“If you are going to call him, do it from a position of strength,” advised my single brother, after the man I was dating unceremoniously put our short-term relationship on “pause.” I wasn’t exactly sure what “pause” meant, but I felt a deep sense of rejection.
“Wait a few days until you feel better. When you aren’t so weepy. Trust me, it will be better,” my brother implored.
Ignoring his wise advice, I sent the guy several pathetic text messages, left one teary voicemail and sought validation from everyone who loves me, that I was indeed amazing and beautiful and that he was a fool. I concluded after a 48-hour hiatus from life, where I spent most of the time in my bed crying, that he wasn’t worthy of my tears or my time, but I was seriously questioning my sanity.
Why was I so upset over a guy I never really liked from the beginning? A guy my grandmother would call a nebbish and my kids would call gross. A guy who rang all kinds of warning bells, from calling his ex “vile” on our first date to complaining about the trace smell of weed in my apartment. Never mind that he wasn’t my type; short, paunchy, buttoned up tight, small hands, and quite possibly cheap.
During my 48-hour dip out of life, I learned that there is a term for what I experienced: I was “Love Bombed” with a steady dose of affection and adoration whenever I was with this man. And I was addicted.
“You look so beautiful. Your skin is so soft. You are so amazing. I am so glad we found each other,” he would lovingly say, kissing and holding me.
Nights we didn’t see each other would end with a sexy, flirty text, “Wish you were here. Wish I could levitate you to my bed. I crave you. I miss you. Sweet dreams.”
I purred like a cat and fell for the guy, despite everything, because I needed someone to tell me that my curves were still desirable and that I smelled delicious, after years of neglect. But it wasn’t right and I knew it. I knew how uncomfortable it made me when he complained about the cost of my specialty Cosmo and gladly accepted my credit card so I could pay my share. Yet I persisted because the Love Bomb overwhelmed my sensibilities. His wanting to “pause” just beat me to the punch and that hurt like hell.
Since I haven’t dated anyone seriously other than my ex for the past 30 years, my brain’s reaction to this perceived rejection was teenage, as if its muscle memory reverted to age 15. At 2:00 am, I changed his name to “Thumb Dick” in my iphone contacts, took a Xanax and went to sleep. At 3:00 am, in a foggy, Xanax-induced haze, I sent him a final email, asking to talk. Of course it went to Thumb Dick. Try as I might to subvert the email’s transmission, I failed. So, I waited for his response which, naturally, never came.
My brother’s other piece of prescient advice: “Never mess with the size of a guy’s dick. You’ll never see him again.”
They say that all things happen for a reason and I believe that. In my juvenile and emotional effort to connect with a man who was wrong for me, I somehow managed to push him into the stratosphere, where I will likely be ghosted forever. But it was necessary and I have no regrets. These days, the Love Bomb that I crave most is from me to myself so that the next time the warning bells chime, I will run very fast in the other direction.