My feelings for my boyfriend have absolutely perished. Currently, I’m at the airport waiting to board my flight back home to New York after a successful freshman year of college, and I’m arguing with my boyfriend, Marlowe, about something that happened last night. Actually, calling it “arguing” would be a stretch considering I give no f*cks about the conversation he’s trying to have with me. He’s essentially been talking at me for the past 2 hours in absurdly long paragraphs.
I’m being harsh; I know. He clearly is deeply invested in our relationship and I need to empathize with that. It’s just so difficult when I have no romantic feelings for him or emotional attachment to him.
Why are you with him then, Eloise?
Good question, reader! I guess I assumed staying with him through the summer wouldn’t be so bad. We went through a rough patch about a month ago where he had problems with a lot of my habits, but we’ve since moved past it and thus I thought sticking with our relationship a little longer to see how it goes couldn’t be too intolerable. My mistake.
Of course he starts having problems with me again the day I leave for summer break. This “fight” honestly solidified my depleting feelings for him. I still felt something yesterday, but now he just makes me feel uncomfortable. Our breakup is due for September since I owe it to him to do it in person, but it sucks that that’s months away.
I really thought I had a shot at a happy, healthy relationship with this kid, but I don’t think I can pretend to be interested anymore. He’s too dramatic. It’s a side effect of this being his first relationship, so he’s been trying to navigate through the perks and perils of having another person by his side, but I can’t be bothered to care anymore.
The “fight” we got into was over a commitment I made a few nights back to sleep over in his room. Considering it was one of the last few night we’d get to spend together before summer break began, he thought having me stay that night would be a perfect opportunity to squeeze in some last minute cuddling. I agreed, and said I’d stop by after the weekly movie night my friends and I have. He knew this meant I’d be there somewhere around 1 in the morning, but we usually stayed up pretty late anyway, so that didn’t make much of a difference to him. Soon enough, the movie ended, my friends and I parted ways, and I went to go text Marlowe that I was on my way to his dorm.
Unfortunately, when I clicked to open my phone I discovered that it was dead.
What options did I have? The doors of each hall locked for everyone except residents of that hall after 11pm, and it was well after midnight. I didn’t want to take my chances waiting outside of his hall in the cold until someone opened the door, and our halls were on completely opposite sides of campus. That being said, I went back to my room, let my phone turn back on, told him that I couldn’t make it, and went to sleep.
Eloise, you could have gone back after you charged your phone.
I was thinking of an excuse to refute that point, but frankly I just didn’t want to. It was the end to a long day, and I was ready to go to sleep. Marlowe was clearly disappointed, but he understood.
The next day he asked me to sleep over yet again. This time, it was about two days before my flight and that meant only two more days with my comfy mattress pad and large dorm room with an en suite bathroom, and only one more day until my software design final project presentation. So, I didn’t exactly want to. Nevertheless, I was open to the possibility of working around my selfishness to sleep in his room, so I told him that I might. Especially considering how the night before went, I didn’t want to guarantee anything and gave him a chance to accept the possibility of disappointment.
Of course, the day went by rather quickly, and at around 11PM I decided that sleeping over wouldn’t be in my best interest. I still had yet to pack, and I was planning on spending most of my night preparing slides and a user manual for my final software design presentation. He was clearly even more upset than the night before. I stressed to him that I made no promises because I knew I had a high chance of being swamped with work, but he– of course– wasn’t thrilled. It was his last night before his move out day, and he wanted to spend it with me, so I said, “That’s a shame. Before you told me you were leaving tomorrow, I was thinking about spending tomorrow night in your room, instead.”
Either way, I went back to my room, prepared my presentation, and went to sleep. The next day, my final presentation went marvelously, and Marlowe had even shown up to support my class (for those of you who don’t know Marlowe is the TA for software design). When I returned to my desk after having presented, Marlowe leaned over to me and whispered, “I got my parents to let me stay another night. You can sleep over now!”
F*ck. Thinking he wasn’t going to stay another night, I hadn’t packed, and had looked forward to spending one more evening in my room. That ruined everything. In my head, I tried to plan out excuses to decline his offer, but I couldn’t think of anything. I had implied that him staying an extra night would guarantee us a sleepover, and he clearly only convinced his parents because of me.
I’d packed a little bit before I headed to his room, and had made sure to take the necessities with me: a change of clothes, a toothbrush, my keys and my phone charger. Car service was supposed to pick me up at 10 in the morning, and I was scheduled to check out of my room by 9AM. The plan was to wake up a few hours before then to pack. At about 11PM, I arrived to his room in Mellwitt Hall, and when the clock hit 3 in the morning I was tired and ready to crash. I went to my backpack and started digging for my phone charger. A few seconds later I froze.
Although I’d sworn I’d packed it, I quickly realized I’d actually left my charger on my desk.
“Marlowe, I need to go back.”
“What is it?”
“My phone is on 3%, and I left my charger in my room.” He was an Android user, so his chord would have done me no good.
“Oh, okay. Come back afterwards,” he said.
“It’s 3AM. If I’m going to walk all the way to Fitz, I may as well just stay there and pack.”
“But you said you’d stay over!”
“I was planning on it. I really was. I genuinely thought I packed my charger.”
“I’ll wake you up.”
“I really don’t trust you to do that,” I replied in a panic. To most, Marlowe’s proposal would sound like a good idea, but he was the absolute worst at that. I’d missed classes, meetings, and dinner plans because of his empty promises to get me up on time. Those were one thing, but a $600 flight to NYC was something I could not miss.
“C’mon you said you’d stay over! A good compromise would be for you to go to Fitz and come back.” In my head, Marlowe’s suggestion didn’t seem like a good compromise at all. I was already concerned about how late it was getting, we’d been arguing for 15 minutes by then, and the whole journey would close the gap between then and my checkout time by another half an hour. Not to mention the walk was chilly, uncomfortable, and I was already so tired.
“No. It doesn’t make sense for me to come to Mellwitt, then back to Fitz for my charger, then back to Mellwitt, then back to Fitz in the morning. I’m going to my room and staying there.”
We argued for a little longer until he caved. He asked to walk me back and I replied with a breathy, “Whatever.”
I didn’t exactly know why at the time, but I’ll admit I was pretty snappy on the way to Fitz. It was a mixture of panic for not having finished packing, annoyance at him for not realizing the importance of my flight precedes a sleepover, and what I understand now to be pure apathy. I simply didn’t care that he was upset, and so it was difficult for me to empathize. Because it was difficult for me to empathize, I was pissed off that he was even upset in the first place.
Our dialogue on the way to my room was filled with sermons on how much he wished he hadn’t stayed an extra night and how disappointed he was. He mixed it in with a bunch of, “I-told-you-so”s and “I’m-going-to-miss-you”s, and at one point even started to cry. Oh my god was I annoyed. He was visiting me in the New York in a few weeks, and yet here he was sobbing over how much he was going to miss me. With everything I’d had on my plate, I really didn’t want to hear it.
When he dropped me off at my room I gave him a peck and said a quick goodbye. Then, I changed my clothes, set my alarm, and fell asleep.
The next morning I got to packing. I stuffed everything I owned into three suitcases and gave Marlowe a call to help me bring my things to the car. It was about 9AM, and since his checkout time was at 8:50, I’d figured he was ready to take my call. Apparently, my call had actually only woken him up. That solidified to me that I made the right decision by sleeping in my room. If he couldn’t even get himself up on time for his checkout, I didn’t want to imagine what would have happened if I had stayed over.
As soon as he had the chance to, he came over to my room and helped me lug my stuff to the driver that patiently waited for me at the campus entrance. I’d arrived a little late because of how heavy my things were, and was in a rush to get to the airport. That being said, I gave Marlowe a low-effort goodbye once again, and sped off.
It was when I got to the airport that I got a string of texts that made me want to gauge my eyes out. I decided to plug his writing into a word counter to show you guys what I had to deal with. Apparently, his first text to me was 1,073 words– the equivalent of a 2.4 page essay. In it, he went on about how he’d spent a eight full hours crying over my underwhelming goodbye the night before. He also decided to insert the tear emoji every now and then to signify when he actually started crying while writing. It’s moments like those that make me really feel like I’m dating a 12-year-old.
I replied, and he replied, and I replied, and he replied, and with every text he sent I cared less and less until this moment when I realized I don’t care at all.
He has since cooled down and is now crying over how much he misses me, and how he’s hurting so badly that I’m not next to him. Christ almighty, it’s been three hours, we’ve only been dating for three months, and he’s seeing me in literally three weeks. He tells me that he hasn’t cried this much in five years, but I’m 100% worth it.
No, I’m really not. And even if I was, why would I want to be the reason someone cries for eight straight hours? Nothing about that is endearing or remotely appealing. All I know is that I can’t take it anymore. Every time I think about him, I’m just drafting a breakup letter. Too many differences. I’m not ready for a serious commitment. I don’t think I can give him the level of empathy and understanding he deserves from another person.
All of this is true. He’s a very sweet person and he means no harm. He’s definitely been the most tolerable boyfriend I’ve had by a long shot. I just don’t like how he waits in line for my attention. That’s all our relationship is: a long wait for his turn with me. He works his schedule around mine, and tries to squeeze himself in unnaturally. I don’t give my free time away first-come-first-serve. I give my full attention to things I want to give my full attention to. It’s difficult for me to want to spend time with people who don’t understand that, because it makes me feel as though they think I owe them something for their wait. That’s not fair to me. The harder he’s tried the more I’m driven away.
The flight attendant is going through regular procedure, which means he’ll tell us all to turn airplane mode on soon, and with each ding I hear from Marlowe, all I can say is that I’m ready to put my phone away and bask in the silence.