Ginger Phile No. 29

Ginger Phile No. 29

Last spring/summer, I dated a man who seemed to think I was the one. I was skeptical of his advances but agreed that something about us together just seemed right. We felt really comfortable with each other. He was sweet and nerdy and cute but not too nerdy. We laughed at the same things. We were both kind of shy but not painfully so. He brought me flowers and planned dinners at restaurants he knew I loved. Close to his family. Our legs were even the same length (we sat down on the floor and compared them once). Best of all, he skied. Something that’s important to me.

I’d never had that feeling before. At the same time, however, something felt off. I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that there was something…wrong…with him.

I’d never had that feeling about a guy I was seeing before. Sure, I’ve felt angst toward many a man and declared them jerks, but I’d never quite wondered what it was that I couldn’t put my finger on that possibly gave them a descriptor beyond just “jerk”.

After dating for a few months, this guy went from telling me he loved me after 6 weeks (I didn’t respond) to criticizing nearly everything about me: my body, how I talked and what I talked about, my friends, my apartment, my intelligence, how I spent (my) money. He implied that I was stupid, embarrassing in public, not skinny enough. He started to walk ahead of me. He’d send me passive-aggressive texts when I hung out with my friends without him. He once jokingly bit me while drunk and wouldn’t stop when I told him to. The next day he told me I was just being whiny about it — until I showed him the bruises. He told me I could prosecute him for that. I told him I know. When I went to a job interview that I was recruited for even though I wasn’t actively looking at the time, he asked me why I was interviewing in an unsupportive way. He also drank a bottle of wine every night.

The funny thing is, I was fitter and skinnier than him, probably have a slightly higher EQ, seemed to have more close friends than him, definitely was farther along in my career than him, according to my friends was more attractive/hotter than him, have an apartment that I love whereas he hated his and am objectively more intelligent than him (I had higher test scores than he did.) I also didn’t blow an interview in the same way he did, when he told the interviewer that he was passive-aggressive, explaining that sometimes he was passive and sometimes he was aggressive (See what I mean by me having the higher EQ and IQ?) He also made fun of my friends immediately after meeting them and talked about his ex-girlfriends non-stop.He’d drink with “friends” — girls who he used to date and then show up late to meet me. He made fun of his friends behind their backs in mean ways and it amused him to say mean things to people’s faces just to see how they’d react.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t strong enough to leave him when alarm bells started to ring, which was pretty early on. Thankfully, he broke up with me (via text message while I was at work no less).

But, that being said, I still carry with my the toxic weight of that “relationship”. While I was in it, I constantly felt like I was drowning. Now I feel like I’ve been saved, but my lungs are still full of water.

It turns out that descriptor beyond the word jerk was “(emotional) abuser” … and possibly according to a therapist I talked to, “borderline personality disorder”, a Cluster B diagnosis along the same lines as whatever President Cheeto has.

I knew he was a serial monogamist/dater, and I also knew from what he told me that most of his exes hated him. I also knew from what he told me that he liked to line other girls up while he was with someone.

So after he did me the favor, I blocked him on all social media for my own sake. But lately, four planets have been in retrograde and lots of exies (who I still respect) have come back, so I figured I should also check out what he was up to so I can finally end whatever karma I have with him. So I did what any normal girl does, and I stalked him on Facebook.

And I saw a picture of him with none other than a redhead — and an overweight one at that. I knew they must have been dating because of a few hints on what I could see of her profile. He’d told me he wasn’t into redheads, but this seems to show otherwise. I only mention the overweight part because he was OBSESSED with weight and loved to criticize girls’ for theirs and in the beginning praised me for being skinny all the time. This new girl was also the sorority girl, straightens her hair, event planner, wears black mascara, perky type, which made me livid. Because all these things are very opposite of me. But also what I always thought I should be more like.

But then I remembered all the things he said to me and other people. And I realized she was probably an easier “target” than me. Since she’s heavier than him, he won’t feel as bad about himself as he did with me. Since she’s more “basic”, he’ll find her to be much less complicated to manipulate. I also stalked her enough to figure out that she has either been engaged or married before and she only recently moved to Chicago, so there’s probably a lot of that vulnerability there. Also — let’s face it, he’s selfish in bed.

Once I realized he’s probably doing the exact same things to her that he did to me and probably his many, many exes, I stopped caring so much. Even that we’re both redheads. Guess I’m not so unique after all, at least in this situation.

I will never let anyone like him happen to me again, and I wish there was a way to warn other girls about him. I’ll beware of ginger philes who don’t admit they’re ginger philes from now on.

Have your exes ever replaced you with other redheads?

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    thegingerphiles

    The Ginger Phile has had the unfortunate disposition of being a ginger since birth. She has tried various medications to cure her gingervitis, including therapies such as tantrum-throwing. Her efforts have been to no avail. Instead, she is trying to write it out, via this blog. Unfortunately, she doesn't think it will bear a soul for her. The Ginger Phile is from the exotic land of Wisconsin, where she had daily inner turmoil over whether she was a ginger or a daywalker. So far, three of three votes say daywalker. She begs to differ, as someone recently told her they would want to be with her if they were biking at night because she is so pale.

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