You should have known what to expect when you met them, given the circumstances: a dimly lit bar, smelling of body odor and vodka, filled to the brim with unsuspecting twenty-somethings. The perfect setting for a love story, right? That’s what you thought.
Putting your poor judgment aside, you got hooked. And then you got heartbroken. (And while it’s sort of funny to look back on the “beginning” of something, no matter how terrible it was, you now know that it was anything but funny at the time).
1. You met when you were drunk.
That’s not to say that had you bumped into each other on campus, in the middle of a bright and sunny Wednesday afternoon, that this would never have happened (but I mean, it DOES say something).
What do you do, whether it’s intentional or not, when you find yourself at 1:42 a.m., 4 or 5 overpriced drinks in, at the worn-out bar in town on Saturday night? You scope. You flirt. You set out to find someone. (And it goes without saying what it is you’re looking for in this bar-found person, but I’ll say it anyway: …fun)
So that should have been your first clue.
2. You hooked up way too soon.
Chances are, this was a mutually desired course of action, but it wasn’t beneficial to your chances at becoming something real.
A few weekends of running into each other (coincidentally on their part, planned and executed to perfection yours) and you set the wheels in motion. A subtle follow on Instagram led to Twitter, which led to a DM, which led to an exchange of numbers….you know how it goes. Add in a few 2:00 a.m. drunken texts here and there, and the sexual tension was bound to be acted upon.
And while you may feel like everything is perfect and running smoother than ever now that you’ve gotten over THAT hurdle, you’ll soon realize that it only caused more harm than good. Which brings me to the most important part yet.
3. You never established what you were, you didn’t define the relationship (DTR).
This. This step right here. This is the game changer.
Are you exclusive? Do they have feelings for you that surpass shallow attraction? Are they seeing anyone else? Do you guys have plans for Valentine’s Day? (Feb. 14, is always an awkward time of year when you don’t know where the hell you stand with someone. I’m getting uncomfortable just thinking about it, oh god). But, seriously. WHAT IS YOUR DEAL WITH THIS PERSON?
These are questions that need to be answered but are seldom ever asked by either party. Without “defining the relationship”, no matter how casual, it cannot surmount to anything more, leading to the eventual crash and burn off your seemingly harmless fling.
Given this generation’s dating habits, and “hook-up culture” that you find yourself unfortunately apart of, it’s always very probable that the other person isn’t interested in making what you have anything more than what it is.
However, there’s also always the chance that even if they ARE interested in dating you, this same generation’s other lovely tendencies, game-playing, and pride-filled stubbornness, will hold them back from speaking up. (And maybe it’s you that’s exhibiting these behaviors, or maybe it’s both of you). So, now what?
4. Someone else.
Neither of you are saying anything. Days, weeks, maybe even months go by. Eventually, you might see them laughing a little too hard at another girl’s (not so) funny joke. Maybe you hear through the grapevine that they’ve been texting someone other than you, leaving you feeling embarrassed and stupid
Understandingly, you’ve now turned into the psycho girlfriend, seeking out your friends to put their lives on hold and become Snapchat and Facebook FBI agents. Only wait…you aren’t the psycho girlfriend because you aren’t the girlfriend at all. Nope. You’re just a person that doesn’t logically have any room to say/do anything about anything
But you ARE jealous. You feel like you’re being played or getting cheated on. And then it happens. You see them leave with the tall and perfect brunette that your friends were able to stalk online back to the day she was born. And that’s when you feel it. Your heart clenches. Your stomach drops to the bottom of your toes.
Your face turns red from either anger, humiliation, choked back tears, or a combination of all three. You want to silently cry on the bathroom floor for an eternity, and maybe you do. After that, you try to text them a few times. They answer but they’re short with you. After some failed and gut-wrenching attempts at trying to regain their interest, you eventually give up.
You want closure. A reason. A goodbye. You want them to tell you that it’s over. But they say nothing. Because that’s exactly what they owe you; nothing. You won’t be able to pinpoint the day that it ended between the two of you. It will just fizzle out over time.
And then it’s just a washed up memory, as blurry as the night it all began. In the end, you may be left with a broken heart or some dented self-esteem, but you can rest assured that you are NOT alone in this. It does get better. And if it doesn’t, you’ll always have your favorite show on Netflix and some form of late night dessert to turn to. (I know I do).