He was my first relationship that lasted longer than approximately six weeks. It was over a year of the Tragically Hip in the CD player. Not my first love, I tend to fall easily, but it was the first significant one. One with talk of someday. My mother adored him, questioning me to ensure I made the right choice in breaking up with him. He was responsible, charming, and he had a plan.
I used to think he was a good guy, but not the guy for me; later, I decided he wasn’t that good after all. He was someone who seemed to listen to me. But when he stated my opinion back, it morphed into something that was not mine at all. It became exactly what he believed. We couldn’t have differing opinions. And he was “so glad I wasn’t a feminist.” I am a feminist. I firmly believe that any woman wanting the most for her gender is.
He decided what we did, where we did it, and who we did it with. Which if you know me, and the fact that I tend to not care, it’s not a huge surprise. Only he decided even when I had a strong opinion about it, like the time I was sick and wanted to stay home but he made me go to the Drive-In anyway. “I’ll go pack some food and blankets, you think about it.” I got heat stroke from climbing the Sand Hills. Feet burning from hot sand. Tears streaming down my face. He never let me quit. I was so mad.
When I disagreed with him, and made it a point to let him know I disagreed, he got angry. Yelling, door slamming, angry. He’d never raise a hand to me, but he hurt me in other ways. Subtly. He was always the guy claiming he was a good guy, as if that gave him an excuse to be a jerk. “You’ll never find anyone as good as me.”
We got back together a couple times, just because it was easy. After being with someone so long, it was hard to have no one. He tried to romance me, and I cried. He thought I was overwhelmed, really I had realized how over it was. How I no longer had any feelings for him. It was the fact that he was willing to fight for things, and I wasn’t, that broke my heart.
He was good looking, but he became so ugly to me. “My female friends all find me attractive, so I don’t believe that you don’t anymore. You must be a lesbian.” If it makes you feel better, you can try to believe it, I said.
Armed with a strong, smart woman to commiserate with, I was able to say goodbye. And later helped her to the same to a similar man of hers. Over drinks at the Barking Frog, we wondered how to be single again. Laughed about the undesirable prospect of dating. Cursed. Hysterics because he took my vibrator but left his TV. “If he can’t make you happy, he figures you can’t make you happy,” she snorted.
He was wrong. I found someone far greater than he ever was. Someone who appreciates me, and shows it. Someone who gave me the most adorable Poinsettia for no reason at all. Someone who makes me sandwiches. Someone who asks me about my day, and is genuinely interested in what I have to say. Someone who will have drunken debates about economics, energy and politics with me. Someone who will agree to disagree, while agreeing that disagreeing is okay. Someone who is glad that I’m a feminist. Someone who I love more every day. Someone who is one of the most beautiful individuals, inside and out, I’ve ever known. Someone with whom I have many somedays. Someone who has come to hang out with me on my couch when I’m sick. Someone I can fight with. Fighting because we care. Someone I can build a life with. A future.
I remember months after. “I’ve ever been friends with my exes, but I want to be friends with you.” Me talking him through dating again, though I’m sure it was a half-assed attempt to make me slightly jealous. His dismay and wonder at the fact that I wasn’t dating. “I’m not ready,” I said. “I told you I needed to figure out me, what I want, and what my goals are, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.” It’s exactly what I did. And in doing so, I realized he was never someone I would be friends with. It’s a little strange that he’s getting married to that girl he told me about years ago. I wish them well. It’s the reason I broke things off, so he could find someone who loved him as much as everyone deserves to be loved. I’m glad he found it.
My Tell-Tale Heart
8 hours ago