I recently was in a relationship with a man who referred to himself as a robot. You would think that I, a mere mortal made of flesh and blood, would flag this under “run away screaming”. Instead of doing that, I hesitantly talked myself into considering this someone I would give the privilege of sharing my time and body with. Let me explain to you how I came to date a man who referred to himself as such.
This past summer I ended a two-year relationship with someone I loved, and still love, very deeply. For many reasons I will not go into here, we can’t be together. Upon the ending of something that you classify as the kind of relationship you will look back on fondly when you are old and gray and sitting by the fire drinking a glass of Jameson 12 year (never gonna give this love up), you do weird shit. Some women get bad haircuts, pull out the dresses that require extra Spanx underneath or go on some sort of overpriced yoga retreat/booze cruise to the Caribbean or mortify themselves by slurring their way through a ‘You’re So Vain’ / ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ combo set at the karaoke bar. I, in addition to doing all of these things and then some, also tend to date men who are horribly wrong for me.
This last one, we’ll call him Robot Roger, was good looking, fit, ambitious, smart and energetic. Upon closer inspection, he was vain, narcissistic, obsessively regimented, annoyingly hyperactive, an unending partier who took very little interest in things beyond adding as many random friends as possible of Facebook and his own physical specimen. He was so militaristically methodical about his physical and mental health that he referred to himself as a superhuman robot. I thought that somehow could change him into a real human who feels things and cries and sometimes smells bad and doesn’t go to tanning beds. It became increasingly evident that he checked his phone more than my eyes when I was sharing an intimate story or detail of my life.
Let me tell you why I ended up here. He pursued my steadily, he took me out to nice dinners and he and his friends went to fun parties (where I incidentally partook in more recreational drugs than I ever wanted to do). He was the computer/math/physics loving foil to my creative, introspective, heart-first ways in which I fling myself into the world. All of the reasons I was with him, I’m pretty embarrassed to admit, were superficial.
After putting up with an exhausting few weeks/months with Robot Roger, including an ex-girlfriend of his who he spent far too much time with and who cornered me at a 3am electronic music warehouse party to tell me he didn’t like blondes and would cheat on me, I couldn’t deny I was fooling myself into something that detracted from the overall quality of my life.
One of the best moments of this year was the moment I metaphorically grew a pair of balls, threw ten bucks on the bar table to pay for the pint of beer I downed before telling him exactly what I thought of him, said goodbye definitively and walked out of the bar into the pouring rain in a pair of bad ass high heeled boots and a trench coat. This last sentence will give you insight into my flair for the dramatic. I relished in the movie moment break up scene I created. For once, I was the heroine of my own choices.
I have had no communication whatsoever with this person. No emails, no texts, no calls, no Facebook. I have never felt better. Yes, sometimes it is really scary to be alone and on Friday nights I am on my couch watching Downton Abbey instead of hopped up on MDMA at some weird super cool/underground/elite/American Apparel reject loft party. From the moment Robot Roger appeared in my life, my gut was literally screaming at me that it wasn’t right. I put a muzzle on the voices and gave all the power to my ego’s seductive fear of loneliness and craving of validation from men.
When I walked away from Robot Roger into the rain that day, I walked away from him and every other undeserving man I have given my precious time to. For once in my life, I honestly feel that I would rather be that old woman by the fire drinking Jameson 12 year, completely alone with nothing but her fond memories of those whom she’s truly loved than next to a man who doesn’t know what she’s worth. If it took dating Robot Roger to figure this out, well, for that I am grateful. For anyone out there with a Robot Roger seducing you away from dealing with the pain of a breakup in which you were truly loved, please, please just get the bad haircut.