I am a female. In 2015, I was in my first year in college. That summer after graduating from high school, I broke up with my first serious boyfriend. It was long distance and lasted about a year and a half. I was the typical, newly-single college girl who had used dating apps like OkCupid to meet new people and go on dates. After having met a few unmemorable people, or people that just didn’t click with me, I met my next boyfriend. For this story, we will call him Bruce.
I had met Bruce on OkCupid, and at first he seemed nice. Cliché, I know, but I notice many people start out like that when you meet them as they just want to make a good first impression. He certainly did, and it pulled me in like a fly approaching a spider’s web. Our first date consisted of walking in the downtown area of our city, and because of the time of year, it was tourist season for this particular city, so we grabbed a bite to eat at a pizza joint away from all the hustle and bustle of the autumn festivities. It was also pretty cold. When we got to a major city landmark by the water, we shared our first kiss. Looking back, I pretended to like it – I felt like his nose was dripping on me. I looked past that, and that same night, we made it official.
I know it sounds ridiculous, why would I become official with someone I only knew for one night? I was dumb and naïve. Little did I know this would start a crazy shitstorm until February 2016. So, at first, he seemed kind and nice to me, but by the time I had to leave for holiday break, a new side of him began to show itself. My home was a half hour or so from my university, so this made it impossible to visit Bruce, let alone any of my college friends, for the time being. I didn’t have a car or my license, so I couldn’t drive. Taking a taxi or an Uber would have been very expensive round-trip. I actually had a stomach bug just before leaving my dorm for break, so I was stuck in there until the last day we were allowed to be in our rooms. Bruce had brought me saltines and ginger ale, which was nice of him, but he was very hot and cold about wanting to see me. In one breath, he told me he wanted to see me and take care of me. The next minute, he told me “I don’t want to catch something.” This (what I called) “Jekyll-and-Hyde” business became more and more prominent as time went on. From about late December on, Bruce would change his tone with me every other hour. He would at first be all happy and tell me how beautiful I was and just be flirty over messaging. The next hour, he would be angry and explosive for no reason, even went as far as blowing up my phone if I didn’t answer right away. He would text me even if he was at work.
Things got worse after we became intimate for the first time that January, just after New Year’s. My parents agreed to take me all the way to his house to spend the night. We ended up “doing it” that night, and I happened to be a virgin. As expected, it was a really bad experience. Not just because I was nervous, but because he was having trouble getting it up. It was around this time Bruce’s troubling behavior peaked, and he became obsessive, and even delusional, about me and our relationship. He would want to see me every night, come hell or high water. I remember one occasion, I was out in the snow at night waiting for him to come and walk to his house from my dorm, which was relatively close. If I wanted a night to myself or with some friends, he would make me feel guilty somehow and I still would end up being with Bruce for the evening. I remember sending him selfies in the morning after my makeup for a day of classes was done. Instead of appreciating it, he would tell me things like, “who are you wearing makeup for? You’re all dressed up just for class.” He said this suspiciously, and I reminded him that I always wore makeup to class. He would remark to me, “you won’t wear it for me, yet you’ll wear it for complete strangers.” Which was not at all true. Makeup has always made me feel presentable and confident, as it does many females. Yes, by that point, I wasn’t really wearing makeup to his house anymore to see him, but that’s because I just didn’t feel like it. It was nighttime when we saw each other, and I was in comfortable clothes by that point and too tired to do it.
I had Instagram and it was actually around this time that I made Facebook for the first time. I had many friends from campus on it just for the sake of having friends, as well as thousands of Instagram followers – I no longer have Instagram for personal use, for the record, but not because of Bruce. Some of these people in Instagram were guys, and also friends of mine. They would comment on my pictures or like them, and I was fine with it. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. They all knew I had a boyfriend at that point, which is why I didn’t worry. Bruce, on the other hand, asked me on several occasions: “who is so and so?”, “who is this liking your picture?” “I don’t want so and so commenting on your pictures”, “why do you answer these people, you don’t know them and I’m your boyfriend.” On Facebook, Bruce decided to pick on one person on my friends list who happened to be a guy, who at the time I did not know or speak to, and accuse me of having a quote on quote “secret thing” with said person. One thing is for sure, I am not a cheater; never have been, and never will be. I know that Bruce was aware of this fact, but was extremely insecure about it. I told him to stop, when he had been accusatory a few times toward me. He’d have a Jekyll-and-Hyde episode, being explosive and verbally abusive, and then an hour later, acting like nothing happened. When I told him that he should owe me an apology for his behavior, he did not see anything wrong with it, or felt he was justified just because he was the first person I was intimate with.
To mask the verbal and emotional abuse he put on me, he would get us dinners or buy me jewelry if we went downtown. If he noticed I wasn’t wearing a piece of jewelry he had gotten me when I sent him a selfie or was around him, he would act offended by it. At the time, him doing these things made me forget about his behavior, but again, that was me being stupid and naïve. Around the point where it was 3 months into the relationship, he told me he loved me, and mentioned stuff about marrying me and having children. I can see why two people would talk about that stuff, in order to understand what each other expects from a relationship, but 3 months is a bit too early to be talking about it as seriously as he did.
It was early February when things got really bad. His outbursts over text messages became more inflammatory, accusing me of making him mad over the smallest things. We fought almost every day, more than a married couple would in their life together. My own mother even noticed his behavior. I had also quit smoking cigarettes by this point, which I had only smoked for four months before it became a habit, and he was even angry at me for quitting. Things like me smoking either cigarettes or weed in front of him, or me clearing my throat, aroused him sexually. This was incredibly weird, but thought past it because, again, I was naïve. When I told him I may have needed throat surgery (which I ended up having), he got all defensive and even mad about it, saying “you don’t need to, I don’t see why you should”… even when I told him about the issue causing me to need it in the first place. I knew it was because it aroused him. I also quit smoking for my health. It was just before my 19th birthday that he called me, having drank, and he was in a bad mood. I was upset on the phone, and he heard me in tears. I forget exactly why he was upset, but it was another ridiculous thing that he exploded over. Soon after that, I got on the phone with my mother, who told me that it would be best if I left Bruce. So… I did it. I texted him saying we are over.
From there, it went downhill. He begged me nonstop for another chance, and that he would see a therapist. Because I take promises seriously, and he did promise to get help for his behavior, I foolishly gave him another chance the next day, after having unfriended him on everything only to get him back on social media all over again. Bruce, once he had me back, got very angry with me for breaking up with him and getting him off all my social media: “I can’t believe you did that,” and “you make me feel like a psychopath.” I told him why, and from there, we were together another week before I finally ended it for good. The last straw was this: we had been intimate on the night of my birthday, and during the act, he asked me “why can’t I cum in you?” I told him that I could not risk getting pregnant because I was in school. He pushed at a very hard, fast pace, and I needed to tell him I was in paid to get him off me. It wasn’t a lie; being intimate with him was often horrible, and he was very selfish. I was afraid he actually was going to do it [finish inside me] even though I explicitly said no. He got off, put on his clothes, and played on his phone passive-aggressively. This night resulted in me going back home that same weekend so I could see my doctor. Over the few days between that night and my doctor’s visit, I began to feel symptoms, particularly a dull pain in the middle of my abdomen. I suspected that I had an infection in my bladder, and sure enough, the doctor diagnosed it. I told Bruce this, and that it was from that night and him being too hard on me, and he said this: “you act like I injured you”. That was the last straw. I broke up with him that same day, and he begged and begged for me to take him back but I just was not having it. I blocked his phone number and on all social media I could manage, but on Snapchat, when I had it, I had forgotten to do so and found a message that said something along the lines of: “I can’t believe you, you hurt me so badly, I gave you all my love and this is how you treat me. Thanks so much for teaching me this life lesson.” I still wasn’t fazed – I blocked him.
I wish I could say this was all over, but it wasn’t. I remember looking at my call logs for the month following, which was March, and by the end of it, 6 blocked calls were made by Bruce. I even had voice messages saying: “can we talk? I miss you.” It was bothersome, but I was glad he could not text me. In May, I wanted to ensure he was blocked on my Messenger app for Facebook, so due to some technical issue, I had to unblock him only to block him again for it to be effective. During the 48 hour grace period, as you can’t block someone on Facebook only to block them again right away, guess who messages me? Bruce.
I read it, and it says something along the lines of: “hey, I hope you’re doing well, you’re such a good person” and it just sounded redundant. He used the same phrasing for the same meaning over and over. I told him, “how did you find me?” He said back, “on People You May Know.” I didn’t answer. I knew he was deliberately looking for me on Facebook. I’m glad to say by the end of the wait for 48 hours, I was done and was able to fully block him.
I hadn’t heard from him at all for about a year. Fast forward to May of 2017. Around this time, I have repurposed my Instagram, with the thousands of followers, into one for my business which I will not name for privacy. By this point, I have had a serious boyfriend for quite some time. I get a direct message on my Instagram, and thinking it is relating to business, I look to see who it is from. You guessed it – Bruce. I don’t know how he could have found me on there when I had blocked him, but it turns out, he made a new account. I didn’t even tap it to read it, as it gave me the option to Accept or Decline the message. I declined and blocked it. I have not heard from Bruce since, and I really don’t wish to.
So… Bruce… let’s never meet again. Also, never try to contact me again. It’s all in vain.