Someone recently asked me about “The Boyfriend” that I refer to here. “Is he still your boyfriend? I’m confused.”
The first time I wrote about him here, I instantly capitalized the words that comprised his moniker and it felt…right. He was my first, last, and to-date only boyfriend. I lived with him for two years. We dated for six years before that. High school, college. It was the two of us. I loved that boy since fifth grade. It is to date, probably the most significant relationship of my life, including family. But it’s over. And that’s a good thing, most of the time.
No, he’s not my boyfriend. And he hasn’t been for two years. But I still struggle to find a way to refer to him, both in real-life and on this blog.
If I have to say something to my family, I call him by his last name. It is less biter to say, to me at least. If I have to say something about him at work, I waffle. A few close colleagues remember him. But those who’ve come since the breakup don’t have a clue. Saying “this guy I used to date” seems like such an injustice. We didn’t date. We had a dog and a house and a car and…everything. “My ex-boyfriend”, sounds so much less serious than what I feel like it really was. Yeah, I dated him in high school. And college. But ex-boyfriend sounds like something I gained and lost easily. “The guy I lived with” doesn’t quite cut it, either. That could just be some guy that I roomed with from CraigsList.
But it wasn’t. He was more than a boyfriend. More than a person I lived with. More than just some ex on a long list of what used to be. He was significant. A huge part of my life. I can’t find a place to classify him yet. The Boyfriend sometimes seems too much, but anything else seems…not nearly descriptive enough.
I guess he will be The Boyfriend until something significant happens in my life that makes him not The Boyfriend. Someone else will eventually be The Boyfriend. Maybe The Fiance. Maybe the Husband. Maybe the Ex-Husband, but I hope not.
I can’t decide if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that I still call him The Boyfriend. Maybe it’s a sign I haven’t moved on, maybe it’s a sign I have. I recognize the significant role he played in my life. Sometimes I feel like he doesn’t particularly acknowledge that himself. And sometimes I feel like I’m the one preserving that memory, for fear he won’t. I hate to think it died in vain.
So, for now, he’s The Boyfriend. But we’re not together, and we never will be.