It’s been a gorgeous spring day here in the south end of the city. I missed most of this due to exhaustion. I think my body is still getting used to the new condo. But the sun is shining. I’ve got the windows open and blinds open to brighten up the place. It’s still a bit chilly out to sit on the balcony too long. But it is nice if you’re out in the sun.
I’ve spent most of the afternoon online and researching different topics to write about here. I want to get back into article writing and choosing more serious topics like toxic relationships and behaviours. Reddit is always a great site to pull inspiration from. And one discussion reminded me something that happened back in 2008 that I felt I should share.
In 2007, I met Kevin. Kevin was new to the city and had just moved here from Newfoundland. He was here on his own and didn’t have many friends. I was knee deep into an “alternative” community and was on POF (a dating website), to meet new friends as well.
Kevin sent a simple message. “Hey, how are you doing tonight?” Usually, I ignore these types of messages. But I was bored, and thought he looked like a nice enough guy, so I replied and we started chatting.
Within a week, we decided to meet in person.
It was spring time, a bit chilly still but the snow was gone. We decided to meet at a park downtown and walk around the “Leg” grounds. It’s a beautiful place in the summer months with the trees and flowers in bloom. We walked until we found a quiet bench to sit down and talk.
By the end of the date, we were sitting there holding hands and talking about all the things we wanted out of life. Me – I was getting back into government work. He had just gotten a job as a welder – when jobs were plentiful. He wanted to one day become a scuba or underwater welder. A dream I knew even then was a pipe dream.
Kevin had a lot of heart. And dreams. But as time would prove, he was all talk.
We dated for nearly a year. In fact, it was Kevin who helped me move out of the slum apartment I was in on 107th avenue. I was sick with food poisoning on the day I was supposed to view my new condo – and he went in my place instead. He managed to convince the landlord that the place was perfect for me. He must have woo’d her somehow with his dimpled smile, shaggy blonde hair, tall physique – and of course, his Newfie accent.
My move happened in May of 2008. Life stopped being fun for us. My mother had become ill and was in the hospital for 40 days in March-April. After that, my sister took ill and was in the hospital for three weeks for surgery. Then my parents had their 40th anniversary. It was that party – where he met the entire family – that things really started falling apart.
My community welcomed Kevin with opened arms. Old friends I hadn’t seen in a while, took him under their wing and he bonded instantly with Curt – who is now deceased after a tragic accident while on vacation in Mexico. Kath, Curt’s girlfriend, also took a liking to Kevin. In ways that made me feel uncomfortable and threatened at times. I know they often talked about me when I wasn’t with them.
Kevin decided that my life stopped being fun. He started picking fights. He’d be a no show when I needed his help – like to run to the store and pick up things for the new condo. I thought this was all part of our relationship. Since he had been living with me on the weekends.
“Everything has to be your way,” he said to me on the phone one night.
“So, you’re saying you don’t want to visit my mum in the hospital who might actually die this week? The doctors don’t know why she’s so sick,” I told him.
Silence on his end.
“I hate hospitals,” he said quietly.
I looked at my phone in disbelief. “If it were me, would you come visit?” I asked him.
Silence again. “I hate hospitals. I want to do my own thing this weekend,” he said.
And I got so mad at him, because I was wrapped up in my own drama and pain – that I hung up the phone on him before he could answer.
The deciding factors
Kevin had started distancing himself more and more from me before my move. He started canceling plans last minute or would make plans on his own for the weekends. We both worked full time during the week. He lived 20 minutes out of town, and I didn’t drive. Which also caused a lot of arguments about how we would continue our commute to see each other. I felt him pulling away from me more and more.
What really hurt was that he was still seeing my friends without including me. Curt had become like a brother to me. I didn’t trust Kath at all. But Curt and I had been friends for years and I valued his advice.
I’m still convinced that it was Kath who told Kevin to dump me. And it still hurts to this day. But the deciding factor was two-fold.
We met on POF – a dating website that is still around. Kevin still had his account on the site. I reopened mine when things started falling apart. I liked the forums for discussions and could seek advice from time to time on various subjects. I figured since Kevin still had his account open to “meet new friends” as he called it – then I could use the site to browse the community forums.
And I did.
I was having a really bad night after moving into my new place. I was on new hormone medications and my mood was up and down. My anxiety was quite bad. I went onto to the forums and posted a question about long distance relationships and how to deal with the commute. I asked if the relationship was worth salvaging or should we go our separate routes.
Well, Kevin saw the post. The guy who said he never checked his account – saw my post. And that was the deciding factor for him to end the relationship. Only, I know he had wanted out for a while.
I knew the signs.
The actual breakup was one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. I was still reeling from my mother’s illness – who came out okay and was at home by this point. Then nearly losing my sister. And the move – it was all too much. I just need him to be there for me emotionally. And he wasn’t. He had “checked out” already.
He came over to my new place and I don’t even remember what was said. I was in a bad place emotionally. He hugged me. He cried a little. He actually cried.
“It just got too hard,” he admitted as he kissed my head.
Then he wiped his snotty nose, held my hand a little. Looked around my condo like he was going to miss the place. I dropped his hand and went to my bedroom. I was done. I sat down on the bed and sobbed. He looked at me helpless. He came to sit beside me and asked if he could do anything.
I just told him to go. It’s what he wanted to do.
As he reached for the door, I said, “All I needed was for you to be there for me emotionally. But you weren’t. That’s when it stopped being fun for me too.”
He stopped for a moment, like he had more to say. But shook his head and closed the door behind him.
I do have some regrets on how the relationship ended. While we cared for each other, we just wanted different things. I wanted a serious relationship. He wanted fun. My life had changed. I had grown up. He was still stuck in his 20something ways.
I think what I learned from this was how important communication is. If we had taken a break for a while, maybe we could have salvaged a friendship. But maybe that wasn’t in the cards either.
The thing that hurt was I lost Curt and Kath in the process. They sided with Kevin and I never saw them again. Curt died a few years later in a swimming accident and I never got to tell him how much his friendship meant to me.
But then friends that walked away when I started dating him, came back. I found out that they dropped me because of the way he treated me. “he drank too much” or “Curt and Kath often talked about you behind your back.” – like high school drama.
Life is funny that way.
My biggest lesson from this relationship was this – don’t date a guy who still has a profile on POF or any other dating site. Or maybe don’t date guys online at all.
It’s given me a lot to think about this Friday evening!