Somebody That I Used To Know
Now and then I think of when we were together, like when you said you felt so happy you could die. I told myself that you were right for me, but felt so lonely in your company. That was love and it’s an ache I still remember… So when we found that we could not make sense, well you said that we would still be friends, but I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over.
How do you know when to let go versus when you should hold on and fight for the person you love? And why is it that, in some cases, simply loving someone isn’t enough to keep a practically perfect relationship together?
Let’s rewind about 6 months. It was November and I was reaching the one-year mark of being single: a new record for me. I have always been the type of girl to need a relationship of some sort to define myself, but in that year, I had dated but never let myself get serious with anyone. The previous relationship had left me pretty bruised and with a lot of sore spots to ultimately change. I didn’t like the girl it had turned me into and, rather, worked to be the woman I had always hoped to be.
Cue Mitch. Mitch was quirky, adorable, and nerdy in the best ways possible. He was driven and moving up within the chain of command at his work and seemed to have a level head on his shoulders. We ended up rescheduling our first date twice because we couldn’t wait to see one another, and by rescheduling I mean moving it closer and closer to the day we were on. The date was incredible too - we started out by getting coffee at my favorite coffee shop, then spent the remainder of the date getting lost in downtown Portland, looking at little art shops, getting a drink at a bar, and going to an eclectic restaurant I had always wanted to try. And, even after that, we went back to his apartment where he started a fire in his fireplace that burned as we cuddled on the couch during a movie. He kissed me and I saw fireworks. Additionally, we didn’t sleep together - we didn’t want to ruin the perfect first date.
So, it was less than 24 hours before I made the hour drive to his place again to spend more time with him.
From that moment on, we were inseparable. In fact, he came with me to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, even though we’d been seeing one another for two weeks, and to the intro of “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” (a John Mayer favorite of mine), he asked me to be his girlfriend. On top of that, when I was home for winter break, I lived with him for a whole week while I wasn’t working. We got along so well - we communicated, we had witty banter, and the sex was amazing (we ended up sleeping together the second day we hung out because we were so infatuated with one another). I hate to use the word, but things were perfect.
But, as with all perfect things, something had to eventually go wrong. Over time, I had come to learn that Mitch had been seriously burned in his last serious relationship, as well as with the less serious ones that followed. Right when things peaked, he started to push me away, and actually broke up with me for a whole 3 days. He came back with the usual, “I was such an idiot,” and on good faith, I believed he had learned to never push me away again.
As I mentioned earlier, we lived a little over an hour away from one another. At first, he didn’t like coming down to visit me. He suffers from anxiety and being away from his apartment overnight really stressed him out. He started to come around a little bit, especially when I found it increasingly more difficult to get time off work to come up and see him. On top of that, his “weekends” were Monday/Tuesday - days I typically had class and work, and he would work Saturday/Sunday - my free days. As things became more difficult, we started to bicker more and more. The communication started to break down and our relationship started to crack under the pressure.
Each time we’d see one another, it would be like adding more cement to a concrete wall - it would patch the cracks, but not permanently. I see now how much stress we put on ourselves, each other, and the relationship.
About a month ago, we decided to call it quits. I have every intention to move to the Portland area when I graduate in December and we were both worried that the distance would make it impossible for us to last that long (or, rather, he was worried, so he gave up and I was forced to agree). We attempted to be friends, but all the feelings were still there, making the friendship awkward and a lot like a relationship at times.
The arguing got worse and peeked last week when I was stoned by terrible news. I had multiple stressors raining down on me and seemingly, no one to turn to. When I attempted to turn to Mitch, he was cruel and lacking empathy. It hurt to be completely rejected by the last person who was standing by my side and left me feeling totally alone. On Thursday, when Mitch decided that we could no longer talk due to it being too stressful, I wasn’t surprised. It was a month-long break up and it had finally come to an end. We left things open ended - talks of friendship once the feelings subsided and possibly trying to date again in the future.
Friday night, I finally broke down to Caleb (who, for some reason, hadn’t been talking to me all week) and we decided to drink our boy troubles away. After Caleb went to bed, I stayed up and watched Friends With Benefits and, drunkenly, decided to make an online dating profile. In the morning, after I had sobered up from the alcohol and feelings of loneliness and desperation, I decided to get online to delete the dating account. I hadn’t been prepared for the punch to the gut that was Mitch’s face on the front page, claiming an 86% match.
At first I had felt angry and betrayed. After all, this HAD to be why he didn’t want to talk anymore - he wanted to see other people. But then I realized that I was on there too, doing the same thing. It took me a few hours to come to that conclusion, but thankfully, during that time, I didn’t do anything brash. I decided to sit on it and see what happened.
This morning, without any warning, around 11:35 AM, Mitch deleted me off his Facebook friend list. At first I was confused and sure it had to be a mistake - so I tried calling him. Of course, I got his answering machine.
“Hey Mitch, it’s me, K. Umm… I’m not sure what’s going on. I saw that you removed me from your friend’s list. Did I do something to upset or offend you? If so, would you mind letting me know what I did? I mean, I guess you don’t have to, but I would like to know. I still care about you, a lot. So, I guess, if you could give me a call back, that would be great. I figured talking on here was better than sending you a Facebook message. If you don’t want to, then, I hope you have a great life. I’m sorry if I upset you in some way and wish you could tell me what I did. Well, hopefully I’ll hear from you soon.”
I’m notorious for leaving lengthy voicemails.
I still have not yet heard from him. A friend told me to ignore my instincts of wanting answers, as it seems that when women seek answers in situations like this, they come off as the crazy ex-girlfriend. I want to fight for him, for all the wonderful things we had in our relationship. But, another part of me wants to let him go because all the wonderful things left long ago.
It’s scary being truly single, once again. When you meet someone who seems to match you perfectly, you begin to build a foundation on which you can rest a while. It’s learning to not build too much too quickly that is key - for if you do, you’ll have more to pick up or leave behind when the land you set up camp on decides to cave in.
But you didn’t have to cut me off, make out like it never happened and that we were nothing. And I don’t even need your love, but you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough. No you didn’t have to stoop so low, have your friends collect your records and then change your number. Guess that I don’t need that though, now you’re just somebody that I used to know.