The Guy I Loved Got Engaged -- 5 Hours After Leaving My Bed

For the past year, I was dating a guy and things were going good ... until they weren't. Little things began to change, like the pet names -- those stopped, and there suddenly wasn't enough time for me. It was then that I knew I wasn't the only one. 

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But, the bigger picture was that he had clearly lost interest in me. Nonetheless, I kept it going and became a shell of myself dealing with him. I sounded like a naggy married woman but without the ring, making endless efforts to maintain his time and attention.

Eventually we ended things, but there were always moments where he lingered in my mind -- times I thought he might miss me too -- and in a matter of months, we went from dating to nonexistent. And we moved into this sort of ex-sex territory. I stumbled into this newfound territory trying to play it cool and coy. In doing so, I failed to inquire about any current relationship of his that might dissuade me from continuing any relationship with him, foolishly assuming that if there had been someone, it would be a given that he would not sleep with another. 

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For me, this wasn't just good sex. There was an attachment -- a connection that I couldn't deny as much as I wanted to. He sat with me for hours telling me how he felt so comfortable with me, laying in my arms, next to my warmth; he allowed me to carry thoughts of our future, and I felt confident that we were headed in the right direction for the first time in a long time. That is, until he gave me an ultimatum: I could choose to share him with his benefactor or be his friend. Neither option appealed to my heart; it only brought pain to my heart. In an attempt to maintain some dignity, I accused him of never choosing me, despite the fact that I had always chosen him -- to love him, to believe in him. It was always him. And so we parted ways. 

No more than a week later, I found out that the day he dished me the relationship-defining ultimatum, he had proposed to his girlfriend -- just hours after leaving me. And honestly, I don't think I've come so close to needing a ventilator in my whole damn life. This was all news to me -- even the girlfriend. Yes, I'd known he was dating, but dating is just that; it doesn't imply exclusivity, and it certainly doesn't imply a f*cking engagement is on the horizon.

Much to my surprise, it didn't take long for my negative perspective to shift. I'm not sure if it's because it was such a betrayal that I went into survival mode, or if, with age, wisdom has taught me that life goes on. 

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Whatever it was, it eventually gave my lungs the ability to grasp air once more, and my heartache turned to laughter and relief. After all, if this was the way he had treated the woman he intended to marry, he wasn't the man for me -- and it turns out that's OKAY.

But, in dealing with the aftermath, I've learned so much about my own resilience, my faith, and my lust for love: They're far too great to let a few bad men come around and break them -- to break me. I learned the value of the age-old woman's intuition, and more importantly, I learned that part of loving yourself means letting go of things and people alike when they no longer serve you or help you grow.

And, frankly, that's far more than anyone could bargain for.  


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