To the Boy I Thought I Loved

By: Eva McFarlane

Dear Boy,

I love you. At least I think I do. For almost a year, I have looked to you as a source of comfort and fulfillment. I’ve found our countless hours of cuddling and watching movies together as some of the most carefree moments of my life. As you know, I spent my entire summer by your side, either in your room or at the Barnes ‘n Noble down the road. I hung out with friends one two occasions, while I spent time with you every single day for three months. I gave into the idea that you were the one. At 17 years old, I seemingly found a person with whom I would spend the rest of my life- even though I never really thought I’d be that kind of person.

A whole year together, then we broke up. We broke up, as you know, because we had succumb to our differences. Our arguments became too frequent and our happiness, like a flower, had wilted. My personal reasons were too serious to ignore- I felt my independence quivering under the weight of your neediness and I knew I shouldn’t give in. By that time, I had realized that my happiness was directly dependent on the state of our relationship. I knew that allowing myself to continue that would only breed more disastrous problems. Thus, the break up. All in all, we ended on good terms. Honestly, it felt relieving to only have to worry about myself.

Last Friday, I went over to your house to return your jackets. I got there and you asked if I wanted to sit on the porch and talk for a while. You gave me “that good”, the one I couldn’t say no to. Inevitably, we began talking about our relationship. We were laughing and it was weird because it didn’t even feel like we were broken up. Suddenly, I felt comfortable again. With that, I felt happy. Then, you asked if you could kiss me. I remember a sudden surge of energy come over me. A voice that was yelling “HELL NO” in my head, but the desire for that comfort lingering somewhere in the background. You then proceeded to say, “We’ll probably end up sleeping together over the summer, right?” I didn’t say anything, partially because I was so shocked but also because I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to say yes when I looked at you, but I knew I needed to say no for the sake of being able to look at myself in the mirror when I got home. Despite my punching myself in the face in my head, telling myself that I knew what the right thing to do was, I said “probably”. After all, we were good together, right? I felt happy, but I also felt ashamed. I ignored my less than positive feelings and left your house with a few kisses and a confident trade of “I love you”s. It felt back to normal. It felt good. Once summer started, we’d be back together and everything would be comfortable.

Fast forward four days, I receive a call from my best friend in class. Her exact words were, “He’s trying to sleep with someone else.” I didn’t believe it. Screenshots started flooding in, containing conversations about you attempting to hook up with a girl who was still attending my school. You’re 170 miles away, and you decided to try to sleep with a girl that I have classes with. Your words were “We should sleep together 2-3 times a week, that’s healthy”.

I felt so betrayed. You fessed up to everything, telling me that you had sent those to her after our discussion and kisses. You attempted to apologize, saying you haven’t been yourself lately. Thoughts ran through my mind about what our relationship could have actually meant to you. I felt used, like a doll only there for your convenience and pleasure. I hated you for all of two hours. Then, against all odds, I actually forgave you. I actually told you that I didn’t hate you. I actually let you off the hook. I let you convince me that you actually do love me and you will never do that again. I let you convince me that our relationship “meant everything” to you.

Three days later, I’m sitting on my bed, writing this because I don’t have the strength to remove you from my life. I can feel myself growing more miserable, but I’m allowing myself to get sucked back into our nearly parasitic “love”. In fact, I’ve realized that I may not actually love you. Sure, you made me feel safe and happy, but sitting here feeling this powerless made me realize that you were just a safety net. Someone that I knew would always be there and someone I would always take back. My realizations have resulted in nothing but more pain and regret. My independence is again quivering under your abrasive weights and I can’t keep myself from giving in.

I love the person I can imagine you being, but I’ve come to realize that that is not who you truly are. While I know in my heart that I am a powerful woman, I foresee myself becoming submissive to the comfort you provide.

Not so sincerely,

Your Ex and it’s staying that way

P.S. – With every word I am writing, I have vowed to find the strength to push through the hardships of independence, despite the safety you hold for me. Thank you for giving me the material on which to write and proving to me that I don’t need you. XOXO… Just kidding. Never again.

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