Once upon a time, I felt very alone. I lived in a mental space where I craved any kind of social interaction but pushed everyone away most of the time, leading to a very vicious cycle of self-absorbed binge-drinking. This led to my ignorance and denial of problems occurring in the romantic relationships I pursued. It was 2011, and his name was Liam* (name changed for his well-being). I graduated from junior college at this point with my AA but dropped out of school the following fall due to an amounting depression, ultimately peaking at an almost suicide attempt and a complete lack of desire to be alive any longer at that place. I was young at the time, just 20, and the year leading up to dropping out of college had beaten me down. I lost my most favorite person in the whole world, my Uncle Tom, and I was struggling to find any hope that anything would get better. I had been depressed for a long while and decided that I was ready to put myself out there again despite my hangups and misgivings. I was on OkCupid for the first time and venturing about the internetz to find someone to top my one-time “serious” high school boyfriend of 8 months. This site matches people according to survey questions answered, leading me to believe that it might be a better fit than generic sites. I matched with Liam, and we began messaging. His sarcastic and cool ways were intriguing for me, and I fell harder than anticipated. Flash forward to 2 years later, and we were still “involved” pretty heavily, or at least I thought it to be true. We had been on and off since I started college, but in my mind, nothing ever really seemed different or as though it wasn’t a mutual connection. I had never been attached to anyone the way I was with Liam. He showed me a different style of affection that involved late night hangouts and moderately consistent communication, plus his entire style was exactly what I thought I wanted. When I left for school the following fall, headed to Savannah no less, my feelings became more than just a playful thing. I figured that, if anyone could stand being around me that long, then it must be love, and I wholeheartedly believed in this. I did all I could for him anytime I could, and I thought he felt the same. September of 2013 I told him how I felt, and he told me that it was not at all mutual. He told me I had made all of this out to be so much more than it ever was, and we had never actually been together at all. For him, it was never anything serious or meaningful or even more than a friends-with-benefits situation. Needless to say, I was crushed, devastated, and now doubted my own sanity. Looking back though, there were major things I should have noticed that indicated he was never really involved at all. I was in such a state where I denied basic things that normally would be offensive and telltale signs of someone not being interested.
1. He was always on the phone when we were together, which means he was not at all interested in my presence or time.
2. He never EVER came to meet my family. There were, on 2 separate occasions, an opportunity for him to come meet them, and each time he would mysteriously not wake up or ignore me. I thought he was just nervous, but these should have been big red flags to gtfo of whatever this was.
3. We mainly hung out at night. I thought this was cool for awhile until I realized I was just very convenient for him.
4. I only ever met 1 of his friends. He had no interest in having me meet anyone else because I was a nobody to him.
5. He was a former addict, and I just wanted so badly to save him and put his troubles to rest. This is an unfair way to approach someone, and it is never received well (unless someone is looking for a savior, which is an unhealthy relationship altogether).
Love and lust can blind us to common sense and allow us to only see the best in people, but it is important to step back every so often and objectively ask if everything is as it appears. By doing this, one can evaluate if the things we value are being upheld or whether we’ve lost touch with our original intentions.