Men I Have Dated, Part 4

“But I thought we were going to get married.”

Those were his words when I told him that I was leaving the country. I had nodded in sad agreement. It had only been three months together, but we clicked in that long-term kind of way. We spent almost every night and day together that summer. I was temping and he was half-employed and we had all the time in that world of three months to know everything about each other.

“You’ll get a new girlfriend in no time!”

I had insisted that cheerfully, to assuage the loneliness that would immediately pile in him when I was gone. He had disagreed, but I knew him. He was a serial monogamist and loved women and wouldn’t be alone for long. And I had become a serial monogamist too, thanks to him. Relationships were good and helped one make the right choices in life. Leaving America was the right choice, despite the loss. It was the most adult decision of my life, and I couldn’t have done it without him.

“We’ll keep in touch.”

He had insisted that was what we would do. I had agreed, but half-heatedly. Neither of us was in any way interested in a long distance relationship, and a platonic long distance friendship wasn’t really appealing to us either. Turning our relationship into anything other than what it was would immediately kill it. We didn’t keep in touch.

“You were right.”

He said, when we met up a year later. He had gotten a new girlfriend in no time. I had gotten a new boyfriend in no time. Neither of the relationships had worked, but it was amusing to reflect on them together. He lamented his ex’s inability to be laid back. I lamented my ex’s inability to be stable. We lamented our new relationships’ inabilities to be like ours had been.

“You guys were just fucking around though.”

The words of his friend, not him. And we had looked at each other with panic, to assure ourselves that was not at all what it had been. And he had changed the subject to tell a story from his past. I interrupted halfway through to finish it for him, laughing at the ridiculous antics contained within the tale. And we smiled, assured.

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