Three years ago, I met the man that I thought one day, somewhere in the wild, wild future, I’d marry.
Granted, I was 22, had never had a real boyfriend, and only knew real tales of romance from what I gorged myself on in every Julia Roberts rom-com known to man.
We spent a year having random adventures around the District on our bikes. I likened us to being the black Vada and Thomas J from the movie "My Girl." But "things" were never defined. I thought that by playing silent--never again mentioning that makeout session in front of Farragut North--we would eventually just fall into an actual relationship.
Yeah, that didn’t work.
So, two years ago, I cut him off, cold turkey. Save for the blue-moon text, Twitter scroll or Facebook comment, I didn’t communicate with him for the full year. But by New Years day, after too much vague reminiscing with my girlfriends, I found myself trolling his Twitter and discovered he was moving to Chicago for grad school--in 12 hours.
I decided to give him a call. A four hour-long conversation of "I miss you’s" and "I’m sorry’s" and "We can still talk in Chicago, right?" led to our rekindling. I hoped was a second chance at--something. The distance gave us a chance to rebuild our friendship, but it wasn’t long before my feelings came back. I kept silent (again), and came up with a plan: He would be back in September, and I figured we could finally talk about being official after he graduated in December.
That is, until I got a job that moved me across the country, and he told me (in a way that made me feel like a lovesick third grader with a crush on her teacher) that he wasn’t sure, or ready, or some bullshit like that.
Fool me twice, right?
I cut the cord officially again at the first of the year. I de-friended him completely on Facebook, cut ties on Twitter, and calls and emails were down to zero. I was finally free. I could move on and date and and daydream accordingly. And yet, nearly ten months after our last conversation, I can’t stop cyber-stalking him.
His open Twitter feed, regularly-updated Instagram, and spruced up LinkedIn page beckon to me like a moth to a flame, and I have found myself on more than one Friday night (Saturday through Thursday nights work too) trolling for any signs of happiness, progression, stability. Basically everything that I missed with having him in my life. I’m the bigger person in this for cutting him off completely, right? He’s hurting, so of course it’s only natural that I check in on him every month to make sure he’s not suicidal, right?
At first it was just a quick Instagram scroll to see what he had been up to since moving back home. Ah look. He made it to SXSW in March! And then an occasional peep at his Twitter to see how the job search was treating him. He finally landed something full-time, good for him! And then of course I had to peruse his LinkedIn. Crap! He can see when I check out his profile in a search, right? Better log out next time.
Every time I’d search another website I’d say to myself "Okay, that’s it. You don’t like him, you’re being a creeper. Log off and move on." And, after reminding myself of how many hours I wasted wishing he’d wake up, I would, for awhile. But then a photo of him would pop up in the feed of a mutual friend, or something would happen in my life that only he would understand the significance of. And since I can’t (won’t) call him, I have to go for my other option: the Insta-fix!
Maybe it’s because I never felt I got closure. I never got a straight answer as to why, if he claimed to like being around me so much, he wouldn’t even try to see us as an official couple. He wasn't right for me obviously. So why do I still walk airport terminals for a glimpse of his face, scan his timelines for any sign that he might be within 300 miles of me, so that I could just happen to be around? Why did I long for that mysterious, meant-for-no-one tweet that had an echo of "I miss you and I’m sorry, let me explain?"
He called me a few months ago and out of principle I didn’t pick up the phone. I haven’t heard from him since, and after finding picture of him and someone else on Facebook I felt kind of replaced. I was spent on social media. I even deactivated my Facebook account awhile back, and my trolling has since gotten less frequent on all fronts.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t wonder--okay, hope--if he stalks me too.