You find yourself single AGAIN and you feel ready to check out some dating sites. You end up on match and start browsing the sea of profiles. You scroll and scroll and suddenly you see a familiar face.
A Blast from the Past
Remember that guy from years ago when you were out of that first long term relationship? He was all about FUN FUN FUN. He reminded you what it was like to be a teenager because life was always about the party with him. You had chemistry like you’ve never felt before and the sex….OMG the sex. It was inhibition free and like nothing you had ever experienced and you couldn’t get enough. Years ago that’s all you were, playmates out looking for a good time. It was fun while it lasted but eventually you moved on to something with substance and left him behind.
Now here he is again – your kryptonite on Match. Could he really be single? Is he still living just down the road five minutes away? Oh goodness the temptation sucks you in and you message. “Hey stranger….” He knows instantly who you are. He types out an encounter the two of you had that only the two of you would know about. How did he know from those simple words?? He asks you to go for a drink the next week. What will it hurt?? “Sure,” you say.
A couple days pass and you continue to talk with each other. You feel like you need to see him or you will chicken out. It’s been about ten+ years since you saw him and you know you both may have changed a lot. You can go for a visit. The banter over text makes it feel like no time has passed. You can just be friends…..
You reach out asking if he’s busy on Friday. He’s not. He invites you over for a visit. You go.
Reuniting can blind you
It’s just like old times, only better this time. This time you actually feel like he’s taking an interest in you. He’s an active participant in the conversation. He’s no longer mister party and there isn’t so many distractions around. You visit and laugh together, and then, he kisses you.
It’s not even sparks flying, it’s a fucking bomb. The chemistry is instant, it’s like no time even passed. You immediately can’t stop yourself. From this day on you’re together. You start building a relationship and you even take a trip together after a few months and it was the time of your lives. You have such a connection you spent seven full days with the man and the TV only ever went on for background noise.
This trip was when you both said I love you. You danced in the kitchen, you played games. He let you sleep in each morning and thoughtfully brought you coffee and breakfast in bed as he was up before you most days. He fawned over you and when you went out on the town he bragged about you to others. You both have magnetic personalities and had a knack for making friends where ever you went. You spent afternoons in the pool reading your own books and every now and then coming together for a kiss or a quickie.
You get back from the trip. You notice a slight change in his demeanour but you just decide he’s busy and you’re over thinking things. It seems like you’re the one making more effort than he is in terms of keeping contact and such. You dismiss it, he says he loves you, you still have fun together you keep going.
The Cycle Begins
A month later while at his place for a date night evening of food and drinks and playing games, something happens. You end up in a emotional argument and you end up going home instead of staying over. You both completely shut down and stop talking.
You go on your own way and start dating other people. You still have him in the back of your mind. It’s hard to forget the energy you produce together, the amazing chemistry, the hours of chit chat and laughter. But you need to find someone else. A few months pass.
After three months of no contact he reaches out again. You’re bored, a little lonely and somewhat pent up.
He charms you and you start spending time together again. It’s wonderful and the perfect escape from the reality of your day to day stressful life. He brags about being your escape (another red flag). One night after the perfect date night, on the way home in the Uber he starts doing some pretty demeaning things and you express that you don’t feel respected when he does that and he immediately gets mad. He starts telling you how ungrateful you are and how he’s not going to keep trying anymore. He won’t hear you about how you’re feeling and then makes you feel badly for feeling that way in the first place despite your explanations. He backs you against the wall warning you not to leave again (remember the previous break up you went home) You figure maybe if you both just lay down for a while he’ll fall asleep and you can leave. No such luck. He’s angry – so very angry and wants to make you feel like crap for this. You know better, you start to wake up to his narcissistic traits, but you don’t leave. You don’t want him having another thing to hold over your head.
The next day you vow to cut off contact and you do for another three month hiatus. This time you feel empowered by your decision. You feel like it’s time to get yourself out of this messy emotional roller coaster. You make a decision to stop going back and you start dating again. The distraction works for a while. but he comes back yet again. This time the efforts are far more powerful. This time he makes it about love and connection.
He tells you everything you’ve always wanted to hear. You are beautiful, powerful, admirable, successful, you’ve won over all the others (all the other women that is) He feeds your ego, makes you feel like you’re his end game. He says things you should have seen through about how you’re the best for him and that he’s at his best when he’s with you. You become enmeshed. You start to lean on each other emotionally in a way you never had before.
He Tells you Everything you want to Hear
He goes out of town for work and is diligent with contact. He even calls you one morning to help you through a tough time and talk it out with you. Little did you know – he was sleeping with someone else the whole time he was there. The whole time he talked up your wonderful connection and how inseparable you are, he was cheating – you would learn about this later, but for now, what you felt was amazing. You thought you were something amazing to him. In ways you thought you had won over the player.
Eventually COVID hit and lock down ensued. You hadn’t had him to your place much or immersed him in this part of your life much because you preferred to keep your life with him separate from the day to day. Coming to your house was his idea. He was open to it and wanted to help because of lock down and you had a young adult at home that would have been left on her own, isolated, if you went to his place.
A relationship started – you believed in him and his efforts and he even developed a relationship with your daughter. He is so charming and seems to be starting to be so relational and makes an intense effort to be a part of your lives. He helps out around the house, cooks breakfast and dinner and appears to love doing it. He calls you in the morning on the way home from work, texts you as soon as he wakes up saying you’re the first person he thinks of, he calls you on his way in to work. You talk for hours on the phone when you aren’t together. He’s the first person you tell your good news to and he claims you are the same for him. He stays over more and more – you wake up together and have coffee together in the quiet of the morning. You start to believe in what is happening, your heart is starting to fall. You don’t suspect that it’s all part of a plan to distract you from what was really going on.
The Veil was Lifted
It was the perfect drama that he had orchastrated for himself. You later found out that while he told you he was deeply in love with you, while he built a relationship with your daughter and did all these wonderful things for you, he was sleeping with two other women – maybe more- the whole time.
It was so easy for him. You believed he was staying at your place all the time because he loved it. You believed he was with you there because he wanted more. He was doing it so he could live his double life and not get caught. He had to keep you away from his house so you wouldn’t know. He treated you like you were stupid but knew that you weren’t so he orchestrated it all. He was a fraud.
There’s always signs
Upon further reflection you realized the signs. The way he would downplay you subtly, mentioning attributes that you didn’t have, that he preferred, making you feel dumb by constantly “one upping” you. Explaining things you didn’t need to have explained. Telling you how to do your job when he actually knew nothing about it. All the things he did for you weren’t actually for you at all, they were for him. They were either to distract you or give him an opportunity to talk about himself.
Your Strength and Pride were his Prize
You weren’t his happily ever after. You were a pawn and your strength and pride was his prize. He wanted to squash your success, diminish your value and make himself feel like a king. He wanted you to feel less than so that no matter what he did, he could still have you.
The Veil has been lifted
But one day, you woke up and realized that all the things he promised never to do – he did. He wasn’t who you thought and you could see he was a fraud to everyone he encountered. He used things against you that he knew were off limits. Enough is enough, you cleared the fog and remembered who you were meant to be. He has done nothing and will never be the reason for your success – if anything he hindered it and you can now be free.
He had your heart and threw it down on the ground and stomped on it. He tried to make you feel like nothing but he did not win. You have your freedom and now when you look in the mirror you see your worth again. You remember that while there were amazing things about being with him, he stole all the wonderfulness of it by lying, disrespecting you, and then blaming you for why he did it.
Now you pray for those who come after you. You pray they wake up to because they are probably just like you, strong, brilliant and have a fire within them that should not be snuffed out. You pray for him because you know it’s his brokenness that makes him choose to hurt people like this. He can’t build himself up or crawl himself out of the darkness so he just pulls others into it with him for a false sense of validation.
You are on your journey to healing and finding your true love story, and the next guy will know your worth, he will love you with a true and authentic love and he will be so captivated that nothing would make him let you go. You are worthy, you will find that, use this part of your journey to remind yourself that you know what loving feels like, and you will have it again.