T/W: gaslighting, manipulation
I have to write this—for me but also for maybe someone who has dealt with this. I am in awe in the worst ways because I’m so confused and hurt and I could only imagine if I had to deal with this longer than necessary.
I met a man. I talked about him once before in my blog post about sex (last week’s post). It’s important to note that in that respect, he was always caring and respectful—never crossed any boundaries. This man is not the worst person I have ever encountered but he is indecisive to a fault. To a point where it hurt me. Something he was apparently “afraid of” but made no actual attempt to avoid.
To paint a full picture, I guess I have to tell some “hard truths” about myself. I am a 24 year old woman and have never been in anything close to a committed relationship. It’s honestly because of so many reasons. I have a lot of trauma—something I’ve been open about since beginning this blog—both sexually but also from life in general and that has kept me from actively dating people. That, and my somewhat crippling anxiety (which has eased over time). Society will tell me that this is weird but it’s not. Nobody’s path is the same as anyone else’s and we all have to face and forge our own journey’s to reach our inevitable destinations. Still, it’s hard not to feed into that learned norm and feel embarrassed and almost guilty about not having a true love.
Not that it matters, but I’ve had “lovers” (another social construct that’s thrust on us…) just not “love” or a relationship (I consider them separate because they’re not necessarily synonymous).
Anyway, I thought I finally found someone who could have potentially been something to me. I need to mention, that I am nowhere in a headspace to commit to anyone nor do I really have the want at the moment. There is still so much that I have to figure out about myself. But this man, he threw me for a loop…and I can honestly say, I was not prepared. I’m still not—and I say that because as of the day I’m writing this, our story has still not fully ended, though it probably should have. Edit: As of now (26th of March), we have not spoken for about a week and I have essentially (and luckily) received closure.
I really don’t want to put someone on blast. Not only is it not my style but it also rarely solves the actual issue. That said, I need to do this, to say this, to scream this because I still don’t fully understand why this happened and I need to…because I need to convince myself to let it go. I know this situation isn’t good, but facing a reality without him also doesn’t feel good. However, the worthlessness I have been feeling is not worth any of the satisfaction that I got from this man. That is what I need to realize—what I deserve as opposed to what I got—my self worth, my ability to just be with myself and accept that.
Obviously, this is not easy.
Let’s start with how this disaster came to be. A dating app—the root of all evil.
His bio from the start was a hilarious misrepresentation of what he apparently desired. To quote one part of his bio directly, “need a reason to delete this app again…preferably forever.” It strikes me as funny because this is where I, too, am at fault I suppose.
I knew damn well that I did not want anything serious, at least right now. Yet, don’t ask me what, but there was something about this man. When I tell you I’m not sure as to what, I truly don’t know. We had seemingly nothing in common and he appeared to be looking for something totally different than myself. Yet, that hint of bitterness that he had totally sold me…I know that must sound super odd. It is. But I remember, at that time especially, feeling very alone and bitter too, so I thought “what do I have to lose?” and sent the message that started it all—
“Well, if you’ll be my reason to delete this, I’ll be yours! Sound like a plan?”
He actually responded, something that was rare on this app—I’m not quite sure why, but even if you literally reach out to another person first, they often don’t answer on there—so I was excited, especially because the response was favorable! We hit it off pretty seamlessly after that. He could actually hold a conversation and seemed so interested in me and what I had to say—
He would also say super sweet things to me and felt comfortable and connected to me from the start (I felt the same way)—
This was all just in the first month of talking (important to note that these aren’t even all of the texts—we talked every single day after I messaged him that first time).
From the beginning we had also developed a little “honesty policy” with each other and were super open about big parts of our lives’. This eventually led him to admit to me that he was still a bit hung up on his ex. They had broken up nearly a whole year prior and apparently he hadn’t talked to her in a month at that point (they talked in general here and there I guess because she knows his family or something like that?). I was told that whenever they talked they fought, but he obviously still had some feelings. I reassured him that it was fine and that I truly didn’t care at that point anyway because my reason for being on the dating app in the first place was not for a relationship. I did still make sure to call out his bio for being a bit misleading though and he agreed! After that, the matter was put mainly to the side.
Until it wasn’t.
A few months had passed and he was seeing me more often—we also continued to talk every day. Needless to say, feelings started to grow (I thought for both of us…). He had not brought up his ex anymore and I thought that it could be because he was starting to move on—since we were usually so honest with each other. This gave me the confidence to do a little “check-in” emotionally.
What does that mean exactly?
Well, it means that even though I was content with what we were doing, and I was still not ready for commitment, myself—I wanted to just ask and see if he saw any potential in the possibility of being something down the road (whenever we were both ready).
I’ll admit, I was a little nervous the night I was going to ask him. I hadn’t fully gathered my thoughts, but reassured myself that it wasn’t a super loaded question—that I didn’t expect anything right away and so surely, everything would be ok and wouldn’t scare him.
I could not have been more wrong…
From the moment I said that I wanted to “check-in” emotionally and about how we were both feeling, he visibly tensed and got super nervous. He started going on and on about how he couldn’t commit—couldn’t give more of himself to anyone than he’d already been giving. I tried to reassure him that I wasn’t asking for commitment, that it was essentially just a hypothetical and a down the road kind of question but he was still on edge…eventually, we both just agreed to not discuss the matter right now, and that was that for the night—though I still felt very restless, being that we could always talk about things before—suddenly openness and questions weren’t allowed.
The situation only got more complicated from there because I messaged him the next day with my full feelings about the matter, because I had the time to really think about it and sent it out to him—
We went back and forth for a while with texting after that. No matter what, it seemed to get progressively worse, and he was certainly still upset and tense—this caused an ultimate rift in whatever it is that we were doing and now we’re basically not talking at all (I think?) Edit: yeah, definitely not talking at all…the worst part is, it should be more certain but it isn’t (wasn’t**). I should have taken matters in my hands and stopped total communication, especially after getting essentially gaslit about my experiences with this person and told that I’m the one who caught feelings and he was afraid of this from the start—-though again, he never tried to stop it from happening—
Anyway, I could go on and on until he literally stopped responding (despite our last messages being civil and him telling me he’s not the type to ghost) but I won’t. It’s not worth it. And as much as it hurts and there is still a part of me that is not ok with losing him, I also know that this is not ok. Please, never let anyone get in your head like this and play with you emotionally—especially when you deeply trusted them and told them some very vulnerable things.
In conclusion, this is for you. You know who you are, though I doubt you’ll read this. But this is also my closure. I need to move on from this and focus on finding myself and relying on me and me alone. I have to grow and learn not to be dependent on others (especially a lover) for happiness. So this is it, this is where I leave this…
Readers, if you’re experiencing something similar, know that all the strength is in you and everything will be ok. I know it’s hard, but break out of that mold and try to distance yourself from that person fast! Your power is in you.