It was like one of those dramatic, straight-from-the-movies moments when a guy I hadn’t quite gotten over told me that he dumped his girlfriend for me. When he’d started dating her, it was a shock — I thought we were in the early stages of something really amazing, but out of nowhere, he called me to let me know that he was suddenly in a relationship with a girl he just met.
It seemed pretty clear at the time that he just wasn’t into me. But then, just as suddenly, he broke up with her and was on my doorstep, telling me he couldn’t stop thinking about me the entire time he was with her. It was confusing, to say the least, but I wanted to believe him. So I did… and then he blew me off again. Maybe I should have seen it coming, but sometimes giving someone another chance seems worth the risk at the time. Here are a few things I realized thanks to that non-relationship:
- He was afraid of commitment. Rather than pursue something with the person he actually had feelings for (me), he chose to date a girl he barely knew. He probably knew from the beginning it wasn’t going to work out, but he did it anyway because it was safer. He hadn’t dumped his girlfriend for me, he did it because he didn’t want a real relationship.
- He clearly didn’t know what he wanted. If he really wanted to be with me, he never would have chosen someone else over me in the first place. It might have seemed like he figured it out when he dumped her, but he still wasn’t willing to commit, so nothing changed.
- I ignored the red flags. It’s not like I couldn’t see that he had commitment issues, but I was so into him that I chose to ignore them. I trusted the things he said instead of the things he did, and that was my biggest mistake.
- He was the dramatic type. He liked to text me vague suggestions that he still had feelings for me, and show up at my house in the middle of the night to tell me he’d been thinking about me. Then he’d disappear again as if seeing me was the worst thing in the world and he had to repent. He was never just straightforward and honest, so it was hard to tell what was real and what wasn’t.
- I was infatuated. It’s pretty hard to ignore when the guy you like shows up at your door with that look on his face. I chose to see it as a good thing every time. Maybe he was finally coming around. I loved the idea of him choosing me, and he kept sucking me back into the cycle because I wanted it to work out so badly.
- I was constantly waiting for him to make a decision. At some point, I should have told him I’d had enough, but I never wanted to be the one to end it. I gave him all the power because I kept giving him another chance.
- I felt dumb for letting him fool me twice. No one likes to be fooled once, let alone twice. Once the fog had lifted, I felt pretty stupid for letting him back in over and over even when I knew deep down he was just going to hurt me again.
- I needed the closure of him blowing me off that second time. Despite feeling dumb for giving him another chance, I think I needed to do it anyway. If I didn’t at least try, I always would have wondered what would have happened if I did. The regret of not trying is always somehow worse than the results of trying, even if they’re bad.
- I had to learn not to blame myself. For a while after he disappeared for good, I kept thinking I should have done something differently. Maybe if I was more open about my own feelings things would have worked out. But I never could have changed how he treated me because that was his choice, not mine.