Nostalgia is a liar. But conscious reflection – now we’re talking!
When I look back to two bad relationships that I had (S & J), (- oh don’t get me wrong, I’ve had exactly 7 short/long term relationships altogether, without counting a bit of hanky-panky here and there, – I’m 30-something and I have remained in either neutral, or amicable, or bestfriend terms with all my ex’s but… the two), – I realised how emotional, vulnerable, involved and ever hopeful I truly was in those two relationships. First makes sense. Otherwise why marry that man, right? But J. That’s where I got, let’s say I lack a better way of putting it – MIND-FUCKED!
S & J, constitute two relationships where I felt miserable rather than happy (but nostalgia will let me believe otherwise – particularly the first half of the relationship). Once I started to recover I looked back, and in both cases it was clear that it was never going to work and that I should never have put up with such abusive/narcissistic behaviour. With S, I had a legitimate reason to try. I was married to him. I gave him a decade of my life – trying. But with J, I wanted-out, right at the beginning after making my hopes and aspirations transparent and clear, but he latched onto me – feeding me with hope, possibilities, promises, and then when I fell for him – his constellation of social connections and he “chose” differently.
Here’s one thing, if your bloke doesn’t speak highly of you, don’t expect their friends to love you either. His friends and their girlfriends are secondary and twice removed connections – they are closer to your bloke, they form perceptions from the first connection in that group you have: aka, in my case J.
Si-Mon is/are right – J broke up as his choice (though the positionality was influenced by a toxic friend and his (equally toxic and moron) GF, and a scatterbrain cop), here’s the thing: whatever excuse my ex-bloke has given me for not being the man he wished he’d be… was/is rubbish.
Fact was, he was never that into me. No matter what he said and how many times he said I love you, it meant nothing to him. He was basically Breadcrumbing from the moment his “best” friend had made up his mind telling all – “she’s not the right girl for J”. Even before meeting me in person, my character was decided. Their opinions were formed.
Breadcrumb is a perfect term, like from Hansel and Gretel, – just that it means he’s leading you on by feeding crumbs of affection that never lead to anything. Why did J or any other man would do this? “He’s already attached, he’s testing to see if he can still pull like he used to, he enjoys a good flirt or he likes attention and the more attention he gives women, the more he gets back. If he’s not already involved, could also be the real life him is nothing like the online persona you’re attracted to.” Spot on!
He’s hot and cold – the innumerable times we fought at the middle of the month and I decided to go my way but he brought me back and wanted me to stay, this “intermittent reinforcement – unpredictable random rewards for the same behaviour – is one of the powerful motivators of all.” In manipulation techniques, the aspect of dumping and getting together, then positioning himself in a “I can leave any minute if you don’t do as I want you to” (as was the case with motherhood) – this irritability and constant threat of being dumped again somehow seems to strengthen the illusion of “trying” and “relationship” rather than stop you from going there again. J, played that card like a good gamble. Why do that at all? Apart from manipulation, I realised that J was testing water – he liked seeing how far he could push me, he wasn’t sure if he wanted me, I was his ‘base camp’ – someone he knew would be there for him whenever he wanted comfort.
Still emotionally involved with his ex. This was the best part. It is truly extraordinary the myriad of excuses J come up with to justify not getting rid of his “ex” GF – L. “Oh she owes me money; oh she can’t deal with banking or anything else so I have to take care of that; oh she texts me all the time, can’t afford to split, she wouldn’t cope without me, who knows what she would do if I broke it off (do you want to be responsible for suicide?); oh I have such a good connection with her family it hurts to cut off; oh this oh that”.
Including a Facebook profile which was (and still is) a shrine of memories displayed at full glory. I’d often cringe at a sudden pop-up of a picture where the two are kissing! I was married to a man and kept those pictures private. The good sense of making them private was never something that seemed to cross either of their minds – cause of course I was the bounce back.
If a 40-year-old lacks the common sense of what images to display on his social media profile… sorry, refuse to buy that he’s that naïve! I correctly called his Facebook profile “The Laura Shrine”. Which it truly is. He had his closure in April (4 months into “exclusively dating” me, and a month officially into a relationship with me), and I felt that the blame was put on me. Somehow her reply which he showed (but not what he wrote to her) was directly “your Gf wants you to cut ties” kind. Hmm, you know – I actually don’t mind that accusation: which GF would be comfortable if her BF calls her by the ex’s name (even “accidentally” while “making love”)? Point is: if someone wants to be with you, care a lot for you, they will stop any other relationships (literally any other) they have going even if the split is painful and difficult.
Lesson learnt: Don’t date people who aren’t completely emotionally available to you. If a guy wants to be with you, he will do everything right by you. Every damn thing. Including standing up for you no matter who’s on the opposite end. His priority would be to make you happy – he won’t go making promises he can’t keep.