So there I was, in love, feeling safe and elated, and being prompted to do the ‘right’ thing by my new boyfriend – to put the ex out of his misery by admitting I’d met someone else – and then, when I least expect it, the ex tells me he’s done exactly the same.
Actually, that wasn’t the hurtful aspect of it. The dagger started to penetrate when I noticed the joy in his voice as he proceeded to tell me that the one guy he had slept with since our break-up is now someone he is ‘seeing’, despite finding it really awkward having sex with someone other than me for the first time in 18 months.
“He’s this...” “He’s that”... “You should see the size of his legs...” The only reason I said I’d met someone else, too, was to fight back the pain he was inflicting on me. I am many things, I can easily say the wrong thing at the right time, but one thing I’m not is cruel. And I found that cruel – it’s shaken me to my absolute core and completely disabled me.
If this had happened yesterday it wouldn’t have had the same effect. If anything, I’d have welcomed it and felt relief from my guilt for being happy with someone else, but today things were different. I don’t really know what’s changed, mainly because it’s such a huge and significant change that I’m still trying to adjust. I'm subconsciously looking behind me on either side trying to find things that I recognise. It’s bizarre and this is how I can best describe it:
I was standing on the tube home today, it was fairly busy, mostly with people who’d had a late shift at the office, I’m fairly relaxed and the tube is moving fairly quickly, for a change. All the sudden, I find myself staring down the length of the carriage, unnaturally noticing the windows on both sides at the same in my peripheral vision. More unnaturally, I’m noticing what I’m traveling past. Then it dawned on me – I’m standing in a metal cylinder, on metal wheels, being dragged along a metal track through a tight tunnel at high velocity by the power of electricity – what could possibly go wrong?
I started to panic as though we were heading for a train crash – I could picture the disaster on tomorrow's evening news – it was like waking up from a cosy day dream and asking yourself, “How the fuck did I just get here?” And I did; out loud! At the time I wondered if I’d live to write about this and eventually I rationalised the situation. Then I got home, picked up the incoming call from my ex and almost immediately crashed into the wall I feared my central line train was heading for.
There’s no rationalising this. Not yet. The only way I’ve managed to ease the pain has been by telling myself that I deserve it. The ‘holier than thou’ pride I’ve been fighting against has beaten me. It’s been a fair old game, really. I’ve just got to try to believe that he really did feel like this when he found out that I’d slept with someone else, then inadvertently came across a very flattering photo of him in my phone; where his used to be.
For the latter part of the relationship we were practically metaphorically auctioning each other to each other, asking, “Come on then, how much am I worth to you?”, testing for how far we could push the negative boundaries further and further to the point of malice.
I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. I genuinely do feel that he did, though. I feel like he didn’t try nearly half as hard as I did to make it work, and now some sexy, successful, attractive guy is reaping the grain from the seeds I worked so hard to sow.
It’s ironic and cliché, but I knew this was going to happen. I knew that it was going to take a new love to take me away from the old one. I just didn’t think it would happen the other way around or that I'd be this devastated by it.
That'll learns me! That's another chapter of my life painfully closed and another lesson learned in what I don't want from a partner. Good luck to them. I just hope he's learned something, too.