Every so often I want to walk into my backyard and scream at the top of my lungs because people can be jerks. If there's one thing in this world that I can't tolerate or forgive, it's lying. Do. Not. Lie. To. Me.
I'm one of the most upfront people I know. What you see is what you get. No illusions. No fine print. If anything, I've been accused of being too honest, too open and far too independent.
Yet, despite all that upfront-here-is-how-I-am attitude, I still got screwed over. How did I let this happen? I'm savvy Moxie Girl. Where was my radar?
Well, my radar was alive and well, which is why it took screenwriter boy 30 days of persuading to lure me down the mountain. I just chose to ignore it.
Before I went on date one, we talked about my hesitation...our talks brought us closer, I thought...brought us to a place of understanding. When he asked what my reluctance was about dating, I mentioned repeatedly I didn't like the dating scene, that I'm a busy woman and didn't want to waste time with a "player" or with someone only looking for a one-night-stand. I wouldn't tolerate being part of a "harem".
Despite being firm about the "no harem" philosophy, I also said that I just wanted to have fun...a good time...no commitments, no plans beyond the boyfriend/girlfriend realm. Easy. I said I'm a very independent person, which is true, and didn't want to have my forward momentum interrupted. (In other words, you do your thing and I'll do mine and we'll hook up when we can...not too demanding, I don't think, is it?) My point is I was extremely clear about what I expected, how I am and what I feared...so was he who told me he wanted a relationship, assured me we were on the same page all along, shared his past with me. We got close even before the official "first date". It felt good...we felt good.
Over the course of dating, there were red flags that went up, lots of mixed messages like telling me one minute "you're really good for me and make me very happy" to the next day saying he didn't deserve anyone caring about him and couldn't get used to the idea. To being told all of the time "don't do this" and "don't do that"...controlling doesn't work well with an independent woman like me. Then suddenly he takes a text out of context and accuses me of things that weren't true...in fact, I had no idea what he was talking about I swear...but he refused to hear me out as if he'd been looking for an excuse to make me the "bad guy". Weird stuff like that. I got confused--and I hate being confused, it's an unusual feeling for me. I'd ask about it, want to talk it out for clarification--he said he didn't need to explain himself.
He's a nice guy, I told myself. Don't be so quick to jump at a red flag...give him the benefit of the doubt, I said. (Intuition is shaking its head at me right now.) I grew to trust him. I let the guard down. I fell for him.
Then out of the blue he says that he's been "infatuated" with someone else for nearly 2 years, has been seeing other women, never wanted an exclusive relationship, thinks I ask too many questions, admitted pretending to be someone he wasn't just to "get close" to me, and doesn't want to be dissected in my blog. Hmm...where's the scalpel? Let's start cutting!
It took this guy a month--an entire 30 days--to get me to agree to go out with him. Why did he work at it so hard if he was "infatuated"with someone else? Obviously, I was going to be a challenge. He said to me that he wanted a relationship, too, that he wasn't a "player" either. (cough-cough..what's his definition of player, I wonder.) He tried to control me, which is what a lot of our "arguments" were about, and attempted to make me question myself on the dating scene. Well, I wasn't the one LYING, manipulating and misleading.
No, I was the one who let my guard down, who wore my heart on my sleeve, who had a great time (we really did have a great time together, lots of fun as recently as Valentine's Day), who listened to him as much as he listened to me, who helped him move, who drove him home from the hospital and who truly gave a damn about him. No, I wasn't the one lying...I was the one loving and caring.
He now says my anger is my own responsibility, whatever that means. I guess he's trying to be all Zen about his asshole ways, simply doesn't want to acknowledge his own behavior, is once again attempting to have me question myself or all of the above. Screw that.
I liked being part of a couple, even for a short time. I'm not bitter--truly, I'm not. It is what it is. This post isn't about crying into my keyboard or tearing men apart. If anything, I learned that I'm ready to open my heart again, which is a great thing to realize. I adore men...I love being in love...and I really enjoyed the past few months. I'm ready for a man who's ready for me.
I'll be okay. I know how relationships work. I've been loved by an incredible guy who let me know every day how he felt. I kept a marriage together for a decade until Sean died. I'm so grateful for where I am in my life right now--good career, stable friends, cool house, amazing kids and knowledge of what love is. I'm in an amazing place in my life and I'm good at being alone. A survivor. A fun chick, according to quite a few people. Yeah, I'll be more than okay. I've got MOXIE and my future plus one will adore that about me.
I am angry at being misled, manipulated and lied to, that's true. Learning that the guy I had been falling for was purposely pretending to be something he wasn't just to get close to me pushes all kinds of buttons in my heart--the biggest one being betrayal. But I learned something--a lesson that keeps recurring, actually. I learned to trust those red flags and to keep trusting myself. I was right. There's a reason it took him a month to convince me to go out with him...perhaps I knew he wasn't what he claimed to be.
I'm also glad that I respected myself and the life I've created enough to challenge him when those red flags appeared. No regrets here. If I hadn't respected my own intuition, I would still be buying into his charade. So, women, trust your gut and speak your mind. The right guy will have nothing to hide.
So my foray into the dating world didn't go so well, but that's okay. I am unscathed. I wasted time, which I hate to do. I deviated from my "type", which I learned was a mistake. Bad boys who look the part are far less dangerous and more upfront than those so-called "nice guys" who prey on a woman's compassion.
About Moxie Girl Musings
Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com