Things You Won’t Do With Your Next Boyfriend

The first time you meet him, you won’t be late for a class. You won’t be flustered and walk past by him without noticing him. You wouldn’t have three friends crushing over him the moment he enters the room, and fail miserably as they try to keep their cool. You won’t meet his sister on that first day, and he won’t find you on Facebook on that first day, and he won’t chat with you on that first day. You won’t go out with him after a week of meeting him and you won’t say yes to being official the week after that. You won’t sit with your mom at the pool, contemplating life and your future with this stranger. You won’t find yourself thinking of how happy you are with him all the time. You won’t write for him anymore. You won’t give an eight-page letter or a seventy-five-page diary, dedicated to all the moments and days you spent together; you will not do that to your next boyfriend.

With your next boyfriend, you will not spend the whole day together doing nothing but walk around and play basketball. You will not go on dates and look over at other couples who seem to be enjoying each others company, unlike the both of you who seem to be enjoying the other things. You will not lose your mind over a fight at nine p.m. and be forced to say “I love you” too soon, to which he reprimands you. The first time it falls apart, you will not sleep it off like it’s nothing and desperately wait for his texts. The seventh time it falls apart, you will not tell yourself to wait for the eighth.

You will not become too close to his mother, and you will not be distant with his sisters. You will not get intimidated by that sister you met on the first day. You will not feel loved whenever he tells you that you are more important than them, because there won’t be a chance; you will not ever feel left out by his family. You will not be forced to dress to the nines every single time you meet him. You won’t, because now you know that someone fell in love with your simplicity (jeans, shirt, sneakers) and that’s how they would like to keep you as. You won’t change for the worse.

You will not have multiple public fights with you yelling at him that you don’t deserve this, then end up together again after two days. You will not be able to see a picture of yourself from that very first day, the one he took secretly while you were looking away; you will not blush at that. You will not feel terrified when he is at a photo shoot and his sisters ask you to leave, thinking to yourself if you can put up with this forever. You will not cry over him and his smoking addiction when he gets confined at the hospital, and you will not smile as he tells you “babe, I’m indestructible.” You will¬† not complain about going places for him, because you understand that it’s the only way to see each other, even if he wants to go to you.

The afternoon of your very last argument, you will not sit at McDonald’s, clutching your phone angrily as you text him “I can’t do this anymore. I give up” and hope that he will chase you, tell you that he loves you. You will not find his message after a while, asking to see you, but only to realize he wants his necklace back. You will not ever feel your heart ache whenever he tells you, “you never loved me emotionally” even if you knew you gave your all to him. You will never give that much anymore. After two months, you will not be crying over him still with a tub of ice cream and your favorite pair of sweats, writing a letter to his next girlfriend and causing them to break up. You won’t meet with him and end up making out until you walk out again for the last time.

Your next will not be the last. He will not be second to the last, not even third to the last. You will wait for him to fulfill all your expectations of him. You will wait for him to have his first fight and see if he hides his emotion behind his sunglasses. You will wait and see if he punches windshields to take out his jealousy. You will wait and see if he protects you and owns you, and if it gives you a thrill like the last time. But when you learn, finally, that love is not a hand-me-down, that it is a custom-made tailored design for him and for you, you wouldn’t wish it any other way.

To The Idiot Who’ll Love Me Next

I only have two moods: 1) sleep is for the weak and 2) sleep for a week.

You will appreciate the first on nights that you’ve had too much Berocca in the afternoon and we’d stay up until six in the morning, talking about how much you love dogs and how much I love cats. You’ll get annoyed by the second one on nights I’ve had a tough day and knock out the moment I get home.

We will drink coffee in the morning, preferably something light and creamy, and you’d make a face at me as you chug down your dark mocha chip. But you’ll kiss my lips anyway, even if they taste like caramel cream.

I will twist and turn in bed, messing up the blankets, and you’ll laugh at me, listening to me sleep talk. You will find it amusing, mostly because it’s about you and food. Every chance you get, you’d have that urge to push my 1960’s bangs out of my face because it “blocks the view” and you’ll immediately regret asking me to get them. Together, we’ll wait for it to grow out.

I’d talk to you on and on about books, even if you won’t get my references about Why We Broke Up and Looking For Alaska and Pride and Prejudice. You will, however, ask what my favorite song is, and I can’t tell you just one. You’ll learn about He Is We and Regina Spektor and Owl City, and why I love them so much. We’d watch movies together, and you’d be patient with me whenever I hold your hand during the boring parts, or hug you during the scary parts, or whisper questions to you during the exciting part, over-all killing the suspense. You’d be very patient.

This is all very weird to you, but it’s my blanket. It is warm, inviting, familiar. And you’ll wear it around both of us, reveling in it together.

We won’t go to dinner; we never go to dinner. We’d settle with ice cream for me and smokes for you. But when we do, it’s usually with my mother. I would get annoyed by your indecisiveness on whether you want the chicken wings or the salmon, so I’ll order for you. You’ll smile at me apologetically, thankful that I know you like the back of my hand and chose the right thing. My heart will warm at that.

Soon enough, I’ll stop wearing makeup entirely around you. And you won’t even notice because you thought it was natural. It’s not. I’d start wearing shabby clothes, even shabbier than the jeans and t-shirt you’re used to. I will let you play with my hair and touch my shoulders even if I don’t usually let people do that – you’ll understand why when I explain it to you.

We’ll go on Starbucks dates, basketball dates, walking dates. We’ll forget to check our phones and realize only after fourteen missed calls.

Eventually, you’ll discover me. My shape, my rolls, my muffin tops, my waist. You’ll find that comfortable spot on my shoulder where you sleep as we ride in the cab. You’ll enjoy it when I let you lay on my lap and stare up at me as I pepper you with kisses.

You will always let me walk on your right side.

By this time, you’ve realized it. You’ve realized I’m hard to love. You’ll begin knocking on my walls, the ones I’ve built around my head and my heart – even for you. I have created a temporary image for you to believe, but it will all slip away.

As I grow more comfortable with you, start to worry. Not because you’re boring or tedious or anything, but because I’m beginning to feel secure. It is inevitable. I will pull away relentlessly because I am spontaneous and impulsive and run away a lot of times. By this time, you already know this.

I lose all sense of function when I become too secure because all my life, all I’ve known is insecurity. It will feel very stifling. And I will surely mess up. Many, many times.¬† You’ll be sad and hurt and angry. You will say and do things that will upset me – sometimes because you don’t mean it and sometimes because you do. I will take it graciously.

I am flawed, you know it, though you will feel fed up. Please know that you are flawed also. But it will be too late before you realize that. The footsteps on our hearts will remain, a trace of each other we can never get rid of. But we will both walk away. In the end, like all good things, we are both flawed. And, like all good things, we will fall apart. All things do. That’s just the way life works.