This is the story about me and the guy I was in a long-term, long-distance-like relationship with. It’s long, and it’s emotional. I’m not giving away the ending, though the title of this post might be a clue. I don’t know how long it’ll take me to finish this post. I’m mostly over it, but occasionally it still hurts to talk about. I changed his name to protect his privacy.
When I was about to start my freshman year of high school, I moved back to my original hometown after a 4-year absence. I was upset at first, but I quickly got over it once it happened. I moved back on May 29th, 2009. I had several crushes over the course of that summer and the school year. I was a bit boy-crazy. I’d had a crush on a guy named Tyler from sometime in November of 2009. My mom had mentioned that we had a few things in common and I remember being at a bonfire with my (now former) church youth group and seeing him for the first time. He wasn’t hard to notice–the main reason my mom had even mentioned him to me is because we were the only two kids in the group to wear hats during youth group. I stayed away from him because I didn’t know what to say. I’m not even sure that we spoke to each other until January, when I invited him to come with me and my dad to a local university’s planetarium for my birthday the next month. I realize now how suspicious that must’ve looked, but it was my mom’s suggestion to invite him, not mine (though I was hoping she’d recommend it). Anyway, he came with me and I think he enjoyed it. There wasn’t a whole lot of communication between us for awhile, but I invited him to see me in a school play in April. He was a big theatre geek and came to the final showing. I got his phone number just before so that I could contact him if anything changed. I was super excited about this. I didn’t text him for awhile, but it felt nice to know that I could whenever I wanted to.
On Easter of that year, I noticed that he’d answered a question on an app called Social Interview (it’s no longer a thing, so don’t bother looking) that asked if he knew who he wanted to or planned to marry. He responded that he was pretty sure he had an idea, but didn’t elaborate. I had this hope somewhere in me that he was talking about me, but I doubted it. I later found out he WAS talking about me.
May 7th, 2010 was the first time we really talked. We had a big Capture the Flag tournament for the high school youth and any friends we wanted to bring. Tyler sat down right beside me before the event started and we chatted at length. I don’t remember what we talked about, but the fact that we talked at all was good enough for me. We spent a lot of time together–even when he was caught and sent to ‘jail’, I joined him (even though I DIDN’T get caught) and kept talking with him.
Despite this, I didn’t text him any time other than if I had an excuse. I didn’t text him just to chat; I would only text if I needed something of some sort. Finally, on May 22, 2010, I texted ‘hey’ while at a car wash fundraiser for the mission trip to Seattle the following month. He responded a little while later and we talked for a bit. We considered ourselves best friends, and we finally outright acknowledged that later in the week.
On May 26th, we texted for awhile after church. The night before, I made him promise not to fall for me, as it could jeopardize our friendship, and when he did I felt I could accept that and keep our relationship totally platonic. Well, that all changed the next night. Somehow the topic of our feelings for each other came up. I told him that up until the night before I did have romantic feelings for him, but I’d accepted that we’d remain friends and nothing more. He admitted he’d had feelings too. I proceeded to ask if he still did. He admitted that he did, and I realized I still had feelings for him, but I was trying to stifle them because I didn’t think it’d work out. Now that it was possible it COULD work out, I gave up on denying what I felt. We tried to keep it quiet and wait to start a relationship, since he wasn’t allowed to have a girlfriend until college and that was two years away. We held out for 3 days. Less than 3, actually, since we pronounced our feelings on Wednesday night and started our relationship on Saturday afternoon. We didn’t want to wait until we saw each other again the following Wednesday (he was going to be absent from church that Sunday), so he ‘asked me out’ via text. I’m not even sure how the conversation went exactly, or what time it happened.
We mostly kept it under wraps for a couple of weeks. My parents knew because shortly thereafter my mom confiscated my phone at night so I would get plenty of sleep the nights before finals. I think they suspected it, because at that time my mom had my passwords to my internet accounts and found a suspicious email in my inbox a few days prior, where Tyler and I had a correspondence the day after we established how we felt, which mentioned that something incriminating was said, though neither of us elaborated. Plus, it wasn’t exactly a secret that I had a thing for him. However, she told me that she wouldn’t pass word on to his parents. Other than the secrecy, we had a good relationship for those days. We saw each other in youth group, and when the group would go volunteer somewhere we would sit together in the van and hold hands. It was nice.
Then we got caught. In a conversation with his mom two days prior, I admitted to having a crush on him, but made sure she knew that I accepted that we’d be just friends. She didn’t believe that, so she would occasionally log into his Facebook account to see if we began talking about anything. He took to checking if his mom was online before we started chatting. We got caught that Wednesday because, while she wasn’t on when we first started talking, she logged in mid-convo and found out everything. We were formulating a plan to meet up before church that night and spend some time together. We didn’t explicitly say what we were planning to do, but I think the worst thing was a kiss on the cheek. We planned everything to the last detail…and his mom saw the entire thing. When I signed off, he sent me one text asking what I had in mind for that night, then nothing for the rest of the afternoon.
He was promptly grounded. When I found out, I snapped. I will swear to my grave that I was never the same again. Anyway, we didn’t break up and when we were on our mission trip in Seattle a week later, we hung out as a couple. When my mom found out from the leader assigned to my group–the one leader who hates me–that we’d been doing that, she promptly grounded me and told Tyler’s mom everything she knew so she wouldn’t be ‘blindsided’ again. At this point, he gets so far grounded that his Facebook was completely deactivated. I was unfriended at this point, but I wasn’t allowed to check my Facebook anyway so it didn’t really matter. Sometimes if my mom left hers up and went to take a shower or get ready to go somewhere I’d go over to the computer and go Facebook creeping, which is how I found out about Tyler’s account being deactivated.
July of 2010 was the longest month of my life. I was totally miserable. I got my phone on rare occasions, but only if I sneaked it away from my mom. His birthday just happened to fall on a Monday that month, and he volunteered at the zoo on Mondays and Wednesdays, during which time he was allowed to have his cell phone. My mom had left my phone sitting out that morning, and I put it on the charger. I don’t remember if I thought about it before I put the phone on the charger or after, but she went to church to set up for VBS, which was later in the month, and, knowing he’d be having his lunch break I took the time to text him to tell him happy birthday and that I loved him. We talked for an hour or so before he had to go. It was the highlight of the month, I think, as I pretty much didn’t see him at all for the rest of it, since he went with his parents to church for that time.
August was a little better. He got back his phone and internet privileges back, so we could text, though we still had to keep it on the DL. Near the end of the month, I started cutting as punishment for everything I’d been doing. I felt at fault for Tyler’s hardships and felt like if not for me he’d be better off. I got a bit suicidal and told him that.
On September 8th, 2010, we ended up getting caught. Again. This time, his dad texted me immediately to tell me to leave him alone because I’d ‘wreaked enough havoc on his life’. Later, he called my dad to tell him everything. Apparently Tyler had told him that I was to blame and told him I was cutting and made me look like a complete psycho. I did not take it that well.
The rest of the year was miserable. We left the church in December and the last time I saw him before leaving, he kissed me, then disappeared for fear of being seen with me again. It hurt to see him go, but it felt so good to feel his lips on mine again.
Early 2011 was hell. I kept getting sent home for suicide threats. It all came to a head in February, when I was reported by two teachers and ended up in a mental hospital. Tyler didn’t know until May, on our 1-year anniversary. We barely talked for awhile after that, except on his birthday that July.
Finally, that fall we talked almost as much as when we first got together. We still didn’t get to see each other, but we talked on Skype a few times. I was working on my school’s radio station and we got to hear each other’s voices when his family wasn’t home.
In December of that year, he wrote me a poem while I was on a church retreat. It was sweet and never failed to make me cry. I even kept it on my Kindle.
January 11th, 2012, I decided to date a guy from church who had a crush on me. It was a mistake that I wish I wouldn’t have made. Tyler and I were already having problems, but this first breakup jump started our relationship’s failure.
A few weeks later, Tyler and I were planning to rendezvous at a concert being held nearby. I broke it off with the other guy and met up with him. We shared some quiet moments together, enjoying each other’s presence. A friend of his rushed him off to their seats and I never got to be with him again. I cried. A lot.
A month or so later, I was still feeling something for the guy from church and on March 25th, I made another mistake—I kissed him. I felt bad, so I confessed to Tyler and he went ballistic. We broke up the next day, this time for good. I don’t consider it cheating, but Tyler told me that even though our reunion was unofficial it was more official than I was giving it credit for. I didn’t take it well.
We tried being friends a few times, but it didn’t work out. Finally, late that December (I believe the 28th or 29th), after we had some time to heal, we decided to try being friends again. It was like we’d never dated in the first place. Things were back to how they were before the relationship.
A month later, he decided to tell me that he was considering reinitiating the relationship. I was elated. We discussed it a couple of times, but a few days later he told me that he didn’t feel that way anymore and wanted to be just friends. Our friendship crashed after that. He told me I was being a jerk about him stringing me along and ended up threatening a restraining order when I tried to fix things.
The last time we talked, he made it very, VERY clear that he never planned to speak to me again. I’ve seen him a couple of times since then and I never quite got over him until October of last year. I saw him working where I had my birthday lunch this year and while I was a bit shaken up out of surprise, I wasn’t sad.
If he wanted me back, I’d say no. I can’t deal with that again. I’ve found someone much better and while I don’t regret our relationship (I’ve met hundreds of people as a result of being with him, including someone who’s the reason I quit cutting), I do wish it’d ended on better terms. I just hope that someday he won’t dislike me as much as he does now.
EDIT: After typing this, I realized that he was very likely using me to get back at his parents for being so strict. A couple days before he dumped me, they told him that they would stay out of our relationship from then on. The timing, added with all the horrible things he said immediately after, makes me think he was using me the entire time.