I was really mad that Whippersnapper ignored my message.
After months of him sending me drunk messages about his problems, and me replying with lots of love and free therapy, I decided to send a message about mine, and he ignored it.
That was on Saturday night. By Monday, I realised he wasn’t going to reply and I got angry.
On Thursday night, he sent me a message saying “Hey Dater Analysis. Just a note to say I have seen this and shall reply asap! X.”
I sort of felt glad, but it didn’t blow my skirt up.
My flatmate said “that’s basically the equivalent of him putting his Out Of Office on.”
I think a message like that can be great and appropriate. I sent one on Sunday myself; my friend sent me a heartfelt message which I received when I was going into the cinema, so I sent a placeholder message.
I think his Out Of Office reply would’ve been great on Saturday night or Sunday, and then if he’d sent the actual message on Thursday.
Sending the placeholder message on Thursday was rubbish.
I left it a couple more days, in case he came back with some absolute gold.
In a way, I was curious to see what he’d say, but in the end I decided against waiting.
I knew he’d either:
- just never send anything, so I’d be a cat on hot bricks when my phone went off for months
- send something rubbish so I’d think why did I wait for that?
- send something really good that challenged my resolve and drew me back in
- send something all “woe is me” and draw me back in.
I didn’t want any of those, so I decided to intervene.
This morning, I said “Actually, don’t. It needed a reply sooner than this.
It’s made me realise we’re not friends. You could always rely on me but I can’t rely on you.
Imagine if you sent me that message about your teacher and I ignored it for nearly a week.
I know some people might struggle to reply to a message like my last one, because it is emotional and heavy. But I know you’re capable of being kind, supportive and insightful because you’ve done it in the past. And if you couldn’t work out what to say, just saying that straight away would’ve been enough. It’s humiliating to be ignored when you’re asking for help.
And it’s the same level of emotional heaviness as the stuff you send to me.
I’m so hurt and angry you ignored me, when I have spent hours and hours writing supportive messages to you when needed them.
I feel like the Rose-tinted glasses have finally come off and I feel differently about you now. You’ve treated me horribly.
It seems like you have conflicted feelings about me; I think you don’t want me around because you’re scared of relationships. Maybe you think if I get too close I’ll see the real you or something.
But then I think you also don’t completely want to let me go because you love me.
So you create closeness by saying you love me or coming to me for help when you’re vulnerable. Then you create distance by ignoring me.
It’s such a headfuck. I thought the breakup was so hard because you were so great but it’s because you’ve handled it so badly.
I could’ve been an amazing friend or girlfriend to you, but you’re too selfish and immature and cowardly and apathetic to give me what I deserve.
I just want to forget I knew you.
I know it’s horribly unfair not to let you respond but I’m going to block you after sending this. I’m scared you’ll call me a cunt loads of times again, or you’ll hook me back in by pretending to love me or need me again.
I’m sorry for sending such a horrible message but I have to close this painful door now.”
Then I blocked him on WhatsApp and on my phone.
I felt like I’d got out of prison. I felt like a weight had been lifted.
I made a cooked breakfast and sang along to songs like ‘Moving on Up’ by Primal Scream and ‘The girl you lost to cocaine’ by Sia.
Then, this afternoon, I picked up my phone to show my flatmate a list of Cake Fails on Buzzfeed, when I saw WS had sent me a message on OkCupid, the dating app we met on.
It took ages for the message to load on my phone, and my heart started pounding.
Then it opened.
“Hi Dater Analysis, at first I decided to painstakingly type out the text I’ve been thinking about during the five days in between applying for jobs and mulling over my friends recent admission into hospital with pneumonia , but after reading your text this morning, it doesn’t seem to matter now.”
You’re currently unemployed again. Meaning you have loads of time on your hands. I am sorry your friend has been in hospital but I kind of feel like it’s an excuse as well.
“I admit I was lackadaisical in responding to you not just after your message about Balthazar, but also the drug situation, for which I apologise.
But I also think it’s slightly unfair for you to be labelling anybody a coward after you’ve blocked me twice, withdrawing my right of response, and sent me a five page letter before going on a trip to India during which you asked me not to contact you. At all. If you had taken a week to respond to my message about any of my personal problems, I genuinely wouldn’t have minded. In fact, in a way I would prefer it, because it lets air breathe into the conversation and gives us both time to think and weigh up the options/arguments.”
Yeah. Time to think and weigh up the options/arguments. Kind of like when I gave you that letter and asked you not to contact me when I was in India, so we could both think about the options.
“I wasn’t vulnerable when I was talking to you about drugs.”
I didn’t say you were mate. But you were vulnerable when you were telling me you feel worthless because your teacher slagged you off. And when you asked me how to get help for your BDD. And when you told me you wish you were dead. And all the other times.
“I was just interested in having a conversation about them. And I don’t ‘not want you around’ because I’m ‘scared of relationships’ – I’m not scared of them at all, I just don’t want one. With anyone. You mentioned before that you think you might be too sensitive – I can only agree.”
LOW BLOW. I told him that a few months in, and he said he disagreed. Another time, later on, I told him I was annoyed with a friend for something they’d said (about WS), and he said “it must’ve been really bad then, because you’re so laidback.”
“Telling me you’re scared I’ll call you a cunt again isn’t fair either -”
WAY TO UNDERMINE YOUR OWN ARGUMENT, calling me oversensitive, then immediately bringing up the time you called me a cunt over and over. (And my response to being called a cunt was really calm and forgiving.)
“you know as well as I do that it was completely out of character for me to do that. And you also know I feel terrible about it.”
I think that’s my favourite bit. “you know as well as I do that it was completely out of character.”
I’m surprised more people don’t use that as a defence in court:
“It was completely out of character, your honour.”
“Then you’re free to go!”
“I don’t think I’m immature and apathetic at all. Selfish, maybe. Cowardly, perhaps, but there’s a fine line between being cowardly and not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings. I think I’m probably guilty of being easily distracted, wrapped up in my own story, self-indulgent and absent-minded. But it’s not intentional.”
I feel like he’s actually distracted himself here, when he’s telling me he’s easily distracted and wrapped up in his own story. Somehow, even his description of himself as self-indulgent is self-indulgent.
“And if you want me to be totally honest, the reason why I try to keep my distance with texting is because you sent me a long message – maybe a month ago – in which you expressed your desire for us to be dating again.”
And if you remember, I did that because immediately before, you told me you still love me, and straight after, you sent me a long message with some of your most intimate fears and vulnerabilities. Not exactly keeping your distance.
“But I’m just not looking for anything like that at the minute, so I didn’t want to lead you on or get too close.
This bit hurt me the most, to be honest. If he just wanted to be friends, he should’ve been more of a friend and less needy and intimate.
“I also find it slightly patronising that you think you’ve sussed out the inner workings of my mind.”
Not difficult when you’ve spent months texting me the inner workings of your mind.
“There’s a fuck-ton of things I haven’t told you about me, and sides to me which would shock you.”
“I’m not your patient. And I’m not your study, either.”
It’s helpful to remind me I’m not your patient, since you’ve spent so long treating me like your therapist.
I feel like I’ve said everything I need to say. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt your feelings. It’s probably fititng our contact has ended as it started – on this fucking horrendous website.”
What’s your beef with OkCupid??
“Good luck, Dater Analysis.”
I was shaking with both anxiety and rage.
I felt hurt at first, but then I realised it’s a) not surprising and b) actually quite complimentary.
He could’ve read the message and not cared, (or thought “she’s right, I should apologise”) but I think it’s actually a compliment that me cutting off contact produced a strong response.
He so desperately wanted to have the last word, he found a way of contacting me despite being blocked on most things. It bothered him.
When he said I was oversensitive, I did worry he was right, but then I remembered that every one of my friends and family has said they don’t know why I’ve put up with his nonsense for so long.
I feel like I’ve kind of had the last word, in a way. I feel no urge to reply and defend myself, because I’m confident I’m in the right.
My only hope is that one day, maybe after weeks or months or even years, he looks back and realises I was pretty good to him, and he was wrong.
Maybe it’ll be the first time he tells someone he has herpes and they aren’t totally lovely about it. Or the next time he dicks someone about with loads of cancellations and they get pissed off quicker than I did. Or the next time he needs help with his BDD and there isn’t a qualified therapist around.
Now I’m going to put Primal Scream and Sia back on, and get ready to go out.