This is the story of how I finally took control of my love life with one large glass of water. I have never felt more liberated and empowered than I did one recent night, standing in front of a restaurant full of people with an empty cup in my hand and my shocked, soaked ex-boyfriend before me. The string that had dragged me along for years had finally been cut.
Now, before I delve into this story SAGA, here is the brief backstory: I met Brian* (who, mental picture, looks like Thor—man bun included) almost three years ago in July of 2012. I thought he was the one. We dated on and off for two years, but throughout our relationship, he was always kind of jerking me around, saying he wasn't "ready" for something serious (he had been married before and had been cheated on) and shadily texting other women.
Eventually it became clear he would never be ready, so I broke it off for good in 2014. I thought that was the end.
But, of course, it wasn't. Brian works for an event-planning company that caters the events I have to attend for work, so I sometimes run into him on the job. (You can imagine how fun that is: when you never know when you might run into your ex, you have to look on point all the time. I digress.) So when I ran into him a few months after our split, I ignored him, but he texted me the next day and asked me to meet in the park to clear his conscience "to talk." He told me he loved me, that he had been thinking nonstop about me, and that he was sorry for what had happened with the shady texts I'd found. And, because I was in love with him/he looks like Chris Hemsworth's doppelgänger, I accepted his apology (again), took him back (again), and the next thing I knew he was my date for my boss's wedding the next month. I ended things (again) a month after the wedding because—Surprise!—he still couldn't get his shit together. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result? Yes, yes, it is, and I know this because all my friends reminded me of this daily.
HERE'S WHERE I BECOME A POWERFUL, SELF-ACTUALIZED GODDESS: Toward the end of February this year, I ran into all 6-foot-four of him at another event. We ended up texting later and decided to meet for a drink to catch up in hopes of "making things less awkward."
At drinks, he poured his heart out (tears and all), telling me that he missed me, loved me, the whole nine. I could feel myself wanting to fall into this trap again.
When he dropped me off, he asked if we could keep talking. "Sure," I said, knowing it wouldn't turn into anything because he is incapable of being in a relationship. He said he'd hit me up as soon as he was back from a business trip to Connecticut.
Knowing deep down I couldn't count on Brian, I signed up for a dating app and, after a couple dozen swipes, I had a date with Jake*—handsome, smart, funny, employed Jake—scheduled for Tuesday. Finally, someone who could commit to a plan in *~aDvAnCe~*. On Tuesday, Jake and I met at a swanky spot filled with high tables, cozy booths, an open kitchen, and exposed brick walls—I had only been there one other time: with Brian. We were having a great time until, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a familiar man bun. Brian—who, you remember, was supposedly on a business trip—was sitting a few tables away on a date.
I know, I know, I was also on a date. But allow me to remind you that it was Brian who had just tearfully professed his undying love for me.
This was the sign I needed. The punch in the gut that showed me he would never,
As soon as I saw him, I felt the coloring in my face fade to Casper white and Jake immediately knew something was up. I explained that my ex was right behind him with a girl who Jake later described as "10 times less hot than you." Love Jake.
Together we hatched a plan (Jake is also anti-assholes) and I grabbed the large glass of water sitting in front of me. When Brian's date leaned in to kiss him, blocking his view, I made my move. And there, in front of Brian, his date, and a packed restaurant,
I delivered the best line of my life: "Don't ever fucking contact me again!" and then whoosh, the water left the cup and landed all over Brian's face, golden locks, and clothes.
I calmly set the cup down on their table and walked away with the confidence and strong gait of a model closing the Chanel runway show.
I felt amazing as I strutted back to Jake with the adrenaline level of an elite marathon runner. He was proud and probably scared to death to ever cross me—but also, he said, oddly turned on by my shenanigans. (Again, love Jake.) "I swear this was a 'first and last' kind of situation," I told Jake, but the truth was I wasn't apologetic about what I'd just done. I had actually never felt better.
At that moment, and still now, I felt like I did it for all the women who put up with shit from guys who string them along and lie straight to
I felt empowered, liberated, and best of all, I immediately no longer felt the guilty love for Brian that had kept me a prisoner for years.
So if you're stuck in a vicious love cycle, from one frustrated woman to another, throw that glass of water. Don't let someone waste years of your life with their inconsiderate neediness. Don't be a slave to his texts. Put your foot down. Throw your metaphorical cup of water in someone's face. I never had the urge to throw a drink in anyone's face until that night, but I went with my gut and it was amazing. And even though I'm not one for embarrassing people in public, I'll never regret doing it and I'll never give him another chance to string me along again. In the words of the great philosopher Taylor Swift, "We are never, ever, ever getting back together."
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.