I IGNORED MY INSTINCTS AND I PAID FOR IT
Three years ago, I met someone. He was tall, dark and handsome, his voice was deep and sexy, he worked in an investment bank (he was somewhat rich) and he was nice. We didn’t go on a date immediately, we talked on the phone first; it was romantic because I believed that he sensed my hesitation to jump into a relationship and took things easy with me. We talked for hours on the phone for about two weeks, one day he asked me if I wanted to see his house and I said yes.
In the beginning
We had been talking for weeks and I felt like I already knew him, he picked me up and we went to his house. It was a nice flat with a great view of London, we had a nice time, drinking wine and talking almost all night. I spent the night there but nothing more than a kiss happened… he was a patient man and from what I observed, had good self-control.
Time went on and we got closer, we went out together, we went to a few events together and he introduced me to his friends and colleagues; everything was going perfectly. But we hadn’t had ‘the talk’ yet and that made me anxious. It wasn’t the fact that we hadn’t had ‘the talk’ that made me anxious, it was the fact that we were going to have ‘the talk’ that made me anxious.
It had been three months, an appropriate time to wait before taking things to the next level; so I didn’t understand why I felt so anxious about taking things to the next level with a guy who I really really liked. In fact, I was falling in love with him at this point.
One evening, I was in his house hanging out and his friends came over to watch football. I decided to go home because I wanted to give them some space. I remember vividly, a voice in my head saying “don’t do this” as I rode in the train back home. I remember it well because I questioned the voice and asked why but I couldn’t find anything wrong with this man. I couldn’t see beyond the surface of all the things that he was telling me… or maybe I didn’t want to.
The next week arrived and we had ‘the talk’, it was official. I had a boyfriend, a handsome, rich, funny and amazing boyfriend. The first two months were great, we talked about everything under the sky, laughed, played, and the sex was amazing. I felt loved. Finally, the kind of relationship that I always dreamt of. I felt prioritised.
Something seems off
I now know that if you feel that something is off, then there is a 99.9 percent chance that something is actually off.
Remember the feeling that I had that one evening on my ride home? It came back and this time it was louder; too loud to ignore, so I had to sit with it and question it. As I looked into my 4 month old relationship, I realised that all those long conversations we had were mostly about him or me asking him about him and very little of him asking about me or allowing me to finish whatever I was saying about me.
As a grown woman, I decided to talk to him about what I was feeling “It sort of feels like you don’t have much interest in my life” I said “that’s not true, I don’t ask many questions but it doesn’t mean that I don’t observe you carefully to know what you like and don’t like. Look, I even bought you this sausage from Waitrose because I know it is your favourite and I didn’t need to ask you to get the information, did I?” He replied. A completely understandable answer that was enough for me at the time.
Series of life events
Our relationship continued but things changed by the month. He got promoted at work and it got really demanding for him, so to make things easy for “us”, I was mostly at his place. Because work was so demanding for him, he was always tired and we hardly ever went out. I was understanding. I wanted to make his life easy. I didn’t want to be a demanding girlfriend.
Even the way we made love changed, I was now always on top doing all the work and when he came, he just rolled over and went to sleep; forgetting me in the dark. Our weekends were now comprised of him having friends over and football. In the name of trying to be a cool and easy going girlfriend, I had turned myself into a friend with benefits in my own relationship. But I told myself that in a good relationship, I should be able to hang out with all his friends and watch football and drink what they were drinking. My boyfriend never made time for us anymore, except in his bedroom.
A street named Cognitive Dissonance
When someone says they are something over and over again, chances are that they are not that thing. Before we became official, this man told me that he was a nice person, he said that he was probably too nice and that he was tired of people taking advantage of his “niceness”. I soon realised that he wasn’t a nice person when I caught him lying to his friend in order to take money away from him. I confronted him about it and more lies followed and so a scale fell from my eyes. I realised that I was dating a pathological liar, someone who lied for no reason.
As someone who appreciates the truth more than most things in a relationship, this was a huge thing for me. I should have ended it then but I didn’t. Instead of looking at all the red flags especially this one massive red flag; I decided to look at the good parts of him. Instead of me to tell myself the truth about his character and how it was leading no where good, I chose to lie to myself.
Two liars in a relationship
It was game night, and we were hanging out with his friends and their partners. We were all laughing about something when he blurted out that he and one of his friend’s wife had chemistry. I told myself that it was because they were close like brother and sister.
He borrowed money from me many times and every time I asked him for my money, it caused a fight. I told myself that it was because he was stressed at work and he hadn’t had time to go to the bank to rectify his accounts. He worked in a bank… LOL!
Every time I made plans to do something different from being at home all day, he cancelled or came up with an excuse to not go out but when I decided to go ahead with my plan with a friend, he got jealous. I told myself that it was because he loved me so much that he got jealous.
All his friends liked me a lot and he hated it. I told myself that it was because he was scared of losing me.
He complained a lot… about everything, including his close friends and family. The way he talked about his family was despicable and every time I corrected him, it turned into a huge fight. But I told myself that he complained a lot because of stress from work.
Every time I gave him good news about my work, he was never excited for me. I told myself that he wasn’t an expressive person. As much as I wanted to believe all the stories I told myself about my relationship, a house of cards must crash one day.
The house of cards did crash
One day, I was really ill and I had to go to the hospital, it was a weekend, he had nothing to do but hang with his friends and watch football but he refused to drive me to the hospital. I couldn’t explain this one away but I was too sick to think about it too much.
Two weeks later, I had an issue with my landlord and when I told him about it; this is what he said to me “It must be difficult for you, since you have no one”. LOL… A knife wound would have been easier to bare.
I was in a relationship but I had never felt so alone in my life. I was going through a very hard time in my life and I didn’t want to end the relationship then because I believed that adding a heart break to my situation would make things more difficult for me. So, the relationship continued until he suggested to me to ask his boss for money.
Disrespect bigets more disrespect
Yup… my “loving” boyfriend who had a great job but for some reason always had money problems; told me to ask his boss to give me money. He knew that his boss liked me and wanted to sleep with me. When I brought this to his attention, he told me that a dinner with his boss won’t hurt if I can get money out of him. Yes, it was a huge fight and I have neither seen nor spoken to him ever since.
Moral of the story
This relationship taught me so many things and I have vowed to myself that nobody will ever treat me like this again. The most important thing that I learned was to always listen to my instincts. If only I listened to my instincts in the beginning, I wouldn’t have wasted two years of my life with that man. If it doesn’t feel right, it is most likely not right.
Two, I learned that if you don’t have standards then you will let all kinds of undeserving people into your life, the fact that someone likes you doesn’t mean that they deserve you.
Three, don’t let anyone disrespect you twice, the first time should be the last time; if they disrespect you once and you let it slide… honey you will see more disrespect.
Four, actions speak louder than words. Some people will tell you that they love you but their actions will tell you that they hate you. Learn to listen to peoples’ actions exclusively. This is a man who didn’t want me to put his number as one of my emergency contacts and didn’t want me to give him my mother’s number in case of an emergency, that says a lot.
The confession of an angry woman
If I tell you that I am totally over that relationship, I would be lying. I am angry, angry at myself for staying longer than I should have and angry at him for treating me that way. But I will get over the anger… one day… I hope. Perhaps after this post, after I know that someone out there won’t make the same mistake I made because of my story. In case you are wondering, I am off relationships and dating for now. Dating that man was so exhausting that I want to take care of myself and recoup all the energy I expended. I am my priority and this is how I plan for it to be for a few years to come.