I’ve actually internalized recently a realization about my ex and my past relationship. I’ve realized that I don’t want to get back together with him, but I do wish we were still in a relationship. What I mean to say is, I miss what we had, and I wish that was a thing that was still happening, but since it’s not, I don’t want to actually get back together. He hurt me really badly. Really, really badly. But I’m okay with being friends with him for the most part. I still feel jealous and hurt when he’s affectionate with literally everybody else but me. I’m jealous when my friends hang out with him, and not me. (They’re MY friends, my brain tells me. I introduced them to him. Why do they choose him over me?) And I still have a lot of baggage regarding the relationship. But I don’t want it back. I wish it was still happening, but I don’t want it back.
I came to this realization in some ways when I saw on Facebook that a friend of mine, who had started dating her boyfriend around the same time I started dating my ex, had just gotten engaged to said boyfriend. It made me wonder what would happen if my ex and I were still together. It made me think that I wish we were still together – and that everything was good. But the way things were, they couldn’t be good now, so that’s why we’re not together. Well, one of the reasons why.
I’m lonely. I want to be in a relationship. But I’m not just looking to jump into a relationship. I want a connection and a friendship. If I wanted to be dating just anybody, to have a partner for the sake of having a partner, there is at least one person I know I could be dating. But I don’t want to date him. I don’t feel the connection, and our friendship is kind of surface-level and a little awkward. But then I get stuck in a spiral.
It’s not that no one wants to date me, it’s just that the people I want to date don’t want to date me. Not that there’s anyone I want to date right now in particular, but hypothetically speaking. Like, I went on a date and ended up hooking up with this one guy a couple of weeks ago. I felt a connection with him, and while I wouldn’t say I wanted to date him, I didn’t know him after all, I did want to get to know him and see if there was the potential for a relationship there. Long story short – it turns out all he wanted was a one-night stand, even though he had responded to a text message I sent him post-date saying he would want to go out again. The next time I texted him he didn’t respond. I tried one more time a few days later to see if it was something that he just missed/forgot about or if he was actually ignoring me. Considering how active he was texting me before our date, and how silent he was after, I came to the conclusion he was ignoring me, and I moved on.
Now, I’m not heartbroken over that, but I am disappointed. And it does hurt, and it definitely hurts my self-esteem. What’s wrong with me that he would say he wanted to go out again, then ignore me? Did he not like me? (He seemed to like me just fine that one night) Was he not attracted to me? (Why did he hook up with me if that was the case? Why did he call me pretty?) Was I bad in bed? (I mean, I probably am, I’m inexperienced. But I told him that. He seemed to have fun anyway, unless he was faking it. Which is a possibility. But why would he do that?) He doesn’t even know any of my problems or baggage – he just knew that we had a bunch of stuff in common and then we hooked up. If all he had wanted was a one night stand he could have told me that – I likely would have hooked up with him anyway because my mental state at the time was somewhat manic, and I was desperate for affection and attention. Not to say that I was in a bad place, or that I regret what happened. I felt just fine (which I guess is pretty much the case with mania) but more importantly, when my mental state stabilized, I still felt fine, and did not regret my actions. Again, I was just disappointed that he claimed to be interested in a second date, in potentially becoming friends or datemates, but then he just ghosted me.
Now, I’m not mad. I don’t get mad about ghosting, because as bad as it is a thing to do to someone, sometimes it’s just too awkward to say “Hey, I don’t want to do this again.” I get that. While I feel bad about it, I’ve ghosted people in the past. But what I wish he had done was be upfront about what he wanted. Or if what he wanted changed over the course of the night, I get that he wouldn’t want to say anything to me because it would be awkward, but that’s what makes me get stuck in a “What was wrong with me?” spiral. So I HAVE to believe he went into the night with the intention of making it a one-time thing and he wasn’t honest about that, because the other option is that I did something wrong, or that there was something wrong with me. And that’s not an option I can live with. That’s something that really hurts. It’s like, I get it, I’m fat and ugly and depressed and have low self-esteem, but you seemed to like me anyway, but whoops you were actually lying about it.
I don’t know. People say you never know what will happen – you’ll never know how you’ll meet someone. But you have to actually put yourself out there to meet people, and when I do that all I get is shot down, or get stuck in a cycle of hookup culture, which is ultimately not what I want. I’m sick of empty one night stands and I’ve only had two of them.
What I want is a best friend who I’m attracted to. Someone who understands and cares about me, in spite of or including my flaws and baggage. And I would feel the same about them.
Maybe I’m expecting too much. Maybe my standards are too high. I don’t know.
Dating is hard. That’s all I can say about it.
Dating is hard and no one understands (except everyone understands).