If My Boyfriend Was a City

by shewastheyoungamerican

New York

My mother warned me about guys like him. She spoke from experience. She too loved the pace, the fun, the endless nights out, and the glamor of loving a man like that. But there was always something about him that couldn’t be sustained. It felt impossible at times, no matter how much I loved him. He was unattainable in so many ways. And yet, no matter how much we struggled to stay together, it always felt worth it. Until one day it didn’t. One day I woke up feeling broke, alone, and above all exhausted. But I’ll be damned if that wasn’t the big love. Maybe, in a few years, when things are more stable, we could make it work.


I’m not sure why I keep going back to him. Everything inside me says “go.” He’s not very kind, he’s cold, and he won’t open his heart to anything. But sometimes, he really makes me laugh. He sweeps me up in ways that’s hard to explain. I keep being pulled into him – every time I feel like I want to leave, something just won’t let me. It’s an uncomfortable kind of love, one I’ve never worked harder to sustain. Harder than New York, much much harder.


He’s the dream, really. He’s nice, smart, athletic, loves his mom and is really, really funny. He’s cultured and down-to-earth. And sure, he might wear light wash denim and gym sneakers on a daily basis, I don’t mind. I love his baseball caps and clean-cut shave. He makes the coldest of winters not only bearable, but lovable. The first time he met my friends he was just so nice to everyone. He really made the rounds, you know? That’s important to me, it really is, and he fit right in with my friends. They all loved him, too. Unfortunately our timing just didn’t work out. I will always, always think fondly of him. I have a feeling we’ll get back together. Sooner than later, I hope.


We met at summer camp. We were young, and wild, and free. We didn’t have a care in the world when we met. We’d sneak off late at night after dancing with our friends and kiss under some trees. During the day we’d climb hills together and lay by the fire when it would get cold and rain. There was something so romantic about him. I think maybe it was because I knew our romance would be brief. I knew it would be exciting and sweet all at once. Most of all though, and the reason it was so hard to leave, was I truly felt safe when we were together.

San Francisco

He’s out of my league.


This was a brief affair. At first, he was everything I expected him to be just by the look of him. Handsome? Yes, painfully so. Charming? Dangerously so. I thought though, behind that facade, he’s just some jerk using his moves to graze against my leg on the train. And he was that guy, at first. But as the night went on, he surprised me. He was much warmer than I assumed. I never met someone who could be so casual and exotic all at once. Quite frankly, I don’t know what made him pick me of all women that night, but I’m glad he did. He was definitely one for the books.

Los Angeles

I know, I know. I deserved better than that. I know he was a little dumb, we didn’t really have much in common, and his priorities in life didn’t go beyond finding the best taco joint in town. We really didn’t have much to talk about other than a shared love of the same movies and music. He wasn’t a mean guy or anything, he just lacked in depth, really. And we had fun together. Pure, worry-free fun. I wonder what he’s up to now…


He’s just so reliable. Our relationship is comfortable and familiar, but he still finds ways to surprise me. We grew up together and he really gets me. I don’t have to pretend to be anything. He’s not as challenging as my other boyfriends – and sometimes I really need that. I need to just go to a ball game, eat hot dogs, and drink beer. He went all the way around the stadium to get me crab fries from Chickie’s and Pete’s once, and for me, that’s real love. When I left in September, I like to think I was “the one that got away.” But I think we’ll end up together eventually. I never realized what I had until I went away.