In the past, I have dated a pretty strange array of guys. This includes guys that have lied about almost everything including their age, I have dated guys that I had sub zero chemistry with, more than 1 marching band geek, and I have dated a boy who I will refer to as A. A was in love with someone else. He loved me in his own way, but he was IN love with someone else. I convinced myself that he was just in love with the idea of someone else, that he would realize what a catch I was and completely forget about the other girl. We were away at college with a solid five hours cushioning us from reality. Unfortunately, time is a pesky thing that keeps on moving forward no matter how hard you wish it would freeze.
The end of the year was coming and A, who is the perfect combination of honest and caring, sat me down and told me that the girl he is in love with wants to try again over the summer. Mind you, they dated two years ago and she left him to try and get another guy. You kinda have to laugh at the irony of history repeating itself. It might be some time until I can laugh at the situation, but one day I will. So here we are. Having “The Talk.” We decide to end things at the end of the semester so he can see where things with that girl go.
So here I am. Our expiration date is in three weeks. I have never been in this situation before and I’m not sure anyone is crazy enough to be in this situation. You’re reading this maybe hoping to get some perspective for yourself. There are some very cool things about having an expiration date. You get to have a discussion with each other about whether or not you want to stay friends and you can try to figure out together how to navigate those waters.
A lot of people (myself included) get extremely bitter about breakups. I have been known to plot out some elaborate revenge tactics that are replaced with crying in my room eating Ben & Jerry’s and watching RomComs. I don’t want our precious last weeks full of crying and fighting. I can’t be bitter. I can’t punish him and myself because he decided he didn’t want me. If I didn’t think I could contain my bitterness I would’ve already ended it.
Since I have this expiration date, I can ask him all those pathetic questions that will pop into my head as I’m crying into my tub of ice cream. Am I funnier than her? (Yes.) Do I know you better than she does? (Yes.) If things don’t work out with her do you think you would give us another chance? (If you would be forgiving enough to take me back, yes.) If I lose 50 pounds over summer, would it make you wish that you hadn’t broken up with me? (Probably.)
It takes a lot of self-control to not obsess over the idea that in a month’s time, it will be another girl in his arms. If I think about how my steady stream of sex will be gone and his will stay the same or maybe even become more frequent, I will want to bash his face in.
So I stay optimistic. I remember that the reason I’m with him in the first place is because we have a shit ton of fun together. I can’t control the fact that he loves someone else more than me, but I can focus on taking my feelings into account and respecting myself enough to say, yes I do love him and that’s okay. I can sleep soundly knowing that this situation might close one door for me, but it opens a hundred others. I’m going to be okay, but for now I’m enjoying my expiration date relationship.