“Why the hell would you put up with that?”, is essentially what my girlfriend is saying to me when I tell her about mystery man. She has met him once and has refused to talk to me about him initially dismissing him as unworthy – how right she was! Personally, I didn’t talk to her about him because I was in denial about how awful he treated me. I didn’t want her to villainize him, in case I stayed with him and decide to bring him out.
Part of this is because I internalized everything. Keeping the relationship as a secret from most people meant that I had mainly myself and my cousin roommate to bounce things off of. My cousin roommate already hates him and has removed all of his photos and anything that may remind me of him off the walls.
Why the hell did I put up with him continuing to flirt with everyone in front of me? A few of my own justifications:
- He’s doing this as a show, so that people don’t think that we are just flirting with each other and are together. He’s protecting our relationship from the scrutiny of others.
- He’s flirting with the other girl, who is already taken. They have that type of relationship since before he has met me. Her boyfriend clearly does not mind, so as long as he is okay, then I am okay too.
- It’s harmless because he goes home with me, and he’s a cheap flirt.
- I thought I was above all of this cheap and superficial flirting.
She asked me whether I am hearing the shit that I’m saying, and asked whether vocalizing it has helped me realize how ridiculous it is. I’ve called out his cheap flirting tactics, but not directly. I figured I was above it all, and maybe I was, until things started going downhill and I started to question whether he had other things in mind. But, she’s right. I don’t have to deal with this bullshit, good riddance!
She was appalled as I told her the stories of him flirting with the other girl:
- Being in a bedroom with her, on the bed during a party for hours
- Finding them in the dark corners of the rooftop talking to each other
- Seeing them touch each other’s thighs under the table, and once, on the bed at a friend’s place
- Seeing them sneak out to talk to each other in private
- Also, seeing him decide to bring another girl back just to drive her home, which seemed a little out of the way
- Not to mention that he also flirts with other girls outside of this as well
- The big hitter was this friend he brought to the party as his +1 and having her act as his girlfriend all night
I’m glad that I finally called him out for being disrespectful to me by bringing out this “friend” of his. Who, actually in retrospect may just be someone who is interested in him. I can give him the benefit of the doubt, but it was still really disrespectful to me anyway. What kind of respectable girl would allow someone that she is dating, even casually, to bring out another girl and flirt with her incessantly all night? What was he thinking? Well, actually, he probably wasn’t thinking.
In my head, he made the decision to leave me because he is not able to commit to a relationship. I figure he was sealing the deal by bringing this new girl when really, in reality, he probably wasn’t thinking too much about the implications of bringing this girl to the party. I was absolutely done with him, I recall clearly thinking that I needed to end this. By the time I brought up “the talk” with him, I did it purposely to allow him to tell me that he wasn’t serious about the relationship – but I already knew this.
I’ve thought about the circumstance where I continued to be fine with the pseudo-relationship, and accepting the sex and companionship to see where things can grow, but even in a pseudo or casual relationship this is still incredibly disrespectful! This is completely unacceptable, and I don’t know anyone who would be willing to put up with this. There was no way something like this could bud into anything meaningful. I need to respect myself first and nip this in the ass.
Honestly, I’m really proud of myself and I don’t think that I could have handled it any better. I kept my cool at this party while this girl, who I don’t know is flirting with him and I’m feeling humiliated as others observed my behaviour knowing that we were together. I never once raised my voice or showed that I was irrational. I made my points clear, and I admitted to my emotions and said that I would be sad to end it, which I am.
I saw a lot of potential in mystery man. My girlfriend asked me why I liked him exactly. I guess she just couldn’t see why he was so special. We determined that he was probably the worst partner that I’ve had thus far, and has treated me the worst out of all my past partners. I couldn’t even trust him. I told her that I liked his ambition, drive and as I thought about it, the most important thing was that I felt that he could take care of me. I felt that he was capable, more so than I was and I felt a sense of security. I felt like I was winning in life when I was him. But, in reality, he didn’t see me as a partner and is really just out for himself. He assesses the benefits that I can provide him, and then determines the minimum he needs to invest in to obtain these benefits. I recall a game of Monopoly where he did exactly this, despite pre-agreeing to be part of an alliance with me. It just shows his real mindset when it comes to me. He doesn’t see me as a partner, but more as a resource. And although he is capable of taking care of me, he does not. When I was sick, he doesn’t really notice and when I tell him that I’m sick, he doesn’t make efforts to even ask what is wrong let alone take care of me.
Unless he changes, he is married to his work. Even before work started getting more busy for him, he said with conviction to me, “this is my life!”. I knew at that point that was an immediate red flag. He will likely never change and shift his priorities, and that’s not something that I want. He doesn’t understand what it is like to be in a real, healthy and loving long-term relationship, or the mutual benefits of being exclusive with someone. He only sees it as a burden to his life.
My girlfriend said it right. She said to give myself a week to get over this bullshit. I can wallow, and complain, and rant all I want, but no more of this afterwards. I admit that I think about getting back together with him as an option sometimes – afterall, it has been less than a week, but I know that is absolutely the wrong thing to do. I need to commit to the fact that we will never be together again, and even if that is not the case, I must convince myself that it is. The only way I’d re-consider is after everything has subsided after months of being apart, in which case I am almost 100% certain that I will feel relief that this finally got wrapped up. I am also almost certain that I will think back to this as a time in my life when I let someone toxic compromise the self-respect that I have for myself.