First Published on Into Heartbreak and Back on January 22, 2014

 I remember the first time you told me I needed to date other guys.  You told me that is why I am not married yet – because I haven’t put myself out there enough.  I haven’t had enough experience with men. I needed to have my heart broken.  That you wouldn’t “date” me or even consider me if I didn’t start going out with guys.  You gave me a deadline.  I had to go out with 3 times with at least 2 different men by December 13th.  The guys had to think they were real dates and believe there was possibility.  That you wouldn’t spend time with me unless I did this.  I told you I wouldn’t do that.  I wouldn’t treat another person that way.  That I didn’t feel a need to date other guys. I knew how I felt about you and going out on a few dates wasn’t going to change that.

I never went out on those dates.  I drew a line.  i would not give you control there.  You followed up with me.  Told me that because I didn’t go out on those dates I didn’t really love you.  If I loved you I would have done this.  I told you that was bull and you knew it.  That you couldn’t manipulate me with talk like that.  You laughed and told me that was my choice, that you didn’t really care and then you moved the conversation in another direction.

A guy at church made a comment about this girl he dated.  You decided he was talking about me.  You told me about it.  I said that it probably wasn’t me because I never dated this guy.  You asked me why this guy was saying he did then.  I said I had no clue.  I have never gone on a single date with him or even spent time alone with him.  You kept persisting that this guy was talking about when him and I dated.  I didn’t know what else to say to you.  I asked you if you thought I was lying.  You responded with, “well why would this guy lie?”

You want me to date other guys.  You told me I haven’t had enough experience.  Why would I lie and pretend I haven’t dated someone?

And somehow I feel ashamed.  That I did something wrong.  That I am that bad guy.  You are not even the bad guy here.  You are not bad.  You are not the problem.  You just have a lot of problems.  And I still love you.

I feel guilty for writing a lot of these stories.  That I am sharing them.  I feel like I should keep them secret because I want to protect you.

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