#RelationshipGoals: I Tried To Change For Him…

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In the very first #RelationshipGoals post, I stated my intent with this column:

I’ll be sharing my dating fiascos (like Kevin’s story and who knows, he might be back!) and hopefully I’ll learn from them. But here’s the truth, I am a stubborn woman who keeps letting herself get in her own way!

Ugh, I just quoted myself. But I wanted to show you that I’ve kept my word. I am a stubborn woman in her own way, revealing my dating debacles, not only for your entertainment, but for my growth. I’m learning, because with every dating story, there’s a lesson and I’m one step closer to my #RelationshipGoals.

Oh, and this column — Kevin’s back. Obviously, I leave the door open when I exit a relationship. I figure, there’s a reason you welcomed that person into your life in the first place, so letting them go may have been premature. There’s error in that way of thinking; I’m clear on that, but I can’t seem to let that door shut for good until after I try a few more times.

I was between another bad date with one guy and a texting marathon with another when Kevin’s smile flashed from my memory. I laid in the bed, staring at my ceiling, looked over at my phone. 8:37 am. It was Saturday. I planned on spending the day with my friend Karlie in Harlem, but I was up early enough to lounge.

Tapping through my phone, Kevin’s dimpled smile flashed in my mind again. I looked for his name in my address book. It wasn’t there. My heart sank. I was trying to shake the memory that I’d deleted Kevin’s number after we’d first broken up and he walked away from me at the subway station. Our first relationship fell apart mostly because I’d chosen my individual life over choosing to share my life with him and rid myself of the vices that I loved so much.

I was still all up and through those vices when Kevin’s smile kept plaguing my mind. I opened my texts so that I could ask Karlie if going back to Kevin was a stupid idea. I’d look up my old phone records and find his number if I had to — if she told me I should go for it. I typed a “K” and like magic, Kevin’s name appeared in the pull down menu of names starting with the letter “K.” I tapped it.

I started to text, “Hey” and I changed my mind and called. It rang and took me to voicemail. I hate leaving voicemails. I usually hang up. But I left Kevin a message letting him know I was thinking of him, hoping he was OK. and that I was interested in connecting. I hung up and started my day.

Once I made it to Harlem, I told Karlie all about Kevin.

“He hated that I drink and smoke. I’m kind of embarrassed to say that’s the reason we broke up,” I picked up my glass of wine. “I mean, there were other things. We argued all the time, but I think that’s because of my smoking. It always came up.”

“Danielle, you keep choosing marijuana over a human being and you’re going to end up alone,” Karlie said, already tired of having to tell me to grow up.

“Why can’t I just meet a dude like me who smokes, but is also still thriving in life?” I laughed.

“Girl…” Karlie rolled her eyes.

My phone rang. It was Kevin. He was surprised to see that I called. He’s wanted to call, but wasn’t sure if he should. We talked for about 15 minutes and he asked me to call him when I’m leaving Harlem.

“If you date him again, you can’t choose weed Danielle,” Karlie said before kissing me on the cheek and opening the door for me to leave.

Changing for your significant other. Hmmm. I’m old enough now that I’m too stubborn to change, but I’m also old enough to know that relationships require a level of compromise, but does that mean we compromise the things we are or the things we love?

“Yes momma. I want love more than weed.” I didn’t believe myself as the words slid off my tongue. I knew I wanted both. Why did I have to choose? But since I was choosing Kevin, I knew that my vices had to give. I could change for love. Or so I thought.

I called Kevin on my way to the subway. “I’m headed back to Brooklyn,” I cooed.

We chatted about old times and he told me since it was late, he wanted to keep me company on the phone until I made it to the train. The ride home took about an hour and when I got off the train at my stop, Kevin was across the street. He saw me. I walked to him smiling. When we dated the first time around, Kevin told me that one of the things he loved most about me being late is that he got to see me walk to him. There I was again, walking to Kevin.

He stood there, all 6’5″ of him, grey sweatpants (something he did purposely for me because he knows they make me weak). I stopped directly in front of him and his arms found the arc of my back and I wrapped my arms around his neck. He felt familiar, which is one of the things I love most about digging through the crates of my ex-boyfriends.

I unlocked our hug and tried to take a step back. Kevin pulled me in for a kiss. I fell back into our wonted liplock. Kevin held my chin up to his face, planting one last juicy smooth on my waiting lips. He pulled himself away from me, looking into my eyes, searching for the words he knew I was too afraid to say out loud. I’ve got a lot of feelings, but in relationships, I don’t know how to express them. It was one of the things he didn’t like about me when we dated the first time.

“I miss you too,” Kevin smiled himself into a hearty laugh. I missed the bass in his laugh. Kevin and I sat on the same park bench we sat on after we had our first date two years before. “Remember this?” He held my hand as I sat.

“How could I forget?” I smiled at the romantics. “I don’t want to lie to you Kevin, I am still smoking weed and I still drink. Neither one of these things are in excess, but I want to be honest with you.” Kevin watched my eyes. “I want this between us, but I don’t want those vices to rip us apart.”

“So don’t let them,” Kevin’s face was serious. He held my hand, our fingers intertwined. We sat on “our” bench for three hours, talking over what happened, how we spent our time apart and how we wanted to start over. So we did.

After an intense week of never leaving one another’s side, Kevin and I met up at Prospect Park in Brooklyn and decided to go down to Brooklyn Bridge Park, where were walked along the waterside, people watched, and he asked me to be his girlfriend again.

That entire week, I’d refrained from smoking. I was so proud of myself, but I also wanted to break open my stash. As Kevin and I walked to the train, his happiness was apparent. I knew he was trying to come to my house that night, but my vice turned addiction-like when I made up a bullsh-t story about not making our relationship merely physical, just so I could get Kevin to go home that night.

“We shouldn’t get into the habit of ending every date night with sex. I think it’s important in the strength of our relationship,” I said, almost ignoring Kevin’s reaction. I saw the disappointment in his face and guilt settled into my heart, “You can stay over tomorrow night. Let me just unwind tonight.”

But that didn’t sit right with Kevin and we argued over his departure. I didn’t care what was happening, I just wanted to go upstairs alone. I didn’t care that Kevin felt thrown away. I didn’t even care that it was the same night that we made our relationship official. It had been a week since I smoked and I wanted to smoke. While Kevin stated his case, in my head, I thought, “I don’t have any papers. When he goes, I’ll come back out and go to the store.”

Which is what I did. Kevin walked away from me, disappointed and hurt. I watched him from the threshold of my building and I waited until he turned the corner and I walked back out. Kevin went right, I decided to go left…just in case. My phone rang before I hit the corner. It was Kevin.

“Where are you going?” He asked, obviously more upset than curious.

“To the store. I’m thirsty,” I lied. I couldn’t think of anything else.

“Why are you going that way and not the corner store?” Kevin wasn’t buying it.

“I am hungry too. I might go to the Chinese spot,” I was really bad at lying.

“Whatever,” Kevin hung up.

I went to the store, got my papers and basically tip-toed back to my building, afraid I’d see Kevin. I didn’t see him. I called him four times, no answer. On the fifth call, he picked up.

“What?” Kevin said, more than asked.

“I am lower than low. I wanted to get rid of you tonight so I could smoke. I didn’t have any papers, so I went to get some. I didn’t want you to see me,” I cried like a baby. I was hurt that I lied to him, I lied to myself and I knew I was going to continue lying. “I didn’t get the papers. I came home,” I cried, holding the papers in my hand.

“Danielle, you’ve gotta do better if you want my trust. You see what this looks like? And it’s day one!” Kevin screamed. “I can’t believe I am signing up to go through this with you again and you’re already making some dumb moves.”

I let Kevin vent and he told me he’d talk to me when he’s ready. I pleaded and cried on the phone, begging Kevin to give me a chance.

“I did,” he said before he hung up.

Sorry to leave you hanging! Stay tuned for part two next week!

 

 

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