I learned an extremely valuable lesson from the last man I dated. Something I will carry with me always as a single woman, and I am sure it will save a lot of men from heartache. I used the infamous Tinder dating app in meeting him.
He seemed like a nice guy so I agreed to go out for dinner one night. Right from the start, Mark spoiled me, treating me to a dollar steak dinner on just the first date. He met me there with flowers. I thought it was so chivalrous and sweet. Praying-at one point even! He treated me like a queen. Because he treated me SO.
He wined and dined me, bought me gifts, adored me, listened to me when I was upset, was emotionally supportive, was sweet to my little girl, complimented me, and even helped me a little financially at times. Good god, he made it hard to leave. Especially during Christmas time when I was struggling as a single mom with no child support.
And as I have written several times on this blog, how a man treats you is super important. And I kept dating him. And I spent more time with him. And I focused on the things I did like. My attempts to get this heart beating were failing. So I tried a new approach. I let him around my daughter thinking maybe watching him be a great male role model would help me fall in love with him? For awhile, this did seem to work. I was so appreciative of how he treated her.
It was admirable, truly, and soon we were enjoying pizza and movie nights and doing all sorts of things together. He would come to her cheerleading practice with me, and it was sweet.
For a few weeks, I felt amazing. It was magical sharing my sweet little girl with a man. Having someone there to laugh at the silly things she says with me, was a delight. I loved being able to share my favorite person with someone, I really did. I hope to have that again someday, and with someone I can actually have feelings for.
So where did it all go wrong and when? Well, I would say from the start. I knew how I felt. I was only lying to myself thinking I could feel more than I did. But I thought I could grow feels. I knew how rare it was to find a gentleman who doesn't play games and treats you well, so I thought I should wait, wait to grow feelings.
They told me that sometimes you can grow to love a friend as more than a friend. So I continued to date Mark, but all the time I felt tormented, because deep in my heart, I knew something was missing.
I had to face the truth of my feelings, or lack thereof. God, things would have been so much easier if I had loved him back. He would have done anything for me. I would mention not having this or that and lo and behold, he would buy it. It would show up. He delivered flowers to my work and showered me with affection. He did everything a man should do for the woman he loves.
It was just him. 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. I knew what I had to do. I knew how bad it would hurt to tell him how I felt. I felt like it would hurt him much less to leave now than say a year or two from now. I knew he would cry and I hate goodbyes so much, so I text him. Now, before you judge me about breaking up with a man over text, realize first, I am a writer.
I write better than I speak. Writing allows me time to organize and present my thoughts. I am in my thirties. A high standard I realize, but it is my standard nonetheless. This means the only option is inevitably breaking up one day. So sure, I could have kept on and dated him for a year, two years. Because I know my heart. I know I want real love. I sent my text. It was long, kind, and thorough.
I hit send and ran into my living room and covered myself with a blanket. I knew a bomb was about to go off and I felt scared and awful. He did not handle it well — at all.
After receiving my polite break up text he proceeded to: Tell me he loved me and wanted to marry me one day we dated for two months yall — two. Drive by my house and leave random things on my porch. Women always get the bad wrap for being crazy. But does any of the aforementioned sound just a little bit crazy to you?? Men can get just as coocoo. I left out the worst one too. Sending me texts and a phone call telling me he feels like killing himself.
I know this has happened to people before — you break up with someone and then they threaten to kill themselves, making you responsible for their death. I even dialed at one point but then hung up. I decided to FB message his best friend and tell him what was going on. Thankfully, he went over and calmed him down. So what did I learn over this fatal attraction?
I would give anything to be able to go back and Unhurt this person. I mean he called me sobbing. I could tell he was in extreme pain. I hate that I hurt him — hate it. But I could not bring myself to settle. I want REAL love. The kind you feel and choose. I think perhaps you feel quite a bit when you love someone, perhaps in the beginning and then it goes in waves in and out from there.
That is probably closer to reality. But what do I know? All I have are my experiences to go off of. I do know after this experience, I will not ever do this to someone again. I felt awful for him. He hung up on me still sobbing. I literally had said everying I could and we both sat on the phone in silence while he just cried and cried and cried.
If I had left that first week, it would have only been a tiny sting of rejection. I am going to go with my gutt next time. And this is my new truth. I know there are people who have. People who were friends for years and perhaps one of them had feelings and the other only came to feel more for them later. I mean, yes, it does happen.