** Names have been changed for confidentiality **
** Warning - drugs / drug abuse, anxiety and depression is mentioned **
Owen was my last “official” relationship before I met Brandon, my fiancé. This one was what I considered to be my breaking point.
I want to preface this story with what I have always considered to be my 3 reasons to leave a relationship, no questions asked.
If you cheat on me
If you hit me
If you start using hardcore drugs (cocaine, heroine, etc.)
Owen and I met via an online dating app, surprise surprise. We had been chatting for a couple of weeks before we decided to go on our first date. I was living in Mississauga at the time, and he was living in Hamilton. Through conversation, we figured out that we had a mutual friend from the Niagara region, as that’s where we both grew up.
Owen was honestly one of the funniest guys I had ever met. His sense of humor was so weird but so awesome. He lived and breathed memes which I was all about. There was never a dull moment with him to say the least.
Early November 2018, we met up at an Irish Pub for some drinks and food before we went to go see Bohemian Rhapsody. Owen was pretty shy at first and had this bashful look on his face any time I complimented him. Since we were so nervous, Owen ordered us both a shot of Jameson to take the edge off. We shared some food while getting to know each other better. We had a pretty good time. He eventually opened up and became his normal funny self, sweet, and thoughtful.
After the pub, we went to the movies. It was the typical first date movie theatre experience where the girl pretends to be cold, and the guy does the yawning arm over the girl type of deal. Super cute. After the movie, he kissed me goodbye, and we went home. We continued to get to know each other and planned for more dates.
One night after dinner, we went back to Owen’s place. We were on the couch chatting. He told me that he wanted to make it “Facebook official”. I was really excited. We started making plans for more date nights and things to do. He asked me if I was into UFC. At the time, I wasn’t since I had never even watched a single fight. UFC 231 Holloway vs Ortega was being held at the Scotia Bank Arena in Toronto and he wanted to go with a friend from work and his girlfriend. I was excited to experience something new and to do it with him. We had this philosophy that we would rather spend money on experiences to do together rather than a physical gift, so this was a great start.
I invited Owen over to help set up my Christmas tree. We had the best time decorating the tree together. My OCD definitely kicked in when it came to adding ribbon to the tree. I must ask, does anyone actually know how to properly put ribbon on a tree? So stressful.
I made dinner for us. I moved the dinner table into the middle of the living room, turned off the lights so that the lights from the Christmas tree and my fake fireplace lit up the room. I had some candles on the table as well. I think I even turned on some music. As had dinner, Owen seemed to be so infatuated with me at that moment. He looked at me and said, “you are true wifey material”. It was such a cute night.
The UFC weekend had finally arrived, and we planned to get a hotel room the night of the fights then the go to the Toronto Christmas Market the following day. I called it “Our super cute weekend”. For those of you that don’t know me, I am all about the super cute moments in relationships. Take me to the beach to walk along the shore, let’s go star gazing, pick me up in your pickup truck and take me for ice cream. If it’s corny and cute, I’m in.
We had a great time at UFC with his friends, they are such an amazing couple. They are actually engaged now, and I am so excited for them. Seriously, they are the epitome of true love. It’s adorable.
We went back to our hotel room, ate our free cupcakes from the hotel ( I lied and said it was our two year anniversary to get some free stuff) then passed out. So much food and beer were consumed that night, we couldn’t keep our eyes open.
The next morning, we woke up and got ready for the Christmas Market. We didn’t know that you had to book your tickets online, so we just showed up. When we got there the site wasn’t working so they just let us in for free.
If you have never been to the Toronto Christmas Market, I highly suggest you go. There are so many cool vendors, good food and drinks and overall, an awesome Christmas vibe.
We had a great time at the Market, we got some super cute photos, souvenirs and what was the best hot chocolate I have ever consumed in my life. Seriously, you need to try it, liquid chocolate in a cup.
Throughout our relationship, Owen would say things like, “how hasn’t anyone scooped you up yet?”, “I can’t believe you are all mine”. Whenever he would say those things, it made me feel so wanted and loved. I spent so many years feeling not good enough and wanted by so many other guys, it felt nice to feel appreciated.
Christmas approached and we agreed to do Christmas with our families, but we would spend New Year’s Eve together. Since we both agreed to spend money on experiences together rather than a physical gift, for Christmas, I purchased tickets for us to go see one of our favourite comedians, Chris D’elia in March. I honestly can’t remember what he got. I want to say it was the UFC tickets.
New Year’s Eve, Owen picked me up from my parent’s house and we made our way to the hotel that we booked. We met up with the mutual friend that I mentioned at the beginning as well as my friends Shannon, her boyfriend and Nikki. We all had dinner together then went back to our hotels. Midnight approached; we went outside to see the fireworks. Owen held me, kissed me and said, “Can we do this again next year?”. I felt so happy in that moment because he was thinking long term. Finally, someone who sees a future with me. That didn’t last very long.
Unfortunately, Owen’s grandmother had passed. We were still too new into the relationship for me to attend the funeral as I hadn’t even met his family yet. I had only talked to his mother on the phone on his birthday. I gave Owen all the space he needed to get through the funeral and grieving process. During that time, I was a little worried that he wasn’t reaching out to me at all. I assumed that he would have wanted some sort of support and comfort from his girlfriend. I just kept reminding myself that everyone deals with death differently, so to continue to let him be.
Once the funeral had passed, Owen seemed to be a little distant. I was hoping that it was just because he may have been feeling down about the recent loss of his grandmother rather than having doubts about us. I had asked him a few times if he was happy and wanted to be with me. His answer was always, “if I didn’t want to be with you, I would tell you. I want to be with you”. I chose to believe him.
It was around this time that my anxiety was really starting to pick up. I seemed to be experiencing more attacks than usual. I talked to my doctor and asked for some advice. I had tried meditation, counselling, exercising… you name it, I tried it. I told her that I was finally ready to try medication. The anxiety was getting worse, and it was starting to interfere with my everyday life. I told Owen about everything I was feeling, and he supported my decision to try medication.
On night, he sent me a photo of two Stag and Doe tickets for one of his co-workers. I acknowledged it but carried on with our conversation.
A few days later, we met up for dinner at Chuck’s Roadhouse. We ordered our food and started chatting. I asked him about the stag and doe tickets he bought. I asked him, “So, do you want to go to that or was it more of a “being supportive” purchase for the couple?”. He looked at me and said, “well, I want to go.” He really emphasized the word “I “. I asked him if he wanted me to come still since he bought two tickets. He looked down and said, “I don’t know…”. I could tell he didn’t want me to come for some reason. I asked him, “do you not want me to come now?” He said, “No, not really…all of my co-workers will be there”. I was a little taken back, so I asked why not. He just had his head down and didn’t give me an answer. Being a super self-conscious person, I automatically assumed that it was because he was embarrassed of me and my size. I asked him, “is it what I think it’s because of?”. He looked at me with a look of grief and nodded his head. In that very moment, I felt like I was going to throw up. I got up, went to the washroom, and cried for about 10 minutes. I couldn’t believe that my boyfriend was using my biggest insecurity as a reason to not introduce me to his friends and co-workers. I felt absolutely destroyed at that moment.
I wiped my tears away, went back to the table. He said, “Em, I’m sorry”. I didn’t respond. I didn’t even know how to respond. The waitress brought our food, I couldn’t even stomach the thought of eating. He ate his food and I sat and waited for him to be done so I could go home. Once we got back to my place, we sat down on the couch. I looked at him and asked him, “Are you happy?”. From that moment, it all went downhill. He started crying and proceeded to tell me that he doesn’t get excited to see me anymore, he’s questioning what he wants in life, even though he told me he wanted to settle down soon, get married and have a family. He was spewing off all these feelings to me that I had no idea he had been feeling. He told me he had been thinking of ways to end the relationship but couldn't figure out how. He told me that he considered buying some cocaine to indiscreetly hide in his apartment for me to find. As I mentioned in the beginning, he knew this would be a reason that I would instantly walk away... Ya.
The most annoying part of it all was, throughout the relationship, he constantly reassured me that he was happy, and he wanted to be with me. I was so upset, I felt sick to my stomach. He was supposed to spend the weekend with me but ended up going home that night. Another thing that was annoying is, how am I supposed to know something was wrong, if you don't tell me? How can I try to fix what I don't know about?
Once he left, my old mentality of taking pills to not feel anything and sleep kicked in. I took a bunch of drug store sleeping pills in hopes to just pass out. Two or three days prior to this happening, I had started my new anxiety medication. The side effects of starting the meds were extreme nausea. All through out the night, I kept waking up feeling like I was going to throw up. I thought it was because of what had just happened with Owen, but it was actually my medication starting to kick in.
The next day, I drove back to Thorold to go stay with my parents. My friend Sarah came over to comfort me as well. For the next 2 weeks, I couldn’t eat anything. I felt so sick. I lost 6 lbs. in a week and almost 12-14 lbs. over 2 weeks. Between the depression of the breakup, not eating from the new medication and my constant anxiety attacks, I just dropped so much weight so quickly. Of course that didn't last long, FML.
Owen wanted to maintain a friendship, but I told him I needed some time. He understood for about 2 days, then started messaging me all the time. It seemed like he talked to me more after we broke up vs when we were together. He was sending me mixed messages 24/7. He would talk to me the way he would when we were together. Sometimes he would even call me “babe”. He would say, “oh, sorry, it’s a habit”. Well sir, break that habit. It was very unclear what he wanted from me.
I found it harder and harder to maintain contact with him because it just made me miss him more. I told him again that I needed space. I think he tried his best to not reach out to me as often, but it just never seemed to stick. I wasn't the only one that found it odd that he just wouldn't stop reaching out to me. People would ask me, " didn't you guys break up?". Ya, we did but I don't think he realizes it.
One night, I went out with some friends downtown St. Catharines. Owen went to the Casino in the Falls that night. He was sending me pictures of his winnings and giving me un-requested updates on his night. I ended up drinking a lot more than I should have that night, which lead me to drunk calling him. That call resulted in him picking me up to get some food and then take me home.
We got stopped at McDonalds, grabbed our food, and sat in the parking lot. I don’t even remember how this ended up happening but, Owen was getting very close to me. He was touching my hand and leg, eventually leaned over, and kissed me. I instantly sobered up. He looked at me and said, “ugh, Em, what did I do?”. Now, that can be taken two ways. I think I misinterpreted what he said. I took it as, ‘what did I do, breaking up with you?’. Think about it, he couldn’t stop talking to me, even when I asked for space. He would still call me all the cute names and he even told me he missed me while we were “broken up”. I think it was wishful thinking in that moment. The second way to take it was, "What did I just do, kissing you after we broke up". Of course, I chose to interpret it the first way. Who knows which way he meant it.
After he said, “what did I do?”, I responded with "you made a mistake", which could actually apply to both ways of what he meant. I was so confused. He then proceeded to tell me that he has missed me and that he thinks about me all the time. We spent a good 2 hours together, talking, holding each other, and kissing. It kind of felt like things were back to normal again for that brief amount of time.
Once we got back to my parent’s house, he hugged me and kissed me good night. I told him to let me know when he got home safe. I went inside and got into bed. I laid in bed staring up at the ceiling wondering, “what the F just happened?”. When he got home, he messaged me telling me he got home safe. He told me that it was so nice to see me and that he had been missing me. He said he would reach out to me the following day. He sent me all the heart and kissy face emoji’s as well.
I woke up that morning, patiently waiting for his message or call. It took a while for that to happen. I told my mom about what had happened, and even she thought for sure that he wanted to get back together as well.
His name popped up on my phone, he asked how I was and how I was feeling. I told him that I felt very confused. We ended up facetiming to have a deeper conversation about what happened the night before. He proceeded to tell me that he made a mistake and that he shouldn’t have said and done the things he did the previous night. Of course, my heart dropped. Here we go again. I got so mad at him. I told him that he keeps leading me on and then changing his mind the next day. Of course, he didn’t have anything to say other than, “I’m sorry”. It was from that moment that I decided to stop replying to him. I couldn’t let myself get hurt by him anymore. I realized that I was allowing him to keep hurting me by always replying to him whenever he texted or called. It was my own fault.
I’d like you to keep in mind, during this time, I was experiencing at least 1-2 severe anxiety attacks per day. I don’t think that was something that he kept in the back of his head while all this was happening. I was struggling with my own demons, and he just kept messing with my heart and emotions. I don’t think he was doing it maliciously; I think he was just genuinely confused about what he wanted at the time.
After this happened, we had a couple more interactions, texting and facetime, which was stupid on my part. I kept giving in. I suppose I was hopeful. The last time I saw him was at his apartment. I was on my way back to Thorold from Mississauga; I was feeling very emotional, and I just wanted to be around him. I stopped in to talk to him about my ideas of moving back to Niagara while I was going through my mission to control my mental health. I still valued his opinion. At the end of the conversation about the mental health, our relationship came up. I can’t remember word for word what we talked about, but I do distinctly remember him saying, “you’re just not the person for me”. I’m not sure why I took that so harshly. It’s a fair point. When it’s right, its right. When it’s not, It’s not. I couldn’t get mad at him for that, but it still hurt to hear. We hugged and kissed goodbye.
It was pretty emotional for me; he was crying but I think it was more the fact that I was crying that made him cry.
Ever since that moment, I lost all trust in men. For some reason, I believed that he was the most sincere and genuine person, and he lied to me about how he actually felt about me.
I’m a firm believer in “there is two sides to every story” but, I left that relationship feeling abandoned, since he ended it almost immediately after I told him that I was seeking help for my mental health. It left me feeling disgusting and humiliated, my own boyfriend was so embarrassed of me and my size that he refused to let me meet his friends and co-workers. He was so desperate to get rid of me, he was willing to buy coke? This experience left me feeling hopeless. All of my relationships prior to this one, failed. I felt like I was the problem. What was I doing wrong? Is it my personality? Is it my looks? My size? I was feeling like I just wasn't good enough for anyone.
I did learn a lot from this relationship, just like every other failed relationship.
I hope that he never uses the reasons he did to break up with me, on anyone else. They were hurtful, cowardly and just plain mean. After this experience, Owen wasn't so funny anymore.