He’s Dictating the Way I Perceive Others

I felt a pang of sadness entering the train station, *his* university town train station. It wasn’t the first time I’d been sat there in the cold on the verge of tears because of him. In a couple of hours, I had taken a giant leap back in progress. M and the mind games that he used to play had won the day. I hate him for that.

Let me rewind a couple of weeks, when I matched with a guy on Tinder. He wasn’t my usual dark-haired, bearded asshole type that I had a track record of falling for, but he was normal (no mean feat on Tinder), and from what I could gather, a good person. After a couple of weeks speaking, we arranged a date. For this coming Saturday. As we exchanged numbers, I was excited and happy. This was the final part of the moving on process that I needed, and I wasn’t thinking about M any more.  But he was still getting to me, in my head. Whilst I wasn’t thinking ‘no one will ever love me’, I was thinking ‘everyone will hurt me eventually’, and that’s just as damaging.

Whilst chatting to this new guy, I picked unnecessary flaws in him. It would make it easier *when* he turned out to be an asshole like everyone else. In my mind, it was a matter of when not if. The same had happened with M, so of course it would happen again. And as we spoke more, the more ridiculous the ‘flaws’ were.

Yesterday I called off our date. It wasn’t because he had turned into the asshole I thought he would be – in fact, the way he handled my honesty about the situation said a lot about him as a person – but because it wasn’t fair for me to start something with all this damage still hanging over my head. I owed that to him, another human being. I’m not ready to date fairly again. It’s only when I started talking to another guy that I realise how M has ruined how I view other people now.

So, I’m taking a break from men and dating for now. I won’t be sitting around in the dark depths of my single status, but instead I’m more determined than ever to work on the things that make me happy. Those side projects I keep harping on about? Those. And to find my magic again, and to make my dreams come true one by one. (This tweet thread is exactly what I needed to read over the weekend).

As for M, I find it utterly selfish that he could treat someone like that for his own gain without ever thinking about how damaging it is. He may have won the battle but I sure as hell won’t let him win the war. And no, you can never reason with a sociopath who never saw your worth.

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