We had our ups and downs just like any other couple. But back then, I felt like our relationship had an extra stress put on it because of the situation we were in. Unless Arik and I were physically together, it seemed like we weren’t dating at all. I felt like he wasn’t always there for me when I needed him. When we weren’t together our relationship felt rocky and when we were together it was amazing. But I knew it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted a man that was going to be there for me 24/7… someone who would be scared to lose me.
Arik and I did NOT have an open relationship, but when I went to parties without him I would flirt with other attractive guys. I knew he was doing the same. I think it was mostly because when we weren’t with each other, we were a little distant. We had so much freedom in our relationship. I think it was partially because we both experienced relationships that were too closed off with little to no freedom that now we were trying to spread our wings. Something we should have done as single individuals, not “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”.
You’re Not The Only One
It was on one of those nights, we weren’t really communicating when I met someone else…
I’m going to use a FAKE name so that you guys can understand the role he plays in this… so let’s call him Liam.
He played football for BYU and I had seen him around the athletic facilities and if I am being completely honest, he was gorgeous. I even called my parents after I saw Liam for the first time and I told them I met my “future husband”…only because I was SO attracted to him. Liam approached me at a (non-alcoholic) party and started flirting with me. I was kind of smitten. We hung out that night until 5 a.m. We completely hit it off. I never told him I had a boyfriend. Oddly enough I remember Arik texting me that night saying, “you better not be flirting with any boys ;)”.
About a week later my friends were throwing a party at their house (with alcohol). Arik was supposed to come with me and last minute he bailed with a lame excuse about having to do a team baseball activity. I was so irritated, especially since it was the weekend and his plans were so last minute.
Then Arik texted me a few hours later and said he was going to have people over to drink at his apartment and he would let me know when to head down. An hour goes by and nothing. I called and texted him repeatedly… no answer. I was livid.
Side note: Arik lived about 35 minutes away from me since he transferred schools.
So… because I was upset and lonely I texted Liam. Liam was already wanting to hang out that night and I bailed because I was supposed to be with Arik. Liam came over and we talked for hours and watched a movie. And yes we snuggled but nothing else. I could tell he wanted to kiss me, and he kept trying to get super close to my face… but I kept turning him down. Arik finally texted me back at like 3 a.m but I didn’t respond because I was with Liam.
I waited until I woke up the next morning to open Arik’s texts. He said he was so sorry because he left his phone in someone’s car and didn’t get it back until 3 a.m. I responded with a break-up text. I knew it was time and I wanted to explore this new thing I had with Liam. At this moment in time, I truly believed I was Arik’s last priority and I thought our relationship was no longer worth my time. Since I was starting to like Liam, and I know he liked me, things were complicated…and I wanted to end it.
I don’t remember what I texted him, but I know that I tried to be super nice about it. Arik responded by begging me to stay with him. That he “couldn’t live without me”. I didn’t respond. Then he sent me a link to a YouTube video. I opened it and it was a video of “our song”.
I felt bad and I agreed to meet up with him to talk. We met up, and he won me over….again. There was something about him that always had me wanting more. I think it was almost the fact that he played hard to get with me, which is weird since he was my boyfriend… but I didn’t mind the challenge as long as it was met with a reward.
Back On Track Again
After Arik and I cleared things up, I completely ghosted Liam. He would text me, and I wouldn’t reply. I think it was the easiest way to make him disappear in my mind, even though we had a great connection.
Side note: Liam and I saw each other more than just a couple times. While Arik and I were dating, I saw him about 10 times at least…so it wasn’t easy to just completely drop him.
My relationship with Arik instantly improved after we almost broke up. Not long after that happened we took a road trip to St. George for the weekend. Back to our crazy ways, we decided to break into one of his parent’s houses down there instead of getting a hotel. The funny thing is, we got in. We had the whole house to ourselves and we had a blast. Our relationship was finally back on track.
December (2014) came, and the pit in my stomach came back. His ex-girlfriend was about to have her baby any day now. Arik and I didn’t communicate too much about it. It was kind of the elephant in the room that we always chose to avoid. Looking back, I wish we would have communicated better, there were times when I could tell he was struggling but would put on a “brave face” because I think that’s all he knew.
His ex- had her baby and I honestly don’t remember too much happening after that. I thought it was going to have more of an effect on our relationship but it didn’t. Soon after, Christmas break came and I headed back to California for the holidays.
Arik got us tickets to this big New Years Eve concert party in Salt Lake. I begged my dad to fly me back to Utah early for it. I told my parents I wanted to go with my girlfriends to a party- since they didn’t know I was dating Arik. My dad approved and I was back in Utah. The concert was so much fun, and Arik and I seemed to be getting closer than ever. We spent the next few days together 24/7. We didn’t have sports practices or school to worry about, just each other.
A few days later (January 4th, 2015), my parents came into town for my cousin’s wedding in Utah. I remember feeling a little off. My lower stomach felt super bloated and I thought, “what if I was pregnant?” I brushed it off. I totally believed I was just being paranoid especially because my period was not due for another couple weeks. Still, I just couldn’t shake that weird feeling I had. Deep down I knew… something was different.
To be continued…