Last weekend I was out and about, enjoying life at our local pub, when I ran into D’s roommates. As always, I was stoked to see them. I’ve known them for 10 years, and I have always had a sort of younger sister relationship with them. They are also the ones who introduced me to D 8 years ago.
When the guys saddled up at the bar, I asked them if they left D at home. Now, this wasn’t intended to be a loaded question. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve run into D’s roomies, sans D, because my little darling is a tad on the anti-social side and generally avoids the bars. So I was surprised that they got a little squirmy and awkward when I asked that question. One of them finally told me that D was on a trip and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that D wasn’t on a trip by himself…
So I asked, “um is he with a girl?” Which was received with more awkwardness. After much dodging of questions I deduced that D was in fact on a trip with a girl – most likely his on and off again, 20 year old ex.
I won’t lie, this information was pretty shocking to me considering we had sex 5 days prior. Funnily enough, he didn’t mention this trip, or this girl, when he called me up on that Sunday and invited me over. Nor did he mention it when he came over to my apartment the week before.
Some of you will say, well, that’s what you get for being in a friends with benefits relationship. And ya know, as a general rule of thumb, I’d agree with you. When you have no commitment from the other person, then you can’t get mad that they are out fucking other people.
But a year ago, when I let D back into my life, it was under one condition – he could never do what he had done to me, again. Although I have referenced his major fuck up in the past, I never shared the details as it was prior to the existence of this blog and, frankly, I felt like it was rock bottom in my dating life. But because it is relevant, I will share it now.
One night, back in July of 2010, I was still stinging from my break up with Mr. Not Quite Right and had just started hanging out with D again. We were having a lovely sleepover when I was awoken at 5 AM by his ringing phone. It rang once and we ignored it, and then it rang again. D got up and left the room and I went back to sleep. When he came back in the room he was frantic and told me I needed to leave because his girlfriend was outside.
Wait WHAT. Your WHAT?!
I was in shock, half asleep, butt-naked and pissed… but all I could come up with was, “Who comes over at 5 AM?? Where the hell has she been all night?” What a winner.
So I dressed in like 1 minute, he shoved me into a side room, told me to wait there, and then let his girlfriend into his room. My heart was beating out of my chest as I tried to quietly make it out the front door.
As I drove the 30 minutes back to my house, it set in what had just happened and I was mad. Actually I was furious. It was a different type of mad, something I have never felt before in all of the many times I’ve been annoyed with him. I just couldn’t help but think,How fucking dare he? How could he put me in that position? And after knowing me for so long… I actually thought he had a little respect for me, even if he wasn’t able to commit. Clearly, I was wrong.
Right then and there, I stopped talking to him, and would still be not talking to him, had it not been for the apology. A year ago, when he repeatedly asked for forgiveness, he seemed so sincere and I truly believed he would never put me in that situation again. Bummer, I was wrong.
Naturally, I reacted to the information from his roomies in the usual Cali way. Got drunk. Went back to D’s house with the guys. Made out with one of D’s hot friends (only because I needed the distraction and because it was slightly more fun since it was on D’s turf). And then I vowed to cut him out for forever – yet again. I even came up with a whole plan to switch my phone number to my work cell. That way, in a few months I wouldn’t get an apology call and get sucked back in.
Welp… D was a bit too quick for me. I received a text at 8:20 AM today, which I can only assume means he must have learned that I was at his house the weekend before and is trying to gauge just how pissed I am.
Suffice to say, my morning was ruined. I honestly didn’t know what to do. If I were to just not respond, it would definitely solicit more response from him – possibly an angry one. Plus (and I know this sounds ridiculous) but even as livid as I am at him, I know if I were to just ignore him, it would hurt him. And, fuck me, I just can’t bring myself to hurt him intentionally.
But if I respond… I am vulnerable. I absolutely can’t do this to myself again. I can’t handle anymore heart-wrenching sadness.
So, I consulted Sister Bradshaw, my 24 year old sis, who luckily was online at this early hour, and she told me to just respond, but in a manner that wouldn’t open the door to conversation. That way I am not stooping to his level, or giving him the satisfaction of knowing I am pissed. But I am also not opening the door for an apology. It made sense to me, so I responded to his question, “How’s it going?” with a text that just read, “It’s going great!’
He wrote back, “Well that’s good :)” and to that, I did not respond.
I felt great about my course of action. Does this response guarantee that he is out of my life for forever? Fuck no. But I think I was delusional if I thought any one thing would guarantee me that freedom. Even if I had switched my number, it’s not like I don’t have his number memorized. Chances are I’d get drunk one night (probably post my next big break up) and call him. And then all that work would be for not.
The only real way for me to cut him out is for me to actually decide, in my heart, that I am better than this. That I deserve to be with a guy who doesn’t crush my heart once a year. A guy who won’t lie to me, a guy who will commit to me, a guy who believes he’s good enough for me too. Then D can text me all the livelong day and I won’t spend a second stressing over how to respond.
So the real question isn’t whether I should respond or not respond to my ex’s text. Rather, it’s how do I get to a place where the response doesn’t mean a thing. When I figure that out, I’ll be sure to let you all know…