My dogs died. My father had a stroke. And the Model came back.
Last summer, my parents' dogs were put to sleep. I loved those dogs very much. They were old and had several health problems, and my mother constantly complained about caring for them. I flew to my parents' house to say goodbye to the dogs, and I think about them and miss them every day.
Last fall, my father had a stroke. I was unable to fly out to the state where my parents live because of my teaching responsibilities, but my sibling went there. My mother sat by my father's hospital bed and criticized him, blaming him for what happened to him, and then she complained to me on the phone about how he did not want to talk to her.
I have always been angry at my father for not protecting me or my sibling from my mother. He always refuses to admit when he's wrong. He has berated me in front of my classmates and friends. But when I found out he was in the hospital, I was scared. He is better now, but he is still under a doctor's supervision.
Last spring, I decided to try online dating again. After what happened with the Model, I withdrew into my work. But I finally decided that I was ready to try again, and I signed up for Bumble.
That's how I came across the Model's profile. At first, I thought it might be a fake picture because he told me that many people had stolen his pictures before. Also, I thought he was still living out West, and his profile stated that he was in College Town (Bumble indicates how many miles away each person is from you). But I was curious, so I swiped right. To my shock, he had already swiped right on my profile because when you and the other person both swipe right, you "match" on the app.
I sent out a brief and cautious message on Bumble, asking if it was really him. He didn't answer, so I figured it really was a fake profile.
But a few days later, I came across another Bumble profile with different pictures of him. I swiped right again, only to find that he had already swiped right on my profile. I sent another brief message, and still no response.
About a month later, he texted me, saying that he wanted to see me. He did not apologize for what he did or explain what happened. I could have blocked him. I could have told him that I'd been hurting for almost a year because of what he did. But I didn't. I went to see him instead.
This is the part where you are probably reacting like this:
And I didn't just see him that night. That summer, any time he wanted to see me, I was there.
I asked him about his girlfriend. "We're not dating anymore," he said, but he didn't look me in the eye when he said it. "She's like my best friend now, but I might support her financially because she doesn't make a lot of money." I thought, I don't make a lot of money either, but my solution to that was to get a second job, not to get some guy to pay my bills and buy me things. There's a word for women like her.
He also mentioned that he had hooked up with other women out West. I wondered if she knew.
A few days after the last time I saw him, I texted him. No answer. I figured out that I could see his profile by simply logging out of Instagram, so I did. That same day that he ignored my message, he posted a video of himself "proposing" to the woman he claimed wasn't his girlfriend. The proposal was fake; it was just part of a comedy sketch. But the way she looked at him was real. So was the way he told her he loved her.
I looked at her profile too. There were no recent pictures of him in more than a year, but there were pictures of not one but eight vacations she'd taken in a year, most likely on his dime, even though at least three of those trips were "girls' trips" with her friends, not him.
I stopped texting him after that, and I didn't hear from him again for months. When his self-published book came out, I texted him and told him that I liked it. We spent the next two months texting each other regularly.
He had moved back to a small town in the Midwest and was focusing on his lucrative Instagram page and writing. But he always had an excuse for why he couldn't come to see me, even though College Town was not far from where he lived. On the other hand, he made several trips to the city where she lived, which was much farther away.
That was what made me finally snap out of it. I realized that he was literally passing me by to go see her. Even if they had been broken up when he and I reconnected the previous summer, they were now back together. I thought, I can't do this anymore.
And so I pulled away from him again, this time for good. I did not try to text him again, and I haven't heard from him in weeks.
That's why I stopped blogging. I couldn't reveal what happened because I felt deeply ashamed for running back to him. And after what happened to my father and the dogs, it was like my whole world was crashing down around me, and I didn't have the energy to write funny blog posts anymore.
Reconnecting with him last summer was a mistake. But it was a mistake that I needed to make. After he broke my heart two years ago, I kept blaming myself for what happened. I was still under the illusion that if I had just done something differently, he would have chosen me instead of her. But after everything that's happened, I know that I was wrong. The fact that he continues to choose her over me makes me realize that what I wanted with him was never going to happen.
I was addicted to him. Being with him was like being on a drug. It felt exciting and intoxicating. But it was never fully satisfying. I was always left wanting more. And I finally realized that for the sake of my own sanity, I had to stop chasing after this guy who had hurt me again and again.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't have feelings for him anymore. But I keep telling myself, I can't do this anymore, and it makes me feel better.
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