Dating…AFTER a relationship with a psychopath
Today I went on a “mini date” of sorts (that means we just grabbed coffee in the middle of the day). Dating as a single mom has proven to be more difficult than I thought. Up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t even thinking about dating – ever. I recently realized, however, that the best revenge is living well and that means I need to get out there and have a life again. I can’t stay home forever and think of all the pain and suffering Luc has caused. Having been out of the dating game for a few years (and of course grown up and had a child in between), I feel a little like I missed the boat. I feel like a fish out of water and like I need a dating brochure or something. So here are some of my initial thoughts…
How will I tell my story?
Not only do I need to find the time to balance spending time with baby boy, work, and now having a life, one of the most awkward parts about this experience is explaining how I ended up single with a toddler.
When you have a child, it seems like folks feel like they are entitled to know just how much baby father drama you have. They want to know the whole story on date number one. Anyone who has heard the story of Luc knows that I have way more than just baby father drama – I have the kind of drama that you only see in bad Lifetime movies. So, what do I tell these men who want to dig into my past? Well, here is what I did:
Starbucks guy (this is what we will call him for now): So, may I ask…what happened to baby boy’s father? Is he still around?
….awkward silence as I think of what to say that isn’t going to make him run screaming….
Me: Well, we aren’t together anymore. He wasn’t the person I thought he was and when I found out who he was – I took baby boy and left and never looked back.
…another awkward silence as starbucks guy waits for me to elaborate….I don’t elaborate…
We went around in circles like this with him asking me follow up questions and me either answering them only on the surface or dodging them completely. Finally, I just said, “I think this conversation might be better for another time.”
I don’t fault starbucks guy for prying into my situation. If I were him, I would want to know too. That being said, I am fairly sure that starbucks guy had no idea the level of insanity in this story. How could he? Had he known, maybe he would have understood when I gave him the “back off” cues.
Post Psychopath Relationship Paranoia:
After the utter insanity of Luc’s pathological lies, I have become a completely paranoid dater. As I was sitting there sipping my coffee and listening to different elements of his life story, I caught myself saying, “hmm…so he says he went to college…I will have to check on that. I wonder if I can find him on Google.” Instead of thinking if his story would later “check out”, I should have been listing to his story.
Oddly, I also wondered if he was lying and if I would find out a few months from now about some wife and children he was hiding. Then, my mind automatically thought, ‘well, that would be better than finding out he killed someone.’ Seriously, these were actual thoughts that went through my damaged head as I tried to have a sophisticated cup of coffee with a good looking, sweet man.
The “why would he want to date me” thoughts:
Before I met Luc, I had a lot of self confidence. Actually, if I am honest with myself – I was cocky as hell. I walked around like I just knew I was smart, educated, funny, and hot. Now, things are different. I feel damaged like a crushed bag of chips left on the shelf in the grocery store. I am carrying extra baby weight and none of my cute going out clothes fit anymore. The weight, however, is not even the biggest issue. The biggest issue is that I no longer trust myself. I worry about my judgment (because I fell so hard for Luc), I worry that any good man isn’t going to want to put up with my baggage, and I no longer feel as desirable as I once did.
This is a very hard position to be in. While I know on the outside I don’t look much different than I did a few years ago, how I am on the inside is not the same as I once was. Luc spent the last half of our relationship making me feel as if I had to put up with his abuse because I couldn’t do better than him. He was very good at making me feel like I was no longer desirable (especially when I didn’t do the things he asked me to do). While I know this isn’t true (because Luc is a bottom feeder even amongst Psychopaths), living in that chaos with him still took a lot out of my self esteem.
When Starbucks guy asked me out for coffee yesterday, it was an interesting moment. I saw him watching me and it appeared as though he was building the courage to approach me. He finally did, he said, “I see you here always getting coffee when I do.” (Note: This is not true…we never get coffee at the same time) After a moment of awkward introduction, he asked me if I would get coffee with him. I hesitated for a moment (having been so long since I had actually been asked out) and then eventually said yes.
At that moment, he half smiled out of the corner of his mouth (he was clearly trying to hide that from me) and appeared slightly shocked that I had agreed to go. On the other hand, I felt slightly shocked that he even asked. I admired and appreciated his bravery and something about him intrigued me.
I am not sure what will happen with Starbucks guy, but going for coffee felt like a first step. I was really doing this – dating again even though I know had a son. So this is the beginning…I am moving on.
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Again I am totally identifying with this – the way they try and suck any self-worth out of you