“What Really Happened with the Now Ex-Boyfriend”
You’ve asked me to be more specific about the breakup and the recent return of the ex-Boyfriend. And I will. In this week’s post I’ve tried to be honest with you — and myself.
There will never be any one answer to all of the whys (Why did I date him for so long? Why did I let him come back? Again?). The answers are muddled somewhere in his actions. But, for readers wishing to know what happened, here’s the story:
The Adderall ran out about a week ago. I didn’t care. I was focused. My mind was fixated on the ex-Boyfriend, who, for the third time, walked out. The curtain call was brief and, as many of my friends predicted, he did not stick. At least this time he said farewell in a nice way.
The recap of events up till now: After a brutal breakup in the winter, a slow recovery in the spring, and back and forth ever after, in one last (final?) act, the Boyfriend came back and left again. As I alluded to in earlier posts, he was in my life, and he was going to move back to Gotham to be closer to me.
The empty promise he broke: Just as he moved back to the city, he’s decided to leave — it and me.
Why did I allow him back in my life, albeit briefly? Call it a foolish belief in the ability of a person you love to somehow change for you, a hope that they will be loyal, that they won’t just pick up when faced with a problem, that they will be truly engaged in your life. If you have been holding onto this foolish belief, like I did, and the person you love has only left you once, only let you down once, you might give them a second chance — but also a test, hoping they might prove just how much they care for you.
The early warning signs of trouble: In many ways, I sensed that something wasn’t entirely right after he returned. I tested his sincerity; I played hardball, and found out that there was little action, no real proof, to fit all the nice words he used. He was not capable of being everything I needed, and I was not capable of staying with him, living with his shortcomings, while living with that knowledge.
How the Boyfriend ultimately failed the test: Another woman appeared on the scene. I suspect there has been for quite some time. The journalist in me surfaces — at last. I want to know all about her, what she’s like, what she enjoys, and then a voice inside me says, “Stop it.”
The ADHD in me should have seen the signs: I curse how inconsistently I listen to my intuition. I’ve had inklings of a feeling, starting a year ago, that things weren’t quite right, that somehow this romance was too good to be true, and had started off on funky grounding.
What did I learn from this test? The friends and family don’t want to hear about him anymore. I should have listened to myself — and to them — a long time ago; any good man doesn’t just walk out on a woman; any good man keeps his word, they say. Did you fall in love with his body, degree, and car, they ask. Yes and no. Sure, I am the sort of girl who can be wooed by flowers and the occasional trip, but, at the end of the day, when the layers of love and lust are torn down piece by piece, you want to have someone who will stick by you, through thick and thin. Strip away the flashy car, the penthouse, the tall and handsome man, the romantic letters that you hold onto for dear life, take away the vacations, the cruises, and all that is left is a person who is there for you in sickness and in health — or isn’t.
If the Boyfriend had cared enough, he wouldn’t have just left. Deep down, I feel empathy for him, too. I understand his loneliness and insecurity, a fear that haunts — I feel these things, too. The difference is that I see the best in people — even in the Boyfriend, after all of this. I miss him dearly, and wish he had the sort of stability that was missing in us both. I wish that he was as solid and as strong inside as his exterior appearances have led me, so many times, to believe him to be. I want so much to fix what’s broken. But now I need to move on and focus on myself.