Whenever I describe my dating life to someone new, I'm usually met with one of two responses. The first being "aww, you'll find someone," a knee jerk reaction for most females. And the second usually contains a look of confusion coupled with a rather delayed "why?" I'm sure I'm not the first and definitely not the only 20-something who thinks that the dating scene is more difficult than completing a triathlon the same day as winning America's Best Ninja Warrior but the absentia of an active string of dates does put me in a rather tricky situation.
In my limited experience, every time a guy has been truly nice to me, there's usually a world of hurt just swirling off the horizon. My ex (the one and only) was someone who was my friend before the relationship started. We talked a lot, about our families, our interests, random things that happened that day. We had a mutual set of friends, so it felt like we knew each other for much longer than we actually did. He was caring, gave me little presents as jokes. Hindsight is always 20/20 and even as I look back at this very moment, red flags are whipping about in my mind. The point is, he fit the mold of the "nice guy". The one who listened, who had a lot of close female friends, and appeared to mean well. But somewhere between the time he said "I really like you" and "you don't have your life together", something went horribly wrong. At first I thought it was the stress of exams, hey we were in college and it's not unheard of. Once that passed, whatever tension between us remained and little by little I felt myself retreating into the dark space he felt so at ease in. He threw personally critical remarks at me and never once did I feel like he actually meant it when he apologized. I remember telling him I loved him and supported him but looking back now, I only wish I had been strong enough to get out sooner.
Things like this still haunt me, call it a ghost if you will. I haven't really had a date in the past three years and sometimes at night, when it's quiet and not even a siren wails, I can still hear the things he said. They weren't as clear as before but they're definitely still there. This wasn't my only brush with a nice guy turned nasty guy. One other showed me the possibility of being physically hurt and another betrayed my trust. Neither of them were in romantic settings but it's still enough to make me question why things like this keep happening. Neither of these incidents were linked together with the exception of me, I am the common denominator.
As I venture into the foray of my latter twenties and the nonstop engagement reel that is facebook, I'm left to battle with the grizzly demons of relationships past. Just as I feel like I'm making progress, they pull me back in and hit me right in the kisser. It hurts, but hopefully I'll be able to bounce back from the ropes stronger than ever. Can I get a "yo Adrian"?