For once, I didn’t want to be right. My gut was telling me something was wrong, she was acting distant and cold, but I didn’t want to think it had anything to do with me. Certainly I didn’t deserve the treatment, as many times as I asked her what was wrong, she came up with gibberish.
When I broke down the way my girlfriend was treating me to a friend of mine, someone who didn’t know her well, but with whom I felt comfortable confiding, she set me straight. “She’s treating you the way you guys treat girls you don’t like or don’t want to be with.” Her diagnosis was a wake up call.
I called my girlfriend, attempted small talk before delving into the bigger issue. But she wasn’t even up for chit-chat and tried to get off the phone as quickly as she got on it. That’s when I said, “Okay, this is ridiculous. What’s your problem? Why are you treating me like this?” She was caught off guard by my bluntness. There was silence, then I could hear a crack in her voice. She admitted she didn’t know exactly what was wrong, whether it was her or me, but something between us didn’t sit well with her and she wanted some time to herself to think about it.
A week later, in a park not far from her apartment, we sat down on a bench. There, she broke up with me.
I was a full grown man and the news made me cry like a baby. I was shocked, hurt, and upset. Here I thought this was the woman for me, and I treated her as such. I don’t know if I did everything right, but I damn sure didn’t shoot myself in the foot. The self-destructive tendencies I fell victim to in most relationships were off the table. I wanted to be this woman’s man and I didn’t want to mess it up.
I pressed in search for concrete, tangible things I did or said that made her look at me and us and say, “No, he’s not the one I thought he would be.” She didn’t have any. She certainly didn’t find any evidence that led her to believe I was being unfaithful or dishonest, because I wasn’t. So as you can imagine, I was quite confused.
It took me a while to realize there didn’t need to be a definitive reason for her not wanting to be with me. And I’m ashamed to admit, part of that had to do with me underestimating a woman’s ability to choose to be single and her need for more time before she settles down.
I needed to be broken up with to remind myself women don’t always want what we think they want. A part of my pain was induced by the blow my pride took. I could not believe after loving this woman to the best of my ability she still did not want to be with me. But when I stopped searching for things I did wrong and started replaying the things she said to me, I began to better understand, she was treating me the way guys treat girls they don’t like or with whom they no longer want.