There are two things that are both amazing and deceptive: our memories and the internet. I recently caught up with every single one of my ex-boyfriends, dating back to high school to find out, from their perspectives, why things didn’t work out.
Some of the splits were acrimonious,and some guys I’m still friendly with. And as it turns out, a few of my exes remember our past much differently than I do.
If you asked me why any of my relationships didn’t work out, I’d be perfectly honest: because they weren’t good enough for me.
Honestly, anyone less than a Hemsworth is settling. I’m that perfect, you guys.
I’ve changed their names because some of them did pretty awful things and some just like privacy, which is respectable. The following are direct transcripts of our conversations, minus the pleasantries that no one cares about, along with some background.
Luis and I met at my brother’s wedding, where we were partnered up in the bridal party. We bonded instantly but I found out when he flew back home to Kansas, where he was stationed, that he had a girlfriend.
I deleted his number until he proved to me that it was over (Facebook relationship statuses don’t lie). He then sent me a plane ticket to see him, along with a bunch of presents.
However, our romance was short-lived for a few reasons: It was hard to trust him because of how everything started, and he was in another time zone.
Luis: I got together with you because my ex-girlfriend wanted too much commitment. You seemed lighter and more fun, and you were … for a little while. Also, I want kids and I want to raise them Christian, which isn’t something you seemed to value or take seriously.
Me: Remember when you ghosted on me for two weeks? Did that have something to do with it?
Luis: Yeah. Nothing even happened during that time. I just got busy, and you wouldn’t stop punishing me for it.
Me: Did you have any bowel movements in those two weeks?
Me: Don’t overthink this, just answer the question.
Luis: I mean, probably?
Me: Then you had a free minute or two to text me and say you were busy.
Luis: I’m done with this.
Patrick and I were longtime friends before we got together. I trusted him with my life, and he could read me like no one else. Also, he broke up with me over an instant message, then changed his relationship status to “in a relationship” with an 18-year-old girl the same day he dumped me.
Then, he wouldn’t leave me alone even though I asked him to politely so I could move on more easily.
Patrick: You were my security blanket. I loved you and I still do, but the timing was never right for us.
Me: What about when you cheated on me with that 18-year-old?
Patrick: Nothing happened happened until after we broke up. Like, nothing physical happened.
Me: You mean, after you broke up with me over instant message.
Patrick: You were in another state and I know you hate talking on the phone.
Me: Why’d you keep trying to talk to me after you dumped me?
Patrick: Honestly, I missed you. And I was being selfish. I didn’t want to accept the fact that I may have hurt you, so I tried to just go back to being friends like we were before anything escalated. I still miss you sometimes.
Doug was a hot drummer. We were in a murky, undefined relationship until I brought cupcakes to one of his gigs, where I saw him holding hands with his ex-girlfriend, who later tried to Single White Female me with a new haircut, a complete change in her clothing style, and even an effort to get hired at the magazine where I was working at the time.
Doug: I wasn’t ready for a commitment, but I didn’t realize it for a while. I needed to get my sh*t together. I was obsessed with you when we first met, but the more available you became, the less interested I got.
Me: Yeah, you gave me the “not now, but soon” talk. Then two years later …
Doug: It was bad. I felt awful. Especially because that didn’t even work out. I wanted a safety net and I also wanted someone who’d make me feel better about myself. You had a ton going on, and it honestly made me feel threatened in a way … less like a man I guess? Because I wasn’t doing much. [My ex] was more on my level and there was a history there that you and I never had.
Me: Now you’re married … to someone else. She seems rad.
Doug: She is! I think you’d dig her.
I dated Brad for two weeks.
Brad: I was rebounding.
I had a crush on John for years. We would hang out solo, get so close … and then nothing.
John: You were like my little sister and my mom at the same time, but also hot. I don’t know how to explain it, but it just felt so weird.
Chris and I went on a few dates that went nowhere, but stayed friends for years. He was my shoulder to cry on when things didn’t work out with other guys and vice versa.
The only difference was that he’d get jealous when I dated other people … but never actually make a move to date me.
Chris: You’re independent. You didn’t need me. It made me feel sh*tty. You were never a bitch about it. You were always cool as sh*t, but it still did. That’s why when other guys would make you upset, I’d get pissed, because you’re a good girl. You deserved a lot better. I just couldn’t give it to you, either.
Dan was my high school boyfriend. We dated for six months and he dumped me on our anniversary right before I was supposed to perform as Juliet in my school play.
I wasn’t as upset as I felt like I should’ve been. I found out a month later he cheated on me with two girls I knew, one of whom was our mutual friend’s ex.
Dan: I thought you were in love with me. I wasn’t ready for that.
Me: Can I come clean about something? I only said it back because I didn’t know what else to say.
Dan: That changes things.
Me: Why didn’t you love me, though? I’m really lovable.
Dan: Eh, we didn’t have a lot in common, and I was going away to school and meeting all these new girls.
Me: The girls you cheated on me with were ones you knew already.
Dan: I don’t even know if it counts, since for the last month I was mentally and emotionally checked out.
Me: Interestingly, that’s when you started pushing me for sex. Isn’t that weird?
Dan: I did the right thing.
Pete was my best guy friend’s roommate. We’d made out a few times, gone on a few dates, and whenever it got close to being something serious, he’d disappear … or I’d leave the country on a pre-booked trip with my buddies. And, like an idiot, I’d let it happen again and again until I learned my lesson.
We’re still friends now that we’re both dating other people. Interestingly, his girlfriend’s name is Jess, and he says that she has a sense of humor similar to mine, which means he needs to marry her because she’s awesome.
Pete: The first time we were getting close to being something serious, I met someone else the weekend before I planned on locking you down. That didn’t go anywhere. She was super hot, though. Then when we finally got close again, you left for Japan with a bunch of dudes. I know nothing ever happened with that, but it made me nervous and broke the momentum we built.
Me: What makes the new Jess different from me?
Pete: Her voice is less annoying.