I have learned a most valuable lesson from the last man I was with. Something I will always carry around as a single, and I’m sure it will save many men from heartache.
I met “Alex,” as I’ll call him, two months ago. I used the infamous dating app Tinder to meet him. He seemed like a nice guy, so I agreed to go out for dinner one evening.
Alex has spoiled me from the beginning and spoiled me on the first date with a 100 Euro dinner. He showed up with flowers there. I thought it was so gallant and sweet at the same time.
But I knew it on the first date – my feelings were not that strong, but I was hoping they would grow. Even praying at one point! He treated me like a queen. I knew that I was not as attracted to him as he looks or his personality, but I felt that I should give him a chance.
Why? Because he treated me that way. Yes. He spoiled me, bought me presents, loved me, listened to me when I was upset, was emotionally supportive, loved my little girl, congratulated me and sometimes even helped me a little financially. Good God, he made it hard for me to go away. Especially during the Christmas season, when I was fighting as a single mother without maintenance. It’s super important how a man deals with you, right?
So I waited.
And I met with him. And I met with him. And I spent more time with him. And I focused on the things that I like about him.
My attempts to make this heartbeat failed. So I took a new path.
I let him think near my daughter that he might be a great male role model that would help me fall in love with him? It seemed to work for a while. I was so thankful for how he treated her.
It was admirable, true, and soon we enjoyed pizza and movie evenings and made all sorts of things together. He came with me to their handball training, and it was just great. That was it really. For a few weeks, I felt incredible. It was magical to share my sweet little girl with a man.
It was a pleasure to have someone who laughs at the silly things she does to me. I loved being able to share my favourite person with someone, and I really did. I hope to have this one day again, but with someone for whom I can actually have feelings.
So, where did everything go wrong and when? Well, I would say from the beginning.
I should have told Alex that after the first date I was no longer interested. I knew how I felt. I lied to myself because I thought I could feel more than I did. I was not interested in romance. But I thought I could develop feelings.
I told my family that I had met a great guy who treated me and my daughter wonderfully, but that my feelings were not that strong … I did not know what to do! I knew how rare it was to find a gentleman who plays no games and treats you well, so I thought I should wait, wait, and grow feelings.
They told me that sometimes you can love a buddy more than a friend. And so I kept dating Alex, but all the time I felt tormented because I knew deep in my heart that something was missing. Damn, I just did not love him. I had to deal with the truth of my feelings.
God, things would have been so much easier if I had loved him. He would have done everything for me. Every little thing. If I mentioned that I do not have this or that, and lo and behold, he would buy it. It would turn up. He sent flowers to my work and showered me with affection. He did everything a man should do for the woman he loves. Everything. Which girl would not like that?
Christmas was coming and I felt more and more like Alex was not the right person for me. He did not even do anything wrong. It was only he. Who he was was not someone I was in love with. I liked him, enjoyed his company and had respect for him, but I never fell in love with him. I knew what I had to do.
I felt terrible. Sooo TERRIBLE. I knew how much it would hurt to tell him how I feel. Staying began to feel unfair to him because I knew he wanted to marry me and I did not see a marriage with him. I had the feeling that it would hurt him less to leave now than a year or two later.
I could not persuade myself to break up with him. I knew he would cry and I hate parting so much that I sent him a message. But before you judge me about separating a man from a text message, you must first understand that I write better than I speak. The writing gives me time to organize and present my thoughts. I wanted him to fully understand why I was leaving – I could not imagine marrying him.
I’m in my thirties. I do not believe in dating anyone when I feel like I’m not going to marry him. I know it’s a high standard, but it’s still my standard. Dating to someone you know you would never marry him is a waste of time.
This means that one day you will inevitably part. Sure, I could have kept it for a year, two years, and dates. But I DID know that the day would come when it would be over. Because I know my heart. I know that I want real love. That’s what I want more than anything else in life.
I have sent my message. It was a long, friendly and thorough massage. I pressed send and ran into my living room and covered myself with a blanket. I knew a bomb would go up and I felt anxious and terrible.
Well, Alex is flipped …
He did not handle it well – not at all. After he had received my polite separation text, he continued:
- called me crying and called me a slut.
- wrote to my family members on Facebook and told them he was sorry and he wishes he could have been part of the family.
- He told me that he loved me and wanted to marry me one day (we were two months together, two months).
- has left comments on my Facebook and Instagram posts and referred to me as a “liar … heartless, callous and hypocritical”.
- Passed my house and left some things on my terrace. Crazy and scary.
The women are always the bad guys because they are “crazy”. But does any of the above sounds a bit crazy to you? Oh. Yes. Men can just as well go crazy and go crazy.
I also left out the worst. He sent me a message telling me he wanted to kill himself. I knew it had happened many times before – you separate yourself from someone and then someone threatens you with suicide and makes you responsible for his death. This is one of the most inhumane things you can do to a person, in my opinion.
I even called the police, but then hung up. I decided to send a FB message to his best friend and tell him what was going on. Luckily he went over and calmed him down.
And what did I learn from this fateful relationship? Here is my advice – do not wait to develop feelings for someone. If you do not feel like 1-3 dates then finish it. Seriously, FINISH IT IMMEDIATELY.
And I would give everything to be able to return and leave this person unhurt. I mean, he called me sobbing. I could see that he was in extreme pain. I hate that I hurt him – I hate myself for it. But I could not bring myself to settle for it. I want TRUE love. The way you feel and choose.
After this experience, I know that I will never do that to anyone again.
Alex would not be so hurt if I left after the first date. He would never have had a chance to fall in love with me, and he would not have felt the pain of losing what he had hoped for. “I was so hoping you would be the woman I marry.” So destroying someone’s dreams – I can barely put it into words. I felt terrible. He hung up while I was still sobbing. I literally said everything I could, and we both sat in silence on the phone while he cried and wept and wept and wept.
Had I left in the first week, it would have been just a small sting of rejection. Next time I will rely on my gut feeling. I do not think that I can develop feelings for someone – if it is not so from the beginning.
This is my story. I know there are people who have that. People who had been friends for years or maybe one of them had feelings and the other one later came to feel more for them. I mean, yes, it really happens. But I think it’s rare. And as a general rule, I do not think that happens, and certainly not with me.
I hope Alex is fine. I really do. He is a very nice and amiable man. I wish I had fallen in love with him. I know he treated me great. But I am this crazy person who shoots at the moon.
As a lover, I accept nothing less than the all-consuming love. I have to feel something. I want to fall in love. I want the whole package. And if I can not find that, I can honestly say that I would rather be alone. Because being in a relationship when you know that you do not feel so good is a shitty thing.
Again the advice:
Do not wait to develop feelings.
Spare this person heartache. Let her go immediately if you do not feel anything. Either this feeling is there or not. You can not force things, including your own heart, to love. But keeping them from injury is not the only reason you should not do it. I am so terrified now that I will find hate-notes at my door or that he will appear to my work, etc. Some people do not handle rejection so well, and you might be dealing with some scary things afterwards. Say goodbye soon enough, that’s the better choice.