If you’re an adult and are having sex and/or dating, you have an emotional responsibility to yourself and the other parties involved. So many choose to ignore that and then wonder why they have either allowed themselves to be so abused or why a partner is so terribly hurt or aggravated by their actions.
I finally realized that Warren had been telling me in not-so subtle ways that he wasn't reliable for months. He cancelled dates the night of to shows I had tickets to, offered to drive me to the airport when I was going home for the holidays then couldn't be reached, (leaving me to scramble to find a ride which ironically enough ended up being my ex, John), heard from him maybe once while I was out of town (and that was after a number of unreturned calls and texts from me) and then there was my birthday last month. I didn't ask for anything for Christmas or my birthday. All I wanted was to be able to spend it with him. He had confirmed he'd be there. What did I get instead? A text…the next day, “Sorry, I fell asleep. Happy Birthday.”
Now, don't think I'm a total doormat. I addressed my feelings with him after each of the scenarios. Though, each was discounted with excuses that were so vivid, I couldn't help but buy into them.
But missing my birthday? Stick a fork in me. I'm done. I pondered, ‘What was I getting out of this relationship?'
I took care of his bird when he was out of town, made bank deposits for him, helped him strip and stain furniture, helped him pack and move, helped him paint his new apartment, and was always the one to go to his place when it was convenient for him to see me. What was I to him, his Girl Friday?
I remembered my Relationship Resolutions. I was definitely realizing that Warren's actions were making me feel bad about myself and uneasy.
I value myself and know what I have to offer. I also know what I'm looking for in a relationship and he couldn't offer that to me, so I simply wrote him off.
Erik Fact: Yes, we've all been hurt in the past but the trick is learning from it and to not take it out on the next person.
So, you can sense my shock when after not hearing from Warren for two weeks, he called wanting me to meet-up with him and a friend at a local club. I get that not everyone is compatible as a couple and I pride myself on giving people the benefit of the doubt. I figured maybe this was his way of apologizing for being a schmuck and an attempt at friendship or at the very least a witty acquaintance.
As the night wore on, I remembered how much fun we used to have together. I also remembered that Warren was a big flirt. As I fended off his advances, I could sense him becoming more aggressive. At different points, I found myself literally putting him at arm's-length, explaining that I could only offer a friendship and how I understood what he'd been trying to tell me all the while. It didn't help that his friend would interject every now and then.
“You guys look so good together,” she said. “You two have so much in common; you're perfect for each other.”
I smiled and laughed it off but in my head, I was screaming, “I know! So why doesn't he see that?” I needed to get some air so I stepped out on the patio for a smoke. When I returned, Warren instantly leaned in to kiss me. I pulled back.
“Nope,” I began. “Friends don't do that.”
“Erik,” he said tilting his head and smirking, his fervent eyes glistened under his furrowed brow. “I want to be with you.”
“Yea, yea,” I responded nonchalantly. “I know you want me but not in the same way I want you.”
“I love you,” he said genuinely.
“I'm sure you do,” I said kindly. “Again, not in the same way I love you. And that's ok.”
“Erik, I'm in love with you,” he said assertively, grasping my hand.
“So, we're going to do this; just you and me?”
I should've been elated but history wouldn't allow me to. If Warren really was sincere, I was definitely going to go into this with my eyes open. For starters, since I knew he had a penchant for changing his mind like he changed his underwear, I figured it'd be best to wait until tomorrow to see if he still felt the same. Was it possible that he'd truly had an epiphany and realized what he wanted and was emotionally ready and willing to offer me what I wanted?