I know I promised a date story this week and it’s coming, I promise.
But first, a rant.
A little over a year ago I dated a guy for about a month. It was my first dating experience since ending an awful long term relationship and it was also the first time I think I’d been properly courted in my life. We had a great time together but he ended it after a month because he wasn’t feeling it. At the time I was obviously upset but I got over it and moved on.
Even though I still get a little upset if things don’t go the way I had hoped when dating someone new, I now try to take away valuable lessons from these experiences instead of dwelling on them.
In the case of this particular man, let’s call him Bob, the lesson came much, much later. After a few months of not being in contact, we reconnected and made the friend attempt. I don’t know if this is a steadfast rule, but in my personal experience to date, being friends with someone you were once romantically involved with is not possible. That may be a discussion for another day but it was so effing true in this situation.
Conversations started friendly. We even went for coffee or drinks on occasion. Then, inevitably, sex talk crept in.
I tried to brush it off as “boys being boys”. Does that make me a bad feminist?
Bob propositioned me on many occasions. I should have known better than to continue a “friendship” with someone who didn’t take my no seriously.
Then there were the hurtful conversations about my body. I’m a novice runner. I train for long distance. I do it because it makes me feel good and I love the feeling of being able to push myself to accomplish something I never thought I was capable of. Bob, a bodybuilder and personal trainer, seemed to think that I should try to manipulate my body, using his suggestions of course, to look a certain way so that I could attract more men. I was floored. Not that this matters, but since I started running I’ve NEVER had a complaint about my body from a man; quite the opposite. And while it has taken me a long time to appreciate my body and accept it as is, I would NEVER want to be with a man who only gave me a second look because a did those extra squats (which was what Bob ACTUALLY said).
But this is all besides the point. Our friendship finally ended last week. I know now it should have ended a long time ago because it wasn’t a friendship at all. The last straw was after months of me rejecting him, he offered me money for sex.** At first I said nothing. I mean, I said no. But when he asked if he had upset me, I said no. A few days passed and I told a few people what had happened. The more I thought about it, the more angry I got. I had been clear all along about wanting to keep our friendship platonic and he didn’t respect that. What kind of friendship is that?
Lessons learned: 1) Don’t try to be friends with ex’s. 2) People can put on a show for a month or two, but their true colours will come out eventually. One month is not long enough to get to know someone. 3) Don’t put up with someone who doesn’t respect you whether it’s a romantic relationship or not….Ain’t nobody got time for that!
**I believe sex trade workers should have rights just like any other job and this would create a safer environment for all involved. Personally, I would not engage in that type of work. My views are my own and are personal.