Be honest, sister: you knew.
You knew from the moment you met him he didn’t vibe with you, but being the hopeless romantic that you were, you sat down and had coffee with him anyway.
After all, he was hot, and I mean a veritable smoke show. You also seemed to have enough in common with each other to keep a conversation going, but the dialogue just didn’t quite pierce your insides, nor did it set your soul alight with childlike curiosity. But he was really good-looking, and even though he seemed confused by your big words and unsure of your feminine confidence, he didn’t admit to it. So, you stuck it out for a few hours, and even agreed to plan another date.
And on that second date when you asked him about his own trail of heartbreak and what lessons he’d learned about relationships, his answer was, “I haven’t had any.”
“You haven’t had any what, exactly?”
“No heartbreak,” he shrugged prosaically. “No tragic stories for me. No long-term relationships.”
You could practically hear the alarm going off, the starship’s computer blaring, “Red Alert!” He was looking for his Forever Lady, he said so a couple of times, yet he’d had zero disappointments or hard-learned lessons from relationships. Was he joking? What kind of fantasy woman was he hoping to find?
Turns out, he wasn’t joking. Sure, he was a handsome, well-rounded guy in his late 20s, kind, mostly intelligent, and active, with arms that made you want to climb him like a maple tree. Plus, he had a good family, loyal friends, and did I mention he was hot AF? He seemed interested enough in you, and you desperately wanted him to be The Guy, especially after all the grotesque pain you’d endured in past relationships. However, it was clear he simply wasn’t on your level. In fact, he hadn’t even encountered the same books of life you had, let alone read them, and that made the connection wholly incompatible.
I’ll cut to the crap: you kept this connection long past its shelf-life because you wanted to be validated. When he inevitably decided you were “too much” for him, and skipped off to shinier albeit simpler objects of affection, your ego was so badly bruised your sternum practically turned purple. You were supposed to be the one who turned him down, not the other way around.
It’s unsettling to realize you had been cycling through a lifelong pattern of self-destructive behavior, but that’s what happened — again. Perhaps you cannonballed into the dating pool too soon after the end of a previous relationship. Perhaps you had unhealed attachment trauma that you refused to address. Perhaps you just craved acceptance so much from a man who checked all of Society’s neat little boxes that you were willing to ignore the “No Outlet” signposts.
Whatever the reason, and it may be a combination of many, the lesson here was clear from the jump: you did not listen to yourself.
If your higher-self is ever telling you to walk away, no matter how brief or extended the connection may be, do it. It’s not about them being bad guys, or sociopaths, or assholes (although sometimes that does happen), it’s about your happiness and mental well-being. If he’s not enhancing who you are, if he’s not celebrating and encouraging your very essence, nix him. Scratch his name off the list. Hell, even call out, “NEXT!” and laugh it off, opening the window to allow him to flock to a dull bird out there who’s on his own, colorless echelon.
Once he’s gone, let him be gone. Remind yourself over and over that that’s not your story and you don’t need to be writing it. Take a break from dating, and I mean a good, long break of at least 9 months. Go inward and heal yourself, maybe get professional therapy where you can properly repair self-sabotaging beliefs and patterns. Most importantly, however, stop trying to win the fickle approval of any guy, and endeavor to win your own goddamn approval first. That’s all that really matters.