Sometimes you join match.com and find your future life partner. Sometimes you join match.com and think you’ve found your life partner, so you date for 3 years, move in with them and go about your life and then you realize they’re a sociopath sexual deviant. The latter is my story. I wish I could say I was making some of this up, exaggerating even just a little, but unfortunately not.
I met Chris through Match.com. I joined when I was 23 and had naively mapped out my future like so: I will be engaged by age 26, so therefore I needed to meet this guy ASAP in order to have a good 2-3 years of dating before getting engaged, married by 27, spend a few years enjoying my married life before popping out my first kid by age 30. Ha… Oh to be 23 again. Thus the fact that I was not getting asked out on dates was very concerning to me at the time. There were plenty of guys who wanted to sleep with me, but I wanted to meet a guy at a bar who would ask for my phone number and take me out to dinner and on the road to my life plan, not just try and get me to come home with him. I did enough of that in college, thank you. So while watching my ticking clock, I joined match.com.
I didn’t really like Match. There were too many guys living in Jersey, Connecticut, etc. which seemed unnecessarily complicated when I had this whole city at my doorstep, too many guys who couldn’t spell or use basic grammar, and a whole lot of short guys who ignored my 6’1″ and up requirement (I’m 5’10”.) I compromised on certain expectations, but responded very sparingly to messages during my time on there. Eventually I met a nice guy who I started dating. He eagerly gave me the GF title and invited me to his parents’ gorgeous beach house for July 4 weekend. SCORE. But he couldn’t get it up and I never saw him brush his teeth and those were 2 things I couldn’t compromise on. I realized I wasn’t in that much of a rush.
During the last month of my subscription, slightly defeated, I saw a goofy looking, 6’4″, over-achiever type pop up on my Daily 5, and chuckled a bit over his pictures before deciding not to wink at him. Several days later, that same guy messaged me. The message was thoughtful and well written, specific to my profile not just cut and paste. I decided to give him a chance. We went back and forth a couple times and then he cut to the chase and asked me to meet for coffee. Coffee turned into dinner… and Chris was in my life. A non-alcoholic first date? The maturity seemed too good to be true. It was.
I never had a really serious boyfriend in college. I had a few 6-8 month relationships that lasted until I inevitably got bored. I dated my highschool boyfriend for all 4 years, but what the hell does that mean. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I probably wasn’t totally in tune with what is normal or not in a serious adult relationship and not in a good position to pick up on the countless red flags Chris strung up the flag pole during our relationship, right from the beginning. These included and were not limited to: berating my “immaturity” for hanging out with friends anywhere alcohol was present, controlling who I could be friends with on Facebook, demanding to know if I talked to a guy anytime I went anywhere without him. The worst part is he made me feel guilty over nothing, like I was doing something wrong for saying hi to somebody. I stopped hanging out with my friends. He took me to Tiffany’s to look at engagement rings just one year into our relationship (as if it was like, a standard Saturday afternoon activity). Then he started lying about doing the things he had forbidden me from doing and then some. There was always an excuse, and he always lied until the moment I confronted him with proof. Always he convinced me that he was changing, and I forgave him. But it didn’t change. He was a narcissist, I’ve never met any female or male who wanted more pictures of themselves. We got into physical fights. Weird habits began to show, like compulsive spending to point he couldn’t pay me back for things and collecting stuff (similar to the compulsive lying), and other compulsive behaviors like puling out his hair when he was nervous. Not to discriminate against people with OCD but there was clearly something deeper happening that he was not dealing with properly.
I consider myself to be fairly open in the bedroom, but over the years it also came out that Chris had some sexual preferences that were not ok with me, I won’t go into the details because I have some decency, unlike him. I was convinced that if I if I loved him enough to marry him, I would accept everything about him. It was stuff he couldn’t’ seem to control. But the last sexual revelation was so repulsive to me that I essentially stopped being attracted to him and we stopped having sex. It took me a while, I also claim Stockholm syndrome, but I began to realize that I would never be into what he was into, and that his controlling nature and other immaturities would never change, despite his constant reassurance that I just needed to give him time. Then in light of all these major flaws the little things began to add up, too. The sound of his laugh, his burps, the way he dressed, everything made me want to scream. I couldn’t stand him. But here I was, sharing an apartment with a guy I thought I was going to marry. Fights broke out over every little thing and almost always ended with me screaming at him to move out. It was the worst possible way for me to express my feelings, but that is how it came out. He thought I was bluffing, that it was just something I said to hurt him, but I meant it every time. We had one particularly bad fight back in early December that ended on that note and with me saying it was over for good. As usual, he cried and I felt guilty and we ended up cuddling in bed, then not speaking about the fight for weeks. During those weeks, I noticed a comment on Facebook about him finding a bachelor pad, I confronted him about it and he flat out denied that he was looking for an apartment. We carried on in a tense coexistence. He didn’t invite me to visit with his family over Christmas, or offer to come to mine. I smelled it on him, he had accepted that he needed to move out, but why wasn’t he saying anything? I was a little scared to ask him, to admit out loud that it was over, so I didn’t. No matter how bad things are, taking that step off the ledge to be alone again is scary.
We bought each other Christmas presents, spent New Year’s together with my brother and his girlfriend. Finally we fought again and I told him we had to talk about what was happening to us. He said he wasn’t ready, he was too busy at work. I told him that was not an ok excuse. So I came home the next night, he had bought me Magnolia Cupcakes as a “peace offering”, we ordered dinner on Seamless together, and then talked for 2 hours but never discussed any resolution. It got late so we went to bed. To be continued, I thought. The next day, he got up and went to work and I left shortly after.
Around 4 pm my office phone rang with his cell phone number, which I thought was odd so I picked up. He was in the lobby, could I come down? Confused (was he bringing me flowers, was he upset and needed to talk?) I went down. The second I saw him dressed in jeans and not his work clothes, I knew what had happened. The bastard moved out while I was at work. Without a word in advance and carefully calculated to keep me from finding out, he was gone. 3+ years and this is how he wanted our last moments together to be, in the lobby of my place of work, to humiliate me. He got on the subway and traveled the 25 minutes to my office to do it this way. Rather than having the balls to be there in the apartment and actually talk to me, he snuck out behind my back. He had tried to avoid even having any sort of conversation that week and pretended to be completely normal, that he was going to try and make amends. The lying, the compulsive behavior, the manipulation, the narcissism, and then this completely outrageous display at the end, it all made sense. Textbook sociopath.
“I know this probably isn’t the best way to do this,” he began, “but I moved out today. Here are your keys.”
I was furious that this lying, manipulative, immature, lousy boyfriend I had been fretting over breaking up with was doing to me. On his terms and intentionally being as hurtful as possible. Sure I’d been a bitch to him, but it’s not like I slept with his best friend or something. I sputtered what I could at him and only wish I had managed to convey the fact that he was doing me a favor. He tried to act like I needed to be told, “this is for the best for both of us,” he said. No shit, asshole. I took the keys and other than to settle via email the $1000+ dollars the deadbeat owed me, have not seen or spoken to him since. I redecorated, bought a new TV, and have a one bedroom West Village apartment to myself. It’s the first time I’ve lived alone and I freaking love it. No messy move out period, no remorse, and no question in my mind. It’s like he never existed. And this is the last I will discuss it. Thanks for doing me this favor, Chris. Sometimes you don’t realize how unhappy you were until you get happy again. And I am beyond happy without him.