Here’s the background story: I recently started watching The Bold Type. And if you watch the show, one of the main characters is named Jane, and I relate to her because all I want is to leave a mark on the world with my writing. For those who don’t or haven’t watched, the premise of the show follows 3 girls in their 20’s navigating their way through life together as they build their career at a magazine that is similar to the real-life Cosmopolitan magazine.
Anyway, I thought it might be fun to take some writing prompts from the show and write them from my perspective. So in the first episode, Jane has her first writing assignment, and she accidentally pitches herself to write about trying to stalk an ex who doesn’t have social media. I’m pretty sure that all my exes have social media, but I haven’t checked in. Is it worth it? I guess we’re going to find out. Or at least you will, if you keep reading.
So I’m not giving out names, just out of respect and privacy. And I fully live by the fact that my current boyfriend is my first real boyfriend, because there’s actually real commitment and continuity here. To make this post more interesting, I’ve made the decision to go through all my “relationships” from the so-called crush/relationship in fourth grade to the middle school “relationships” that might not have lasted for more than a week.
I also don’t think I’m Netflix You level of stalking, because that’s weird and kind of dark. Realistically speaking, I’m probably more so checking in on these people and reflecting on my experiences. I’m not going to reach out or interact (although that might make some things interesting), but I’m probably judging them a bit by their highlight reel.
Fourth Grade Flippy Philip
I think I’m going to have more fun coming up with the names than cyberstalking these people. Anyway, this guy was someone I befriended in fourth grade, and he had a tendency to flip his hair. What I believe started our friendship is a love of video games (remember the Nintendo DS?) and us being in the same class. One day, I forgot my spelling homework in class, and so the next morning I asked him if he could give me his spelling list so I could write my spelling words out 5 times. That is when he told me that he liked me. We never kissed or anything, and I broke up with him because I believed I was transferring schools after that year.
From cyberstalking him, it looks like he likes having facial hair and he wears glasses now. So he has a baby-face and a beard that I don’t think I could put up with because these two things are pretty contradictory, and I’m not sure if they’re working well together or if he just looks creepy. He also has a baby girl now, and he is into metaphysical things. What interesting things.
Mr. Chick-Fil-A, D.C.
So Mr. Chick-Fil-A is named because I had Chick-Fil-A for the first time when we went to the mall together. He came into my life in middle school, and we were neighbors. We had a good summer, and it was fun, but things got crazy after we went back to school (hindsight is 20/20). It was probably more trouble than it was worth, but I guess that’s middle school. Do most people say that about middle school?
Anyway, I unfollowed him a few years ago, and all his stuff is on private, so there is not much I can find out. I’m not sure I have much interest in finding out. All I know is that his profile photo has the White House dome in it, so I am assuming he is living there, has a career there, or took a nice vacation photo. I don’t know if I’m really curious, but good for him.
Since Avril Lavigne wrote a song about it, I’m assuming that everyone had one of their own. Mine bonded over roller skating or ice skating, and we lasted maybe a week of seventh grade, and that might be generous. He was in an awkward phase of his life, and he broke up with me because he was contemplating if he was gay.
Now that I’m looking him up, he is probably not gay because he is in a relationship with a female. The possibility does exist that he is bisexual, and if so, good for him. I will say that he looks better now than he did in middle school. He’s lost the baby face, there’s more definition in his jaw, and the facial hair he has actually works for him. I will say that I accidentally ran into him a few months ago, and he was a server at a restaurant I went to, and I will say that these pictures are realistic to the person I saw. That run in was awkward, but I don’t know if he even remembers me.
So this guy doesn’t actually have a scar face, he is just someone who emotionally scarred me. He was my first kiss. It was hot, only because it was Florida right before the summer really set in. It happened the last summer I had as a middle school girl, and it didn’t start right because he went to break up with another girl to be with me. There were other reasons why it didn’t work out, but at the end of the day, it didn’t work out.
Being from a small town, I also ran into this guy two years ago, and we didn’t say anything to each other. I was at Olive Garden for my sister’s birthday, and he was there with his sister. The break-up is so memorable to me that I did not bother to acknowledge him, but we did make eye contact. I also noticed that when I walked past him to get to the bathroom, he whispered about me to his sister. Sure, that might be an assumption, but I believe it to be true from the fact that she looked up to make eye contact with me. I can say that I walked away from that relationship knowing a lot about myself, and that restaurant interaction paired with me looking through his social media now, I feel more validated in who I am, so it can’t be all bad.
Rhyming Prom Date
I didn’t pay much attention to guys after Scar Face, and Rhyming Prom Date all but fell into my lap. I hadn’t even planned on going to prom junior year–I went because one of my friends said she would not go as a senior, so she was going all out junior year. She got a group together, and it turned out that Rhyming Prom Date either didn’t get a date or got stood up at the last minute. Either way, we were the two singles out of everyone else in the group. I like to think that I clean-up nice, but I am pretty sure that the only reason he paid me any attention was because we were the singles in a group of couples.
I didn’t pay much attention to him (seems to be a running theme in my life), and when I got up to go to the bathroom my friend followed me to tell me he thought I was cute. I kind of chose not to believe her, but noticed as we were taking pictures and waiting to go to prom that he would try and chat me up and compliment me. It was nice to have some attention on me. The last guy I talked to with any interest was Scar Face 3 years before.
So maybe don’t blame me for falling for it when we arrived to the Prom separately, and he walks up to me sliding a hand into mine and sweetly rhymes, “So I know it’s a little late, but will you be my Prom date?” Don’t blame me for having a great time, and kissing him, and thinking maybe that something more could exist beyond one magical night. My hopeless romantic might be showing, but I should’ve just left it at that night, because it was never going to amount to much more than that.
That has been reinforced now that I’m checking in on his social media accounts, but that could be because all I see are old, pixelated photos that have been captioned, “From the archive.” He wasn’t all that cute the night of prom, and he wasn’t all that cute walking along the shore of the beach in sunlight, so as far as I’m concerned, he probably isn’t all that attractive now unless he’s done some growing up. And I can’t see that in the face of all the old content he’s trying to bring back to life.
Mr. Apple Pie
So this one found me on Instagram in high school and DMed me senior year. I don’t remember if I ever kissed him, but I remember him because he re-emerges every couple of years in my notification box. I remember that he was older than me, and wanted to study nursing. The tattoos are memorable because he was talking about how it only takes one to be addicted, and I accidentally hit a fresh one because we were in the car and he said something that playfully offended me. I don’t think it was the comment about how my apple pie looked like a monster with a heart of gold, but that was spoken at some point and I might have wondered if he was talking about me metaphorically. The thing was, I have always been a commitment girl, and he didn’t seem to have any interest in settling down, so it fizzled out.
The significance of this was that this was the first online date I went on, and it was the first time a guy ghosted me. And like I said, it was spooky, because I see him creeping every now and again. Now that I’m looking through the social media, I’m reminded of the greasy long hair that was longer than mine. I don’t think I want to deal with it. Luckily, I don’t have to.
Mr. Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em
The name says it all. I was trying out dating apps for the first time at 19, and this one graduated from my high school two years before I did. He joined the military, and in my mind, I thought it would work out because he was looking for someone to come home to. We met, had a magical night, and then he tried promising me the world, so I kept seeing him. He talked about military balls, he had me briefly meet the parents, and he talked about the future. I should’ve known that there was no future when he started going through my phone when he thought I was asleep (red flag!!).
Anyway, he ghosted me, and the day he decided to ghost me was the same day that I accepted his Facebook friend request, where I saw that he got into a relationship with a girl I knew, literally in the same day. So I messaged her about it, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t want to hear me out, because as far as I knew, they stayed in that relationship.
Now that I’m checking in, it seems like he hops in and out of relationships real quick. I have no doubt that I dodged a bullet. He looks pretty much like the average guy, looking like recycled paper with red hair. It’s possible he shaved his head or is bald, because his profile photo is him in a beanie. This is a ghost I hope stays dead in my life, but I’m grateful for his service to our country.
The Checkboxing Lawyer
Alright, so I am going to say that out of all the guys mentioned here, I was most hung up about this guy, and there probably was a time where I would cyber-stalk him. He was the guy that made me believe that love was possible for me, he was the one that checked all of my boxes, he was the one that unexpectedly surprised me the most out of all the guys I met prior. In the words of Taylor Swift, he was my “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” and he was not prepared for a relationship. He was coming out of a bad break-up and we met in a time where he was getting ready to attend law school. So I should’ve known, but its the romantic in me that remained hopeful.
At this point in my life, I was preparing to turn 21, and I remember that my mindset was, “I’m young, and I love getting to know people, so I’m just going to go on dates and have fun.” I think I was going on a date with a new guy every other week, but none of them really stuck because none of them were looking for something serious. Then I met this guy, and I was so surprised by our first date that I was like, “I’m going to stop meeting other guys and see where this goes.” And it was an up and down roller coaster that ended up with him ghosting me when he went off to law school. To be expected, and it was a roller coaster that was dragged out for a while, but I’m over it.
Looking over his social media now, he hasn’t changed his profile photo since. If I remember correctly, he graduated from law school this past spring, and it looks like he has some jobs and important work lined up. Good for him, because his work ethic and drive were originally what I found so attractive about him. Yes, he was the perfect on paper guy, but long-term it did not work out, and in my case it is for the better.
I don’t know if this is very satisfying for me, just because I don’t think I’m in the same mindset that Jane is in at the beginning of the show. I’m in a happy, committed relationship, and even before I was in this relationship, I was at a point where I believed that the longest relationship I would have would be with myself. In the scenario where I was single or regretting my life decisions or down on myself, I might be more tempted to cyber-stalk these people. But I’ve moved onto better, I have the best thing. These relationships ended questionably sometimes, but my takeaway was always a better sense of who I was, the strength that I have and continue to build, and at some point I learned love could exist.
Sure, the endings of these relationships were not ideal at the time, but they prepared me for what I have now. I learned what I actually need and want in a relationship, and it’s instilled in me that I am getting what I deserve. I’m so happy in my relationship, and I hope that these guys have grown and learned from knowing me as well (or they have probably forgotten me at this point and are stuck in their ways, but that doesn’t effect me, so no harm, no foul).
Have you fallen prey to the cyber-stalk impulse? Are there any relationships or break-ups that you regret? What is the greatest lesson that a break-up or relationship has taught you? Share your stories with me in the comments below!
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