How Not Trusting My Gut Led Me To Heartbreak

Ines Perkovic -
Ines Perkovic –

When I moved to Chicago for grad school as a 24 year old socially awkward virgin, Tinder became my saving grace. Initially I had no intention on meeting people in real life. The thought of actual face to face conversation with a stranger gave me anxiety and I had an unfounded fear that I looked substantially better in photos. Eventually though, I became a regular with the Tinder dates. It became fun to meet new people and I became a savage for the free stuff, like meals and movie tickets. 

 When I matched with *David, 27 I was excited. He had enough of a Jewish name, big nose, and curly hair to satisfy my mom but a nose ring and a denim jacket that I imagined to smell like weed and cheap beer to make me happy. So when he invited me to a free sold out Death Grips show, I was in. The date went okay. A lot of first date awkward small talk. I found out he never graduated college, currently served at a pizza place, was a year ago wanting to marry his best friend who he wasn’t involved with romantically and start a life on his barista wage, and was debating a fake green card marriage for the money and free vacation. All these things took him off my long term list, but he was nice and I reluctantly agreed to hang out again. The next couple times we hung out I learned how uncertain of a person he was and how he was still trying to figure out his life. He then asked me out on a more formal dinner date and followed up with flowers. The date felt like our awkward first date, which I knew shouldn’t have been by date 4.

I was conflicted. I didn’t feel like something immensely special was there but he was so into me and was sweet. I ultimately decided we were better off as friends and I tried to set up that dynamic. It went great for a while until, thanks to alcohol, my thirsty side reared its ugly head. We had a drunk make out and it changed everything. I still knew I wasn’t totally into him but thought we could be cuddle buddies on the low. 

Eventually though, he was spending every night at my place and took my virginity. I officially had a boyfriend and didn’t fully know how it happened. I rationalized this by acknowledging that I had the tendency to go after guys who aren’t interested, so why not give a nice guy a shot? Or, maybe I don’t like him that much because he made himself so available?

Months went by and I was still uncertain. At his sister’s bar, one pitcher of sangria in and inside the men’s handicap bathroom stall, I started bawling with him because I wasn’t obsessed with him the way I have been about other dudes. He ensured me how certain he was about me, about us, and about our future. I made the mistake of trusting him over my own gut. I thought, for someone who is so unsure about their entire life to be certain about me, this had to be some sign. 

After 6 months of steady dating, I was finally all in. Being in love was great! I could now tolerate awful Kate Hudson rom coms, couples holding hands didn’t make me nauseous anymore, and I started Facebook liking old friend’s engagement and baby announcements. I was as infatuated with him as he always was with me and I sort of appreciated the slow to warm process it took. We did great for a while. He visited my hometown, I went to his family reunion, and we spent every free moment together.

Shortly after, things changed. David was acting different and I didn’t know why. He was less affectionate and no longer the nice guy I thought I knew and fell in love with. I felt like something was wrong and suggested we take a break. He insisted that was not what he wanted. As things continue it became toxic. I found out he was social media creeping his old 19 year old fling regularly, so I called us over. He showed up an hour later with coffee and what I thought to be a sincere apology. Of course I took him back. 

A week went by and things still felt off. He eventually decided we should break up. This was unsettling to me because I was blinded by love and I remember how in love with me he was just week ago. Now, almost a month later, the whole situation still makes me cry. I saw him a week after the break up for a friendly drink. I knew it was still too fresh but I couldn’t resist. He was doing extremely well and didn’t appear the slightest bit sad, while I was fighting back tears. I was hoping hanging out would rekindle some old flame for him, but it didn’t. 

I’m trying to find peace in the fact I may never know what exactly went wrong. I’m working on moving on, but one thing I’ve learned is that when it comes to love, trust your gut. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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