Readers sometimes share their Charlotte dating stories with us. Here’s one of them, as told to the editor:
“Let me just start out by saying that this story is embarrassing, ” Bree, 32, said, recalling her dating experience.
“I was young and dumb.”
Bree, then 19, met Justin, then 22, her sophomore year of college and was instantly attracted to him. Justin, a senior, was well-known on campus and was involved in everything from student government to a fraternity.
“I won’t say which [fraternity], but just know it was the worst one,” she said, laughing.
Bree and Justin began a serious friends-with-benefits situation but never made things official. Bree says she and Justin were “definitely more than friends” and, over the next year, became really close.
Once Justin graduated, Bree continued to see him. She even met his family.
“But we still didn’t have a title, so it felt like we were in a relationship, but we weren’t,” she said.
About a year and a half into their connection, Justin’s car was totaled. At the time, Bree was routinely staying overnight at the apartment he shared with a roommate. One morning, Justin asked if he could borrow her car.
She said yes.
“I was over there all the time. For days at a time. And every now and then, he drove my car to run to the store or whatever, so him driving my car wasn’t unusual. He had done it before,” she said.
From there, Justin began driving Bree’s car pretty regularly. Sometimes Bree, who was still in school, took the bus to campus for class if Justin was unable to.
“He drove my car like it was his but I really didn’t mind.”
Enter the ex
Justin had been driving Bree’s car for around six months. And their relationship, though unofficial, was going well. They had become fully intertwined in one another’s lives, Bree said.
“He basically lived at my apartment and had all his stuff over there. He met my whole family and even told my mom he wanted to be with me, like marry me one day,” Bree recalled.
Then, one night, Bree said everything changed.
Bree and Justin had just spent the weekend together and were sitting in Justin’s living room with his roommate, Chris, when someone knocked on the door.
“It was normal for one of their frat brothers or friends to just stop by because him and Chris had been living there for like five years. And they used to have house parties so everybody knew where they stayed,” she said.
But this time, it wasn’t just a friend. It was Justin’s ex-girlfriend — the one who he’d been with for years before meeting Bree.
Bree immediately felt uncomfortable. “When I looked up and saw it was his ex, I didn’t even know what to say. I was waiting for Justin to explain what was going on.”
Justin walked Carla from the door into the living room and Chris, who already knew her, said hello. Bree said Chris look surprised but was trying to hide it.
Before Bree could say anything, Carla pointed to her and said, “Who is she?”
Without missing a beat, Justin quickly replied, “Oh, that’s Chris’ girl.”
Bree said she was so stunned by Justin’s remarks that she couldn’t speak.
“And Chris, of course, had Justin’s back and went right along with it. Even though me and Chris were really cool, he sided with Justin. That’s his boy. So I’m sitting there like and I can’t even talk because I was just so shocked that Justin really played my face like that,” Bree said, recalling the incident.
Bree said Justin and Carla went into the kitchen area to talk. She could overhear them and came to understand that Carla, who moved out of state, had stopped by unannounced during a visit to see her family in Charlotte.
“This made me feel a little better because he really didn’t know. Like at least he didn’t plan for her to come over there while I was there.”
No way home
Bree and Chris remained on the couch, watching tv for another hour before Justin came into the living room and announced, “Me and Carla [are] about to get something to eat. Ya’ll good?”
“Looking back, I know I look dumb but I just didn’t know what to say or do. And I didn’t want to make a scene so I just went along with it,” Bree said.
“So when they left, I was texting him asking what was going on and when they were coming back. I knew he had his phone but he just wasn’t responding,” she recalled.
Then, the messages stopped going through. Hours went by and even attempts to call him went unanswered.
“He had turned his phone off.”
Bree said that after a while of waiting for them to get back, she decided to leave. But upon searching for her keys, realized that Justin and Carla had left in her car.
“And I couldn’t do anything. Chris had left because he had to go to work. I didn’t have a ride and my wallet was in the car so I literally just had to wait there for them to get back. I was so mad.”
Bree recalled that when Justin finally returned, nearly eight hours later, it was apparent that he and Carla had reconnected and enjoyed a day-long date together.
“I didn’t even say anything. I just grabbed my keys and left. I don’t know what he ended up telling her, but I never asked. He played me then rode off with another girl — in my car.”
Moving on, sort of
Bree said she cringes when she thinks about how willing she was to be mistreated by Justin back then.
Today, she still lives in Charlotte, is happily engaged and has a two-year old son.
As for her relationship with Justin, she said they “still keep in touch.”
If you have a Charlotte dating story — whether good, bad, or in between — we want to hear it. Share it with us here.