Another rambly “vomit your feelings” post today – grab that cuppa and get comfortable, it’s going to be a long one. My now-ex-boyfriend and I ended an almost-2-year relationship yesterday.
“Geez girl, at least give yourself some time to wallow before you write about it on your blog!”
I know, I know. Funnily enough, I’m in a mood to let it go Elsa style and writing is something I have always turned to when I’ve felt this way. So, that is exactly what I’m going to do today.
Where do I even begin? You know, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see it coming. Someone very wise once said that ignorance is bliss, and they were absolutely spot on. Another very wise person also said that you get what you put up with in life. My not-so-wise brain is currently making that “I told you so” face and telling me that you won’t listen to these things until you go through them yourself and learn the hard way.
For anonymity purposes, I’ll be referring to Mr. Ex in the rest of this post as R. You know, because confidentiality and I’m not a complete asshole.
Let’s start from the beginning. R and I met around 2 years ago. We seemed to hit it off immediately and what struck me most about it was the way we clicked and how easy it was for us to talk to each other. There was never an awkward moment where we struggled to think of something to say, and the silences always felt comfortable. Being someone who struggles to open up to people in general, this was a major factor in the attraction/chemistry/whatever it was at the time, and I had not felt this way with anyone I’d dated before that. Naturally, I allowed myself to get carried along with it to see where it could go and, dare I say it – I desperately wanted it to work.
Bit of background – at the time, I was at the end of my first year of uni and long story short, I was not feeling my best. I had made a decision to take a major career turn from doing something I had been training in for over half my life to something in a completely different field – maybe I’ll talk more about this in another post one day. I wasn’t enjoying my course, I found the material difficult and I didn’t exactly have many friends I could confide in either. In a nutshell, my self-esteem was at an all-time low and I was feeling very vulnerable and lonely.
Call it what you will, but in some ways, I think R came into my life precisely at this point for this reason.
We started off as friends and things progressed naturally from there. We soon found out that despite having vastly different backgrounds and tastes, we had a lot in common when it came to beliefs and personality traits. We became exclusive not long after, and my self confidence blossomed. My uni grades were unrecognisable compared to what they were in first year, and I started doing more things with my life and trying new things – like starting this blog. I was a happier person, and this difference in myself was something I was enjoying very much.
It wasn’t all rosy. We had our fair share of arguments along the way and looking back now, these all stemmed from little red flags that had popped up over time. Anyone who knows me in real life will know that I can’t function without my glasses, but I saw these red flags. Loud and clear. Somehow, I ignored them and just carried on with things the way they were. The only times when they surfaced were when they got to me and it came out in a conversation, and we argued about it. Again, I found myself just accepting them and ploughing forwards with the relationship.
Things always carried on after each argument and it was great. We had our little glossary of in-jokes, favourite spots in the city to spend time together and we knew and loved each other’s quirks (well, at least I thought I did). He was always there for me when I went through ups and downs in life, and would always take time out from his life to make sure I was okay no matter what. I like to think I did the same and supported him through life’s obstacles. Nevertheless, there was always that niggling voice in the back of my mind that something wasn’t quite right. Time and time again, I pushed that voice aside and put it down to my natural tendencies to overthink things. I wanted to believe him when he told me he loved me more. I wanted to believe that he would come round to things. So, everything carried on as normal and I was happy as can be.
Fast forward to 2 years later from that day we met. Out of the blue, he dropped a major bomb on me. A major, relationship-changing bomb that shook me to my core. The kind that makes you question everything – your judgment, your values, your standards – and what exactly you’ve gotten yourself into.
The following two weeks were some of the most uncomfortable weeks of my life. Strangely, I was insanely productive and ripped through my uni lecture material. This was clearly an attempt to distract myself from what was happening in my relationship – however, the more I avoided thinking about it, the more fervently it came back to bite at night when I was in bed, in the dark with myself and my thoughts. So, I let my emotions and thoughts flow instead of fighting them. We had agreed to take some space (god I hate that word so much) from each other to process things, and my brain’s initial reaction when the bomb dropped was to stop wasting my time with him and run as fast as I could. The initial wave of anger soon passed, and “drop it like a hot coal” slowly turned into “maybe we have a chance at fixing things”. I found myself googling articles on how to forgive a lying partner and how to know if you should break up with someone. I had even written myself a table of pros and cons about the relationship, as well as a list of actions I wanted us to take together as a couple if he was willing to work through things with me and fight for what we had.
What a waste of time.
The way he’d handled the incident for the two weeks between the bomb drop and when we met up yesterday had told me everything I needed to know. In fact, this was worse than the actual bomb drop, mostly because in my heart of hearts, I knew it was something that would happen no matter how much I hoped it wouldn’t. It was as if all those red flags I’d spotted over the past two years had been highlighted in neon yellow over the past two weeks, and I could not ignore them any longer. Just as I’d expected, he avoided it every time I tried to initiate a meet-up in person to talk about things. Multiple tries were met with general sidestepping of the issue and claims of feeling weird about it, or not knowing if he could face me. Eventually, I made one last push for it and I don’t know what made him finally find the balls to face me, but he did.
The conversation went fairly predictably. I told him where I stood and how the incident had made me feel. He told me how he felt and why he did what he did. I told him that I didn’t want any more “space” and I just wanted us to be able to make a decision that we would be able to commit to 100%, right there and then. It wasn’t fair on either of us to prolong the stress, and skirting around the issue wasn’t going to do it any good. I told him my thought process that had led me to considering forgiveness as a possibility, and that I was open to it if he was.
Well, you know how it went.
In some ways, this made things a lot easier for me. Seeing how he could walk away so easily from me after all this, the claims that he’d never felt this way about any of the girls he’d dated, the late night calls in bed, the lovely texts for me to wake up to the next morning where he would leave me long messages telling me how he felt about me – this all makes it so much easier. (Yes, present tense.) This tendency of his to run away from problems as well as what he claimed was so special – it was the final straw that gave me that much-needed kick up the ass.
What hurt the most is the fact that I loved someone who clearly didn’t love me enough to want to fight for me, even when offered the chance.
It was like all the red, neon-yellow-highlighted flags had all been lit on fire at once and were being waved in my face like an Olympic torch. Specsavers, here I come.
You know, it’s strange how much better I feel today. Maybe I’m in denial in my determination to carry on living my life to the best without needing him, maybe I’m just sick and tired of stressing out over someone who was not worth it, maybe this is a desperate bid to hold off that inevitable loneliness that will kick in when I want to tell someone silly details about my day and I can no longer turn to him. Maybe my feelings had subconsciously eroded so much over time that this was the final push I needed to end things. Or maybe I just never felt as much for him as I thought I did in the first place.
Nevertheless, I’ve decided that I’m not going to waste time second-guessing. I’m not going to speculate over why he did what he did, nor about why I allowed it to carry on for so long despite being aware of all the red flags. Worrying about it means dwelling on him unnecessarily and compromising on my own mental health in the process – when I should be using that energy to fuel my goals in life and carry on reaching for success in the things that ARE worth it.
This being said, I can’t honestly say that I’m over him. At least not yet. I know I’m not and I’m not going to pretend I am. Despite everything that happened, the bad things don’t invalidate the good times we had together. However, I am going to be firm with myself in a way I never was when we were together – it’s time for me to learn to be less tolerant with warning signs I see, to avoid getting myself into situations where I’m much more invested than the other person is, to not settle for any less than I deserve, and to be with someone who is proud to be with me and takes the initiative to share me with the people in his life. It’s time for me to look after myself.
So, to R – if you’re reading this, just know that I don’t hate you for anything. I’m actually grateful to you. I’m grateful to you for the good things we shared, the memories I have, for the way you supported my endeavours and the way you were there to support me through the highs and lows. I’m grateful to you for being an incredible friend to me over the past two years, and I know that I would not be in the position that I am in now without you – this would also have been significantly harder on me, had I not gained that confidence which has put me in much better stead than I was two years ago. You have also taught me a lot of valuable lessons about myself, and you have helped show me the standards I should be setting for myself with anyone I get involved with. I genuinely wish you all the success in your career and everything else that is important to you, and I have every confidence that you will meet someone who is much more right for you than I am – ALL of you.
Now, I don’t want people to be bashing him in the comments below – please refrain from that. At the end of the day, he is who he is. I’m just glad we didn’t drag this out for longer, where the level of investment into the relationship may have come with much harsher consequences further down the line. It just took me a little longer to realise how he was all sorts of not right for me, but I got there in the end. And that’s okay.
Meanwhile, I’m going to be treating myself to a lovely weekend and I’m going to take care of myself – I have a cardio workout and a girly film night planned. My student who came this morning is doing fantastically well, and I am so proud of her for how much dedication she has. I am going to take this opportunity to build better relationships with my friends and family, and to value them for the support they have shown me – you know who you are. Besides, a PR package of some delightful hair care stuff came for me in the post this morning – I can’t wait to get stuck in and a review will be coming soon!
Last but not least, thank you to all of you who read my blog. Whether you’re new here or you’ve been reading my posts for a while, I am more grateful than you know for each and every one of you. If anyone has stories they particularly wish to share, or anything they fancy talking about, put it in the comments below – I love a chat. Thank you for reading this, and remember – you’re worth it. You go girl.