D and I met at a time where I just began to exert my feminism and independence with confidence in my life. I had just moved into my first apartment-by myself-and returned to school. I felt amazing, beautiful, smart and accomplished. I also had absolutely no desire to be in a relationship or need to meet someone new, and I meet this D a few weeks later. Yes, weeks…four weeks to be exact.
I was not attracted to him physically, but after our first phone conversation, which can I just add, lasted four hours…I figured saying yes to him asking me out would not hurt. He told me he was part French and could help me with my French as I was studying the language in hopes of taking a backpacking trip there. He also liked the same type of music I liked, and was eager to explore LA, and try foods from all of the restaurants I told him I loved.
After our first date things moved pretty quickly. He lived about an hour away and we would alternate weekends at each others homes. He became attached to me in a way no guy ever had before. Not in a needy way, but an I can’t believe I feel this way about you…kind of way, if that makes sense. A few months in he began to say the L-word. I did not reciprocate.
In a way I felt my new found independence was being infringed upon. I literally had no chance to even enjoy my new apartment, my solace in living alone, or just do all of the little things a single girl does when she finally lives on her own. But I never spoke up about how I felt. As usual I buried my feelings and let the waves of emotion sway my life in the direction they wanted me to go. D soon began talking about living together and I was horrified. Literally…horrified. But again just kept riding the waves…this would turn out to be one of the worst mistakes of my life.
Cut to eleven months later…one attempted break-up later (by him) as an emotional mind game to manipulate me, which totally worked. And here we are looking at apartments, separately, in our spare time. We never looked at apartments together. I just realized that. Wow. Anyway as we are getting ready to move in together I get fired from my job. I did not want to move in with him, but I buried the feelings and kept paddling on my surfboard along the waves.
Living together was a disaster. He yelled, never cleaned, hid a porn addiction (that I later discovered on his computer), cheated on me, and began to quickly show me who he really was. He was the complete opposite of everything he told/showed me in the first half of our relationship. D, would lie to his mom and friends and tell stories about me to make them distance themselves from me. He would constantly put me down and belittle my goals/dreams. The last six months of our relationship consisted of me crying…every…single…night…as he lay next to me asleep.
I did not have the nerve to break up with him, nor could I keep behaving like the perfect 1950’s housewife constantly cooking in-between work and school, and fighting, and crying, and hiding everything from my family and friends. One day he said he wanted to break-up and I cried in the bathroom for an hour. I wasn’t ready for it to end that way I wanted it to end my way, but didn’t know what “way” that was.
We got back together, but I poured myself into school and my family/friends. He would get so jealous and ask me why I spent time with my family, or say I would not get anywhere in life yadda yadda yadda. So one day at work I sent him a random text and he sent one back saying he was breaking up with me. That was it. After two years and all of the drama we were done.
One week later while he was at work my friends and I totally cleared out the apartment. He was left with a mattress and his computer he loved so much. I left with a renewed sense of self, and confidence that I will never allow anyone to break again. Having him gone was the best event that happened to me and my soul. I’ll never forget how I allowed myself to be treated and I don’t want to because it taught me how I want to be treated. Oh, and I never got that French lesson.