*The names have been changed in this story*
I didn’t date a lot of other guys before I met my husband.
There were a couple of nice guys that lasted a few months. But there was one guy who stands out above the rest.
He was the “what was I thinking?!” one. Ladies, you know the one…
He’s the guy who kept my parents awake at night praying.
I think every girl has at least one of those.
I had first heard about Dan from some of my friends. They would gush about how “hot” he was and it seemed they all had crushes on him. The first time I met him at a friend’s party he was just as the girls had described. He was good-looking, very charming, and confident. He was working the room and it seemed he was constantly surrounded by a small group of giggling girls. I strategically stayed clear of Dan. He had “bad boy” written all over him and I typically was not drawn to that type of guy. I was more of a “Leonard Hofstadter” type of girl.
Now, I don’t know if it was a shot to his ego that I didn’t crowd him with the other girls or if he was just interested in “the chase” (or both) but he sought me out at that party. He continually left his female fan club and tried to engage me in conversation. He was being sweet and nice so I chatted with him a bit. After about 15 minutes, he asked me for my phone number. I laughed uncomfortably and hesitantly replied, “but I don’t even know you.” He smiled and moved closer to me. He clearly liked the challenge. He started bantering with me laying out all the reasons he thought I should go out with him. I could feel my cheeks turning red as I laughed nervously. This was high pressure (and should have been red flag #1) I excused myself from the conversation, found one of my girlfriends in the kitchen, and started chatting with her. I needed a little space.
Dan followed me.
He started talking to my friend with a coy smile on his face, “Tell Pam to give me her number”. “Tell her what a nice guy I am”. “Tell her that I don’t want to go on a date with her, I just want to hang out and get to know her more.” (manipulation red flag #2) My friend looked at me surprised, “You won’t give him your number?”. I started to trail off about how we just met and I didn’t really know him….but now I just felt stupid. They were wearing me down. Maybe he was right, after all, everyone else seemed to think he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s not like he was asking me to marry him. He just “wanted to get to know me better”…right? I was being silly, so I agreed and gave Dan my number.
Dan called the next day. He told me that a bunch of our friends were going mini golfing and he wanted to know if I wanted to join them. A low-key group setting seemed like the perfect first meet up. I was in!
When I arrived at the golf course Dan was standing by his car smiling. He was alone. “Where is everyone?” I inquired. “Sorry, Sarah and Julie cancelled last-minute so I guess it’s just us”. “Is that okay with you?” he asked innocently. I was already there and I didn’t feel I could bail on him too. (red flag #3- there never really was a Sarah or Julie) We spent a few hours golfing and had a really great time. Maybe I had been wrong about him. He was sweet, funny and interesting. Somehow I actually found his aggressive personally a bit endearing that day. We hung out every day that next week and the week after that. Within a few weeks we were officially dating.
Things were really great for about a month… and then… things started to unravel!
Dan was starting to act pretty controlling. He always had to be in charge of what we were doing and when we were doing it. If I couldn’t go out with him at a time he wanted me to, he would become angry. An even bigger problem was that Dan was jealous! Oh boy was he jealous! He was paranoid if I was standing near another man and continually questioned every interaction I had with any other male. He was often rude and abrasive with me and with other people. He started lying about stupid little things and became very critical of me.
It was exhausting. I started to enjoy our time together less and less. There always seemed to be a crisis in Dan’s life. Someone or something was always really bothering him, and I started to feel suffocated by his controlling ways.
My family did not like him. (I thought my sister might literally punch him out)
I knew it was time to end things with Dan.
As you may have guessed, Dan didn’t take the break-up well. I’m pretty confident it had less to do with the fact that he wanted me back and had more to do with the fact that he wasn’t in control of the break up. He spent the next week ringing my phone off the hook and bringing flowers and notes to my work.
No amount of flowers could un-do what had been done. It was over.
During that time I volunteered once a week at an after school children’s program in our city. After our break up Dan decided to volunteer at that same children’s program… and he had a surprise for me. He called to inform me that he was bringing another volunteer with him.
His new girlfriend.
I arrived at the program early that week and began setting up the craft supplies. I was silently hoping that Dan would change his mind and decide not to come. I glanced over at the clock. The kids would start to arrive in 15 minutes. I walked over to the supply cupboard to grab the basket of glue sticks when I heard his familiar voice. “Hey Pammie!” “We’re here!” I closed the cupboard door and turned around.
In she walked…and she was stunning!
She had beautiful long dark hair, perfect teeth and the most gorgeous face I had ever seen. She was the type of girl who would turn heads as soon as she entered a room. I could see him studying my face as she walked in. He stepped a little too close to me. “This is Jessica” Dan introduced. “She’s my new girlfriend”. “I hope that doesn’t make you uncomfortable” he stated with a coy smile on his face.
I forced a smile. “Of course not”, I lied.
But I knew that making me uncomfortable was exactly what he was trying to do…
(Check back in tomorrow for part 2) 🙂
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