Things That You Will Do After You’ve Had A Bad Boyfriend


You’ll refer to him all the time. I’ve had other boyfriends since, but no matter how many years pass, whenever those drunken sexual-history talks with girlfriends arise, I always end up talking about him. I’d like to make him feel as small, the way he made me feel when we were together, but I can’t help it. Much to my chagrin, he made an impression.

You’ll block him from all your social networking sites. I blocked him from my email, Facebook, Twitter, and phone. This is obviously to keep him away from contacting me, but it’s also to keep me from contacting him. For some reason, every time he says anything to me, I have to respond — usually a nasty retort — and then we’re having a conversation and then he’s trying to see me and then I have to resist him again. I don’t trust him, but I also don’t trust myself. Blocked.

You’ll never tell your parents anything. I never said anything when we were together because I knew they wouldn’t approve. They didn’t know him when I was dating him, and they sure as hell can’t know about him now. I don’t know exactly how they would feel, but I know for sure it wouldn’t be good.

You’ll see his face in everyone’s face. Everyone looks like him, all the time. And as soon as I see anyone that even mildly resembles him, I’m back to when I was consumed by thoughts of him and honestly believed that I was in love, and I’m afraid.

You’ll make jokes about how weird the sex was to trivialize how scared it really made you. Mine made me call him “Daddy” and spanked me a lot. Once, I let him videotape himself while he hit me with a belt and then put a cigarette out on my thigh. Admittedly, I agreed to these things, but only because he said he’d leave me if I didn’t say yes. Super messed up. If I didn’t make people laugh about it, I’d cry myself to sleep every night.

You’ll be attracted to guys who are physically similar to him, but pretend that there’s no connection. 6’4” and doughy. That’s my type. It’s not important that he was 6’4” and doughy — that’s totally irrelevant. I’ve always liked guys that were a lot bigger than me. Right?

You’ll tell people that you’re totally at peace with everything while simultaneously blaming yourself. I’m stronger and better now because I have gotten out of a bad relationship. I know more about myself, and I know what to avoid in the future. Yeah. But I really should have known better. There were so many signs. I just didn’t want to see them, and I am stupid. I’m afraid that it’ll happen again because of how easily it happened the first time.

You’ll pretend that you’re totally fine even though you secretly believe that you may never recover. No elaboration necessary.

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image – Elvert Barnes