I recently visited New York for the first time. My boyfriend, now ex, had gotten a wonderful career opportunity and chose to pursue it. I was supportive and understood that to continue the relationship would be difficult, especially with New York’s hook-up culture. We agreed to go on “a break” while he tried to get settled in New York. Even though we had discussed me potentially moving to New York in a year or so, as I had been pursuing that opportunity with my company, we ultimately broke up a week prior to his move as it would have been better for the both of us.
After 3 months of no contact, around my birthday, I received an email from him. He reached out wanting to rekindle what we had. I had accepted the fact that we were over and closed this chapter of my life, but I still respected and cared for him. I was skeptical that this would work out, so I asked him what his intention was, what made him want to try, and why he even wants to. He said he wanted to try a long distance relationship and that he wouldn’t have contacted me if he wasn’t thinking long-term. He wrote that he had some time to think and missed being with me, the person I was, missed “us”, that he would put in the effort to try and make it work. So we decided to give it a shot.
We went back to messaging/texting each other with the added weekly Skype calls, and it almost seemed like the break up never happened. Long distance, although it is hard, seemed to be working. I would check-in with him monthly as to what type of relationship this was – Was it an open one? Was it an exclusive one? Each time, he assured me that it was an exclusive, committed relationship, and that he doesn’t believe in cheating because his father had raised him better than that. I believed him. How wrong I was.
I soon planned my first trip to visit him in New York over Easter. He introduced me as his girlfriend to his friends, his mom and sisters knew I was visiting, I met his roommates – it was surreal. Here I am in New York with the person I love, slowly being reintegrated back into his life. Near the end of the trip, his behavior changed. He became a little distant and distracted. We discussed what we were doing, if the relationship is still an exclusive, committed one, and I stated that if his mentality about us is no longer the same, that he no longer sees me in his future, to tell me. I’d rather not waste my time and I’ve let him know when we first started dating, that I valued honesty. He said there isn’t anything he hasn’t told me and that he doesn’t want to make a decision right now which he might regret in a couple of months.
Turns out, the source of him distancing himself and his distraction, was another girl he was seeing in New York. She apparently had seen us walking around town while she was having brunch and texted him about it. He had lied to her saying that it was a guys’ weekend, that his had two best friends visiting from out of town. He was on damage control while I was still visiting. He then proceeded to lie to me on the last day of my visit that he had to “go to the office” for a bit to work. The other woman had asked him to go over for a quickie and he was going to. I managed to get the other woman’s number and texted her that if she wanted him, she can have him. I stormed out of his apartment and took a cab to the airport. This was the final moments of my first memory of New York.
Upon my return home, the other woman messaged me back asking if we could chat. We scheduled a phone call and we talked about all the lies he had told her, all the lies he had told me.
- He told me he hadn’t hooked-up with anyone since me – He’s hooked-up with 4 people.
- He told the both of us that he didn’t hook-up with the other – He hooked-up with her 2 days before I got to New York, and on the day I left. He hooked-up with me during the weekend I visited.
- He said that he had to go to work – He had actually intended to go have a quickie with the other woman.
- He said that he doesn’t cheat – He cheated.
- He told the other woman that he broke-up with me right when I landed – He stayed with me in my hotel room for 3 days and then we stayed at his apartment with his roommates for the remainder of my trip.
- He told the other woman that it was guys’ weekend and his buddies were visiting from out of town – It was only me.
I still remember when I first met him and our first date. I was trying to convince him that sushi was delicious. He seemed like a nice guy who had a string of bad luck. This leads me to the lesson learned from this experience – beware the fake “nice” guys. They will play the victim and share stories of how they were wronged by his ex-wife/ex-girlfriends. It will seem that their life was miserable and that they finally have their life together now. They will share personal stories about their family. They will paint their friends in a light that makes themselves look better. If he seems to be very open, shares a lot about himself to gain your trust/pity, and seems too good to be true, then he probably is. Trust your instincts.
I’m not upset or angry over the fact that he cheated. I understand everyone feels lonely and has needs. Some are just better at controlling themselves than others. I’m frustrated at being lied to, at having had my health and safety at risk, at having my time and resources wasted. Especially when he knew that those factors – honesty, health, time – were all important to me. He had plenty of chances to end things with me prior to my visit, but he chose to be selfish, to lie, to cheat, and to two-time.
He couldn’t even wait until after I left! If he had given me all the facts and told me he had hooked-up with people, then I may still have respected him for his honesty. This might be how people are in New York and this might be considered normal, or perhaps the hook-up culture brought out his true self.
Either way, it’s made me realize that if I want honest love, then New York is not the place to find it.
The silver lining out of this ordeal? The other woman and I became friends.