understand where I’m coming from.” But it never happens. You’re so right in the way that you phrased it — someone can be all right on paper, but at the end of the day you can’t push a square into a circle.
    I’m furious that he said “I wish you had told me this sooner” too — what a cowardly thing to say. Because if you’re anything like me, that ONE phrase will repeat itself in your anxiety-ridden brain for MONTHS. My ex-boyfriend claimed that our breakup came out of nowhere. But I just wanted to scream and say “how could you possibly me 100% invested in this relationship the way I am and NOT have noticed how miserable I’ve been?” It’s a blame game. Even when you’re both good people. But at the end of the day, it was going to happen whether or not you shared those feelings earlier, so hopefully you don’t rest too hard on those thoughts. I hope you’re getting better day by day. It sounds like you have a really awesome support system around you. The minute I started my new job I realized that my new friends loved me for everything I am — the good and the bad — and they just wanted to help me improve the bad things for myself…they weren’t going anywhere just because I had some things to work on. We all have things to work on. It’s about finding a partner who is also willing to be vulnerable, share his feelings, and try to grow with you. Hopefully we’ll both find that soon 🙂 and if worst comes to worst, I heard Grouper is back in Chicago. Considering I haven’t been on a date since July, this might be something to consider. Once we come out of hibernation….haha

    Oh, by the way, I LOVE YOU 🙂

  7. Well that sucks. I’m sending you hugs. Break-ups are never easy no matter what side of it you are on. I love how you bring it back to you are loved. Because you shouldn’t have to change yourself for other people.

    I wanted to mention this too because I feel like it is worth saying–sometimes relationships just don’t work out. Not because it was a failure and not because it necessarily reflects the two people in the relationship. It just didn’t work and that’s okay!

    Keep fighting those doubts and inner demons!

  8. I’m so sorry Bethany. Break ups are the absolute worst. My last serious relationships was for 4 years but that whole last year we were both miserable. I ended up being the one to end things because I knew he never would, and it was very hard at first. It took us about 2 years to be able to see each other, but now we are able to hang out and talk like old friends. I guess what I am trying to say is, it gets better and keep your head up chica! He didn’t deserve an awesome girl like you anyways. Now go eat a cupcake and conquer the world! 🙂

  9. I’ve been wanting to comment since you posted this but life kept de-railing me. Sorry for the delayed comment! First of all, I’m so sorry to hear about this painful situation you had to go through. Breakups are never ever ever easy, and they’re not supposed to be. And the longer you’ve been with someone, the longer it takes to get over the entire situation. It’s painful, emotionally draining, and….completely necessary for us to grow and figure out who we are. Despite your anxiety and proclivity to stress, you’re truly such a strong woman and I have no doubts that you’ll pull through this in due time. I’ve learned so much from my past two serious relationships and I wouldn’t take back the experience for anything, even though one of the relationships was extremely hurtful and negative. The beauty of life and interacting romantically with people is the opportunity to identify what we ultimately want out of our future with someone. And that takes time, breakups and all. Sending big hugs your way dear!!!! ❤

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  11. Catching up on your blog. Very well written and very aprpeciated. Most of the time a pictureless post is frowned upon because it is rare to have compelling content (let’s be honest). This post does not, in any way, fall into that. Insightful and poignant. And you’ll find your little corner in the world, as well as someone to share it with. These things take time. And, on the off chance that you don’t, you still have many people surrounding you that love you dearly 🙂

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