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.
(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?)