January 23rd used to just be another date on the calendar. I never thought twice about it, nor did I ever think that I would have to. I never knew that one number could induce so much pain. I never knew that you could be so afraid of something so ordinary.
January 23rd. The day that you made me yours.
Before we met, I never viewed dating as something that could be defined as either exclusive or not. I had just always known that I was either dating someone, or I was not; there was no murky gray area for secrets to hide in. You were either all in, or you were nothing. And then along came you.
The torch that burned everything I had ever loved to the ground.
You met me, you claimed me, and yet, you refused to make me yours. We dated for months without you even considering me to be your girlfriend. You drove six hours just to meet my family; but to you, that was not indicative of our relationship status. To you, we were exclusively dating. After months of only dating each other, I was just your exclusive “date.” I was good enough to keep around, but surely not enough to commit to.
What were you waiting for? Maybe you were just taking me on a trial run before you decided if I was worth the hassle of being in a relationship with. Maybe you were just making sure I was good enough to be your girlfriend; how awful it would have been to go public with an utter embarrassment of a human being. Maybe you were trying to determine just how far you could push me before I ran. Or maybe, you’re just an asshole.
What type of person decides they are dating someone without asking the person they are supposedly dating? You can’t just wake up one day and decide to be in a relationship with someone. No one has the power to tell you that you are in a relationship if you did not even consent to be in it in the first place.
It’s not that I am upset that you didn’t plan a grand romantic gesture to finally make our months-long relationship official. It is the fact that one day, you decided that I was yours, and I had no choice in that decision. I had no voice. I was told that I was your girlfriend, not asked if I wanted to be.
This should have been the moment I realized that something was not right. If you couldn’t ask for my consent to be in our relationship, I should have known you wouldn’t deem it necessary for anything else.