How Getting Cheated On [Twice] Ruined The Romantic In Me
I'm the nice guy -- you know, the one who always finishes last. Yeah, that's me. Except, I'm not always the nice guy. In my career, I'm ruthless, ambitious and decisive. I know what I want, and I'm fearless in pursuing my goals.
Cutting people out of my life is easy if they're blocking my path to success. But, when I welcome someone into my life — someone with whom I've made an intimate connection — all of that goes away.
The first time, I was completely naive. I was the young, popular, player-type guy, who wouldn't even think of committing. Until I saw you, standing in a pink tank top with a group of friends crowding around, that is.
One of those friends was mutual and told me you were already taken, but that didn't stop me from pursuing you. If anything, it probably pushed me to go after you even harder.
It took some time, but you finally left him for me. And, when you jumped in my car, I felt like a Roman Soldier, riding back from my latest conquest.
We were instantly inseparable; nothing could stop us from being together, and eventually, we moved into our own apartment, so nothing would ever stop us from being together.
But, it's strange; looking back I never felt like you were ever mine. I never felt like we completely connected, the way people who vow their love should be connected.
Despite everything we had going for us — years of being together, making you a part of my family and helping you break out of your shell and become the person I always knew you could be —, something was always wrong.
And then, it happened...
I don't want to relive the actual events. Even just writing them brings back painful memories. But, essentially, you were caught in a lie and that lie turned out to be us. You were not faithful throughout the majority of our relationship.
Finding out was hard, accepting it was even harder and moving on was almost impossible. But, I did move on, and every day you begged me back, I fought the urge to say yes; I fought the urge to cave in and let you back into my life for a chance to be "us" again.
The only vow I made after getting over you was to never be attached again. I promised myself I would never fall in love again without carefully considering who the other person was. I was George Clooney before his nuptials -- single without even the slightest interest of letting anyone in.
Then, I saw you on the balcony of my friend's condo with a glass of white wine in your hand. You had just moved in down the hall, and I took the liberty of setting up a meeting to discuss important "business."
I was hooked after the very first conversation. Our "meeting" turned into a four-hour dialogue, during which we both let down our walls.
Forget about how good you looked in all black, and forget about the fact you were just as driven in your career as I was. What I loved most was that you "got" me; you understood me completely, to the core. That, alone, made me jump in, feet first. Nothing could stop us.
And then, it happened... again.
I should have seen this one coming. Friends warned me not to trust you, but you seemed so perfect, and felt so damn good. And, we were connected in a way that's hard for even me to explain on this page.
The first few months were incredible — a euphoria I wish lasted forever. But, it didn't last and neither did we.
Struggles entered our relationship and you apparently didn't feel that connection anymore, so you went somewhere else to find it. When I confronted you, you didn't even deny it. I was speechless.
Should I be blaming myself for being so stupid not once but on two separate occasions? Should I blame both women for making me feel stupid? Or, should I be blaming love — Cupid's silly little game he plays on his captures?
Whatever it is, it doesn't change the fact that getting cheated on leaves you broken in some sense. No, I'm not sitting here crying or calling my friends sobbing about another relationship lost to misplaced trust, but I'm just as hurt as any female who has gone through similar experiences.
Right now, I feel like there's nowhere to go -- no one to turn to for comfort or empathy or even to just hear me vent.
I think the difference between men getting hurt and women is that men tend to be in pain alone. We keep our emotions tucked deep inside and feign unaffected demeanors so we can cope.
But, the thing is, how do I ever move on if I don't ever truly confront these feelings? If any girl smiles at me now or catches my eye for more than a glance, all I can think about is the long road to emotional destruction.
I'm counting on time to pull me out of this. Right now, that's all I can do.