The Last One

The Last One

Two years ago yesterday, my last SO broke up with me. I haven’t dated since, which I’m fine with. I’ve known that I’m asexual for a while, and though I am a hopeless sap, I may be aromantic as well. Who knows. Maybe that’s why I kept screwing things up.

That’s not really fair, though–none of it was my fault. The first one–She Who Shall Not Be Named (just scroll through my posts and you’re sure to find something about her)–was a hopeless a-hole, self-centered, abusive, oblivious, and just…I can’t event.

My second one, who is also not named, but just to respect her privacy, wasn’t so bad. What we had was short-lived, but it was fun and sweet and still carries some of my favorite memories. Looking back, I know it wasn’t meant to last. She was mature enough to see that before things got messy, and we’re still amicable.

I don’t really talk about the last one.

It was the magic and misery of falling in love with your best friend. I’d been attracted to him since we’d met, but quashed it because he was in a relationship. Besides, that’s when #2 and I were shamelessly flirting. There was so much between now and then. I can’t go into it. What we had was beautiful. Our friendship–that’s what I miss the most. But the other part–it lasted all of two weeks after two years of friendship.

Bottom line, he took advantage of how I felt about him. He was confused after breaking up with his partner of three years (who, by the way, he is now engaged to). He used me. I should have known better. But he gave me what I’d been pining for for over a year. I’d never felt anything so perfect. Most of what my mom taught me is crap, and given the abuse and overall shittiness going on between her and the father, I shouldn’t take her advice on romance. But she’d said, “When you fall in love, you just know.”

When it came to She Who Will Not Be Named, what I felt was more of an infatuation. maybe even something akin to Stockholm Syndrome, I have no idea–just that she captured me and I felt I could not run away, no matter how many outs I had, or how many people advised me to leave her. With the second one, it was mostly a crush come to life. But this guy–when I felt what I felt for him, I finally understood what it was. I’d never felt so close to anyone. I felt like I could tell him anything, but never the bad stuff. I never talked about the first, abusive relationship. He was the only one I never talked to about her. Because when I was with him, I always felt happy. Yes, we shared deep stuff. We talked about our mental health and bad habits, and a lot of that was heavy. But that was something we shared. With her–that first one–I just didn’t want to talk about her when I was with him. I wanted to feel what his presence gave me, his strength, his light, his love.

I don’t talk about him. I don’t share our moments with anyone else. I never told anyone who I was dating. I mentioned I was seeing someone, and a couple people guessed when they saw him with me, but I was still living on campus and he’d graduated, so we weren’t around much during the day. I remember a conversation with one friend when I mentioned I was dating again.

“Do I know this human?” he’d asked.

“I think you’ve probably seen them around,” I said.

“Are they a good human?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said. “One of the best people I’ve ever met.”

This human broke up with me because he didn’t need me anymore. He’d been using me to get over his breakup, and after two weeks, he was getting over his shell-shock. So he didn’t need me anymore. He even said he felt like he’d manipulated me, which he had, but admitting it didn’t fix anything. He should have been a better person. He’d always been the better person. But I was the stupid, naive, fragile little doll he granted euphoria only to let me fall when his grip gave way.

We tried–at least I did–to remain friends, but it didn’t work out. Stuff like that never works out. We haven’t spoken in nearly two years. And yeah, now he’s engaged. To the same person he’d dated before me.

I don’t like talking about him. It makes me angry and sad. My heart still cracks when I think of the tiny moments we shared. I try to write about them but I can’t. I try to talk about them but I can’t. Maybe someday I will. Maybe. But even two years later, I still can’t.

I think I’m better off on my own–and not in that teenage white girl “I don’t need no man!!!” that gets posted on social media three days before they start dating someone new. Maybe I’ll date again. But right now I’m okay with the idea of being single and just focusing on me for a while.

I used to think that if he came back to me, I’d take him back in a second. But not anymore. I have no idea what he’d try to say if he saw me. But I’m not going to listen to him anyway, so maybe it doesn’t matter.

 

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day

Anywhere you go now, any grocery store, department store, dollar store—you’re greeted with pink, red, and white. Candy, streamers, balloons, cards. It’s always there weeks before the holiday, and once it’s over, we forget about it. That’s always the impression I got at my childhood home. The candy lasted another week or so, but the valentines found their way to a box under the bed the next day.

It used to be cute. We sent homemade cards to our grandparents and made little valentines for each other, which we stuck in a toy mail box and opened after a dinner of pizza and a chocolate cream cheese marshmallow fluff dessert.

But there was always the passive-aggressive competition between my parents as to who could be the most romantic; between my brothers as to whose cards were the funniest. I struggled to make mine in the least way suitable. In my tween years, my skin crawled when I opened cards from my older brothers, not meeting their gazes and avoiding the words that might have a sick double meaning.

Valentine’s Day has always been tricky. I made a valentine for my first crush, trying to design something neutral that wouldn’t scare her off. It either came off too strong or she was just a flighty person, because I never heard from her again. After I sent it I came out to my mom, who convinced me not to tell anyone. She didn’t give me dating advice or help me plan ways to see this girl.

Two Februaries later, my infatuation with a certain asshole cumulated into the two of us claiming some kind of relationship. It was scary, it was exhilarating, it was sweet. It started off happy and ended ugly. There’s enough on this blog about that story, and definitely more to come.

One year later, after that relationship exploded and some of the wreckage was finally blowing away, I’d met another girl. She was sweet, she was funny, she was fun to talk to, and, as it turned out, she was into me, too. We’d both made passing comments about February 14th, that we’d be spending the day single. A little over a week later, we admitted our feelings in a fluster and took the weekend to think about it. What followed was too months of sweet, innocent romance. It ended before things got messy or tense, and after a summer of space, we’ve maintained an amiable friendship that we both value.

And then there’s last year. I joked to my boss that I will never begin a relationship in February ever again.

I’m not going to say much about it. It’s over, and it didn’t end well. We haven’t spoken in months. I don’t know if we will. It still hurts. But I’ll say this: I’ve never felt that close to anyone in my life.

February is coming up again. I have no persistent crushes and no ardent desire to find a partner. I’m still bitter about the last one. And two years later, the first one still eats me inside.

I don’t know what I want in a partner, so I’m focusing on what I want in life. I see young people around me breaking their hearts over unhealthy relationships and pining for a partner at the expense of their friendships. I don’t want to be that person. I also don’t want to be the person that dwells over past relationships and lets it define them. So I’m laying it all on the table, hoping it’ll let out some of the steam. If I can make it past February without getting myself into another fit of love, I’m thinking I might be okay for a little while.