Category Archives: creepy boyfriend obsession

Six Years of Dates

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You know what I miss most about being in a relationship, aside from the assurance that I’m superior to all of my single friends? Going on dates.

I found myself in my bathroom on a recent Saturday afternoon, wearing a dress and putting on earrings in preparation for going to a friend’s house, and it felt so wonderful and familiar for a second. I realized it was because it reminded me of all of those years of going on dates with Kamran on Saturday nights. It seemed like we had a dinner reservation at some swanky restaurant every single weekend for the last couple of years of our relationship. We were always trying to one-up ourselves the way drug addicts do–going to the newest best restaurant, the oldest best restaurant, all of the three-Michelin-star restaurants–hoping this week’s tasting menu would be even better than last week’s.

We’d plan what time to wake up, what time to eat lunch, what to eat for lunch based on dinner that night. My strategy was to eat a lot for lunch–the chicken fingers parm sandwich from Jackson Hole was a favourite–so my stomach would be good and stretched out, while he would only eat two sushi rolls so he’d be starving by dinnertime. I’d take a shower three hours before we were supposed to leave so I’d have time to let my hair air dry while we watched “Deadliest Catch” or “Project Runway”, sit around in pajamas until the last second and then put on my dress and earrings. Kamran needed my blessing on whatever sweater-vest-and-bowtie combination he’d chosen, and I needed him to straighten the collar on my cape.

I’d try to hurry us out the door by waiting for him in the hallway, and he’d have to run back inside to switch from the glasses he wore around the house to the glasses he wore outside that looked exactly the same, and I’d press the button for the elevator when he was still all of the way down the hallway, and he’d get mad. We’d take a picture of ourselves in the elevator on the way down to the lobby and then try to game whether to wait for a cab on Tudor City Place or walk down to 2nd Avenue and try to get one there. We always chose wrong whatever we chose and had one or two instances of, like, a stranger physically holding another woman back for us so she’d stop trying to steal the cab that clearly belonged to us because we were there first. And then we’d get to the restaurant, and the maitre d’ would ask what name was on the reservation, and we’d look at each other, and Kamran would ask me, “Is it under your name?” even though we both knew it was. And then we’d have the easiest dinner conversation, so much more interesting and voluminous than that of the other couples around us, and we’d get so full and so drunk that we’d just hold hands in the back of the cab on the way home and dazedly stare out the windows at the sights of 2nd or 6th Avenue, and maybe we’d talk about our favourite dishes if we could manage, but we’d try not to let on to the hardworking cabbie that we had just spent his whole paycheck on dinner.

The doorman would wish us a goodnight, and we’d never argue about who got to go to the bathroom first because he always let me, and then we’d collapse on the Murphy bed and watch “The X-Files” or “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” until we fell asleep or until it was time to order Second Dinner from whatever diner was still open at 2 a.m., depending on how teeny the portions had been at dinner.

It’s not that I miss these things specifically, though I loved every minute of them during those six years. It’s just that I miss the routine of it all. The knowing that I had this to look forward to every weekend. The knowing that I had reserved someone’s time. The being so well taken care of. It’s hard not to be nostalgic.

The New York City Apartment

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My friend Kim is in the midst of her yearly post-finding-out-her-rent-is-being-raised-another-$200-per-month, “but-I’m-too-pretty-to-move-to-Brooklyn” freak-out and posted this on Facebook to summarize her strife: The Worst Room.

I may be self-centered, but I think NYC is singular in its ability to rent out the very shittiest apartments for the very most amount of money. I lived in some shady campus housing during my years at THE Ohio State University, but slumlords are supposed to take advantage of unwitting college students with their futons and their Gustav Klimt posters, right? I thought that by the time my friends and I all had jobs and hints of grey hair, we’d live in modest but bright/airy/crown-moldinged one-bedrooms in the East Village. But that doesn’t exist for normal people in NYC.

The normal people I know in NYC will have roommates until they’re ready to be moved into the retirement home, unless they want to live in the ghetto. The normal people I know in NYC share a one-bedroom apartment with their brothers so they can get away with only paying $700 each. The normal people I know in NYC live in apartments where there’s no living room because it’s been converted into a second bedroom, and they still pay $1000 each. Apartments are covered in 100 years of paint layers here. Linoleum floors left over from the 70s run rampant. I once looked at a converted factory loft with bedroom walls made of plywood that didn’t even go all of the way to the ceiling, and it was $2800 a month.

And that brings me to Kamran’s apartment. There were so many times I wanted to show you where I was living, but I didn’t necessarily want to show you all of my underwear, and you know it was all over the place in a 275-square-foot studio being shared by two people. When I first started dating Kamran, I carried a tote bag of clothes with me back and forth from my apartment to his every day when I was staying over. By the end of our six and a half years together, I had a small dresser, two tables in a corner with clothes piled on them, a chair for my folded dresses, a chair for my cardigan collection, more in the two closets, and more stored in bags on the floor.

There was a queen-size murphy bed, which we actually raised approximately twice, and once was to take my infamous cape photos, one of which I will now display simply to relive my five-years-ago youth:

You’re welcome.

There was a nook with a dresser piled high with books and a TV stand with a 36″ TV. It was one of the old tube TVs that weighs 200 pounds, made by a company called Classic. (That’s my favourite part.) Kamran would’ve replaced it, only the apartment was furnished by his landlady, so he couldn’t throw anything out. The only table in the place was taken up by his computer and printer, so we ate all of our meals on the love seat on top of two leather ottomans with removable tops that converted to tables when flipped over. I bought those ottomans for Kamran for our anniversary one year (romantic!), and he was so against them at first but then decided that I could use them for storage. So every time I would want to buy something (a slow-cooker, a clothes steamer, a puppy), my BFF, Tracey, would tell me to store it in my ottoman so Kamran couldn’t complain.

The kitchen was a galley style with three cupboards (one of which I couldn’t reach), a convection oven that was later replaced with a microwave when it finally stopped working, a half-size refrigerator, a sink, and approximately six inches of counter space between that and the two-burner stovetop. There was no oven. There was no freezer. The first night I stayed over at his apartment, we tried to save a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns and ended up eating ice cream soup in our pajamas the next day. Everything I bought at the grocery store had to be used within four days. Not a single blondie nor brownie was ever baked in that apartment. Any time I pan-fried anything, every wall in the kitchen would be splattered with grease because they were all so close together and to the stove. The refrigerator would fill with ice every few months, and Kamran would need to take a hammer to it while I stood with a broom and dustpan to catch the shards.

There was a phone on the wall that connected directly to a switchboard in the lobby behind the doorman’s desk, so the next-door neighbor who spoke to us approximately three times despite my repeated hellos could simply pick it up whenever he wanted to complain about our not-at-all-loud music. Every night for the first few years, the elderly doorman would call up to tell us to come pick up our delivery from the lobby with “your food is here” in his some-sort-of-European accent. Even when he was replaced with young, unaccented men, we would get off the phone and say to each other in the old way, “Your food is here.”

The room had two windows, one of which was cut in half by the air conditioner and the other of which opened approximately two inches. It always seemed pretty sunny in the room, though, until we realized a few years in that part of the building stuck out from the rest and that the neighbors living in that part could very, very clearly see into the apartment. Where I wore very little in the way of pants. We kept the blinds closed after that. We basically had to run the air conditioner year-round, because there wasn’t enough air coming in through the two-inch crack in the summer, and the building was so old and its walls so thick that it retained and multiplied heat in the winter.

The bathroom was a heavy porcelain pedestal sink where the bowl wasn’t exactly attached to the base and could fall off and, you know, crash through the floor into the apartment below if you pushed on it too hard. The shower had great water pressure but also a healthy mold habit that required many, many replacings of the bath mat thanks to the lack of air flow from that two-inch window opening. There were three mirrored cabinets and two racks for towels but not a linen closet to be seen. The best part was that because there were so many layers of paint on the door, it didn’t actually shut. You could slam it and lock it, but then you were likely wasting the next fifteen minutes trying to pull it open again. I think Kamran and I became very comfortable with each other very quickly because of this.

Kamran paid $1750 a month for the place, which was such a drop in the bucket for him it sometimes made me crazy to think about where we could be living. I wanted us to cook dinner together in our kitchen and then eat it on our balcony and then go to sleep in our bedroom that wasn’t also the living room and kitchen. He tried to buy this apartment in the building two doors down in 2009–forever known as “Joseph’s apartment” because of the realtor who rode a Vespa that matched his blue eyes and the blue tie he always wore–and I dreamed about our life together in this place with a separate bedroom and a view of both the East River and everything down 42nd Street to Times Square. But his offer wasn’t accepted by the building’s co-op board, and they don’t have to tell you why, and so we continued our life of him staying up all night studying for law school exams while I attempted to sleep with the lights on.

But to be honest, I sort of loved living there with him. I felt more at home there than I have in any of my NYC apartments, both because I spent the most time there and because it was so cozy. We used to say things like, “I’ll be in the kitchen if you need me!” and then take two steps to the right. The lighting was just right, and everything was always within reach because the whole place was sixteen feet across. The building itself was beautiful, we could see the Chrysler Building through our window, and there was a garden outside the front door. The United Nations was right across the street, I’ll never be able to replace my favourite food delivery options from the neighborhood, and we went on the most epic walks along the river esplanade that started at 38th Street. My current apartment in Brooklyn may be bigger and nicer and much more conducive to actually living a half-normal life, but living in that apartment was living in the center of New York Fuckin’ City.

NYC Studio Apartment

A Day in the Life

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The Kamran’s Last Week in NYC edition:

• Tuesday, we went to dinner at Louro, which is owned by a chef friend of ours and can be summed up in three words: asparagus ice cream:

• Wednesday, we went to Soba Totto for their lunch special that includes a rice dish, a bowl of hot or cold soba, pickles, and salad. The food is deliiiiicious, but the best part is seeing how the different people around you eat their soba. There are the people who use their spoon to gather some broth and then use their chopsticks to add some noodles to the spoon. There are the people who eat some noodles and then slurp some broth. And then there are these young Asian dudes in crisp black suits who don’t talk for an entire hour while they bury their heads in their bowls.

• Thursday, we went to Mission Chinese Food. It’s originally from San Francisco but opened here a few months ago to long lines and hugely hyped reviews. IT IS AMAZING. Wait for my review.

• I have no idea what we did Friday night–probably watched “Shark Tank”, knowing us–but I can tell you that we ate Cambodian sandwiches from Num Pang. They were out of the corn-on-the-cob we like with the spicy mayo and the coconut and, you know, lightly apologized for it. They probably didn’t realize that was MY LAST TIME EATING THAT CORN EVER. Unless I take a half-an-hour subway ride. For corn.

• Saturday afternoon, we met our friends Anthony, Jeff, Nik, and Marko at a sushi buffet called IchiUmi for Kamran’s farewell lunch. (My roommate, Jack, was out of town. I know you’re all in love with him and would have noticed his conspicuous absence.) We ate something like 240 plates of food. Everything tasted better than ever, as everything had all month long. Kamran tried on Anthony’s sunglasses to prepare him for his new life in sunnier climates:

I had asked Jeff to help me move my things from Kamran’s apartment to mine, partly because he’s strong and partly because he’s nice and mostly because he has a car. But over the course of the lunch, everyone else was somehow convinced to help me out (well, except for Marko, who was getting ready to defend his dissertation and thought getting a PhD was more important than schlepping my underwear across town), so I suddenly had a gaggle of movers and Anthony’s car, too. And thank god, because what I thought were a few boxes turned out to be several boxes, a dresser, a nightstand, two ottomans, and a zillion bags stuffed with shoes and toiletries at the last minute. We hadn’t told the building about my move in the hope of avoiding having to get permission from anyone and to avoid the $50/hour fee they charge to use the freight elevator and just walk out the front doors with all of my stuff. But of course the doorman saw through us the moment we asked to borrow one of the rolling carts and told us we needed to use the freight. So we loaded everything onto the carts and rang the bell for the freight elevator, and the porter stepped off and said we had to write him a check for $50 before we could go any further. So Kamran paid $50 for a trip on an elevator for me. And what a ride it was.

Kamran rode with Anthony and Nik to give directions, and I rode with Jeff and was of course the one who got us lost. Never trust a person who drives a car twice a year. One of my biggest annoyances living here is cab drivers who ask me how to get to my apartment. Um, take the 4 train to Brooklyn? I wouldn’t be in a cab if I had a car, buddy! Now do your job. Anthony and Nik went to get coffee while they were waiting for Jeff and me to arrive, and then Kamran had to watch their illegally-parked car, and Jeff had to watch his illegally-parked car, so I was left to bring everything up to my apartment on my own. But of course the doorman at my building was kind and helpful, because it’s Brooklyn.

Anthony and Jeff left in their illegally-parked cars while Kamran and Nik came up to my apartment so we could order banh mi and watch the new Louis C.K. stand-up special and hang out on our roof deck

watching the sun set:

When we got back to Kamran’s apartment that night, it was so weird to look around and not see any of my stuff. When we first started dating, I would haul a bag of clothes from my apartment to his every time I stayed over. Eventually I was staying over so often that he bought me a dresser. And then I filled the dresser so full that I started stacking my clothes on a table beside it. And then another table next to that. And then a chair. I had my laptop there. The scrapbook I was working on. All of my camera gear. My birth certificate. That’s how moved-in I was. So it was strange to be at his apartment and have clothes for the next three days and nothing else. We watched movies and ate one of my favourite meals, the quesadilla enorme from Baby Bo’s Cantina:

• Sunday, we took a walk to Beekman, the secret park we discovered a couple of years ago and have been walking to all of the weekends. There are waterfront parks near me in Brooklyn–much bigger, nicer ones, actually–but this one was ours. I got pooped on by a bird as I was passing under a tree, which is the only thing that could’ve logically happened my last time there with Kamran:

• Monday morning, I took the bus from Kamran’s house to work for the last time. I got the most perfect seat in the front by the window and thought about how it was my last ride on the bus and was nostalgic for a moment until I remembered that I would be going home on the bus, too. So I stopped looking out the window and enjoying the sights of 2nd Avenue and read my book instead. But then Kamran asked me to meet him in the Flatiron after work so we could return his cable box together right off the 6 train, so I didn’t get to ride the bus home for the last time. I’m sure I’ll get over it. Someday.

His movers had come that afternoon and taken what seemed like almost everything away, but “almost everything” still left, like four hours of packing and cleaning for us. I took his plant, and he posed with the gigantic Scooby-Doo that took up half of his 275-square-foot apartment for seven years but that he wouldn’t throw out (nor give to Jeff, who really wanted it) because he swore he was going to someday mail it to the ex-girlfriend he had won it with in Atlantic City. YET ANOTHER UNKEPT PROMISE COURTESY OF KAMRAN. j/k, j/k.

The first pictures of Kamran I saw before our first date included Scoob creepily looking over his shoulder in his old Princeton apartment. But we still left him by the freight elevator to be tossed out with the day’s leftovers. JUST LIKE OUR LOVE.

We ordered our favourite Greek dinner from The Famous Chicken Place,

and had to, like, actually sit and talk to each other with the cable box already being gone. For the six and a half years we were together, his kitchen table was the same as his computer desk (studio living!), but with his computer gone, we talked about eating at the table for the first time ever. And then we ate on the couch like always. He texted the guy from his floor he’d made friends with to see if he wanted to say goodbye to us, and I was hoping to run into the girl I had casually talked to in the hallway for two years and had been meaning to become friends with but hadn’t, but the guy didn’t text back, and I didn’t run into the girl and didn’t even really know which apartment was hers, so that was that.

We made a trip to the lobby with as much as we could carry, and then I waited downstairs while he went up for another load, and then he waited downstairs while I went up for the last load. I took a picture of the apartment completely empty (I have to do a separate blog post on that because it’s so hilarious/sad) and a picture of the closed door for the last time, and you can faintly see the yellow stain on it that may or may not have been pee but that we didn’t clean off in all of those six and a half years,

and then we went to the doorman to leave our keys. He asked who they were being left for, and Kamran said, “Oh, um, the landlady, I guess. I’m moving out.” And the doorman was like, “Oh, really? Well, sad to see you go. Good luck with your new place!” And we were like, “Yeah, thanks for calling up to us every night when the delivery guy arrived with our dinner.” And that was to be the extent of our goodbye to the building.

It felt pretty strange to be leaving so unceremoniously after so much time there. I mean, it’s not like we were heavily involved in the goings-on of Tudor City–there were art shows and concerts in the park and building committees that we weren’t remotely a part of–but it’s also not like we didn’t know people there. People talked to us. People recognized us by our sweater vests (him) and our winter capes (me). People ran into us in the street and laughed about how funny it was to see each other in regular clothes outside of the building’s gym. We had wildly creative nicknames for people–The Tudor Lady (whose greyhound was named Tudor, after the neighborhood), The Crazy Lady (who stood outside with her mangy old bulldog and danced to music only she could hear)–and people would ask Kamran how his wife was and me how my husband was (awwwww (or barf, depending)). I kind of wanted some sort of send-off from Stacey with the red hair or the woman at the end of the hallway who always passed me in the morning in her yoga gear or even the asshole neighbor who would literally run into his apartment to avoid having to be polite to us if we nearly passed in the hall after he had taken his single empty can of Pepsi to the trash room. But no one was waiting for us with banners and balloons, so we silently carried our things to the curb and waited for a cab to take us to my apartment.

But then a moment later, the girl from the hallway came out to smoke, and we exchanged e-mail addresses. And then another moment after that, the guy Kamran had made friends with walked up, munching on a sandwich. We all stood around chatting and talking about future plans, and then the guy helped us load our stuff into the cab that pulled up. Well, first the cab driver said he wouldn’t take us and drove off. But then he stopped down the block, reversed, and popped his trunk open. CAB DRIVERS. We finally got to my apartment close to midnight. I think it was Kamran’s, like, fifth time there.

• Tuesday, Kamran came to work to say goodbye to all of my co-workers who actually like him better than me, and then we went back to my apartment to do laundry and eat one last banh mi. When we sat down to eat, I accidentally knocked his bubble tea to the ground, and it went eeeeeverywhere. Kamran, who used to act like I was the least-responsible person in the world whenever I spilled anything at his apartment, calmed me down and did all of the work of cleaning it up. And then we shared my bubble tea while watching “Deadliest Catch”, which we started watching together a few years ago and seemed appropriately epic for our end times. We cried and cried and then went to bed and cried and then held hands and cried and I told him not to say anything nice to me the next morning so I wouldn’t cry before work.

• Wednesday, I left for work knowing that I’d come home to an empty apartment. I hugged Kamran and closed my eyes for a second to enjoy it but then was like, “Shit! Shit! Don’t cry!” So I stopped thinking about it, kissed him, and left. It sucked.

That Time When My Boyfriend of Six and a Half Years Broke Up With Me: Part 3

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I really love you all and your righteous indignation. I didn’t even know I had that many troops to rally when I wrote that last post. I have to admit, though, that I was surprised by your comments. I thought I had written this touching tribute to my glorious, near-perfect-until-he-decided-he-didn’t-,-you-know-,-want-to-be-with-me-anymore, possibly-never-to-be-matched relationship with a person who in many ways completely changed my life. My food blog exists because of him. My camera and half of my lenses exist because of him. I conquered parts of this city I didn’t even know existed because of him. I feel like I’m a better person because of our relationship, that I grew and came out ahead of where I started back in 2006.

Yes, I’ve had the melodramatic “I wasted the best years of my life with him!” talk with myself a couple of times over the past year, because it is a little scary to think that all of the other sensitive lawyers with PhDs and interesting cultures have been snatched up in the time I was hanging out with this noncommittal one. But I’ve never been one of those girls who wanted to be married at 25 so I could have all my kids by 30 and then spend the rest of my life living vicariously through them. My time with him wasn’t wasted, because I:

a) really fucking enjoyed it.
b) have all the time in the world do all of the boring crap you guys want me to with some other, lamer person.

Just kidding about that last part. But seriously, I didn’t make a mistake by staying with him after he told me he was leaving, and I’m not dumb, and I wasn’t mistreated, and anyone would be lucky to have the kind of relationship we had for those first five and a half years. And I don’t have Stockholm Syndrome, you bastards!

My friend Noel wrote me an email that said, “Well to me it’s hard to read and think about because it’s sort of like someone being terminally ill: you know they are going to die and yeah maybe it would be easier/better/smarter to just stop your relationship with them immediately, but then you’d miss all that sucking-the-marrow-out-of-life stuff.” I hadn’t likened the last year of my relationship with Kamran to the last year of my mom’s life, but they’re similar. I knew she was going to die of brain cancer, and it was hard to be with her and forget that, but it would have been so much worse to miss out on the time with her. And after agonizing over her impending death for a year, when she finally did go, I had dealt with it.

I know that Kamran chose this for us, unlike my mom, and maybe that’s why I feel like I’ve had an easier time dealing with things. I’m not crying, and I don’t feel lost at sea. I feel like I’ve had closure and can move forward with only positive feelings toward Kamran. It’s not that I’m not bothered by the fact that he wanted something new after six years, and I don’t want to give anyone permission to walk on me, but I’m too thankful for what we had to be mad. That would be the real waste of my time.

So thank you for being angry at him so I don’t have to be.

That Time When My Boyfriend of Six and a Half Years Broke Up With Me: Part 2

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This is the story about how I got half broken up with a year ago by my boyfriend of six and a half years but chose to stay with him because I’m:

1) a sap.
2) very loyal.
3) kind of pathetic?

For me, there’s never been any question of Kamran and me moving to California. I knew from almost the beginning of our relationship back in September of 2006 that he eventually planned to take his career closer to his family in Orange County. Yes, it’d mean leaving all of these friends I feel so lucky to have made, but I’m really, really charming and knew I could make more. Yes, it’d mean leaving the job that I love, but I knew I could find another to suit me. Yes, it’d mean being even farther from my family in Ohio, but I was willing to work hard to see them as often as I do now. Yes, it’d mean leaving NYC long before I felt “finished” with it, but I could justify that, too. I would have to drive (dreadful), but I could sing at the top of my lungs in the car again. I’d have to live in a house (scary), but maybe I could have a pool. I couldn’t eat at Michelin-starred restaurants every weekend (DEATH), but I could finally cook at home in a place with more than just the stovetop and half-fridge in Kamran’s studio.

I pictured us living near Laguna Beach, where he grew up, and being close enough to walk to the water every day. I pictured loving my hair and skin every day the way I have in summers past when we’ve visited his parents and there’s been no humidity. I pictured not having to use air-conditioning and living in linen pants and finally being relaxed in a way I haven’t since moving here almost eight years ago.

But one night last spring, Kamran and I were walking to our favourite sandwich shop, and he told me that he was going to renew the lease on his apartment even though he was sure he wouldn’t be here another full year. I asked, “Oh, is it going to be that soon? And were you going to mention it to me?” He said, “Oh, did you want to move with me?” And I was like, ” . . .”

Because why wouldn’t I want to move with him? We fell in love almost accidentally–I had seen his picture before our date and didn’t think he was right for me but decided I should at least try to be friends with him and then swooned the moment we actually met, and he said at first that he wanted to keep dating other girls but changed his mind as soon as I went on a date with someone else–but I thought that if there was such a thing as fate, we would be the proof to that theorem. We just got along SO WELL. We liked the same kind of music and movies, dancing around his apartment, walking around the city for hours, and cuddling to the point that people would vomit if they knew even an inkling of how much time we spent wrapped up together in his Murphy bed. He introduced me to fine dining and made me try a world of food I either didn’t know existed or thought I didn’t like. We liked different TV (me, reality shows; him, adult cartoons), but we compromised so much that he eventually found himself loving “Survivor”, and I eventually found myself watching “South Park” even without him. We found the same things funny and remarked over and over again about how no one else would ever laugh at them. I thought–and I’m sure every really in love person thinks this, so don’t be offended–that no couple in the world was as perfectly-matched as we were. We were brainy. We were cute. We were creative. We were driven to do different but complimentary things: he was the focused one who worked hard and made all of our weekend fun possible; I was the easy-going one who made friends he got along with just as well as I did. Neither of us liked to eat the ends of pickles. Neither of us understood people who cut in line at the bus stop. Neither of us had ever known what love was until we met.

When people asked why we didn’t get married or insinuated that our relationship was somehow less important than theirs because rings weren’t involved, I didn’t have to be hurt by it, because I thought we were above all of that. I didn’t have to try to coerce him into marriage, because I wasn’t insecure. I thought ours was the purest kind of love, because it wasn’t forced. It had nothing to do with children, finances, or housing. We paid for separate apartments but spent all of our time together by choice. We basically lived in a 250-square-foot studio for six years straight and never got tired of each other.

Here are the reasons Kamran names for breaking up with me:

• He never intended when he met me to have found his final girlfriend.

• He wants to be a bronzed glamourboy and doesn’t think he can be fit and chiseled in the context of our food-dependent relationship.

• He’s not ready for the commitment that comes with moving in together, and I insisted that if I follow him across the country, we should finally officially live together.

• He thinks it’s normal for couples to break up in the midst of a relationship for no reason other than to date other people. He thinks, but is not sure that, his sister and her husband did that and then got back together and got married, and that seems normal and correct to him.

• He wants to meet new people who can introduce him to new ideas. He actually told me years ago that he expected for us to eventually get bored of each other and break up in order to be exposed to different people, and I somehow just thought he was being coy.

He says those are the only reasons. He says he doesn’t expect to find anyone better-suited to him and that he has no complaints about me. Part of me really, truly believes that he loves me and thinks that our relationship was as special as I do, which is the thing that’s keeping me from being mad at him. Not that I haven’t been mad at him. In the last year, knowing that he could pick up and leave at any time, I’ve thought about how I sat at home with him weekend after weekend for years while he studied for law school instead of going to friends’ parties and concerts and happy hours. I could’ve had those six and a half years with a boyfriend who came home from work at 6 instead of 9 and had time to take me to dinner not just on the weekends. I could’ve been with someone who liked vacations and had time to visit my family with me. I could’ve been with someone who went to Hamptons or the Jersey shore just once with my friends and me. I could’ve been with someone who put me ahead of his job just once without my asking.

I’ve also been sad about this. It’s hard thinking that I might’ve spent some of the best years of my life with someone who didn’t feel the same way for me that I did for him. I grew up in a town where none of the boys were like me and waited 25 years to finally find someone worth loving, and then I did, and it was even better than I thought it’d be, so even though some of my friends encouraged me to break up with Kamran before he could break up with me during this last year of waiting and wondering, I held on and decided to enjoy it as much as I could. It didn’t feel stupid or self-disrespecting because he made it feel too special. We had an AWESOME last year together.

Yes, it sucked when he accepted a new job in California last summer and had to keep deferring it to spend more time here. Yes, it sucked being on edge for twelve months, never knowing exactly how much or how little time we had together. It sucked not being able to blog about my feelings because it felt embarrassing to announce that we were breaking up one day and then continue to write about all of our sappy adventures as a super-in-love couple the next. It sucked feeling like I should definitely, definitely be crying all of the time but not letting myself because it felt like wasting time when time was precious. It sucked that I was so exhausted by my emotions during the whole debacle that I was almost relieved when he left just because at least I finally knew. I never wanted my first love to end not with a bang but a whimper, you know?

But we also did it all this past year. We took walks to the waterfront park on Beekman nearly every weekend, stopped caring about how small his apartment was and invited people over, rode the Roosevelt Island tram so many times, chewed each other’s arms to the nubs, tried the Doritos Locos Tacos, admired the Chrysler Building from his window, butter-basted our first steaks at home, played in the snow, ate so many Michelin stars, karaoked, introduced friends to Um Segredo and the Momofukus and Tocqueville and so many others, held hands on the subway, learned about wine and cheese and by that I mean ate a lot of it, chose the loser of every reality show within the first ten seconds of the episode, woke up at 5:45 a.m. to go to the gym, played the game where he would tuck me in at night and I would kick the covers off so he’d have to do it again, and created an Excel spreadsheet detailing our plans for every day of his last month here so we could be sure to live it to the fullest. And we did. And I’ll never forget it.