It Took Me 4 Years To Move On From My 1-Year Relationship

Have you ever found yourself in a relationship that you know is wrong yet impossible to leave? I have, and it took me several years to recover from it once it inevitably ended.

  1. I was young and naive, not that that’s an excuse. I was fresh out of college, a lost little soul trying to navigate the real world. I hated my job, and for the first time, I didn’t know what my next step was. I was desperate for something steady, something that would allow me to feel some sense of security. My first mistake was that I went looking for that in another person. My ex-boyfriend was a couple of years older, had a good job, had experience in handling the real world, and he made me feel admired. When we started going on regular dates, it was the only thing that got me through each miserable work day. I spent my days living in a fantasy world; it wasn’t real, it was just a place I created to escape reality.
  2. It was over before it started After a couple of months of dating, we broke up because he “wasn’t ready” for a real relationship. I was devastated; we’d barely just gotten started and we had so much chemistry, so how could this be it? In my heart, I knew it wasn’t over and sure enough, after a few days of silence, I started to hear from him again. It got to a point where I would receive a text every single day. I loved hearing from him, and somehow we slipped right back into our old ways.
  3. We were on a rollercoaster ride. Throughout the rest of the year, we continued our on-and-off relationship dance. I would break up with him when I felt like he wasn’t fully committed. He would break up with me when he felt like we were getting too serious. We never had that mature break-up or closure. It started to feel like this inescapable pattern and breakups no longer meant anything.
  4. I finally found the courage to break it off for good. After a year of going back and forth with him, I finally begged him to leave me alone forever. It was right before New Year and I was determined to leave him behind and move on with my life. I was tired of the BS and I could never meet anyone new because, in the back of my mind, the person I wanted to be with was going to message me any minute asking to get back together. I knew that if I could break that toxic cycle, I would finally have a chance of moving on. This time, it wasn’t a breakup, it was a plea.
  5. Then I got crazy. While the communication didn’t end completely, he did reduce the number of outreach attempts. This was the point where my crazy, irrational young mind really went to work. I became infuriated with him for not trying harder. I started dating people just to spite him and I would go to bars I knew I may see him at and dangle whoever I was seeing in front of him. I would post cryptic tweets about him and do everything I could to make my life look perfect without him. The immaturity of it all makes me cringe in retrospect, but my evil little plan worked and I started to hear from him more and more.
  6. My evil plan ended up backfiring… obviously. We bumped into each other one night and he asked if we could get dinner. I fell for it and agreed—I was back on the rollercoaster. With us, there was always a fight for the upper hand. The person who cared less won. We spent the entire next year playing cat and mouse, teasing each other, being single but keeping each other at an arm’s reach. It was messy, painful, and I spent way too much of my life stalking the girls I suspected him of hooking up with.
  7. He never let me forget him. A couple of years went by and communication fizzled and run-ins became less frequent. Then one day I moved to Australia and started dating someone else. I was thousands and thousands of miles away and would still get the odd message from him. The worst part was that I loved it. At this point, it had been so long since we were together that I forgot about all the pain the relationship had caused me. I wasn’t happy in the relationship I was in, so I imagined what it would be like to go home and see him again. I fantasized about him making one of his famous grand gestures, sweeping me off my feet and living happily ever after.
  8. Eventually, I grew up. After a year in Australia, I did go home and on my very first night, guess who I ran into? All the old feelings rushed back. We sat down and talked and I didn’t want it to end. We made plans to get together and like clockwork, shit hit the fan. This time, all I could do was laugh. The curse was broken. Nothing had changed; he didn’t mature, he didn’t care, and finally, I didn’t either. It only took four years but I moved on, and now all I can think was that it all worked out exactly as it was supposed to. Now I’m in the most healthy relationship of my life with someone I’m crazy in love with. Funny how things work out.
Britt is a 20-something business owner, freelance writer & full-time traveler. When she’s not reading or writing for work or play, she enjoys running, cooking, and searching for every new city’s best spicy margarita. Check out her website for advice and musings on travel and living an unconventional life.