So, why don’t we start with the situation as it is now? L. and I haven’t spoken to each other since October. I called just a couple of days ago just to ask how she was doing. The first time I called, I think she (or maybe one of her siblings using her cell phone) hung up. The second time, I got her voicemail. She has yet to return my call. Just a minute ago, I wrote her an email with the same inquiries. I’m just trying to be nice, you know. Just because we broke up doesn’t mean I don’t care about her dad anymore.
“How did it happen,” you may be wondering? Back in October, she called me early in the morning while I was still in bed. I knew it was her because she had a special ringtone. Since I didn’t pick up, she left me a message. And, typically, at eight in the morning, we leave a “good morning” message to each other.
When I checked my voicemail, I didn’t get a nice “good morning” from L. Instead, she yelled at me to change my voicemail greeting because it hurt her ear. That put me in a bad mood. And, it got me thinking: “She’s kinda mean to me when she’s stressed.”
So, I wrote an email to her about my thoughts. I began that email by stating how I was unhappy with her. I continued by saying how she’s not very nice to me when she’s stressed out, citing some examples. And, even when she’s not stressed out, she still has an edge that makes her not as affectionate. I wrote how this will be a problem for our relationship since she’s only in Pharmacy school and she’s already treating me this way. The email concluded with,
If the stress of pharmacy school causes you to treat me this way, then what will motherhood, a challenging career, and our financial investments cause? The stress from those will be as much if not more than pharmacy school. This does not even add the fact that I seem to displease & irritate you easily. And, us living together in the same house will only exacerbate this problem.I treat you with kindness and affection because that’s how I like to be treated. I rarely tease you unless to return the favor. Something must be done about how you treat me.You may disagree with my perception. Nevertheless, I hope you take a look at how you treat your boyfriend.
Pretty straightforward, I thought. Well, when I finally got a hold of her the next evening for her response, she thought the email was a Dear Jane letter! How can a letter asking someone just to be nice be construed as a break-up letter?
I spent several hours trying to convince her that I didn’t want to break-up, that the issue was only for her to consider how she had a pattern of being mean when she’s under stress. L. kept on pushing the issue: “If I am so unhappy with [her], then why not break up with [her]?”
When I finally made myself clear, somehow I found myself the person who was wrong. Instead of L. addressing how her recent actions have upset me, I ended up apologizing to her for stressing her out. By the time we hung up that evening, she was still mad at me. So mad, in fact, that she avoided me for the next two days.
Two days later, she finally deigned to speak to me again. By that time, I realized that L. may have been projecting. So, I called her on it: “I’ve made myself clear that I don’t want to end this relationship, that this argument has never been about me wanting to end the relationship. Yet, you keep pushing the issue. Do you want to break up with me?” Her voice started to choke-up and she ended the phone conversation.
Odd, isn’t it? I wanted her to be nicer, and I ended up groveling for her not to break-up with me. And grovel I did. I left messages telling her how much I loved her, apologizing profusely for having made her upset when she was already stressed from Pharmacy school. I sent emails begging her not to leave me, admitting that my timing for bringing up this issue was wrong. All was in vain. She avoided me for 10 days. Those days would have dragged on even longer had she not received a card from me.
It was a nice card. In it, I wrote how great she was, and how she had qualities that many men would find attractive. I told her to concentrate on her studies and not to worry about me. I said I love her very much and that she was the best thing that ever happened to me.
When I wrote that card, my heart was completely broken. I realized that, despite how much I loved L., she wanted to break-up with me. And the thought of breaking up with me was possible because, after all is said and done, she did not love me as much as I love her. Only, she didn’t have the courage to end it. The moment was painful, and I was depressed for days. Fortunately, my reflection in a journal entry helped somewhat.
Nevertheless, if any letter of mine to L. was a Dear Jane, that card was it. But, she didn’t misconstrue what I wrote there as a break-up letter. No, she called me and asked me what was going on. Ten days later, she finally called me. She wanted me to clarify. And, I told her that the relationship was over.
She was shocked. Surprised that I wanted to break-up [after only ten days of her giving me the cold shoulder]. She thought it was ironic, too. All her friends wanted her to break up with me (ever since the beginning because they all thought a long-distance relationship with a Peace Corps volunteer was crazy), and she was tempted, too. Yet, she said that she wanted to stay together because I had potential. Can you believe that? She wanted to keep the relationship because I had the potential to do big things in the future. I was in love with a gold-digger. She didn’t want to stay with me because she loved me very much… no. She never said that at first (I know because I was waiting for it); and she only said it later to put me through guilt (“…just know that you broke up with a woman who loves you very much” — right… quite convincing a few days later). Damn myself for being a fool, she didn’t want to still be a couple because of love. It’s because I have potential. God. What a horrible thing to say to a man who loved her so dearly.
I mean, geez, I sent this girl over a hundred roses and flowers over the two years we’ve been together. I learned how to build a website from scratch so that I could give her a unique Valentine’s gift. My whole family watched me spend countless hours (over four months) knitting a huge rug of a lighthouse one strand at a time for her. I made a book of songs that represented my love for her — I wrote poetry to sing of my endearment and passion! For our first anniversary, I organized a whole week of romance. I took her to wonderful restaurants. I gave her matching jewelry sets. When she was interning at Kaiser, I cooked her breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and then I fucking rocked her world in the bedroom after each meal. Hell, I rock her world every f’in’ time! And, when she told me her father was in the hospital, I bought a plane ticket to be in Philadelphia the next day so that I could be with her family. I even went on a week-long trip to Canada with L. and her parents when I have yet to take my own parents on a vacation!
I don’t regret loving and giving at all. No, no. I don’t regret loving or giving. That is an aspect of me which I’m not ashamed of. And, it’s not the money. That can always be regained. The gifts and gestures weren’t important — it’s the love and thought and soul-screaming ardor that was put into them that meant so much. Goodness gracious… all that, and the most important thing she could think of to stay with me was because I had potential ? My shattered heart was pulverized into powdered dust.
And she wonders how I can break-off a relationship so easily. She accuses me of being cold and heartless for ending a love so unceremonously. My love slipped through her fingers and she was fixated on how I chipped her nail.
A part of me still wanted to stay together, you know. It was so beautiful. To love. It was so beautiful to say “I love you” over and over every day to the same person and only have it mean more, over time, than just those three words. I will miss that.
How did my family react? My parents went from telling me, “Don’t screw up. She’s a good woman” to “It’s about time you broke it off.” Even my great uncle wanted my mom to intervene and break us up. Fortunately, my mom was wise enough to let me figure it out on my own.
My mom said the nicest thing. She said that if she had a daughter whose boyfriend loved her as much as I love L., she would be a very happy mother.
My dad said he couldn’t intervene, but he was glad that I ended it because he feared I would be unhappy for the rest of my life if L. and I got married.
Both my parents thought L. was a bit stand-offish at our family gatherings. And they were furious at L. for calling me cold-hearted after all the time I’ve spent with her and her family.
You know… I should have broken it off when she called me by a different name? It wasn’t during sex. Although, it’s almost as bad. It was during our trip to Canada. Her best guy friend is named P., and she just finished travelling with him not too long before our trip to Canada with her parents. And, when she saw this cat walking across our path she squealed, “Oh, look, look P., a cat!” I was so furious, but she tried to brush it off like it was no big deal. She even tried to turn the table around and be mad at me for being mad at her over something trivial!
Speaking of P. and her travels with him… that alone should’ve been grounds for a break-up. During her summer internship at Colorado, after I left, she had him as a roommate.
Now, let me tell you a bit about him, first. One, I more-or-less trust the guy won’t violate L.. Two, L. has admitted that P. adores her. Three, P. has persistently tried to sabotage our relationship by trying to arrange dates with his older brother and L.. Four, L. says she is not physically attracted to P. or his older brother. Five, although I believe that to be true, what L. isn’t admitting is her emotional bond to this guy. L. may not imagine him fulfilling her sexually, but he does, in fact, fulfill her socially and emotionally.
So, after I left Colorado, L. and P. went on mini-vacations together during the weekends. They went to Yellowstone Park, camping and staying in a cabin (“Oh, it’d be so romantic if you were here…”). They went to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. They hiked through beautiful trails. They visited P.’s aunt and their beautiful ranch property. She even had the gall to ask me for permission whether she could go to the hot springs with him. At first, I blew up like a volcano and said “no!” But, after some thought, I realized that, as boyfriend, I had to trust her and not forbid anything. So, I called her back and said it was OK (but she decided not to go: “Wasn’t worth the drive.”) But, in retrospect, the fact she even asked meant she knew it was a questionable act and wanted me to absolve her of guilt.
I am 99.999% confident that there was no hanky-panky going on during her travels with P. However, I am 100% sure that their emotional bond was stronger because of that time spent together. These trips are what couples do together. Is it a surprise then, that she ended up mixing my name with his during our trip in Canada?
She is so stubborn that, to this day, she admits to no fault regarding her dealings with P.
Gosh, what else can a guy do except break up with a girl like that?