I was dating a dude with an amazing resume, who was well read, well traveled, home owner, had a great job, good looking, basically he was a dream. EVERYONE I introduced him to fell for him. I fell for him too, hard. I’d’ve given him my heart for dinner if he’d asked for it. I wasn’t planning our wedding, but everyone around us certainly was. We were happy, blissfully happy for the first five months of our relationship. Around then he became passive aggressively domineering with me. He talked down to me, critiqued my interests, and made snide comments about my friends. He made those jokes people make when they’re taking a swipe at you but don’t want to look like it. It was as if he really thought saying something hurtful didn’t count simply because he said it with a smile or wrote “lol” after it. Umm…no…I’m smart enough to know that the “sike” you hastily added to the end of what you said was to cushion the blow you just threw at my gut. I am a harsh critic, especially of myself, but his way of evaluating stuff made me seem like a kindergarden teacher evaluating this week’s fingerpaint portraits.
Around seven months into the relationship, I began to think of exes while we were errmm….talking. Gone was the bliss of our early days. Once a man loses his place in my over-active imagination it’s only a matter of time before he loses the heart I readily offered him as manna before. I began to cyberflirt (it’s all innocent until you touch!) with guys I knew would sell an organ to get this old thing back and popping with me. They knew about the beau, but they knew me well enough to know hat if I was reaching out to them, then his days were numbered. As a last ditch effort, I initiated a conversation with my HIM to tell him how much his swipes bothered me. I’d hoped by putting it all on the table, he’d be able to see how unhappy I was and want to make amends. I imagined him listening to me intently, countering my fears/thoughts with raucous apologies and long, passionate love making. We’d go back to how things used to be. We’d be blissful again and we’d live happily ever after. I didn’t want to be broken up, I wanted to be heard, reassured and appreciated. I finished speaking and waited for the response I’d imagined.
Things didn’t exactly go as I’d planned. In my attempt not to be critical, I been stomaching behavior I shouldn’t’ve let ride. None of the things I brought to his attention during our Come To Jesus meeting were solitarily major. It’s not a horrible thing to ask a partner, ‘Please stop karate chopping in the back of the neck when I’m right and you’re wrong.’ Unfortunately, it was a bunch of minor infractions compounding into the word-vomit I spewed. He felt like I was attacking him as opposed to communicating. I tried to explain to him what I meant and that what I wanted wasn’t to be apart from him. I cried a lot and pleaded a little. He stood firm and cold and I saw a meanness in him. I left his house with tears streaming down my face. He didn’t stop me.
Our break up was for real. He didn’t call me, he didn’t text me, he didn’t email me. In fact, we had no contact. I reached out and called him a week later, hoping cooler heads would prevail. (Who doesn’t call an ex, especially a recent ex when life gets slow?) I missed him. I wanted to hear his voice. Instead of being forgiving or understanding what I said before and allowing us to move on, he had a serious chip on his shoulder. Hurt people hurt people. Mr. Passive Aggressive was gone and Mr. Aggressive Aggressive was front and center sending me page-long text messages full of vitriol. He called me names. He was SUPER defensive. He was mean. I hadn’t wanted to break up originally, but now I was glad we did. Nothing I’d said or done had warranted this extreme and nasty a reaction. I must’ve missed something in him all along, or maybe overlooked it in my attempt to make us work. I stopped responding to what he wrote and chalked it up to the game. Eventually, he stopped. Maybe he’s still is a good dude, he just isn’t the right dude for me.