I’ve made a lot of mistakes in dating. I’ve practically built my whole craft around these mistakes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to find something real and long-lasting. I just haven’t gotten there yet. Out of all of the red flags I’ve ignored in hopes that this one might just be “THE one”, dating someone who’s not over their ex has to be the worst.
You guys might not know this about me, but I was really obsessed with Gossip Girl back in the day. It was one of the reasons that pushed me to actually move to New York City. That might seem lame to you, but here I am, finessing and progressing.
What made me really love this show was Dan and Blair’s relationship. One scene in particular reminds me of what I just went through:
(WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. But if you haven’t finished Gossip Girl already, the series finale was five years ago. It’s kinda too late so you might as well keep reading.)
Blair has to choose between Chuck and Dan. After all of the shit she went through, she goes to Dan and tells him, “I told Chuck he doesn’t have my heart anymore. I realized it belongs to someone else.”
Fucking beautiful, right?
Well, she lied and ended up marrying Chuck in like the last episode of the show anyway.
My ex actually said these words almost exactly to me when we started dating. Of course I wanted to believe him. Nobody wants to feel like they’re a rebound.
So I ignored everything that told me otherwise: The fact that he still had her stuff lying around. He would get super upset when he spoke about her and would call her a bitch. And most recently, when just a conversation that reminded him of her made him ignore me, HIS LITERAL GIRLFRIEND, for two weeks.
Yep, he ignored his girlfriend, who wanted nothing but to love and care for him, for the thought of a girl who would not even speak to him anymore.
I didn’t want to believe that he was still in love with her. I didn’t want to think the only reason that he couldn’t love me was because his heart was with another girl.
That’s a huge fucking blow to someone’s ego.
So I pretended that he just needed time and maybe he would love me back. If I could show him I cared more than anyone else could, maybe he would love me back. If I just stayed long enough, maybe he would love me back.
None of that worked, obviously. We broke up.
I really loved him. I pictured a life with him. I included him in all of my future plans. I wanted to be with him forever.
But you can’t build your life around someone who doesn’t even see you in their future. You can’t have a real relationship with someone who just sees you as a placeholder.
I have no doubt that if this “bitch” (as he would call her) contacted him, he would drop me in a hot second and pretend I never existed. Or maybe that would just be for the best. Because it wasn’t fair to give myself up to someone who didn’t really want me. It wasn’t fair to offer everything to a guy who is eternally waiting for someone else.
It obliterated my already almost non-existent self esteem.
I’ve been that girl who has dated guys just to get over their ex and it never helped speed up the process. It wasn’t until I finally realized that we could never be together that I was able to move on. It just so happens that the next guy I seriously dated wasn’t over his ex. Which really fucking sucks because you find hope again and it crushes you right back in the gut.
But I mean, at least by breaking things off, I showed myself I have some sort of self respect.
You deserve more than someone who’s going to treat you as a second choice. A consolation prize. There’s someone out there who wants to be with you.
And not just because their ex won’t talk to them.