Dating, Slice of Life

Dating Games? I’d Rather Play Scrabble.

The “Hot and Cold” game is only fun for 6 year olds who’ve stolen and hidden their sibling’s favorite Backstreet Boys CD that they got for Christmas. It is not a fun game for a 28 year old who (un)consciously seeks validation from others, feels the everyday pressures of being single, and spends entirely too much of her life being overly critical.

I learned a lesson about mixed signals a long time ago, but it clearly didn’t soak in as deeply as I needed it to. However, I think a middle school crush manipulating you in orer to get closer to your hot friend is quite a different scenario.

The lessons:

1. Someone who wants to spend time with you will make the time to spend with you. They won’t repeatedly cancel on you, continue to put you last, or act like they’re doing you a favor by following through.

2. Someone who cares for you will be direct and truthful, yet tactful. They will not gaslight you, hiding behind their “just telling the truth,” with no consideration for the ramifications of their words or actions. They will not simply “state facts” while your emotional reactions to those facts are completely your fault. Instead, someone who cares takes into consideration your feelings before they speak and may even anticipate your reactions and will validate them.

These lessons seem so… obvious. Basic, fundamental. And in truth, I also learned these lessons many relationships ago. However, I’m much keener to block someone nowadays if I see those red flags. I can eject myself from that situation with confidence. Unfortunately, a third lesson rang so loud and true as to shake me to my core:

3. For someone I am interested in, I am willing to make any number of excuses, put up with an overwhelming amount of bullshit, and continue to positively support someone who time and time again will hurt me.

I don’t know how to break myself from this. Each of my relationships have been incredibly lopsided. I don’t think it’s braggadocious to say I go above and beyond for my significant other (even the unofficially significant ones). Unfortunately, I just haven’t found anyone willing to invest as deeply as I will.

This experience left me somewhat hollow. I decided to take a good, long break from “looking.” This last round was definitely exhausting and I have to take some time to recharged and re-evaluate.

His last form of gaslighting, and a slightly ironic ending: After I blocked him, he wouldn’t speak to me or look me in the eye when he was forced to speak to me. I just wanted to laugh in his fucking face. He made it very clear he was emotionally detached and that there was no potential, yet he acted like this? Good lord. I figured he’s just pissy because I’m not providing the benefits he got used to – having someone to talk to, someone to smile at him and pay him compliments, someone to support him emotionally, someone to provide casual meals, not to mention the ego boost of having someone in his corner.

It’s amazing how all those beautiful things can come from a sincere relationship… and get yanked away.

#NoMoreSticks #NoMoreCarrots #FixYoself

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