Things are somehow continuing to develop with the whole Thomas situation/my dating life and hoooooo boy, get your popcorn.
Allow me to bring y’all up to speed. Last week, this motherf**ker broke my heart, told me I wasn’t good enough for him, and made me feel like a lesser person all in one fell swoop.
Last night, he had THE AUDACITY to call me to remind me that this whole disaster was *my* fault, and then had the nerve to follow it up with “but I love you.” He continued to explain that he broke up with me in order to make a point and that he didn’t really mean it but just wanted me to “learn”.
Believe me when I say I went the hell off.
I’ve noticed a trend in modern dating throughout the past few years that goes something like this:
“Let me be a complete dick to you and then give some bullshit apology and expect you to forgive me!”
BROOOOOO. Nah. That’s not how this works. He carried on to tell me that he wanted to get his ticket back (airline ticket that was booked under MY account that I cancelled as soon as he dumped me) to come see me in a few weeks and that “our love can get through this,” to which I’m thinking what love?
Here’s what’s so extraordinary. When he said those words, those three magical words, I didn’t feel magical, or happy, or relieved, or even loved. No – I felt disgusted. So so disgusted.
I’m fortunate enough to have a therapist who is the coolest of the cool and allows me to text him if I’m ever in crisis, so text him I did, which led me to draft a VERY straightforward message to Thomas immediately after that went something (exactly) like this:
“I’m not ready to see you. If you decide to come to Vancouver, you need to find a way to do that on your terms, on your dollar, and find accommodations, knowing that I may or may not see you while you’re here, and here’s why –
You broke my heart last week in order to make a point. You took my “I love you” and threw it back in my face so that you could stand your ground and you also made it VERY clear that you “couldn’t be in a relationship with someone like me”, which not only made me feel unworthy of love but also incomplete as a person, as if I am somehow lacking in some way to such a degree that you no longer wanted me.
I have spent the days since last Friday mourning you and trying to reclaim myself and find where my worth lies. When you said “I love you” last night, I didn’t feel much of anything, because you broke my heart and I have closed it off from you.
That may change in the future, but I can’t act like that’s a guarantee either. You yelled at me and told me all the reasons I wasn’t good enough for you given my hesitation and insecurities and then you broke up with me and made it sound as if you wanted nothing to do with me ever again. So THAT is what I’ve been running on.
Do I miss you? Yes. Do I trust you to not hurt me again? Absolutely not, now that you have done what you did just to prove your point. It was unkind and regardless of whether you love me or not, people who love each other don’t inflict that much intentional pain as a means of communication.”
I cannot stress enough that people will treat you like shit if you let them.
Since day one, this man chastised me for ever thinking he had the potential to be similar to men who have mistreated me in the past, and irony of all ironies he is now the leader of that whole pack. He literally dumped me to “prove his point”, meanwhile this is all happening on the phone, I’m sobbing hysterically and begging (yes, begging) him to not leave me, he convinces me that I’m not worthy of love/of him, and then thinks he can in any way claim that he’s not also an emotionally abusive sadist?
Kermit memes aside, this opens up into a much broader issue when it comes to emotional control and when “love” shows its face as an ugly, terrifying monster which has zero connection to what love really is. I touched on this a bit during a recent interview in which I delved into my growing up life and what I was/wasn’t taught about sex and relationships and how men and women are supposed to treat each other. Make no mistake: I grew up with parents who loved each other and who are still married to this day. My home wasn’t dysfunctional. I had great examples set forth that allowed me to set a certain standard for myself, but that has deviated from the strictly Christian conservative upbringing that I originally was taught so now I’m trying to figure out if good men exist outside of the men I was taught to seek out.
I continue to be flabbergasted by the fact that early on, Thomas had told me “You deserve the most amazing life, you deserve to be loved, you’re so incredible and inspiring.” Where did that go? How did that so quickly translate to, “I’m going to crush your heart and break your spirit in order to win this argument”?
When I spoke about reinventing the square a few posts back, I thought what I needed to adjust was the rate at which I was entering into relationships. I thought I needed to just slow down and really get to know someone before it ever becoming physical, because when the focus is moved from the emotional/intellectual to strictly physical, that’s when abuse can begin, and anger issues erupt, unkindness and disingenuous (thanks Bachelorette) behaviours begin to emerge. So fine, sure, I’ll date a guy for a while before we get physical. That’s exactly what I did with Thomas (we never even actually got physical because I’ve never seen him in person) and look how that turned out.
It has become increasingly more obvious that what needs to be truly reinvented is the way I look at my relationships with men as a whole. Surprisingly, this epiphany arrived after a conversation with my dad, someone I never thought I’d get modern dating advice from. More or less, he suggested that I find men to hang out with who don’t just want to have sex with me, or “wife” me.
YOU GUYS. IT NEVER EVEN OCCURRED TO ME.
Now let me get this straight. I’ve had guy friends before, several types. I have guy friends who are like brothers to me (younger usually), and guy friends who I know low-key want to sleep with me but know not to pursue it, and finally, my favourite kind: the friend with benefits.
I’ve successfully done this one before so don’t go thinking it’ll be a one of these –
because believe it or not, yes, I’ve had a best friend who is a guy who I casually hook up with every now and then WITHOUT THE MESSY FEELINGS. He moved away a couple years ago so obviously things have changed, but I do believe I have a new one-a-him now!
A friendship like this used to be a complete urban legend and seen as impossible to obtain and impractical to maintain. “Someone will fall in love with somebody.” Uhmm, not if you’re an emotionally damaged masochist like I am!
Here’s why this worked so well for me in the past, and why I’m so ecstatic about it happening all over again: I love the feeling of meeting a guy and spending time with him and flirting non-stop without there being the “safety net” of a committed, monogamous relationship. This is because it seems to be all about the chase for me. That constant influx of dopamine does wonders for my mood, my complexion, my energy. As soon as I commit to someone I start to becoming painfully aware of their flaws as well as my own, the fun dissolves, and I end up resenting them and wanting to leave. Literally every guy I’ve dated at one point or another in the relationship. I’m totally aware that this tendency means I’m probably emotionally stunted, but believe me when I say it has made for some seriously enjoyable friendships!
Like the guy I’m kickin’ it with now. He’s hilarious, good-looking, kind of a goofball, and he *knows things* about how to make me feel good. He’s super focussed on his career, as am I, which makes for a very happy friendship because neither of us are prioritizing trying to get “cuffed” which means we can just enjoy each other’s company without any expectations. We communicate, we have great sex when we feel like it, I make fun of him for being a dork and he teases me about my big booty. Who can say they’re as lucky?!
The even better part of all this is that I know a handful of dudes like this! Modern dating has changed so much to the point where open, non-relationships are much easier to attain and realistic in practice than finding that elusive “one” and winding up happy with them forever. It is so great because I can still have my own bed/space/freedom for the most part but ALSO have that great male companionship that I feed off of without expecting to be fulfilled by just one person.
Stick to your guidelines/list of high standards, sure. But also be willing to source them from several different people at once.