Why I Chose My Boyfriend Over My Friends. (Part 1)
If you read my post about my journey through anxiety and depression, then you remember me briefly talking about the time after I had broken up with my abusive boyfriend and started focusing on myself. I specifically want to chat about how me and my current boyfriend, Louie, came to be. It was a bumpy ride in the beginning, and it cost me all of the friends I made in college. The funny thing is, I regret nothing.
I went to San Diego State University not knowing anyone. Only 3 people from my high school decided to go, and I wasn't that good of friends with anyone. It was actually kind of a relief, because I was able to move forward from the drama that encompassed me for the last two years of high school. I was excited to find out that my future roommate (and also future best friend) was also dating a marine, and was from the Bay Area like me.
Immediately, she and I hit it off. We just kinda clicked and I don't even remember why or how. I was happy about that because I hate conflict. I hate confrontation. I just wanted a chill girl to live with and get through freshman year with. This girl was my rock solid best friend from the first day we moved into the dorms of August 2012... to about right when I started dating Louie. The whole situation was a whirlwind and still upsets me to this day. I know that everything happened for a reason, but sometimes I do wish I still had those friends. But then I remember how they treated me.
Toward the end of our freshman year, it was clear that my roommate and I had different views of being in a long-distance relationship during college. I noticed her talking more and more to this mutual guy friend we knew who lived in the Suites across from our dorm. It wasn't any of my business, so I never judged her or criticized her for it. Her boyfriend in the Marines was not a nice person, but in his defense, he treated her like a queen and did everything and anything for her. She broke up with him claiming that his jealousy and mean-spiritedness got the best of her, but the funny thing is, his jealousy was completely justified, because not only was she talking to our mutual friend in the Suites, she was also talking to this guy who lived in our dorm; the self-proclaimed "cool, funny guy" (you all know one.)
We moved in to our apartment off-campus late May 2013 and I lived there alone that Summer. When she moved in August 2013 before our sophomore year, she told me about how she and our friend from the Suites had hung out all Summer, were texting all the time, etc. I was stoked for her, because I was her best friend. But it was weird when we got to San Diego, he seemed to completely lose interest for her. I felt bad because we were at a party with our dorm friends and she noticed a hickey on his neck. She cried to me in the bathroom that whole night.
But like the "resilient" girl she was, she bounced back that next weekend and made out with the cool, funny dorm guy. The rest was history. They got together a couple months later and were basically the "power couple" of our group. Her boyfriend, for some reason, thought of himself as the leader and insisted on talking down to everyone else in the group, nonstop, all the time. He would specifically make misogynistic comments that I ultimately ignored at the time, desperate for friends. It wasn't until I worked up enough nerve as the years went on that I actually started standing up to the people he (and all of our friends really. They had that 'no new friends' mentality) would make fun of for no reason. They would roast every guy I dated and brought around, trying their hardest to embarrass me or make them uncomfortable. They called it "tough love", I call it being fucking assholes.
I started working at American Eagle towards the end of my sophomore year. It was my third retail job, and the first summer that my roommate and I would be living and working together. She also got a job at the mall, working at a popular Board Shop here in San Diego. It's like Tilly's meets PacSun meets expensive AF skateboard/surfing brands. Totally trendy and totally cooler than American Eagle, I'll admit it. She worked with a lot of people our own age and all of the coworkers were super close. They would often have parties together, staff bonding, and retreats that were required. It wasn't long until she and her boyfriend started fighting about how much time she spent at work and with her work friends. She would frame it to me like, "it's just work, he doesn't get it because he doesn't have a job". I understood because I had been working since high school and I know how time-consuming and draining a retail job can be. I was on her side. She was my best friend and was there for me through my breakup with my abusive boyfriend, which happened less than 6 months prior.
But I knew things were weird when her boyfriend came to ME and asked for help. He had never asked me for advice before and never seemed like he cared about my opinion. He probably just knew that I was her best friend and wanted to see how much he could get out of me. He talked about how he was upset that she wouldn't tell her mom they started dating, and how he didn't like her texting this one guy from work, his name was Louie. He said that they texted ALL THE TIME, about non-work related things. I had never heard this before, and things started to feel like they did when we were in the dorms. I tried to reassure him that everyone moves at their own pace in a relationship, and just because someone isn't as close to their parents as you are, it doesn't mean they don't care. He accepted that answer and we went to bed.
It wasn't until after Summer, into our Junior year, that things were obviously not good with my roommate and her boyfriend. They fought. Constantly. They fought about how much time she spent at work and with her coworkers, and why this Louie kid wouldn't stop texting her. (Come on, if you're a girl, you know a guy will stop texting you (unless he's a psychopath) if you don't answer.) It was clear she was entertaining him somehow, someway. She insisted that it was all him, and that he just wouldn't stop texting her. It seemed fishy, but again, I supported my best friend and stuck on her side. She would talk shit about this Louie kid to all of us, saying how creepy he was and how she didn't understand why he wouldn't leave her alone. Well, it's because she hung out with him that entire Summer behind her boyfriend's back. I was in Georgia with my family for the majority of that Summer, and her boyfriend went back up to the Bay Area to be with his family for the Summer. Of course Louie was constantly texting her. They went on romantic dates to Coronado, he brought her to his house to meet his parents, and even took her out to eat several times. She was cheating on her boyfriend with Louie.
I didn't know that at the time. I had to find out almost a year later. Through Louie. My roommate literally lied about everything about her relationship with Louie. She made us all think that this kid was basically harassing her and wouldn't leave her alone, when, in reality, she was totally into it! But again, I didn't know that at the time. Louie was still this creep that was trying to break up my best friend and her boyfriend. For all I cared, he could leave and never come back. But again, that's how she framed it. That's how she wanted us to feel about him.
I hadn't even thought about Louie and my roommate's situation until toward the end of our Junior year, after this guy I was dating for several months broke up with me because of "distance" (he lived 30 minutes away. lol). After a fun trip to Big Bear for Spring Break, I did what every sad, heartbroken, attention-hungry-20-year-old would do. I went on Tinder. Who was the first person that came up on my screen? Louie, 21. 7 miles away. I swiped right, because, duh, he's super attractive. And we matched. OH MY GOD I thought and sprang up out of my bed where I was. I ran into my roommates room and said "guess who I just matched with" and showed her. Her face scrunched up and she went "ewwwww". I was laughing because all I knew about him was that he had tried to get with my roommate, and her boyfriend basically gave her an ultimatum about talking to him. If she continued to talk to him outside of work, they were breaking up. She decided to stay with her boyfriend. She obviously shouldn't care if Louie and I matched on Tinder. I mean, she had a boyfriend (of almost 2 years) and I had been single for over a year, with a half dozen other heartbreaks under my belt. I needed a break from the f*ckboys, honestly.
But she was adamant about me not seeing him. "He's just a bad guy. He almost broke me and ***** up." What does that have to do with me? I thought. It's not like I'm in the relationship. That was off-putting for me. She and I had never fought before, and I could see her getting upset. She did not want me to see him, and her only reason was that it almost broke up her and her boyfriend. Fishy. I thought. I actually respected her wishes for awhile. Louie hit me up every day for 2 weeks asking me out on a date. I kept finding excuses to blow him off until I just said FINE. Let's hang. We did, and we had an instant connection.
Shit. What is my roommate going to say?
It was the beginning of the end of all of my college friendships.