It was my friend’s birthday, and I was so excited to go out. I had a classy lace number that I had purchased a few weeks back that I was so pressed to wear. As I got ready all I could think about was how drunk I was going to get, and how much fun I was going to have doing it. When I got to the pregame, which was held in my girl’s hotel suite, I immediately started drinking. All the other girls were still getting dressed, and I just had a feeling that it was going to be an amazing night. My friend informed me that this guy she was totally not interested in was coming and bringing his friends. A part of me was excited for some eye candy, but the other side wasn’t going to hold my breath. My love life for the past couple of years had been a shit show to say the least and I just didn’t see anything real coming out of this night.

About an hour or so later in walks three guys and my eyes were immediately glued to one of them. He was slender, preppy dressed, with a backwards hat on. He was so clean cut and his bone structure had me at hello. The guys came around introducing themselves and there was a strong physical connection between us. He asked one of the girls about me, and she came up to me and told me he was interested. I asked what he did for a living, because Lord knows I couldn’t deal with another guy who wasn’t ambitious. My friend replied “he’s a lawyer." I was overwhelmed with excitement.

We casually talked throughout the night and kept drinking. I was attracted to him yet something was off. He wasn’t as assertive as I liked, but then I figured “how has what you’ve been used to really worked out for you in the past?” The night continued. We exchanged numbers and I went on about my business. The next morning, I couldn’t even remember his name, nor did I have full recollection of the full night’s events. But I remembered he was cute and a lawyer, which is all I needed to know.

Over the next couple weeks, we began texting regularly, but still something felt off. He wasn’t really affectionate, and there was no talking on the phone, which I preferred. I also still couldn’t shake the fact that he was not assertive.

Was this just him?

Was he not into me?

Still I kept dealing with it. We went on a few dates and the conversation was decent, but all I could think was something is missing…say you like me…say that I’m beautiful…you really enjoy being around me…shit, say something. He was just so guarded with his feelings, which probably attracted me to him more. I had a thing for emotionally unavailable men. I found out that he had been really hurt in his last relationship, which I didn’t think he was over. I still gave him a pass, and we continued dating.

Fast forward a month, I had a Christmas party at my house. He came and was drunk, well, we all were. We ended up having sex, which I don’t remember. I regretted it because I was for sure going to save myself this time. After that happened I just had to be in a relationship with him. It didn’t matter whether I really liked him or not, he was attractive, ambitious, intelligent, and a gentleman. He was good enough. I thought the connection and chemistry would come later, right? Wrong.

We ended up getting in a relationship a few weeks later. Even though he was better than he had been in the past, that feeling of something being missing never left. I could never fully be myself around him. He never opened up to me. I tried to change myself to get him to love me, but nothing worked. I would tell him how I felt, and he had nothing for me. I lost myself. I became so focused on what I thought would make him happy that I compromised everything that made me happy.

I blamed myself for the relationship being shitty and the connection not being there. Months went on and even though we had a lot of good times, it was almost like it wasn’t real. I started to see more things I didn’t like about him. He wasn’t as kind, supportive, or compassionate as I wanted him to be, but I blamed myself for that as well and continued to try to fix things.

The more I was with him the lonelier I felt and I started drinking even more just to get through the pain. I think he noticed, but being so aloof wouldn’t allow him to show any type of concern. I remember he told me one day that he would never tell me exactly how he felt about me, because he didn’t want to give me that much power. Who says that? Time went on and the more I tried to be what I thought he needed, the more he pushed me away until finally I came to him frustrated with the relationship. I told him he had to make a decision to either work on the relationship or stop wasting my time. I thought he would stay. He said he loved me, and isn’t that what people who are in love do? The next day he called me and told me he didn’t want to work on things. He wanted out of the relationship and there was nothing I could do about it. I was so hurt, but part of me was also relieved.

The day following the breakup was my birthday, and he said he still wanted to take me out. In my twisted mind I thought I could get him back. We went out and talked about the relationship, and all he could say was how there weren’t any sparks. He said with his last girlfriend he was pressed, but he didn’t have that feeling with me. Talk about a blow to your ego.

We started drinking and even after that I was convinced I would get him to want me. We went back to my house and instead of thanking him and parting ways, we had sex. While we were having sex I knew it was over. There was no emotion. No connection.  Nothing. I was so ashamed that I tried to use my body to get him to stay. Afterwards he wanted to go, but I begged him to stay the night. How pathetic. He stayed out of sympathy. Then in the morning we hugged and he left to go to work.

I found out a couple of months later that he was in a relationship with another girl. The girl was actually someone I had questioned him about while we were still together, and he made me feel like I was crazy. That rejection turned me upside down. Why wasn’t I good enough? Why does he get to just move on while I’m still trying to figure it out? What’s wrong with me?

It turned out to be just what I needed to get my shit together. I had to grow through the pain. I got into therapy, found a spiritual connection, and have cut off dating for a while. I got myself back. I realized that I kept settling, which in turn made me break my own heart. As much as I want to blame him I had to accept my role too. I allowed him to treat me like he did by staying in a situation I wasn’t happy with. I was an emotional shit show. I still had scars. I was even, in some ways, emotionally unavailable.

Some of the same things we project on to other people are some of the same things we see in ourselves. I wasn’t in love. I was just lonely and needed him to fill that void. Moving forward I know now that I am the prize and I am not letting another man enter my space that doesn’t complement me and my needs. I knew in the beginning something was off and I chose to not trust my intuition. I am who I am, and I refuse to be miserable in order to please someone else. I may be single right now, but I would rather be single than be in a fucked up relationship for the sake of having someone.

I want more. I deserve more. I can have more. More does exist. Remember ladies you come first. If you always treat a man as your 1st priority you are teaching them to treat you as their 2nd.

- Submitted anonymously  

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