Lessons on Love via the Draft Texts in my Notes

Digging up 5 years of drama

Oh iPhone, despite your flimsy composition and tendency to crack far too easily from being dropped on the floor/ flung against a wall during a phone argument, you’ve really really had my back. The horrified look I receive when I tell people I have over 30k photos on my phone is priceless, but it’s not a self-obsession thing – these photos date way back to when I first got an iPhone in 2011. So that’s a lot of memories in there I don’t want to delete (and with a 132gb storage, I’m still not quite encroaching on the the dreaded ‘storage full’ notification.) But iPhones hold other kinds of memories too. If you often find yourself drafting your replies to texts for those more ‘serious’ situations in the notes section of your phone, before firing them away on whatsapp, you’ll be all too familiar with this practice.

Yes, so the notes section of my phone is home to 2000+ notes. And that’s a mix of shopping lists, Instagram hashtags, to-do lists, gym session routines, IOU’s, and of course, why you’re all here, the juiciest, most cut-throat, sad and often heartfelt draft messages to former flames, flings, and boyfriends over the past 6 years. And last week when I tweeted that I should publish all of mine into a book, and so many of you liked the tweet, I couldn’t resist cutting to the chase and just doing a playful little post on it.

Why draft though? When you draft a message, you know you mean business. You’re going in with a very strong point and you want to be HEARD. Phone calls simply won’t do because the person on the other line can interrupt you. Face to face might weaken your ice queen facade (you can’t hear tears but you can see them!) The cool tone that you use in your message can be easily be lost in translation. You might forget the sassy put-down you’ve spent the past four hours thinking of. You can’t afford to make any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. You need to send it to your friends for a approval and a final edit. So this is why we draft.

So, let’s dive right in to the depths of my relationship history via the draft texts in the notes on my phone to figure out what the hell was happening, what went wrong, and what I ultimately learnt from the situation.

“Of course I think you are nice and genuine, you always take pity on my starvation and feed me. I just feel like I get the more jokey side of you, and you’re always joking. I feel you treat me as one of the lads most of the time”

Relationship: this was the early days of a relationship with an ex whilst at uni. Let’s call him BanterLAD. 

Situation: He was treating me like one of the lads, obvs. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and turns out it’s true of us women too, apparently. I gave this man extra points because he’d regularly cook dinner for me, despite the fact that he used to call me ‘mate’ and ‘pal’ and ‘champ’ like I was one of the guys. But please note, I was in that bullshit ‘cool girl’ phase of my life where I thought it was okay for guys to treat me like this because being ~chill~ made me more desirable.
Lesson learned: Just because he feeds you doesn’t mean that he loves you. Oh, and don’t ignore you’re initial feelings of dread – because as you’re about to see, if you don’t get these ironed out then they usually just get bigger and bigger…

“Ive said to you before that I don’t bother with relationships if I’m interested in other people. I feel so strongly that if you’re texting other people or cheating, then you don’t like the person you’re with enough… But I wasn’t doing that. If I was texting anybody else as more than just a mate, I wouldn’t be talking to you and trying to sort things right now. You mean the world to me and the worst thing is knowing its over because of me. I know what I did was wrong and you’re hurt and upset and angry but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m deeply sorry.”

Relationship: one month later with BanterLAD.

Situation: He’d read my messages whilst I was asleep and found some friendly, very borderline flirtatious (ok, they were quite flirtatious) messages to one of the guys on his sports team who I was friends with, and obviously kicked off big time about it.

Lesson learnt: always hide your phone under your pillow at night. Oh, and it’s not always the best idea to send semi-flirtatious texts to people the guy you’re seeing plays a physical sport with. It’s bound to get messy. But, at the same time, stand up for yourself when you know you should. We weren’t in an official relationship at the time so was I really doing anything wrong? Why was he checking my phone anyway?

New lesson: if you go looking for something, you’ll probably find it. 

“Would I hate you? By hate, you mean resent you until the day I die, mainly because I’m so embarrassed that I wasted so much time on such a pathetic, spineless human being who can’t deal with being alone? Then yes, of course I’d hate you.”

Relationship: oh god this is awkward, but this draft text was aimed for an ex that I kind of rekindled things, sort of, whilst seeing BanterLad.
Situation: This ex and I had said we’d give things a go, totally out of the blue, and he told me he had called things off with the girl he was seeing in order for us to do so. I completely freaked out immediately after we agreed to do it, texted him saying I didn’t think it was right, and we called it off before it ever even started again. A week later he text me asking if I’d hate him forever if he got back together with the other girl. 
I actually never sent this message. I wrote it, then instead sent “Of course not. I honestly wish you all the best and hope you’re happy xx” Kill them with kindness! 
Lesson learnt: an ex is an ex for a reason. It never would have worked, and my feelings for him were most certainly not enough to give a go of the relationship again! I was in love of the idea of the relationship, rather than the man who was in the relationship, because there’s alway that romanticised idea of rekindling something with a former flame, isn’t there? At the time I went to send this, I was just angry. But I was over it quicker than you can say “but what about BanterLad?”. This ex deserved to be happy with someone else because it would never have worked between us.
But yes, to answer the question “but what about BanterLAD?”

“I’m really sorry this happened a day before your exam, and I know I get snapchats from boys but it was that it said she’s your ‘best friend’ on snapchat… What’s that about?  The only reason why I lost it was because she’s the same girl who stayed at yours that time I was over, and kept trying to get in your bedroom when I was in there. And she only stopped when you told her as a last resort that you have “someone” in your room. You would have hated the situation had you been in my position. “

Relationship: BanterLAD is back, but he’s now my boyfriend. 

Situation: Do you remember Snapchat way back when you could see who other peoples ‘best friends’ were? Well, his SC bezzer was a girl who had come back to his after a night out, when I was staying at his, and kept trying to come in the room. My boyfriend at the time just barricaded the door with his body whilst she was mauling away at the handle being like an annoying drunk kitten mewling “But whyyy? Let me in! Stop playing games”  – only finally, did he tell her “I’ve got someone in here” – oh fuck, someone? Just SOMEONE? Don’t you mean “I’ve got my girlfriend in here” – shady. Shady. So I kicked up a fuss about it the day before his exam. ANYWAY, I was wondering why she was his best friend on snapchat. 
Lesson learnt: I WAS AN ACTUAL DOORMAT. Perhaps the lesson really should be about picking your timing better. Maybe I should have said let’s go for a post-exam Nandos, then casually bring it up into conversation as his meal arrives, and press him on it until he feels so uncomfortable that he can’t eat his food. Then I finish his food.

Admittedly, I acted like a doormat in this whole relationship. I never stood up for myself as much as I should and it took me way too long to realise it. But, that said, sometimes you need to be walked over by someone to learn how to stand up for yourself and not take any shit.

“Since you mentioned your moving date was being brought forward, it’s been playing on my mind. I’m really happy for you that you’re moving to New York but I’m really sad for me because I’ve found somebody that I’ve really connect with, which hasn’t happened in a long time. I know you told me about NYC from the start and I thought It’d be fine just casually dating you, but now I think it would be best if we stopped because I can only see myself starting to like you more, and it’ll be too hard for me knowing there’s an expiry date and things can’t go anywhere.”

Relationship: a guy I went on a few dates with but we connected very quickly.

Situation: Sadly, the guy got offered a job in NYC. And I really really really liked him – as in, I hadn’t felt a connection with someone like that in years. So what do you do? Continue and let your feeling strengthen because you know you could have an amazing few months? Or just cut all ties and let it go?

Lesson learnt: I fucking hate New York! Just kidding – be honest about your feelings. I spent a lot of time being a total ice queen and “playing it cool” by not talking about my emotions, but being upfront with this particular person always really helped. It was a real case of head vs heart on this one, my heart was saying “just see where it goes!” but my head was saying get outta there before you get hurt. And sadly, I think we all know that the head is usually right in these kind of scenarios. Your heart is a needy little bitch.

“Yeah I’m ok. Gonna be honest, I know you said don’t take anything from it and didn’t mean to make a direct comparison and it seems out of context now, but Thursday when you called me “cute and curvy” in comparison to what you usually go for in your exes who you said were all v long, it just made me feel a bit shit tbh. I just didn’t get why you’d say it cus its not really the nicest thing to hear (specially when you work in an industry that totally idolises tall slim women- kill me) I get this is probably a very girly perspective.”

Relationship: a guy from Tinder that I had been seeing for a couple of months.

Situation: The guy said I was “cute and curvy” compared to his “very long, tall and slim” exes. Obviously, I bottled my emotions because I was still in ‘cool girl’ phase and didn’t want to act like I cared, up until a few days later where I just had to say something. I was shitting all over female kind by making it seem that my ‘girly perspective’ was a bad thing! But I still felt like I was being an inconvenience calling him up on it? I was still trying to be cool despite being seriously not cool about something.

Lesson learnt: Dump anyone who compares you to their exes. Oh, and don’t play it cool when something bothers you – especially something like this. Trying to act like you don’t care when you care a lot is EXHAUSTING.

“It’s not a personal attack on Sammy* because I’m such an animal lover. It’s his behaviour towards me that I don’t like and it’s got to the point where I feel so uncomfortable and on edge around him at yours that I don’t really want to go round your house. You have to address a problem that your dog has. As soon as Sammy sets a foot wrong you need to put him in line. I’m not comfortable sharing a bed with that dog!”

* names have been changed

Relationship: an ex

Situation: My ex had a dog. Looked adorable, but it was poorly trained and got vicious. Oh, and it slept in the same bed as him. Gross! Nobody should have to share a bed with a strange animal that snores and farts. Boys are bad enough. It got to a part where the dog seriously got in the way. I felt like a stepmum and I was dealing with a man who had a child that didn’t take so kindly to me.

Lesson learnt: never date a man with dogs. Especially if he lets them sleep in the bed with you. No but seriously, there’s a bigger issue. The fact that he never took my worries and concerns into real consideration was a huge indicator of how seriously he viewed the relationship. It took me breaking up with him to realise he needed to sort that animal out, so he could try and get me back.

“Haha! No seriously don’t throw yourself in front of a bus. It’s not that my feelings have changed or anything, it’s just I’m basically a massive control freak and works just getting out of hand for these two weeks and it’s really stressing me out so I need to have a bit of a chilled week. I didn’t want to go back to yours because I just wanted to relax in my own space. I just don’t want to come across like I’m being a dick or elusive – it’s just all a little mad atm!”

Relationship: a guy I had been seeing for a couple of months

 Situation: I got the ick. I got the ick badly. He text me asking if I was still interested or if he should “go and throw myself in front of a bus!” – and I’m one of these terrible people that can’t deal with hurting feelings by straight up telling them I’m not that into them, so I pretend I’m busy with work and ghost them until they just stop messaging me.

Lesson learnt: The work excuse is utter BS. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, if you really like someone you’ll make time to see them. So I guess I learnt to never listen to anyone who ever uses that excuse on me! Also I’m a bad person and should probably be a little more direct.

“I’m still bothered by it tbh. You give all this ‘respectful’ image off but you completely negged me. Do you really think any girl would take a comment like “I think it’s cute that you don’t have a flat stomach” as a positive? You say you don’t do that negging shit, but you just negged me hard.”

Relationship: A guy I was seeing

Situation: This guy was all about respecting women yada yada. But then he negged me hard. Ok do you know what negging is? For those of you who don’t, it’s when you give a sort of half-breed of an insult which is sort of dressed up as a compliment, which will play on someones insecurities. So this was the perfect example! I was totally happy with my body (and the slimmest I’d been in forever) and was totally unaware that I even had a bit of a belly going on. Until of course, he informed me about it. Whilst I was wearing few clothes.

Lesson learnt: FINALLY this whole stand up for yourself shit is sinking in. I said it was a dick thing to say to his face at the time, and then I brought it up once more when he asked if I was still annoyed because, well yeah. I was mad. Don’t ever fear the psycho girlfriend tag, because we all know it’s used as a way to control us. Unless you want to tell me I’m a goddess, I am not interested. Good bye.

So, there’s that huge insight into my love life over the past few years. There were so many more, but I felt it only respectful to keep certain ones private – at least until I perhaps make a video version of this for YouTube? Relationships are hard work, they’re not easy, and we don’t always make the right decisions. In fact, it can take many attempts to figure the whole thing out, but with each one you grow. And with each one you have more funny, terrible, and sad stories to tell people.

Do you draft your text replies first? Do you get your friends to help you co-write them? (I wrote a funny little post on that here.) If so please tell me your best/worst messages and why you wrote them in the comment section below!

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  1. Sophie, I loved this! This is such an amazing idea for a post and I could just feel myself smiling all the way through because I do exactly the same! If things get ~serious~ over a text convo, I absolutely have to draft the reply before I send it, it just doesn't feel right going straight in haha!

    This could totally be a series or something, you could collate draft messages from bloggers as well as your own and publish them anonymously, I think it would be so interesting haha!

    Soph x | http://www.sophierosie.com

  2. This was a brilliant post! Really made me giggle as we are all suckers for saying what we think but not really saying it?

    Definitely agree this should be a series!!

    Lauren xx

  3. These were all soooo good, made me laugh so much! I love you learning from mistakes here as well, gives the whole post a great message!

  4. I loved reading this post, I'd love to see more like this because I love the honesty that your writing has. I would love if you did a part two! Hilarious! x


  5. Omg this post is incredible. It's so funny yet so honest and open – one of my favourite posts of yours! xxx

  6. Absolutely loved reading this! I love a good draft message. I love drafting them for my friends too haha!
    Kirsty xx

  7. You should seriously consider that book, because I'll tell you now it'll be a best seller.

    This was such a good read and so relatable!

    I loved it.

    Rachel x

  8. This is genuinely one of THE BEST posts I have read in forever. Literally obsessed! This is such a genius idea for a post and your insight is brilliant. Take no shit from anyone!

    Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Lois | http://www.aworthytrend.com