I never thought I would hurt a girl the way I have. I always thought I was one of the good guys, that I’d never do anything to seriously hurt someone. I’ve always had good intentions towards people and thought that was enough, that my actions wouldn’t hurt people if I didn’t intend them to. Really I was just an immature child who could never be real with people, the guy who hid the worst parts of himself from himself.
I was the person who thought it was better to hide the unsavory parts of himself just to have a better image. I wanted to be this great guy that could be there for a girl in every way, but when crunch time came and I needed to step up I showed how lacking I was in responsibility, love, and masculinity. By not being honest, direct, and loving towards her I ended up destroying her, time after time.
This article is the story about a boy who didn’t know how to be a man, and a woman who had to contend with him. It’s the story about me and my fiance Karen, and the countless mistakes I made with her...
We met on a Friday night at the bar she worked at. I’d seen her before, she’d caught my eye one night, and now I was sitting at the bar and here she was, washing dishes right in front of me. My fortune cookie at lunch had said “be bold today,” and my ex had just said she wanted to see other people, I took it as a good sign and talked to her whenever she came over.
It went poorly, to say the least. None of my jokes landed. But when my friend went to the bathroom, I made a move anyways: “Hey, I hate to be that guy at the bar asking the girl out while she works, but do you want to grab dinner sometime?” I felt 100% that she would say yes, just a feeling as the words rolled out of me.
“Sure!” she said, I handed her my phone and she punched in her number before going back to working. I almost forgot to grab her name “Psst, what's your name?”
We went out to dinner a couple days later. Our conversation wasn’t that exciting, I didn’t know what to talk about. I omitted the recent break-up, I didn’t want her to think she was a rebound. While the conversation wasn’t amazing, it was a good enough date that she agreed to come to my place to meet my dog. One thing led to another.
The next day I was stoned, it was late but we were texting and I asked her to come over. She wasn’t interested in sex but I pushed for it and she relented. During sex we had a miscommunication that really upset her. The miscommunication was me not listening, which is going to be a running theme. She was upset about the whole situation, first coming over and me assuming sex, then me not listening to her in the bedroom.
I sent her a long text trying to explain things and convince her to see me again. I apologized and told her I wasn’t in it just for sex. We kept seeing each other, I kept not telling her I was out of a recent relationship. Then when we were grabbing breakfast one morning, it came out. I don’t remember how but I remember she was really upset at me for not telling her. I told her she wasn’t just a rebound, that I felt really strongly about her. We kept talking and seeing each other.
She was a great girl, beautiful, smart, and easy to talk to. She grew up in the same area as me. We went for walks with my dog and talked about all sorts of weird stuff that I was into. Spirituality, psychedelics, meditation, and other more normal stuff, like her being a pharmacy student, our families, and our hobbies. Our conversation flowed really well back then.
A few days later I was getting ready to leave for Peru for two weeks. She had just driven across town to see me and hang out, we went and did some shopping, she drove. After we finished up I got a text from a friend who was leaving the state, my last opportunity to see her before she left. Karen said it was ok if I bailed, I did. Looking back it was a dick move, I didn’t even invite her to come with me after she had driven to see me and then driven me all over town. She said something like “I’m done” as I got out of the car. I thought she meant she was done with me.
I was ok with ending things there after all the drama we had been through in only two weeks. I knew the relationship was starting off on the wrong foot, so hearing her say that she wanted to be done didn’t really bother me. I knew I had messed up early on with how I was treating her and didn’t think I could recover in my current state of mind. I went to Peru thinking I was on my own, no girl, few friends left in my town, I needed some soul searching.
A day or two after I made it to Peru I got a snapchat from Karen. She asked me how I was doing and I told her I was surprised she messaged me, that I thought she wanted me to be done. She told me it was a miscommunication. I told her ok, but I wanted to kind of leave things until I got back from Peru. My trip was a retreat of sorts, using plant medicine in the jungle, but I still had girls on my mind, both my ex and Karen. It was distracting and took away from the trip, I shouldn’t have been worried about my love life while I was there, I was there for my newfound spirituality.
For most of my downtime at the retreat I thought things over. The relationship with Karen had already started out tumultuous, and I remembered how easy things had been with my ex, only the good times of course. I told myself when I got back that I would call things off with Karen and try to get things right with my ex. That is not what happened.
When I got back I was jet lagged and exhausted. I don’t sleep on planes. I got home and smoked and went to sleep until a friend came over to grab some food with me. I had texts from Karen when I woke up. She hadn’t really heard from me and wanted to know if I wanted to end things. I told her that at that point I thought we should be done. She convinced me she wanted to talk first, so I ended up going over to meet her and talk. We chatted for a while, she asked me why I wanted to end things, why after all I had already put her through that I wanted to be done when she still saw potential with me. I couldn’t come up with a good reason, every part of what I liked about her was coming up, we had great conversation, attraction, and she seemed genuinely interested in me despite all the drama we had gone through over the first two weeks of knowing each other. I told her I’d give it another shot.
We went back to her place and started kissing in the kitchen. We made our way to the bedroom and started taking our clothes off. She asked me if I wanted a condom. I don’t know why I didn’t want to, but I didn’t. It wasn’t until afterwards that I asked her if she was on birth control. She told me yes and I hoped we would be ok, I should have just accepted her offer to use one when she asked me.
The next day I realized I hadn’t followed my own plan, that I was still a mess about what I actually wanted, I still had unresolved feelings for my ex. So that day, I decided to call things off with her. The very next day… We planned on going on a hike that night. I didn’t call things off right then, no, instead I drove her part way up the mountain, all the way to the trailhead trying to build up the courage to tell her. At the very end of the drive I said I thought we should be done. I didn’t even have the decency to not waste her time. She was pissed, appropriately so.
I got some nasty texts the next day which I tried to apologize for, but it was hollow at that point. I tried to walk it off, I really did feel bad, I had brought my own issues to this new girl who didn’t deserve to be treated like that at all. It was selfish, every step of the way. I was such a coward that I couldn’t even tell her how I was feeling or that I had just gotten out of a relationship and all I did was hurt her. I thought it was over, and I was glad because I didn’t want to hurt her, and I’d ruined any chance of being with her through my actions. So I moved on. But the story doesn’t end there.
This is a long story, part 2 is coming soon...