Written by anonymous
My sister always said, “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.”
But when I told her that I was hung up on a guy who’d never claimed me as his own, her response was different.
‘Then you shouldn’t like him,” she said.
I’ve never been one to play by the rules, and this time was no different. I liked him, and here’s why: He held my hand in public. He overlooked my tummy rolls. He was great looking. He took me on dates. He bought me drinks. He made me laugh.
But not once did he tell me he liked me.
He did, however, tell me I gave great head – and another time he told me that my nipple piercing was hot.
It hurt me that we weren’t together, but the pain was self-inflicted. I convinced myself that titles didn’t matter because they ruin everything, which proved to be true with my previous boyfriend. I told myself that we weren’t meant to be and that maybe things would be different had I not been preparing to move two hours away. I allowed the good feelings that he caused to outweigh how he should have been treating me.
I turned the other cheek on his failure to commit. I feared that if he knew what I really wanted from him he would run.
We live in a world where instant gratification prevails and we seek to find an immediate resolution that will satisfy our needs. As much as I like to believe that I’m the exception to that thought, I’m so not. Similar to most of society, I’m reliant upon finding a quick answer to my wants and needs. I seek to find something, someone, which will curb the anxiety provoked by the romantic prospects that pursue me. The texting phenomenon that consumes our relationships, the wait-and-see attitude that we tell ourselves is part of ‘the game’ and the final resort, which is blocking the number and deleting them from social media.
I played by the rules that many people swear by, and yet I’m right back to square one. Alone.
I’m alone because I failed to speak up. I was afraid of rejection, though in essence he’d already rejected me. I was but an ephemeral part of his life, but here I was hanging on his every word, brushing perfume through my hair and doing extra laps on the track as if he’d notice.
While I was practicing patience and waiting for him to like me I could’ve just moved on. But I didn’t want to be patient for the next guy, because who knew when he would come along? Maybe never.
I had fabricated a fairytale for myself that involved someone who’d run over his own puppy before he was ready to introduce me to his parents. And shit, did I mention I never saved his number in my phone because I was scared he would run away and I’d be forced to delete it?
I was experiencing the same feelings that come with a breakup but I couldn’t tell a soul. What would I say? That I’ve been hooking up with this guy, no we’re not dating, no he never tells me I’m pretty and no, I haven’t heard from him in two weeks but OMG I think I’m in love…?
It was a lonely split. A one-sided split, if you will.
As I set off for New Jersey to start my new job, I fully immersed myself in my new life. I sought places that were hiring Zumba instructors, splurged on a really nice gym membership, spent time with my friends who lived in the area and began searching for someone else to steal my heart away.
One night I was driving home with a different guy that I’d met in New Jersey – one that I really like and I’m quite certain likes me just as much – when my old flame texted me. The familiar string of digits illuminated my phone, but this time my stomach was empty.
No butterflies. No anxiety. No heart palpitations or sweat or contemplative thoughts about my response. I pitied him. Poor kid thought I would be happy to hear from him. What a joke.
Though I felt that I’d lived through a breakup, I realized something: Had this dude been an ex-boyfriend, he would never have texted me. Exes generally stay away once we’ve called it quits. But he was still under the impression that we were on fine terms because I’d never said otherwise.
Maybe my silence will be a sufficient answer to his questions. And if it’s not, he doesn’t deserve an explanation. He doesn’t deserve me.