Note: Names in this article have been changed to protect the guilty, thanks to a helpful tip from a friend we’ll call Monica.
Let’s face it: going through a breakup is hard. I don’t care if you’re the one having to issue the breakup sentence or you’re the one receiving it. No matter how you look at it, breakups are not fun. It is with that opening statement that I begin this post about a girl who has changed my life forever and in so many ways, one about whom I will never forget, and one who will live on in my heart for quite some time even though she is no longer in my life. Note that as I write this post, the song “Home” by Daughtry is floating through my head, and so I would encourage you to listen to it as you read, or just listen to it in general since it’s such an awesome song.
Bethany is a tall, thin young woman, attractive in her own way, whom I met in late 2012 while attending Corning Community College. She was fresh out of high school and happened to be working in the campus cafeteria at the time. Since I frequented the cafeteria often, I was bound to run into her at some point, and that point happened to be on a cold day in December.
Now, for those that don’t know me or haven’t read my short bio, I am visually impaired, and only have the ability to see lights. So, when I go into the cafeteria at CCC, their staff will assist me in placing an order, getting food, and getting out to a table in the dining room. They try to rotate between staff every few days, and on the day I met Bethany, she was the person who got asked to help me.
A lot of people say that you shouldn’t actively seek out love, but rather let it find you in its own time. Up until the day I met Bethany, I thought these people were crazy, but looking back on our time together I realize they, and their words, were absolutely right. It just so happened that I met Bethany on that day and we started talking and got to know each other, spending as much time together within the next few weeks as we possibly could. She even visited me during her lunch break, and she also took me home to meet the rest of her family, as any good girl should. To make a long story short, we hit things off really well, and within a few weeks we were dating, and a few weeks after that we were officially together.
Now, some may say that you need to get to know someone for much longer than a few weeks before you date them. Normally I would agree with these people, but I would also view my relationship with Bethany as an exception. Although I only knew her for a short time before we started dating, we were together for over 2 years and it’s been the best relationship I’ve had so far. I think some of the things that helped us connect so well were the fact that we were both very quiet, introverted people, but when you got us together we could keep each other laughing and smiling for minutes on end. We also came from very similar backgrounds, and lived about 5 minutes from each other, which helped since neither of us are able to drive. But beyond that, Bethany just had a personality and quiet sparkle that really caught my eye. She wasn’t pretty in the supermodel sense of the word, or in the sense that most guys are looking for a stick-thin model with…well…you get the idea. But she was pretty in my eyes, with her soft skin, long hair, and tall, thin frame, and she was beautiful on the inside as well. She was always very nice to me, always tried to make me feel better when I was having a bad day, and always tried to stand up for me even when others were trying to put me down. In short, she was wonderful, and over time grew to be just about everything I could ever ask for.
“Just about? What does he mean by that?” I thought you might ask that. Well, as great as Bethany was and is, I realized a few months ago that our relationship wasn’t “normal” in the sense that most other relationships are “normal”. For example, I was usually (about 99% of the time) the one to contact her, or to plan our dates or meetups or whatever. In one period, she went about a month and a half without contact with me, due to having issues with her cell phone, and in all that time she never tried to get ahold of me at all. I was always under the impression that if a girl can’t talk to her boyfriend for some arbitrarily short period of time, she’ll go crazy and try to get ahold of him in any way she can. Please correct me if I am wrong on this in the comments, but that’s usually how relationships work, right? Or that if you see your significant other upset or in tears or something you’ll do whatever you can to comfort them, like giving an automatic embrace or a kiss or something? Well, Bethany, for all her strengths and good points, unfortunately wasn’t that great at this. And I’m a very nice guy and can normally let stuff like that go, but it was that combined with the stress of our distance relationship that I think finally broke things for us.
In fall 2013, I transferred to Alfred State College and Bethany transferred to Finger Lakes Community College, but before we left for our respective campuses we sat down and had a chat about the future of our relationship. I knew it was important for us to have a talk because I knew we would be apart from each other for long periods of time, and I wanted, like any good boyfriend, to make sure we were both on the same page about our relationship. What we figured out together was that we would transition to what we called an “open relationship,” in that we were still together, but would talk to the other person if one of us met someone on campus that caught our eye. For example, if I met a great girl that ended up liking me and whom I liked, I would talk to Bethany about it and we would proceed from there. This never happened, of course, but I wanted to make sure the two of us knew where we stood before being apart for weeks at a time.
And when I say weeks, I really do mean weeks. Our schedules on campus were such that we only saw each other about once per semester, when both of us came home for either Thanksgiving break or spring break. And of course we saw each other over Christmas break as well, but even during all these breaks, and all this free time, we only met up a handful of times. This really hurt me because I loved Bethany and wanted to see her as much as possible. I was already hurting from the fact we had to enter into a distance relationship, and that communication between us was sparse at best due to her having only a track phone, but what hurt the most was just how often we didn’t see each other.
Fast forward to Friday, February 20, 2015. I get a call from Bethany saying she is coming up to see me in one day’s time. Of course I am overjoyed, because this has never happened before. Bethany has never visited me at Alfred State and I have never visited her at FLCC. The next 24 hours flew by for me, and soon I got the call saying she had arrived on campus, courtesy of her brother, who had offered to drive her up to see me.
She met me at the campus radio station in the Student Leadership Center, and I gave her a quick tour of the station, as I had been wanting to do ever since I started at Alfred State. But as we were sitting in the station’s back office a few minutes later, I started to realize that something was bothering Bethany. Now, you have to understand that Bethany is a girl of few words, and also a girl of few emotions. It’s very hard for me to tell when she is upset, angry, frustrated, sad, etc., and this is coming from someone who knows her really well and who dated her for just over two years. But anyway, I could tell something was bothering her, so I brought her back to my dorm room where we could talk in private.
So here comes the most important part of this story. I asked her what was bothering her when we were safely inside my dorm room, and she responded by saying that she is planning to move away at the beginning of the summer, and that because of this I will probably never see her again, or at least won’t see her until the fall. This news devastated me, but it turns out that wasn’t all that she had in store for me. After some prodding, she also admitted that she was breaking up with me. She used the famous line, “it’s not you, it’s me,” and then proceeded to tell me that she realized she didn’t like who she was–someone who wasn’t very confident, who was quiet, who had trouble communicating with others and showing emotion–and she felt she needed to improve who she was before she could be in a relationship with anyone else. So, in other words, she dumped me. Yeah, I know, it’s a cruel phrase to use, but that’s basically what happened. She wouldn’t let me help her, wouldn’t accept any response, and just wanted to work on herself and be single until further notice. Oh, and did I mention she was completely calm during this entire exchange? No tears, no strained or cracking voice, no hands wiping the tears from my face as I cried, no nothing. But, then again, that was Bethany; even through an event that would be considered by anyone else to be something that is deeply emotional, she showed no visible emotions, at least none that I could read, and left to return to FLCC a few hours later.
So there you have it, the story of a girl named Bethany. What do you think? Probably wouldn’t make a good bedtime story, would it?
You know, as much as I loved Bethany and our relationship, I am at the same time ready to move on and meet new people. I still cherish Bethany and will keep her in my heart, but I am ready for a “normal” relationship, ready for someone that I can see and talk to regularly, someone that will be just as emotional as I am, or at least show some sort of emotion. Someone that I can hold in my arms and who feels comfortable and completely okay being there, who feels safe, secure, loved, appreciated, respected, and, most of all, wanted. That girl is out there somewhere, and I know that in due time I’ll meet her. Who knows, maybe she’s reading this post right now, and if that’s the case, then I thank you. But if you’re not her, well, I still thank you for reading this story, and hope that you come away with the knowledge that relationships, no matter how long, how fragile, how troubled, or how difficult, well, they are very precious things, and need to be cherished even after they are gone. I still care a lot about Bethany, and only want the best for her. I am not holding anything against her, and don’t want to yell at her or anything like that. Instead, I hope she finds the perfect person for her, just as I hope to do myself.
Take care, Bethany, and always remember the great moments we shared and memories we made during our time together. I hope your second boyfriend is just as good to you as I was, and indeed is better than I was, and that you find happiness wherever life takes you.