This will be a short post. A rare, short post. If you read my blog you know that I can be verbose when it calls for it. I want to vent a little bit about dating in this day and age. If you want to ghost, fine. If you don’t feel it, fine. If you find out that you want something else, fine. Talk to me. Tell me what’s on your mind. I wont try to change your mind. I am an adult, and I can accept that not every relationship works. I don’t want to spend time fighting to make you want to be with you. I don’t have time to be the young, dumb guy that thinks he can change everyone’s mind. I am old enough to know that being respectful and acting in a way that makes me proud is more important than trying to make EVERYTHING work. Regardless, I want to be treated like an adult. I know that I deserve at least that. Take the time to tell me when you want to leave, especially if you have spent the last week telling me how much you liked what was going on. I promise that I can handle it, and that I will respect you even more for being honest, and I won’t be that guy who can’t take no for an answer. I know that other people may have ruined it before me, but that doesn’t mean you have to do things differently because of a few bad apples. Regardless, if we do happen to get close and then fall apart, please know that no matter what happens I wish you the best. Even if you do have to ghost and leave without a word.
Take your own better days, and live the life you are proud of 🙂
Dating is a weird concept after abuse. This probably wouldn’t be a new revelation if I hadn’t moved right into a relationship after my second divorce (which eventually led to another abusive relationship). But here it is, years after my second divorce, and only now am I seeing this. Dating is difficult for the divorced. It’s incredibly common, as any divorce rate statistic will tell you, and breaching that subject with the uninitiated is rocky at best. People are often quick to point out where they think things failed, or what they would have done differently. When abuse is involved people are a little more quiet. The mere mention of abuse can shut down even the most talkative of “what I would have done”ers and make a whole room go silent. When you are dating, mentioning abuse can be a red flag to anyone who knows what kind of baggage trails along with it. This is the case whether you were the abuser or the abused. It’s no secret that I have been in both roles (or if it was, surprise!). I have been called names, slapped, punched, instulted, and many other things in my relationships. But I have also screamed, slapped, broken things, called names, said hurtful things, and participated in the problem when I should have been part of a solution. I’ve never been the instigator, I never took physical action except when I was afraid there was no other way to deescalate. That’s the problem though, there is always another way. If there is one thing that people have in common with their thoughts on abuse it’s that they always believe there was always another way.
I’ll let you in on a little secret; we know there was another way. We lived it, we have hindsight too, looking back and being able to access all the data in a calm and safe environment is different from being there in the moment. All of us, as people who were involved in some way with abuse, have gone over this incidents ad nauseum. We have played out every scenario multiple times, and we have begged the universe to be able to go back and make another choice. We are all denied. This is why dating is so weird for us. We are chained to a past that bears repeating to each new partner. We become even better experts in rejection due to the stigma attached to it. Do you know how scary it is to tell someone that you have been abused? Or that you have abused in the past? For me, my abuse lasted years. My period of being the abuser lasted four months and had three physical incidents. Am I to be judged for such a brief period of time? I do not seek to diminish the weight of what I have done, and I accept full responsibility for my part in what happened. I suppose it’s just the rewards of improper boundary setting and a low self worth. I am worth so much more than treating someone like that, and yet, for a brief period, I did.
These chains are oppressive. I can feel them with each new partner, and I dread the moment I have to tell them these things. I just received a text from someone telling me they weren’t comfortable dating me after hearing about my past. I don’t blame her; I would never blame anyone for that. It just hurts, and it’s one of those things that will hurt for the rest of my life.
Onward and upward. For each person I meet that is understanding and accepting there are many who aren’t. It’s ok to lament a little about the people who aren’t, but I don’t want to dwell on it. Time will make these things easier to deal with, and I know that if I spend that time putting love into the world it will find it’s way back to me. Good luck, my friends, and may you all find people who accept your past.