Debate all you want about whether NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor. One thing is indisputable: He's a crappy boyfriend.
He dated a woman for about four years, got close with her family, possibly even planned to marry her, and then totally ghosted her. So now that it's been a few months, and Russia's granted him temporary asylum, he suddenly misses his girlfriend? Classic.
Here's what his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Vesti FM radio on Thursday: "When I told him about the people who were calling him, including girls, such Russian girls, he told me, 'Anatoly, I still miss my girlfriend.'"
Sure it could have been a private confession in a moment of fragility — he opened up to his friend, who happens to be his lawyer, who happens to be giving very candid interviews with Russian media. On the other hand, Snowden is a media savant, and while he may not be able to stand outside his ex's window with a boom box, he knows a thing or two about sharing information with the right people in unusual circumstances. So Lindsay Mills, if you're listening, your boyfriend misses you — not that he's saying he wants to get back together.
Mind you, he really didn't leave on great terms. Snowden told Mills, a dancer and very earnest blogger, that he was leaving the home they shared in Hawaii for a few weeks, and then (from a safe distance) told the Guardian that he did "not expect to see home again." And that's how you know it's over.
Mills conveniently kept a blog, so nobody had to imagine what the worst dumping in history might have felt like. “My world has opened and closed all at once,” Mills posted around the time Snowden's identity was revealed. “Leaving me alone at sea without a compass. Surely there will be villainous pirates, distracting mermaids, tides change in the new open water chapter of my journey. But at the moment, all I feel is alone."
OK, so maybe exposing the government's far-reaching surveillance tactics was Snowden's main reason for jumping ship (yes, more ocean metaphors), but he wouldn't be the first 29-year-old guy with a steady job and a live-in girlfriend to panic and radically change his life without consulting anyone.
He also wouldn't be the first to regret his decision a few months later — once all that international travel was over and those stressful asylum application deadlines had passed. Now that he's in Russia, "Snowden can live in a hotel or rent a flat in Russia," according to Kucherena, "But the personal safety issue is a very serious one for him." And of course, he misses his life in balmy Hawaii.
Only a few weeks ago, Snowden told the Guardian that he wished people would focus less on his relationship and more on the information he's taking serious pains to share.
But back to his relationship: It's probably really hard for this girl to move on when he's constantly giving interviews surrounded by his new group of friends. He has a lot of new friends.
Look, it's nice that he still has feelings for Mills, but it's also really easy to have those feelings when there's no chance of a reconciliation. So please, let the lady move on, sir.