Well, it’s been one hell of ride. Today marks our one year anniversary, and I remember that first encounter like it was yesterday. All my friends had warned me about you. They recounted their own horror stories; some freaked me out, and others left me in stitches. I knew the deal going into this from the very beginning —that I couldn’t expect too much, but that I also had nothing to lose. Fresh out of a five year relationship, I wasn’t looking for a husband or even something long-term; I just wanted to feel a connection again.
At first I was treated like a queen, peddled as the site’s hottest new commodity. The illusion of being wanted by so many felt absolutely blissful, and every new message would generate a rush of excitement. Each potential suitor felt like a great opportunity for something.
Though I’m still not quite sure what that something was.
Around our six-month mark, the honeymoon started to subside, and the relationship stopped feeling good. Unable to say no, I found myself sometimes going on 4-5 dates a week. I thought that constant dating would help carve out my own identity. But dutifully recounting my “story” to all of these total strangers proved to be absolutely exhausting; I’d give so much of myself away that there was nothing left for me. I was empty.
There were so many times when I wanted to leave you—when I knew that I needed to leave you, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. This seemingly innocuous pastime had become a full blown addiction. I started to use you as a crutch, running to you whenever I felt depressed or unattractive. Instead of dealing with my issues, I’d desperately browse my “Visitors” or reach out to people that I knew weren’t good for me. When I finally reached my breaking point and no longer felt in control, it was clear that this relationship had to end.
Yet after all that, I still don’t regret being with you. Ultimately, I became a more confident and self-possessed woman, at ease in almost any social situation. But we’ve simply grown apart. I thought I needed constant male attention to feel attractive and validated, but I was very wrong. So I guess this is more of a “see you later” than a formal break-up. I haven’t turned my back on you, but I also know that I don’t need you. And for the time being, I’m going to focus on developing a relationship with the one person I’ve been neglecting the most: me.
Your friend and confident,