Little Did I Know

I was still dating my ex-boyfriend the first time I ever “experienced” him. We both followed a creator on Twitter, so he found me through some sort of weird retweet situation. He followed me because he thought I was cute, I followed him because I had been to his hometown for a family reunion before (which was across the country).

Let me just say, before all of this, that we’ve never actually met.

It took a while for us to become friends. I guess our official “reconnection” after the initial follow was the night of Halloween, he was at work wishing he was out, I was at home waiting for my cat to come home (he never did).

After a few days of tweeting and favoriting each other, he did what most guys would probably end up doing, he DM-ed me something stupid joke, hoping to make a friend.

Little did he know.

We started snapchatting every day in November or December, but we officially started texting every day around my birthday, only to miss a day in March when things got bad for us. From morning till night, I was either waiting for him to text me back or had a text waiting to be read. I don’t get emotionally attached to people very easily, so I didn’t think much of our constant communication. Talking to a boy 24/7 was something I had done a few times before, why should this time be different.

Little did I know.

After months of talking every day, I truly learned a lot about him. I knew how he’d react to things, I knew how he felt about things, I knew a lot of his secrets. I also knew he was in love with me, but I always refused to think about it. I didn’t want to be put in that situation again, so I avoided that conversation at all costs. Ultimately, what happened anyway was much worse than letting him down when I first realized the true extent of his feelings towards me, back in February.

Don’t get me wrong, I really, really cared about him. I cared about his health, his well-being, and the choices he did or didn’t make. I wanted what was best for him and was genuinely excited when life would work out in his favor. I always asked him how church was and I always wanted to know how he really felt when I would ask “how are you”.

I thought we would be best friends for a long time, but things changed when I realized that I wasn’t the girl he thought I was. He idealized and romanticized me, despite the fact I wasn’t that Christian girl he always wanted and I wasn’t going to move to his hometown. I wasn’t going to marry him and I wasn’t going to have his children (for him, the day I snapped and told him to never bring that up again was a sad day). I was not “entirely pure” and I wasn’t the type to be put into a box. I’m more unpredictable, I change every day, I’m liberal, free-spirited and I want to experience the world. Even though he thought he did, he didn’t genuinely care about my happiness. He didn’t want me to bask in the great light of my friends, he didn’t want to hear about how happy I was. He would favorite my tweets about nearly anything, but not if they mentioned being happier than he felt at that particular moment. He wasn’t manipulative or emotionally abusive, but I almost feet like he lived in his own world and expected me to live there with him, secluded from what was real.

The best example I can give to show the weird dynamic we had was when he told me in March that he had about 3 dates planned with a girl he had been talking to for a few days (without telling me, which honestly didn’t bother me, I was more excited that he had something to look forward to). She was going to be going to his university, so I was all for it. The only thing that bummed me out was that she eventually became his #1 on snapchat, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, he was excited for himself, but when I told him I had a date (that I wasn’t even excited for) planned for later that week with a boy I had mentioned to him before, he flipped out and told me how hurt he was. He wanted to be my main priority, but he was allowed to date, talk to, and meet other girls, but for some reason, I wasn’t allowed to do the same with guys. Anything that made him feel like he wasn’t in control made him super uncomfortable.

The last 2-3 months of us talking was more of a chore than something that was fun for me. I was starting to really realize how depressed he was, but I eventually came to the conclusion that I couldn’t help him anymore. I can’t be around or talk to people who refuse to make themselves happier.

When I do think about him, I still don’t understand. Ultimately, I’m just confused. I don’t know why he refused to accept my happiness and I don’t know why he refuses to work on himself. I don’t know why he’s so jealous, why he lies, or why he refuses to be wrong.  I will never understand why he can’t be happy for me and I will never understand why it took him so long to finally understand what I had been telling him for months, that I make him unhappy.

At this point, I guess I just feel bad for him. I feel bad that he can’t understand what it’s like to love your place in the world the way I do. I feel bad that he can’t make himself happy and I feel bad that he can’t recognize that he’s his biggest problem.

Long story short, we don’t talk anymore. He eventually told me he didn’t want to talk every day and soon after that, I broke our 234-day streak. We still DM-ed every few days or so, but that ended as soon as he started being straight out mean to me.

I just noticed recently that he unfollowed me on Twitter and I have no desire to spark up any form of conversation with him. Honestly, I don’t even think about him that often anymore.

If we never stopped talking, I don’t know how many times I would’ve had to keep reminding him that not only was I never his girlfriend, I was never his anything. I don’t know how many times I would’ve had to snapchat him pictures of my boyfriend until he would decide to break the snapchat streak himself and I don’t know how many times I would’ve had to pretend that his delusion that the world was against him was really true.

I still follow his twitter, but at this point, I’m tired. I’m tired of reading his complaints about his lack of friends or how he doesn’t love college because I know how jealous he would be of me right now. Mostly, I’m just tired that he’s the same, despite the fact I thought he could change. Old me wishes I could do something, current me knows that no matter how hard I could try, I wouldn’t make a difference.

All I can say is that I hope he finds what he’s looking for, I hope he ends up alright.

But I also hope he recognizes that what he does to himself is self-destructive and that he has life all wrong.

Lizzie Bromley