Last year I had my heart brutally broken by someone I thought I was deeply in love with. In retrospect I believe that our connection was purely chemical based. We could barely string together a conversation about mainstream movies over dinner yet I somehow convinced myself that he was MY ONE AND ONLY. When I would smile at him lying naked in my bed beside me I would think This guy, though. He’s my lobster and my swan and my penguin and my other animals who are into soulmates. We’re going to buy a house and a dog and a baby since I don’t want to make one myself and it’s going to be a perfect life together.” I had been seeing him on and off for two blissful years before diarrhea hit the wind-blower. He lived in another city so our union was long-distance and sporadic and incredibly passionate. The passion was fueled by the fact that we barely saw each other, we had a limited amount of time together, and our chemistry was instantly amazing. The first night that we had sex it was surprisingly enjoyable. I say surprisingly because typically initial intercourse isn’t excellent. It takes a couple of gos to figure out what a body wants and to establish trust between you and for all anxiety to evaporate permanently. But with us that happened automatically. Our love was transcendent…
¦ and a load of hot bullshit. When he returned to his hometown after spending a mind-blowing month making sex with me in my city I discovered that he had been seriously dating another girl for six months. Now, I am not one to get upset when I hear that folks I am dating casually are also seeing others casually. I actually encourage it. Polyamory is my current jam. HOWEVER, a big part of polyamory is honesty, solid communication, constant appreciation and absolutely no surprises that make me feel like I fell for their games. The reason that I felt super conned by him is that we had discussed our sex lives at length for hours and days and weeks. I told him about men I was recently seeing or currently seeing or hoping to see in the future. We chatted about my history with bad cunnilingus and quality cunnilingus and meh cunnilingus. I am an incredibly open person (if you can’t tell by my use of the word cunnilingus three times in the previous sentence) and also very understanding and quite rational in my feelings about romance. I get scared and sad and angry like any other emoting human, but I am not inclined to get up in jealousy arms when I hear that my paramour has engaged in coitus with another person previously or might do so in the coming years.
When I am angry about something related to dating it’s typically because I have been betrayed. Tricked. Used. Played. Discarded. Cheated. Disrespected. Ignored. And the most painful of them all: Lied to. Oh, lies. Just hearing the word fills me with rage. Lies make my skin crawl. Lies frown my mouth. Lies keep me up at night. Lies trigger queasy feelings in my already sensitive stomach. Lies instantly dry up my potentially wet vulva. Lies transform any delicious activity into a torture chamber. Lies perpetuate cruelty. Lies create trust issues. Lies are lazy. Lies are cowardly. Lies are boring. Lies are giant, evil pieces of easily avoidable, unnecessary, self-involved shit that our friends and colleagues and beaus force us to eat sometimes and then they expect us to be able to go on with our regular lives pretending that we didn’t consume a bucket of manure once upon a time. Lies are why I’m terrified of falling in love ever again.
˜Cause typically lies are used to manipulate or to avoid confrontation or to gain power. People may claim that they lied in order to spare hurt feelings and not upset anyone and sidestep tears. But, that is simply an excuse made by cowards who want to ward off drama. If you’re not willing to tell me the truth then you don’t deserve to fuck me. If you can’t be the bad guy in any situation then you shouldn’t be allowed to date. If you aren’t adult enough to sit down and have a rational conversation about serious feelings then you should live the life of a 12-year-old, aka masturbate a lot and not fully understand how babies are made. That’s what you get. Lying to someone in my opinion is one of the most extreme examples of disrespect and withholding information is equally as bad. If you proclaim your love for me you better be telling me about every single person you’re seeing naked or plan to see naked in the near future, especially if I ask. Love is not a laid-back, chill emotion to exchange with someone. It comes with a lot of consequences, including major vulnerability. When you open yourself up like that, you also open yourself up to more pain and upset and misery. You open yourself up to more happiness and orgasms and bliss too but this piece is mostly about the bad parts so let’s focus on those.
When I discovered that my lobster/swan/penguin lied to me and continued to lie to me as I confronted him about the lying I immediately began taking it on myself. I started self-hating and self-criticizing and self-bullying. I began looking into mirrors and loudly calling myself an idiot and a pathetic loser and a naive hopeless romantic. I couldn’t believe that I actually thought that he cared about me and that he was being honest and that trusting him was not going to blow up in my face. I had been deceived like this by someone once before, in my early twenties, and it was so brutal and excruciating and mind-numbing that I promised myself to never allow it to to happen again, and there I was. Sobbing uncontrollably over another selfish, non-expressive, disingenuous, apathetic, chicken shit asshole. Lord have mercy. I didn’t know if I could go on.
Then, halfway through a weeping session with my roommate, I began self-hating once again. How could I be so STUPID? I yell-asked. She stopped me as soon as she heard these toxic, vile, abusive words leave my mouth. She interrupted the insults I was catapulting towards myself and said Jess. It is not your fault that he lied to you. This logic caught me off guard. I actually didn’t comprehend what she meant. Of course it was my fault. I allowed him to lie. I knew that I hated liars and didn’t want anyone to lie to me ever again at this level and then I let it happen. Hello. That’s the definition of fault. Then she shook her brilliant, enlightened, wise head and delicately explained How would you know that he was going to lie to you? You can’t go around assuming that people are lying. That will drive you crazy. All you can do is trust and if then they betray your trust and lie that’s on them. Not on you. They’re the problem. You are not.
I stared at her in shock and awe and confusion. I was mostly confused that I had never thought of it like that before. My natural response was to get mad at myself. I was mad at him as well, but, if I had to quantify it, I’d say I was more pissed off at me for putting me in this scenario in the first place. But, she’s right. How could I know that he would lie to me? He hadn’t done it before. I don’t think. At least I hadn’t caught him previously and when I did I cut off communication between us the day I found out and I have kept my distance since. I did what I could do and more importantly he didn’t do what he could do.
Lying is optional and it’s always the worst option. It’s never required to keep a healthy relationship afloat, ˜cause if the lies are what’s grounding the relationship then it’s 100 per cent not a healthy relationship. If someone chooses to lie in your direction, you can’t prevent it or see it coming, because the whole point of a lie is that you don’t know they are lying. The person being lied to should not be punished for having trust. The person who is lying should be penalized and disciplined and not have sex ever again. The next time that you find out some hurtful truth, don’t put that on yourself like I did. Put that on the one who didn’t appreciate you enough to share that truth and put it only on them. Something else I’ve learned is that assuming every future person you date is lying doesn’t help the relationship. It hinders it. Majorly. All we can do is close our eyes, fall backwards, and hope that we aren’t dropped by a fucking asshole.