Brian* is going to take some time. He became the new ‘closest to a boyfriend I’ve ever had’ person so I have a lot to fill you in on. It all started when a friend of mine invited me to Notting Hill Carnival with a bunch of others which is where I met him. We went to the same school so I recognised him but this was the first time we met properly. For that day, we didn’t speak very much. I got the impression Brian liked some other girl who was with us and to be honest I really didn’t think much of it all. Anyway let’s fast forward a little bit. So I met Brian a few more times along with our mutual friends and we built a sort of friendship. He was funny and we seemed to get on well but I wasn’t placing any bets on anything happening; we were just building a friendship…
The point where our friendship turned into something more came in February 2013 when myself and Brian were invited to go on a holiday with three other friends. During the holiday we ended up sharing a room (now now, nothing happened!) and he would hold my hand in the back of the car and we had some very obvious flirting going on. I know, Jesus, not flirting! But anyway, we both knew it was more than just a friendship so even when we got back from the holiday, it all continued and became what others might see as a relationship. Brian didn’t though and to be honest, I didn’t even know what a relationship involving me looked like.
Slowly as the first month went on I started to pick up on the fact that Brian was friends with a girl who he obviously had feelings for; whether now or at some point in the past. There was a history. He used to joke that he really fancied her and really wanted to be with her. He once joked that he wished she didn’t have a boyfriend so he could be with her. None of these felt like jokes when I would look over in the mornings and he’d be texting her. He’s lying in bed next to me but messaging her. Prince Charming I know. Now before I continue I have to make one thing very clear. Brian never ever cheated on whatever we had. He would never cheat on anyone because he does have a good heart; he just doesn’t know what to do with it when it involves someone else!
So anyway, during this time we continued whatever we were doing. He wouldn’t touch me in public or kiss me in public. He would joke that I was a 4 out of 10 but then point out girls he saw as a 9 or 10 in public. The girl (Laura*) that he used to text all the time was, in his eyes, a 9 out of 10. I was a 4. Why stay with me and continue this charade if that’s how he feels? Because she had a boyfriend. All of these things started to chip away at my already low self esteem. He didn’t want people in public to see us together. He didn’t want to call us a couple or acknowledge a relationship. He constantly talked about how fit Laura was and how much he fancied her. But I was scared. I hadn’t managed to get myself a boyfriend and now I was coming up to turning 23. I thought this was what I deserved; this was the best I could get. Nobody would be able to love me and I would forever be a 4 out of 10 in a world full of 9s. At least that’s how it felt anyway.
One morning after Brian had stayed over I got out of bed in my bra and knickers. What happened next was another nail in the coffin that was to encase what was left of my self esteem. He sat up and looked at me with a weird look on his face. I asked him what he was looking at and his words, I absolutely kid you not, were “Do you know you’d have a well decent body if you went to the gym”. IF I went to the gym?? No matter what size or how heavy a girl is, you never imply that she needs to lose weight. At 5ft 5in and 9 and a half stone I have a healthy BMI and I wear a size 8/10 clothes. I have never been particularly happy with the way I look, but what girl has? Every single human on this planet has some hang up about themselves but to have it pointed out to you by the one person you put your trust into was like a knife. I stayed with him. I didn’t tell him to leave and I didn’t tell him I never wanted to see him again. Like I said, I thought this was the best I could do and maybe I should be treated like this. Don’t worry, the story gets better!
After another few months of being a 4 out of 10. Of watching Brian message and talk about Laura a lot because she was his perfect girl and he’d made that pretty clear. Of being the girl who would have a decent body if she went to the gym. Of being the girl who was seeing a guy that didn’t even want people in public to think they were together…. Brian ended it with me. Hang on, let me correct myself because he didn’t end it with me; his friend ended it with me for him.
One night, a group of us all went out together and whilst in the pub I was chatting to one of Brian’s best friends. I voiced my concern over the fact that Brian had been acting strange the past few days and ignoring me or being very distant. That was when Brian’s friend decided to let it out to me, with Brian watching from afar at the other end of the pub, “Brian doesn’t want to be with you anymore. He thinks he can do better than you and I think you deserve more so I’m sorry to tell you but I think you should know”. He thinks he can do better than me so doesn’t want to be with me anymore. Final nail in the self esteem coffin. Organise the funeral because right in that moment it took all of my courage I had left in me not to burst into tears and walk out. I’m better than that! Ok I say that now but back then I believed every word. I was angry that Brian couldn’t even tell me himself but by this point I fully believed I was doomed to a life of men to treat me like (excuse my language) absolute shit. I believed every word. I believed I was worthless.
So that was that. Brian had got rid of me. I was at rock bottom. What next? I couldn’t bear the thought of staying around and moping over him so I went online and did some research about moving abroad. I applied to work abroad as a holiday rep and two weeks on from the application, I was moving to Crete for the summer.
Skip forward two months and I was moving back from Crete and I was spending time with Brian again. I know, somebody should have slapped me! Well my best friend did try to because she knew I was being an idiot. Having Brian want me back made me feel better about myself, even if just temporarily. As you can all see coming, it was only temporary. Brian ended it with me again for the exact same reason. He can do better; at least he thought he could do better. He was messed up. Looking back as the person I am now, I can recognise that he was messed up all along! I just didn’t know then that I do deserve better. Don’t you worry though, I learn that I do deserve better and can be treated better about a year later. Watch this space.
I did manage to find some strength one day. About two months after he ended it with me, Brian let slip he was seeing someone else and asked if I would meet him for a drink to talk because he still wanted to be friends with me. I agreed and decided that this would be my moment to be strong. I pulled together every ounce of strength I had and let rip on him when we did meet. We sat in silence for a long time. I told him how angry I was at the way he treated me. I told him everything that was wrong with how he handled things. After everything spoken and everything unspoken, he opened his mouth and tried to joke that we would both be single forever. That was it. All that strength I had gathered was for this final moment and I wasn’t going to waste it, “I won’t be single forever. I will meet someone who will treat me the way I should be treated. You will be single forever and you’ll wonder what you did wrong.” I then explained that I didn’t want to be friends with him and walked away. I deleted him on all social media and cut him out of my life so I could start to rebuild. I learned to be as happy as I could be.
On a side note I would like to add that Brian did finally end up with his dream girl Laura! I ended up seeing them together at a party and although he denies it, his best friends admitted that they were together and the kissing doesn’t lie!
I should also add that although Brian was an idiot and seriously needs to reconsider some of the things he says to a girl, he’s not a completely bad guy. He’s lost and although I couldn’t see it then, I look back now and realise just how much better I was than him.