“Just do it,” I looked at myself in the mirror.
I keep breaking up with my boyfriend. But I need to stop. I know I cared about him. I cleaned his apartment the second time I came over. I can’t go to the grocery store without wanting to pick out something for him. I can’t go a few hours without saying his name sometimes. If his name was a curse word, I’d be a sailor. I want him there when I go out and when I fall asleep. I care about my boyfriend.
I broke up with my boyfriend – or the guy I wanted to be my boyfriend – two months ago. And that lasted two days. I told you, I keep breaking up with him. He probably has stopped believing me when I say it’s over.
That’s why I’m standing in front of the mirror.
Is it normal to break up multiple times?
I was reading a Cosmo article and “an estimated 44 percent of people ages 17 to 24 have reconciled and started over with an ex, according to a recent study by Bowling Green State University and the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.”
And I can testify that this vicious cycly is real. This was me at 24 when I started breaking up with my boyfriends and getting back together. Every guy I’ve tried breaking up with I came back to even if it was the next week and I told him he could come over if he didn’t kiss me. And guess what, it took about 30 seconds of him standing in my doorway for that post-breakup kiss.
But I needed to focus!
How To Break Up With Your Boyfriend:
I sent my boyfriend the breakup text.
“I cannot be your backup plan anymore…I cannot be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me or kiss me.”
I sent him this breakup text on Saturday night around 8 pm. The Cubs game was on. It was pouring rain.
Two hours later. No response.
Five hours later. Nothing.
The next morning. No word.
12 something – “Let’s air things out. I’ll call you later.”
I’m probably the worst person at breaking up with someone. I know what I want – a real relationship. But, men do this thing where they hook you without a commitment and they make you so happy and kiss you every so often and check-in on you enough that you become like a dog returning to its vomit. You can’t help but keep getting back together after his “hey. how are you?” texts and paying for his cheap beer – or even worse, stocking your pantry with his Tequila and Squirt and your freezer with frozen pizza for when you two get drunk together which is often enough.
If this were a terrible situation, you would get out. But, it’s not. And that’s why you can’t bring yourself to break-up with him.
You’re staring at your better half – you in the mirror – and convincing yourself that this guy, this man you’ve been dating all summer – is just not your boyfriend and most importantly, he doesn’t plan to become your boyfriend.
He tells you things like “I just got out of a relationship.” “You need to have patience.” or the best “I like how things are going and I see a future, but I can’t be your boyfriend right now.”
“Sweetie, when it starts to stink, you’ve got to take the trash out,” you look into the mirror and apply Dior lipstick.
“He doesn’t want to be your boyfriend.”
You’re standing there and then flip through Netflix and start re-watching Gilmore Girls – the one where Dean and Rory are being cute and get their first kiss in the market. Dean moved to Stars Hollow from Chicago, so this 20th time of watching Gilmore Girls re-reruns, you pick up on that and start falling for him like Rory did. You’ve seen where this relationship goes, but you can’t help but want it to keep progressing.
He – the boy you texted two days ago – finally calls. And, you finally have the small talk and then the talk.
I don’t want to do this. I’ve tried all those games – not texting him back for 3 days. Going on dates with other people. Not inviting him to every event. And none of it worked.
I know that when I do this – when I sent the breakup text – when we had the talk – that I had to stop the games and stop wanting him to come back. I needed to stop this because being in this pseudo-relationship – the one where there’s no commitment. Where we can date other people. Where weekends are for our friends and family and you can have Tuesday night after 9 pm. I needed to be out of this limbo. This nothing that has turned into something to paraphrase You’ve Got Mail.
Again, I don’t want to break up with my boyfriend. I want to run into his arms and hug him and kiss him. But his kisses have become more reserved. He stopped adding “doll” or “babe” or “boo thang” to the text. I’ve become “hey.”
You think back to that fourth date. When he couldn’t go five minutes without wanting to kiss you.
You draw your face to your iPhone – we’re breaking up now. And you want to take in this last conversation. And this time, I mean the last conversation.
“I’d like us to still be friends,” he says. “I like hanging out with you.”
This hurts even more. I want that too – but I want to hang out with you and kiss you. I don’t want you flirting with other girls in front of me.
We say nice things like “you’re a great man, and handsome, and you have a good heart and a lot going for you.” He returns the gesture and says “you’re a good woman.”
And I say “okay.”
And just like that, it’s over. I block his number.
And then I do something dumb. I buy Halloween candy and buy a subscription to Match.com. I don’t know which one is worse – the candy or paying to find someone who wants to be my boyfriend.
After about four years of swiping and dating guys who were great but didn’t want to be my boyfriend, I’m taking things more seriously and upgrading to the world where people send you complete sentences and ask you questions like “what’s your favorite wine?”
You fall asleep numb.
The Day After You Breakup With Your Boyfriend:
I sit here. The very next day. And all I want to do is stay in bed and drink ginger tea and listen to r&b – that old school Usher. I put some foundation on. I straighten my hair and re-apply the Dior lipstick. I’m on my third outfit and the dishwasher is on. I finally ate something besides a mini Twix bar and it’s time to face the world. It’s time to stop thinking about this guy. This guy who I shared so much of my life with. Who was there for me when I finished the Chicago marathon – with flowers, a card, and an energy bar.
Who ran after me when we had our first kiss and I said, “I don’t want to kiss anymore frogs.” Who was my plus one to dinner parties and beer release parties. Who worked across the street from me downtown. Who made me feel giddy because he was so handsome and he had a good heart.
To say we didn’t have something was a lie. But according to How I Met Your Mother, you need two things to make a relationship work – chemistry and timing. And we only had one.
How To Leave Your Boyfriend and Not Text Him Back
So, what do I do now? How do you keep living life after you break up with the guy who has become more vital than your afternoon cup of coffee?
I text my closest friends and tell them I’m going to be texting them more.
I channel my energy into productivity.
I already rearranged my apartment – you know for new energy.
I started drinking more – water that is.
And I go for walks. I enjoy the fall weather instead of sitting in bed.
This is day three. And I’ve re-read all of our texts. Gone through all of our pictures and remind myself that it was real. It was really great. And I’m one step closer to being with a guy who wants to be my boyfriend – because I didn’t just stay friends and leave myself emotionally and physically available to him.
I scroll through his texts again “You’re being cute today,” he would say. Day three is a bitch.
I check my phone every 5 minutes because I unblocked his number. I know, I’ll add self-control to the list.