Sometimes, we keep people in our lives for longer than they need to be. I’ll never understand why. Maybe, it’s because we’ve become too comfortable. Or maybe, it’s because we’re too lazy or scared to start over with someone new. As a person who has constantly tried to fix relationships that are hanging on by a thread, I’ve recently learned to just let it go…
He said, “You’ll never find anyone better than me.” And I believed him.
We had been off and on for the majority of college. He knew me inside and out. We fought, shared firsts, and secrets with each other. But, we were never official. We “loved” each other in ways that he had convinced me only we could understand.
We reconnected almost immediately after my break up. I confided in him about my anxiety and depression over the phone and his words felt like every hug I needed. We would talk everyday, he’d ask how my day went and most importantly how I felt. He would fill my head with “If I was down there [in New York]” fantasies and how different things would be. I was getting back to the point where I was starting to believe that our routine was actually going somewhere. I knew better, but I couldn’t help it.
“Niggas talk to you cause you’re kinda cute and know music, but you’ll never find anyone better than me,” he said. This drunken tantrum—caused by the sound of a text notification— went on for about 20 minutes longer than it needed to before he offered to send me an Uber… to his house. Somewhere between the fifth slurred “Send me your address, Jourdan” and “I never wanna touch you again,” I hung up the phone and cried.
What if he was right? What if the pinnacle of my love life was to love someone who didn’t love me back? What if my love life was destined to fall under the Instagram meme “what’s understood doesn’t have to be explained?” It scared the shit out of me. I’d spent five years off and on in a situationship with someone who only “loved” me when it was convenient to him and only paid attention to me when I belonged to someone else. Yet somehow, I had convinced myself that this was what I deserved.
My friends had noticed his ways years ago but when they brought it to my attention, I’d find excuses for him. “He’s going through a lot, y’all don’t understand him.” “He’s trying.” Or my personal favorite, “He said things would be different this time…”
Looking back, I can’t tell if I was in a mentally abusive relationship with him or myself.
The morning after, instead of getting the apology I was expecting, I woke up to a text that read: “If you’re going to be emotional every time I hit you up, I just won’t hit you up anymore.”
My head started spinning like something out of The Exorcist. I couldn’t decide if I was going to cry again or curse him out. Part of me found another excuse for him, thinking that he was still drunk. While the other part of me questioned if this is how he’s felt all along.
His drunken words repeated in my head over and over again. “You’ll never leave me,” and “Our story isn’t over,” haunted me before he called and apologized for the way I took his tirade. He tried to make small talk after his bullshit apology, but in that moment I was already done—for real this time.
After we hung up the phone, I deleted his number and unfollowed him. Out of sight, out of mind right? I had moments of weakness when I wished he’d call or text with one of his famous apologies. You know, one of those apologizes that you know better to believe in but would fall for anyways.
But he didn’t.
He didn’t hit me up on my birthday or the day after that out of pettiness. He didn’t hit me up when I got a new job. He didn’t even speak when we ran into each other in person. Instead, we head nodded in each other’s direction as if we were strangers on the street. Two so-called lovers were now in the same vicinity acting as if the other didn’t exist. It was shitty, but necessary.
See, being stuck in a complacent “not really kinda sorta” relationship is no healthy way to live. With every positive affirmation I spoke in the morning, I forced myself to believe that I deserved more than what he or any past man had given me before. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I don’t have to force that thought anymore, I know what I deserve.
And while I basically went through two breakups in a short span, so much beauty came out of it. So many amazing things started happening after I decided to treat myself the way I expected to be treated from lovers, that it makes me wonder if I’ve been blocking my blessings all along.
So, my advice to you? If you’re complacent in your “routine” with someone, just let it go. Better things, opportunities, and (of course) guys are yet to come.
For help with dealing with toxic relationships, click here.