It was interesting to see the responses to my last post about when we suck it and see, which is effectively fallingoff the wagon because you may be stuck and obsessing, but at the same time being clear enough to go in with both eyes open and recognise what the results mean. For some, knowing that you can’t deny what is happening is actually enough to bolster the resolve without having to get their fingers burned, and for others, experiencing a temporary brush with pain is the final nail in the coffin of the relationship so that they can move on.
It’s important for me to say that I share my experiences and mistakes, not because I’m saying ‘Please run out into the relationship equivalent of oncoming traffic and get run down’ but because I recognise that we are human, we make mistakes, we have overactive imaginations, and that during the grieving process, we may seek validation or assume that we are in a much better place than we originally were and resume contact and try to make a friendship.
If you’re looking for any ‘ole opportunity to break no contact, trust me when I say you will find a reason in a grain of sand to legitimise the opportunity.
But I do want to share another story about my experiences with NC and this time it’s about when you feel that you don’t give a monkey’s about them anymore so you’re OK to be friends and assume that the level of maturity that you have is what they possess.
Long time readers will know that I dated a guy, Dot Dot Dot Man (he used to finish his text messages with annoying dots…) for about five months in what was basically a ‘non relationship’. I had no idea what the hell was going on, he blew hot and cold, lived with his ex girlfriend and was so ambiguous, it was like trying to see meaning in a blank wall. He served to be my epiphany relationship where it dawned on me that I was the only common denominator to my dodgy track record of relationships and that I had a penchant for emotionally unavailable men.
I’ll be honest – In retrospect, I recognise that I really was not that into this guy which is why the ‘relationship’ worked for me. I got to burn up brain energy wondering what was going on between us while at the same time contradicting myself by saying that I didn’t want to ask him what the story was between us in case I was asking for more than I actually wanted.
It was going back over what the hell I’d been thinking that revealed my contradictory, commitment-resistant self that effectively backed herself into a corner and then focused on the other person’s behaviour.
He kept in touch occasionally and rebuffed his contact until I realised that I actually had no interest in him in that way. I think he thought we had an ‘understanding’ and that we were ‘friends’ and because I recognised my own ambivalence, I thought that we could be friends too.
A few months roll on, I’d fallen off the wagon and had my whole suck it and see episode with the other guy, and one Friday night after I’d had a horrendous day at work and had planned to do nothing, Dot Dot Dot Man asked if I’d like to join him and his friends for a drink and check out a club. Foolishly I accepted.
Now I want to clarify, I accepted because I knew that I had no interest in him and we actually shared mutual friends. That, and the bar was close to my house and the evening seemed like an escape from the madness of the day.
Unfortunately, when I got to the bar, within an hour, another woman turned up and she proceeded to treat me in a very aggressive manner, closing me out of conversations with the group, draping herself all over Dot Dot Dot Man, and basically trying to make me as uncomfortable as possible. At one point she cornered me and proceeded to tell me that they talked all the time and hung out which was basically some sort of ‘back off’ warning. I was uncomfortable but not for the reasons she wanted me to be.
All I kept wondering was: Why the eff has this guy invited me out to have me treated in this hideous manner by this repulsive person? What exactly does he think he’s playing at? That, plus also wondering how the hell he was managing to call his new woman and hang out with her all the time!
Her level of assclownary went into overdrive and I started to feel very vulnerable over the course of the evening as I wondered if this was all some pathetic joke. I kept asking myself what on earth I had done to warrant being treated in this manner. His friends were equally uncomfortable and embarrassed by her behaviour and one of them actually left!
For some reason, I stayed and sucked it up because flouncing out was not an option but when Dot Dot Dot Man cornered me to ask if I was OK, he got it from me with both barrels. I made it clear that I had no interest in him but I didn’t appreciate being setup and being involved in his dumb games. I even repeated what she’d said to me and he denied it down to the ground and said he was embarrassed by her drunken behaviour, but of course did nothing to quell the situation.
I finally left but not before letting him know exactly how I felt and telling him to stay the hell away from me. I felt humiliated and when I got home, I cried. I cried for being embarrassed. I cried for assuming that he was decent and actually a friend. I cried because Yet Another Dipstick had upset me. I cried because I felt so fricking low.
I remember speaking to my friend and her fury at him and the situation and at 2.30 am in the morning, I stopped the crying and started looking at things differently:
He and I were not friends and I made a misplaced assumption, albeit using common decency as a basis. But let’s be real, he’d been more than happy to use me for a shag, an ego stroke, a shoulder to moan on – why on earth was I giving this guy more credit than he deserved?
Do not expect someone who has previously regarded you as little more than a casual relationship to treat your so called ‘friendship’ anything other than casually.
The woman was very insecure and staking her territory by peeing a line around him in a very embarrassing way. If she really was as secure about him, she wouldn’t feel the need to behave in this manner. She would have done this to any female that crossed her path.
Be careful of getting territorial about guys who you ‘hang out’ with or claim to be ‘buddies’ with – they ‘hang out’ with other women and often have a narcissistic harem, their own posse of women made up of friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances who will keep their ego stroking permanently topped up.
None of this was a reflection on who I was as a person so why was I doing the whole ‘Poor Poor Me Whine’? Yeah I had a right to be p*ssed off, but berating myself and thinking I must be a bad person to be treated in that way was quite extreme.
Don’t internalise other people’s bullsh*t behaviour. You can be accountable for your part where you have facilitated what they’ve done, but do not blame yourself for their behaviour or allow it to distort your perception of you.
If anything, what happened was a reflection on him, not me.
Don’t get things twisted. It’s all too easy to slip into blame or wonder what is wrong with you. You should be asking what the hell is wrong with them!
He totally could not see why I was annoyed. He refused to take any responsibility for what had happened.
When someone is hellbent on maintaining a deception with themselves where they get to believe that they’re A Great Guy, you can tell them till you’re blue in the face what an assclown they are, but you’re Wasting Your Time. When you know someone has done wrong, you don’t need them to validate it – you knowing is more than enough! Move on! Don’t try and raise grown adults!
I needed to remember that when you put your hands in the fire, even under the guise of friendship, your hands will still get burned. He had always been thoughtless so expecting more from him was setting myself up for pain.
Don’t allow yourself to be a sufferer of Relationship Amnesia or even Relationship Stockholm Syndrome, where you either forget the pain of times gone by or feel affection for your persecutor. Don’t set the reset button on yourself! The fire still burns!
He took a chance and assumed that he could get away with the situation. He had no idea she’d come out behaving like a lairy, jealous drunk. Yet again, he didn’t think and thought he could use his usual bumbling friendly ways to get an ego stroke and on this occasion, it backfired as he ended up inviting out a Glenn Close wannabe.
Mr Unavailables and assclowns are short-term thinkers and they consider things from the context of what suits them – shag how you feel! As a result, they often over-estimate their abilities and under-estimate their potential for creating conflict and confusion. This is what happens when you don’t think and are Me, Me, Me, It’s All About Me.
You can be assured, I never made these mistakes again!