A few blogs ago I mentioned that I dated a guy who was embarrassed to be seen with me in public. I’m not even sure what was going through my head at the time. Wait… that’s a lie, I know exactly what was going through my head “This guys hot and he’s interested in ME?! WHHHAAAAATTTTT?!?!?“
When I met him, I was at such a low point in my life. I was questioning everything, including my existence. I’m pretty sure he could sense it, which only added fuel to the fire – or blood to the water for a shark. Externally, I think I came off as being close to normal, but inside I was a hot mess. I spent more time crying during that 6 months than I think I have in the last few years combined.
At first I didn’t think much of it, we both had crazy schedules that never seemed to mesh so trying to plan dates never went smoothly. It was so much easier to plan for at home than working around places being open or closed, movie show times, etc… The few times we did go out, I could tell he felt uncomfortable being seen together. Typically they shifted to the beach or a park after dark, where no one could see us. After a while I started questioning him about it. Was he embarrassed, secretly married or seeing someone else? He always said the right things to halt the questions in my mind. He told me he loved me, and I was so desperate for something to feel like it was going right I went along with it.
Looking back, he had it made! Basically he got everything he could have wanted from me, minus money. That is the one things I will say, he never asked me for a dime. Emotionally, mentally, and physically though, he found a gold mine. A woman who could boost his ego, take care of his needs, and he never had to be seen in public with her.
Everything came to blows the day after my birthday, which he completely forgot about. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt, so I started to call him out on all these things that made me question what I was doing with him. He was notorious for finding excuses as to why we couldn’t walk in to any location together. Those that we did, it needed to be dark inside, nothing bright with good lighting. (Heaven forbid a girl get some good lighting on a date!) Instead it was always dark, and we seemed to be hidden in the corners. When it came time to leave, it was “You first, I’ll meet you at the car in a couple.” Or “Wait here, count to 10 and then leave.” (What the….?!)
I can laugh about it now, but at the time, I was flooding with emotions. The cherry on top came a few weeks later after we ended it. I was broadcasting live at a local event when a woman came up to me and asked if I knew him. I responded yes, and she looked me up and down with this look on her face of “poor girl” and informed me he had been seeing someone else the entire time we were supposedly “together“. Let me tell you… It’s hard to be upbeat, and professional when all you want to do is cry. I held it together, got home, and sobbed my way through an entire bottle of wine.
Thinking back, it really shouldn’t have surprised me, there were no walks along the bluff holding hands during the day, playing pool or bowling dates, romantic dinners or anything that would have clued anyone in that we were a couple. Honestly, now, I don’t think I can classify it as being in a relationship with him. Just 6 months of trying to tread water and not get pulled under by the rip-current.
I’ve seen him out, seen him at various places with different girlfriends over the years. I won’t lie and say it didn’t hurt, because it did. It’s also made me realize I’m so thankful I didn’t continue to fall deeper in a relationship that wasn’t. Seeing how differently he acts with them versus how he did with me really put an exclamation point on how I view it now.
Everyone deserves someone who’s excited to be with you. Who joyfully wants to be seen sitting, standing, talking, hugging, holding hands, etc… with you. Not someone who treats you like a shameful secret. I only wish I would have realized it before that 6 months happened – or at the very least, shortly after it started.