Our male writer has experienced a string of bad with relationships, with his girlfriends returning to their former partners. Here, he details one particularly bad break-up, which included cheating and ghosting.
Before my wife took leave of her senses and married me, I enjoyed, or endured, a patchy and largely forgettable love life where, for some reason, I was always the dumpee and never the dumper.
In fact, I have only ever dumped one person in my life. I had been seeing a perfectly lovely girl at university but she had gone to Spain for a year as part of her course and, rather than conduct a relationship based on prohibitively expensive international phone calls – this was pre-social media – I did the honourable thing and sent her a letter via air mail instead, before hiding in my wardrobe every time the phone went for the next two years.
For some reason, though, me getting the elbow became a running joke with my flatmates at the time, especially as none of my girlfriends ever told me to my face that it was over. There was never an "it’s not you, it’s me" moment, but, looking back, that’s probably because it was me, not them. Actually, there’s no probably about it.
I had four girlfriends in succession who all went back to their ex-boyfriends.
What was particularly disconcerting was that I had four girlfriends in succession who all went back to their ex-boyfriends, rather than stay with me and enjoy everything I had to offer, like a queen-sized bed in a tiny, rented flat in Streatham and above average levels of personal hygiene.
Read more: Common reasons couples break up, from lack of sex to disagreements over big decisions (Yahoo Life UK, 2-min read)
A positive start
Laura was one of them. I’d been seeing her for maybe two months. We met through mutual friends and as we were both relatively new to London we seemed to have a great time exploring all the capital had to offer young people yet to be ground down by the brainaching boredom of work and the perpetual penury of living in the capital.
We had a great time exploring all the capital had to offer young people.
Occasionally, she would mention some of the places in London where her and junior doctor ex-boyfriend Simon had visited and I didn’t mind that. She was, as far as I could tell, completely open about that relationship, even down to telling me they had split up because he was seeing two other women at the same time as her.
Luckily, Laura lived in a shared flat about a mile from me and I’d often drop in on the way home from work which is what I did, unannounced, one gloomy Friday afternoon.
Laura took an eternity to answer the door but when she more than a little surprised to see me. Still, she ushered me up the stairs, guarding the closed door to her room on the half-landing and into the kitchen on the top floor.
"Put the kettle on, just going to the loo," she said, before trotting back down the stairs and, I assumed, on to the bathroom.
As I waited for the kettle to boil, though, I heard the front door slam shut which was strange because there nobody else in the house and nobody had knocked since I’d arrived. I walked over to the living room window and looked down to the street below, only to see a guy running down the front steps and off down the street, pulling his jacket on as he sped off.
I heard the front door slam shut which was strange because there nobody else in the house.
Laura came back into the kitchen. "Who was that?," I asked. Flustered, she said it was someone looking for her flatmate. I could tell she was lying. The cup of tea that followed was one of the most awkward I’ve ever had, second only to the one I spilt on my grieving auntie’s lap at my uncle’s wake.
But it was half-hearted peck on the cheek as I left that told me everything I needed to know.
As we parted on the doorstep, we arranged to meet for a drink the following night but Laura never showed up. I tried calling her too, but nothing. I even went round to her flat again but chickened out of knocking on the door, not because she might answer it but because Simon might and he was bigger than me and I hadn’t had a fight since I punched Andrew Taylor into a hedge after school when I was nine.
Read more: What is fizzling? This new dating trend is the less painful version of ghosting (Yahoo Life UK, 2-min read)
A few weeks later, I did see her from a distance in Regents Park, hand in hand with the chap I’d last seen sprinting away from her house. I’m guessing it was Simon because he had floppy blond hair, just as she’d described him and I could smell his infidelity from 200 yards.
I don't blame Laura - I just wish she could have told me to my face.
I soon got over Laura, largely because I met Amy (who, yes, also went back to her ex-boyfriend). I don’t blame Laura, just as I don’t blame any of the girlfriends who felt their future didn’t include me. I just wish she could have told me to my face.
Failing that, she could have just sent me a letter.