“Last seen today at 19:43”— how damning, because it is now twenty to midnight, and I know you’ve read my messages from the day before. The double-ticks gave you away, dude.
Rewind 6 weeks, and it’s a pretty different picture: We started things slow and proper, where you picked me up, paid for dinner, dropped me home and kissed me goodnight. It was fun, and cute, and developing nicely. We texted every day, rudimentarily tri-lingual. Hola bae, que haces? You met my friends. We shared about our families, our time abroad, the experiences that changed us, and in between all of that I went from being wary and politely charming to blithely letting you in. When we last left off, you said you would see me soon, we made travel plans, and I believed you. HA.
Back to the present: I can’t believe you turned me into a sobbing mess of a girl, who had to turn to streaming Love Actually online just so I’d have an outlet to bawl my eyes out (Jamie and Aurelia? OMG. Obrigada, moviemakers, cos that’s never happening IRL.) I went from having my heart leap a little every time my phone vibrated, hoping it was you, to forcibly delaying checking my texts just so that in a bigger pile of messages there’d be a higher probability of yours buried somewhere within. I wondered if I’d done something to offend you, because why else would you disappear like Houdini after 6 weeks? Did you lose my number? Did you lose your phone? Did someone in your family die? Did you die?! I called, and you had no decency to answer.
You even succeeded in the worst sin of all— you made me, a smart & independent go-getter, feel downright stupid and helpless, reduced to checking my phone and desperately replaying things back in my own head. To exacerbate matters, my reaction doesn’t even make sense. You’re being kind of (actually, every inch) a jerk and completely stopped contacting me for literally no reason. The obvious conclusion is that you’re the idiot. So why do I feel like I’m the one who got played then hung out to dry?
Now before you dismiss this as an emotional rant about my hurt feelings, let me make one thing clear. This isn’t about my singlehood. This isn’t about my ego. This isn’t because I’m heartbroken- not even close. This isn’t about the fact that I gave you a toothbrush, or that you made me believe we had future plans. This is about the fact that YOU created a consistent pattern which I became used to— texting regularly, going on dates at least once a week, if not twice, and generally being a pretty awesome dude— then, on a whim, decided to completely upend things and subvert my expectations into oblivion.
2 words: DETRIMENTAL RELIANCE. A.K.A, I relied on your representation of yourself to my detriment. Yea, go ahead and quote me, because that’s exactly what it is and, no, one doesn’t have to be a lawyer like I am in order to understand this concept. Every girl’s had some variation on this theme, where a guy is consistently great for weeks, then categorically vanishes into thin air. PS: I’m not overreacting here, because this wasn’t 2 dates, or 2 weeks. This was 6 whole weeks of my time. You did this. And the heartbreaking truth is that I am gutted to the core because of it.
I’ve tried reasoning it out ad nauseum— When exactly did things break down? Did I say something wrong? Should I not have done that? URGH stupid reply, I could’ve texted something else. Then it finally clicked: I can’t explain what happened precisely because I have nothing to do with this. It wasn’t anything I did, or anything I could’ve done. I can’t justify this shit show because it is not my failing. As much as it pains me, I know I won’t be able to rationalize this on my own terms ever. Because this isn’t about me, it’s patently about you.
I am, by all accounts and to everyone that knows me, a strong, confident, intelligent and attractive woman, who really isn’t short on people who appreciate me for who I am. And while we’re at it, yes there are other men who would love to have had as many chances to see me as you have. So although all I want to do is crawl into a hole where I don’t have to face the world for a while, I’m not going to. I’m not going to question myself anymore and ask why I wasn’t good enough. I’m not going to wallow in self-pity and wonder why this almost-relationship never made the cut. I’ve spent enough time in my own head with the what-ifs, the could-bes and the should-haves. I’m not going to vilify you, because that’s going to use up my energy and time on what really isn’t very important. I’m choosing not to be miserable, because although that is the infinitely more difficult choice, it’s the right one in the circumstances.
So to the indecisive, cowardly, ninny boys of the world who’ve ever taken the easy way out of completely vanishing over the honesty that any girl deserves and appreciates, take this as a PSA: We’re not waiting around for you anymore. We’re not pining or obsessing or wondering or moping. We’re not standing for behavior like this, because anyone who’s capricious with our feelings doesn’t deserve our feelings. Nada mas, chico. Maybe you’re reading this and figured out a way to finally come clean. Whatever. Because even when that happens, we gon’ be gone anyway.