When I met “charming” I thought he was going to be the last first date and I was willing to say it because I was head over heels. He did a fantastic job of charming me from the moment I first saw him. He scooped me up and rescued me from a previous relationship and I can never repay him for what that means to me now.
This was definitely one of my very favorite first dates. When I saw him walk into the restaurant, I immediately knew that I was going to spend some time with this tall, gorgeous, muscular, edgy man. He walked right up to me, hugged me, and grabbed my hand and we didn’t let go. We had chemistry. We had things in common that I never thought I would find in another human. It is hard to find those compatibility markers.
He charmed me. I was so charmed I didn’t see or acknowledge when things had taken a turn.
The story of how it ended:
I had offered many times to help him while he was starting a business to watch his dog or his daughter. He forgot to tell me that he wanted to take his daughter out of town for her birthday and then blamed me for not listening. I am type A, I write everything down so I can plan ahead and know what is going on. It is kind of a joke with my friends because I can tell you what’s going on six weeks from today.
This argument took place early on that Thusday. I was simply trying to help him make a plan to celebrate her birthday. Later in the afternoon he asked me if I would come to his house that evening to stay with him ( he lived about 1.25 hours from me) and then take his dog home with me for the weekend. He needed someone to take care of him so he could drive to another state to pick up a trailer for his new business. I clearly stated that I could do that but I would have to leave at 4:30am the next morning in order to get to work on time. He expressed his concern about me having to do this early morning drive but I let him know that it was important to me that I help especially because he asked.
When I was leaving to head to his house he said that he was going to run to his moms and pick up some things that he left there. I got to his house at about 7:30pm and let him know that I let myself in. There I sat, alone.
Because I was going to have to get up so early the next morning, after 30 minutes of waiting I let him know that I needed to go to bed in about an hour. He was upset, even though I had told him I needed to leave so early the next day and clearly at this point he knew I sleep about 6-8 hours each day.
He finally came home at 8:45pm.
He was physically upset. He was sour faced, raging and tense. I hadn’t seen him in about 5 days but he did not greet me with love after I just driven to see him and waited alone. I didn’t bring up that I was upset about waiting because sometimes you just have to bite your tongue. We got his daughter ready for bed and then all hell broke loose.
He dropped some food and started storming around. Then he realized he forgot some items I needed in his work car and decided it was an appropriate reaction to punch himself in the head repeatedly. He stormed outside to smoke to calm down. When he came inside he got angry with me that I had started to get ready to go to bed. He was upset because I wanted to talk but NEVER stated that’s what he wanted.
We curled up to talk and he disclosed that he hated the distance between us. He talked about how he was concerned that my career may mean that I might never be able to move to the city he lives in. He also started talking about how he felt suicidal because only bad things happen to him. For every up there were 3 downs. He refused to hear me when I talked about all the positives. He also talked about how causing harm to his mother was the only way to end his problems.
I heard him, but I couldn’t believe my ears.
I was physically upset but somehow managed to go to bed and get myself up at 4:30. I pulled myself together, or so I thought. I had his dog with me for the weekend. The whole situation and everything we have discussed, watching him harm himself, and seeing the rage caused me to have my first panic attack. It was a crazy 48 hours of processing. My whole body was saying, “Get yourself out of this!” Then my mind was starting to understand and follow along and then commit.
When he came to get his dog a couple days later, he didn’t understand and refused to understand why I thought he needs professional mental health. He refused to understand that I was his girlfriend and not his therapist and what he was asking me to do was beyond my scope of feeling comfortable. He couldn’t understand when I said, “it’s not normal to talk about suicide or harming someone. It’s not normal to punch yourself in the head”.
Things escalated and I knew that I was unsafe and needed to take care of myself. I had compromised so much of myself through this relationship that no more, my body was shutting down and emotionally I couldn’t take anymore of the heightened craziness.
He walked towards the door and I didn’t stop him. I blocked his number because he would continue to try to guilt me. I want to be very clear that I did not waver in this decision. No communication, no unblocking, no glimmer of hope.
Now I see that I was willing to compromise my standards, myself, and my happiness in order to try to make it work. I am so proud of myself that I ran when I did. I could spend days, weeks and months “shoulding” on myself about how I should have seen the signs. Something within me wasn’t willing to see and that’s OK. Live, grow, and learn.
A big sign I now see and want to share:
When I would display my feelings and tell him what I needed, he would guilt me and show me how that was “actually incorrect” or “selfish”. Any time that I might have left him, he would give in just enough that I would stick around.
This worked over and over but no more.
Things I see/know now:
- If you feel like you have to hide something from someone, then the relationship is not mutual and it is not a partnership.
- If at any given point someone makes you feel bad for being yourself, this is not a relationship and this is not a partnership.
- If you are willing to compromise your greatest dreams and the integrity of who you are because they won’t be happy, this is not a partnership and this is not the relationship for you.
- If you are afraid of sharing your hopes/wants/goals because of the way someone will respond, this is not a partnership and this is not a relationship.
- If you stop doing the things that are important to you and that you love to do for someone else, they are not your partner and this is not the relationship for you.
- If someone blames you for something instead of having an open and honest conversation about feelings that go both ways, this is not a partnership or the relationship for you.
I do have gratitude for him and will add the following things to my list. These are my gifts that he has given me in the experiences I will treasure.
- The way he looked at me made me feel like I was the only girl in the world.
- The smile lines.
- The way he would make me laugh about the weird stuff that I do
- His love for his children and the way he would glow when a baby was around.
- How much fun we would have when we would go to the gym together.
- He was so sexy in a suit.
- Those green eyes.
- How he could understood my life living in Tupperware and meal prep.
- This relationship felt surreal in the beginning and I loved every second of it.
- Romantic gestures of putting flowers at my door when I would come home from work.
- He was romantic, spontaneous and full of adventure.
Featured photo: This is a bit of irony. This is a sketch he did of “blind justice”.