Imagine dating the Wannabe, I wanna-be employed and wealthy, able to afford a roof over my head, to eat at fancy restaurants, play golf, take guys trips, etc.; and I want you pay for it. Mr. Wannabe is out there and you are not his first victim, and you won’t be his last.
A while ago, I was on my way home from the gym. I decided to stop into the new local coffeehouse. After ordering my chai latte and a piece of quiche, I snagged a seat at one of the long library tables. Two young ladies were seated across the table from me, sharing an episode happening in one of their relationships. I found myself eavesdropping. My mouth was hung wide open, aghast at the details being shared. Their story was verbatim to what I was just telling my friend about what I had just been through.
Fighting back tears all morning, I couldn’t hold back any longer. Suddenly, I was in a full fledge cry.
I was in a relationship with Mr. Wannabe. I met him when we were in college and dated off and during that four-year tenure, and then reconnected five years ago on Facebook. By this time, I was married and widowed; with two kids. Mr. Wannabe was married, in the process of being separated; with children of his own.
I relocated to Florida just prior to reconnecting with Mr. Wannabe. I felt the change of scenery, coupled with a few friendships from years past, would be good for me. After my husband passed away, I tried Internet dating websites and Apps. I worked tirelessly to create what I thought was the perfect profile and the message that I wanted to convey to my would-be suitors. After several unsuccessful meet-ups, I was throwing in the towel; I abhorred online dating. I wished that somehow my next great, and hopefully last, relationship would fall out of the sky and land in my lap.
Facebook’s ears were burning. One morning, I had a new message and friend request from the future Mr. Wanna-Be. Within two weeks, we were having an exclusive affair.
Five years later he had not completed the divorce he was in the midst of when we met. He could not hold a job (he held many but for a multitude of different reasons was always on to the next), he lived on the sofa at a friend’s apartment, drove my car and spent my money. I know what you are thinking: I was an idiot. However, I now know that I wasn’t alone in loving a man and hoping that he could change.
When he stayed at my place a few times a week, he would do his laundry and cook, but let me do the grocery shopping. He never had money for the “we” things but always had money for his “me” things; when he wanted to go golfing or fishing with the guys.
Finally there was a last straw. Mr. Wannbe threatened to breakup with me because I brought up the idea of him paying me money he owed me. He vehemently protested and was disgusted at my audacity. He claimed he needed money to start a website and blog. It was an idea he decided on a whim – he wanted to be the next Kardashian.
Mr. Wannabe had a large social media following due to his unfiltered opinions. He posted photos of people in public and mocked their wardrobe choices. He posted about table manners or filters people used for their social media posts. I was a successful accounting professional. My days were long and stressful. In the beginning his humor eased my stress, as did our time together in bed.
The last time he threatened to breakup with me, I realized that I might be a victim of abuse. He sat in my apartment for several hours ignoring what I was saying to him; which was to pack up and leave. I threw his clothes, cosmetics and knickknacks into a garbage bag and threatened to call the police. I was strong. He got the message that I was not the same girl who relented each time he dangled the “breakup” card in front of me. He left. I locked the door behind him and immediately left a voicemail for the locksmith to come in the morning. It wasn’t easy to be a strong woman, but after all I had been through I somehow found a way to break free of the cycle I was in.
Gobsmacked, I wiped my tears, silently thanked the girls next to me for the reality slash we-are-not-alone check, finished my drink, packed up and left. I was numb. But I was NO LONGER THE VICTIM.