1. When he told me he liked me — but wasn’t ready for a relationship right now. I didn’t spend too much time worrying about the implications. All I heard was that he had feelings for me too. All I heard was he might be ready to date me at some point in the future. It gave me reason to hang on, to keep flirting with him, to keep pouring all my effort into him. I took it as a challenge, as a sign to give him even more if me.
2. When he posted on another girl’s pics. I overlooked all the flirtatious comments he dropped on pictures of girls who weren’t me because we weren’t technically committed to each other yet. I didn’t want to be the girl who overreacted, the girl who freaked out over a harmless like or a comment. I convinced myself to keep quiet, to avoid asking questions, to let him do whatever he wanted. I thought it would make me look chill, more desirable.
3. When he dropped out of my world for weeks. I told myself he was busy. I told myself he would get back to me when he had the chance. I told myself to trust him. And then I stopped trusting him. I told myself not to wait for him anymore. I told myself I could do better. I told myself I was done with him. And then he finally texted me back and my high standards flew out the window. I was putty in his hands again.
4. When I caught him in lies. Some of his stories didn’t line up. He would contradict himself. He would look guilty as he spoke. When I did my research, I realized how many lies he told me. I realized how little I could trust him. But for some reason, I still stuck around. I figured he had his reasons for being dishonest. I figured he needed a little more time to learn he could be real with me.
5. When he canceled plans. I was excited about seeing him, counting down the hours. I planned what to wear. I showered. I shaved. I prepped myself physically and mentally. And then he turned around and ruined my night. He canceled our plans on short notice without a problem, without a rain check. He made it obvious he had better things to do than see me, even though the only thing I could think about was how badly I wanted to see him.
6. When his dating stories didn’t line up. He would give vague answers when talking about his dating life, his exes, his relationship status. I was never entirely sure whether he was single. I was never entirely sure whether he was being straight with me or leaving out something massive.
7. When he started dating sometime else. He strung me along for months. He flirted nonstop. He sent a million signals. He made me believe he had strong feelings for me. And then he started dating someone else. He went from bruising my heart to breaking it.