years ago, i dated a man who, on paper, seemed completely perfect for me.
i was hesitant to invest in the relationship because i was still very broken hearted over "mister," but he pursued heavily and decided to open my heart to him.
we'd known each other for a long time and our dating was really a flash. not many people knew about it. he told me one night that he loved me and talked incessantly about a future, marriage, children, everything...
i wasn't ready for the L-word so i think i gave him a "thank you, i'm getting there."
as our relationship progressed, a few things didn't add up.
he was strange physically.
in public, he was ALL OVER ME, but in private he was cold and distant.
then he started picking me apart;
criticizing my wardrobe (he was impeccably tailored and only wore designer)
then criticizing my spiritual life.
mind you, i was an active temple ordinance worker in the NY temple and teaching Relief Society. not that callings are a barometer of your spiritual depth, but i wasn't exactly slacking in the church arena and my spirit felt connected and in tune.
he was subtle and manipulative.
now, i'm not generally a girl with a huge self-esteem problem but
i found myself feeling inadequate and "not enough."
isn't it horrible that we go there?
i wasn't beautiful/skinny/sexy/smart/polished/interesting/fun/spiritual
i do it. i still do.
but most importantly, his criticism of my spirit really cut me. in any normal circumstance, perhaps, i'd have just told him to shove it, but my little heart was so bruised and open and teachable and forgiving. i beat myself up over it and i overlooked that bright red flag.
suddenly and quite out of the blue, he broke up with me.
he said he was in love with me one day and the next day he "was like 'eh...'"
i think it hurt so desperately because it was unexpected and the balance in the relationship was so off that i felt beyond rejected and definitely not "enough."
the disappointment lasted a few wks.. it was only a flesh wound compared to the gaping holes of heartache i've gone thru, but it was enough to rattle my mojo in a serious way.
it was recently confirmed to me that he is gay.
i don't know if he's "out" but has been in a relationship with a man for years.
i imagine he evaluated me and realized that that kind of dynamic is not what i'm interested in and cut me loose.
what a blessing.
i had guessed at it (my gaydar is pretty keen these days) but i also didn't want to be one of those girls who thinks anyone who doesn't pursue them is gay. hello, ego.
i've dated a few men in my time.. and a few addicts (of various vices).
projecting their insecurities and flaws is one of their greatest talents.
it is easy to spot your weaknesses in others and be harder on them than on yourself.
i once had a bf who was basically lying about everything in our relationship and his guilt led him to accuse me of cheating on him (um.. no) on a regular basis. likewise, another man who didn't feel like he was living up to his spiritual potential, criticized my testimony and spiritual depth.
all of those things are unfair and hard to detect when you care about someone.
confirmation of this man's sexual orientation didn't bring relief to me, it simply made me
sick that i beat myself up for one second over his list of my shortcomings.
really the ONLY thing wrong with me is that i am not, in fact, a man.
nothing i can do about that.
now the point of this story is not to illustrate that he's gay (i'm in theatre, i've dated a few gay men in my time)... (what a heartbreaking struggle- though that is no excuse to emotionally manipulate another person) it's that so often, people (women included) project their insecurities/fears onto their partners and in this case (which was a blessing compared to other relationships) it was CLEARLY not about me.
but how do we fix this?
how do you remain open and teachable but hold onto your dignity and feel "enough" when someone rejects you?
image unknown... some greeting card i found in soho. sorry.