Two years ago I made two of the biggest mistakes of my life- I accepted a promotion that ultimately led to the demise of everything I hold dear, and I let someone back into my life who didn’t actually come back to stay. Mistakes make us who we are, and I have never had any regrets. I am thankful for all of my experiences, good and bad, because I am better, stronger, wiser for them. But right now I am struggling to understand how these two mistakes made me better. Everything happens for a good reason- I do believe in that cliche. I am sure good things will follow soon but right now it hurts and the only thing I have learned from these experiences is not to trust others. But I am a people person, my first instinct is to trust others. I like that I am not always looking at everything with suspicion, I like that I am an optimist, but these experiences are stifling the positive person in me and turning me into a skeptic.
For those who are new and curious, you can read this to understand how a promotion can destroy someone. Others who are going to follow along, here is a fair warning, today’s post is about love and heartbreak. I’m sure you knew it was coming sooner rather than later! But trust me, I will do my best not to make it sappy 😀
So my love story, latest one that is, actually started 3 years ago. I was just getting out of a 5-year long relationship. We ended it amicably and part of that deal meant not to disclose to anyone until timing was right. So while I was secretly single, I saw this guy and I am convinced I fell in love that very instant- it’s one of the two memories of him that will never fade from my mind. The other one is of the time we swayed in a slow dance, no music or lights, only the stillness of dusk streaming in through the windows. We were looking into each other’s eyes and smiling- I could’ve sworn that’s what love looks like, it was a scene straight out of a chick flick!
Moving on, we only exchanged a glance and a smile that first time we passed but I think we had each other’s attention, and sure enough he came after me. There was a lot of small talk in the beginning until we were finally hanging out at his friend’s place one evening. The sensible me wanted to run in the other direction as fast as possible, I even came up with a last minute excuse to cancel on our next plan to hang out. But, and don’t judge me, well… ok you can judge me, it was pretty darn stupid of me. I had recently watched No Strings Attached (ok ok, let the judging begin!) and I thought I wasn’t going to take any of this seriously and only have a little fun. If he was a nice guy, like Ashton Kutcher you know, he would come after me. I wasn’t prepared to waste anymore of my love on someone who didn’t want or deserve it.
So it was my idea and it worked fine in the beginning. We were faithful to each other. But I am me, not some character from a movie. I am not ok with casual, I am a serious person. So I asked him out. He said no and decided to go back to his ex. We parted ways and didn’t see or speak to each other for a very long time. I was disappointed but it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t recover from. Soon I had forgotten all about him and was already on to the next flirtation.
Then one morning out of nowhere, I received a text from him. One message led to another and we were soon hanging out again. What ensued for next two years was an excerbating sequence of events that went on and on in a loop- we’d hook up, I’d demand a relationship, he’d protest, we’d fight and decide not to talk, and eventually he’d find a way back to me. Trust me when I say that I resisted his comebacks, but he is persistent. Ignoring him is not an option. It was draining. With each fling I was falling deeper, I even told him so but he didn’t seem to care. I, on the other hand, was under such powerful grip of emotions that I let myself believe that each time when he came back, he would stay, that he would change his mind. But he never did.
Our affair ended right before Christmas last year in the most distasteful manner. He gave me the ultimate reason for his protest– he had been with his former girlfriend during the time we were together and he could not stay faithful to just one. How do you argue that? We have gone through a lot since then. He accused me of creating drama then ignored me for days. Then he came around and apologized. I forgave. I told him we couldn’t talk anymore but he wouldn’t stop trying. Soon after he was participating in gossip about me and sending me drunk abusive messages- he told me I should stop playing victim, he had no sympathy for me and he wasn’t sorry. We didn’t talk for months after that, then somehow got in touch again. We tried to bury the past and start over as friends but it just doesn’t work. Yesterday, he confessed to having more flings besides just that one with his ex. He does claim to care a lot about me. He even told me once that he loved me, he just wasn’t in love with me. But if he really cared about me, why did he put me through so much misery knowing how invested I was?
Since the change in my circumstances at work and my immigration status in jeopardy, number of people have offered marriage as an alternative. I cannot help but wonder why he never made that offer. If he cares about me as much as he claims he does, how can he stand by and watch my life come to an end like this? We were happy for the brief time that we were together. If he is truly sorry for how he treated me, like he says he is, why couldn’t he make this selfless gesture of contrition?
I would never accept such an offer to be clear, I only wanted to see if he would do it. He wouldn’t. He thinks I have misplaced anger that I am taking out on him, trying to make him feel guilty. But am I really? I would do that for a friend that I sincerely cared about and had good memories with, and if I was the only one who could help. He fights fervently if I say he is not a good guy, maybe I agree with him in part- our relationship was both our fault. I use the word ‘relationship’ liberally when it comes to him and me- I don’t know what else to call it. But whatever it was, I was always willing to put in time and effort and make it work whereas he wasn’t. I was always willing to maintain distance when we realized we wanted different things, he wasn’t. So can he possibly have it both ways- say the words but not do the deeds? Doesn’t it make him a player who knows all the right things to say but who never backs them up with actions? I have spent last two years spending my love on a job and on a person that have both abandoned me in the darkest hour. I doubt everyone’s intentions now…