Everyone gets insecure every now and then, but one guy I dated lacked confidence so much that it started to affect me and our relationship. I knew I had to go when he said these things.
“What do you mean ‘the hug was nice’?” He hugged me and I told him how nice it felt being in his arms. He asked what I meant by that because the word “nice” was like saying the hug was average. WTF? He kept overanalyzing every little word and twisting it into something negative.
“My ex was crazy.” They treated him badly or cheated on him. After a while, however, I realized he was the crazy one! How is it possible that everyone had treated him so badly and he’d been the saint in every relationship? It’s like he wanted sympathy from me, which was a huge sign of being insecure.
“I’ve never been single.” Hearing this blew my mind. How’s it possible for a guy who’s 28 years old to never have been single, especially if he hasn’t been married or been in LTRs? Clearly, he couldn’t stand to be alone.
“What have you been doing all day?” A few times he tried to call or text me but I was busy so I replied later. No biggie, right? He always asked me where I’d been but it was said in a way that made me feel like he was angry that I wasn’t available when he needed me. Clingy, much?
“Did you see how that guy was looking at me?” Everywhere we went, he’d say that people were looking at him in a nasty way or judging him. It reached a point where I felt like this guy was super paranoid. Ugh. Being out with him in public while he kept asking me if he looked OK with what he was wearing was torture. He was so needy!
“Do you really like me?” Every now and then, he’d ask me if I was really into him. I’d insist I liked him but he never seemed convinced. I always felt like he thought I was lying, but surely he could see I liked him by how I treated him so well? It’s like he was so consumed by his issues that he didn’t even notice goodness around him.
“What was your ex like in bed?” He liked to know details about my exes, like if they were hotter than him, and often these made me feel uncomfortable, especially when it came to bedroom antics. It was like he wanted to compare his sexual performance to theirs. Ugh, so damn creepy!
“I didn’t do that—you’re the one who hurt me.” No matter what we fought about, he was always the victim. It started to piss me off. Clearly this guy had insecurity issues but it wasn’t fair to throw them at me and turn me into the bad guy all the time. It felt manipulative.
“Women always leave me.” I felt really sorry for him when he first expressed fears of people leaving him, but after a while, those fears seemed sexist to me because he was generalizing about all women being untrustworthy/hurtful/gold diggers. I’m not to blame for what his exes did to him! I shouldn’t feel like I’m a bad person for things I haven’t even done just because of my gender.
“You really need a new best friend.” One night in the car on the way back to my place after we’d had dinner with my bestie, he said that she wasn’t a nice person and I could do better. WTF? What right did he have to tell me who to be best friends with? I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was jealous of my other connections.
“I don’t like that dress you’re wearing.” Other signs of manipulation started to come up. He’d tell me that I shouldn’t wear a certain dress or do my hair in a certain way. He told me in a nice way but his words always made me feel like crap. I then realized that he was saying this because he feared I’d find someone else if I looked my best. What further gave me proof of this was when he’d try to get out of social commitments so we could stay at my place instead. He wanted to keep me indoors all the time, away from other people.
“He became successful because of connections.” I noticed that whenever my ex met someone who was successful, he always had something nasty to say about them or he’d just find ways to debunk their success. They had connections in the industry, maybe they’d conned their way to the top, or they were lying about their achievements. No one could achieve anything in his eyes. Meanwhile, he just needed to bring others down to feel better about himself.
“I won’t agree to disagree.” He never entertained the idea that I could win an argument. He always had to have the last word, as though this was a way to show how right he was. It was so messed up! I’d rather have peace in a relationship than be right all the time. He had his deep issues of low self-esteem to deal with and he was allowing them to get in the way of our relationship. Sadly, he chose his issues over me, but I wasn’t to blame for leaving him—he pushed me away.
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