Remember, he had offered to get Motown tickets for us in July. I want to say in early November he gave me a call one night to ask my availability. I told him a date and he said he was buying the tickets. Between then and the day of the show we had another falling out about his birthday. His birthday fell around Thanksgiving; even though we were not on the best page, I wanted to make a nice gesture. I offered to take him to dinner and I told him to pick a date. His son would be up for the holiday but I figured that we could go out one night and the other night he could have dinner with his family. Long story short he said no to both and our communication dropped, once again. So, with hazy communication when the day of the show came around, I texted him to confirm the time we were meeting up, to which he replied he never bought the tickets. We didn’t speak for a week or two after that.
Christmas came and went, we were barely on speaking terms yet neither of us declared the relationship over.
In January, he asks me over because he wants to talk. In my mind we were 98% over but since the words were not spoken, we were still, technically, together. Earlier that week I had saw a good breakfast spot in his area so I agreed to meet him. I got my breakfast then he picked me up and went to his place. I was tired of giving him room to decide what he wanted. I came with a clear and defined agenda. This is where I first established my non-negotiables.
Non-negotiables are my realistic approach to what will maintain my level of happiness in each specific relationship. We all know that we may not get 100% of what we want in a relationship so you consider what you can and cannot tolerate.
1- I wanted, at least, 1 romantic date a month. A date of my choosing; where I wanted to go and/or what I wanted to do.
2- I wanted daily communication. A phone call and/or a text that actually showed he was engaging.
3- I wanted one weekend a month of just he and I together. I got tired of only seeing him weeknights. Hauling my ass to Glendale after work, barely bonding, then leaving early for work in the morning was not my idea of a good relationship.
4- And lastly, I wanted a key. In the mornings he would leave me in the apartment and go to work. This was also around the time that I started training for the marathon. I was following a running plan and the inability to come and go for a run on the mornings I stayed over, took a toll on my training. If I had a key I could go for a run, come back to shower and get ready for work.
After our discussion he did make improvements. 1 and 2 seemed to be gaining traction so I figured this could work. Then came the straw that broke the camel’s back.
In January we were on a better page, and in February we had seen each other her early in the month. I texted him one day to ask what the plans for Valentine’s day would be (Remember: Valentine’s Day was the original crack in the delicate vase that was our relationship). He told me he had bought tickets for him and his son to go to All Star that weekend; and that was all I needed to hear to know that this relationship was OVER. I replied; “I can’t do this anymore. We are done.”
Allow me to break down, as to why this instance was the final deal breaker.
For months this man had strung me along with agreed dates that he never followed through on. However, you pop up and purchase these tickets on a whim, knowing all that you did over the past year. Over and over again I made excuses for him. We would have dates planned, and my family and friends would reach out to me to hang out with them and I would say no because my man and I were going to be together. Imagine my heartache when he would cancel over and over again, I would be left home alone. I gave him ample opportunities to right his wrongs and he never did. A date, some flowers, chocolates, meeting my friends, my family nothing ever happened. I would suggest fun activities for us to do, in his neighborhood and he would turn them down all the time. The day of the non-negotiables talk he made a comment that aided in my final decision. He said “I remember things that I want to do. If I don’t want to do it- I don’t care to remember.” The light finally came on in the dark cave that was my brain. I finally saw him for who he truly was. Selfish and a term we now call a Fuckboy!
When he told me that he got those tickets for him and his son, I knew then that whatever I wanted would never be a priority to him. He would never buy me flowers because he didn’t want to. He would never buy me chocolates and take me out for Valentine’s Day because he didn’t want to. He would never meet my family or friends because he didn’t want to. He would continue to offer and say he would do things for me and with me, fully knowing that he was lying to my face, all because he didn’t want to. Finally, I saw him for who he really was and I knew I couldn’t deal with it anymore. I knew I deserved better and I was not going to get it with him.
We spoke when I got a new job and he congratulated me. Maybe a year later we met up for lunch and we caught up with casual conversation. Occasionally he’ll still reach out to me and imply we should see each other and try to get back together. And I’ll be honest; after dealing with all my online dating fiascos over the past three years, sometimes I’m tempted to consider going back to him. Then I remember all the emotional emptiness I felt. I remember the few times good times that I hold on to were often connected by much sadness.
I saw an episode of Steve Harvey and there was a couple and the husband said something that made so much sense. He said; we are all different people we all may want love but we want it differently. When you enter a relationship, you have to learn how to love your partner the way they want to be loved. We have to learn to accept that what worked for the last partner may not work for the next one.
Example: Your last partner may love affection and company; spending time and hanging out may be more than enough to keep them happy. But if your next partner prefers gifts and communication, you’ll have to learn to adjust to loving them in that way. Every pair will be different, but you have to put in the work to find out and maintain the level of happiness.
My answer was and will forever be no to getting back with him. He was too set in his ways and unwilling to love me in the way I wanted and needed to be loved. He expected me to be content with what made him happy and that would never work for me. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result; and, for once, I was finally sane.