Oh Paula Cole….I’m not sure what the answer to this question was in the 90’s when you released this song, but after my experiences the past few months, I’d have to say the answer is most certainly to Fuckboy Island. (Although it’s a bad island cuz they all keep escaping and ruining lives) Apparently, the mystical, romantic, John Wayne cowboys I grew up watching on the Western channel with my Grandpa have long since been replaced with douche canoes! That seems to be the general feeling among my girlfriends anyway……
Here’s a little 90’s jam to get you in the mood!
I promised last week that I would write about getting “dumped” although as you’ll come to find out, that probably isn’t the technical term one should use to describe the situation. The more correct term is that I got played….and I got played hard. This, my friends, is a story about trust and gut feelings….and why you should always trust your gut. First impressions rarely ever lie, and if something doesn’t seem right, odds are it isn’t right. I however, being the eternal hopeless romantic and delusional optimist that I am regarding relationships, chose to ignore mine for quite some time.
This ignorance on my part has lead to the final chapter in the saga that is The Asshole Tinder Cowboy. This is going to be a long one, I’m sorry, but I have a lot I feel like I need to try and get off my chest.
I really don’t have trust issues, but as someone who trusts that people are good even when I shouldn’t, you learn this lesson early and often. The key is trying not to let the assholes get you down.
THE REFRESHER COURSE
First things first, let me remind you about my previous feelings regarding the ATC.
Things started off with these feelings of generalized annoyance…..
Random guy who lives in the Hills starts talking to me on Tinder. This leads to him calling me to chat. During one of our chats he starts fighting with me about how horses are so much better for moving cattle than 4-wheelers………and this is his life………and “They’ve done studies…you’re into science you should understand that!” hahah…..yup cuz being a jerk straight outta the gate makes me wanna date you sir.
Shame though, he’s 6’4″ and smokin’ hot!” — Chapter 6: A Festivus in July – The Airing of Grievances
and were quickly followed up by this lovely gem……
Post date, I maybe should retract what I said about the Tinder Cowboy a couple weeks ago……horses are his life and I should maybe not be such a judge-y bitch face all the time……more about that on another day hopefully. He was actually very nice, and still super smokin’ hot good looking!” — #Sturgisorbust
Looking back, and knowing the things I know now, I want to give Chapter 6 me a high five and a prize and smack Sturgis me upside the head. However, like they always say, hindsight is 20/20, so I’ll try and fill in some of the middle to connect you from July to two weeks ago.
The ATC and I didn’t have the best relationship straight out of the gate as you’ve may have sensed. But, after I met him for dinner out in Sturgis, things did really start to come around. It was at this point that I started to feel a bit concerned about things. What exactly was I going to do with a cowboy who lived way out in the middle of bum fuck no where?!?! Can one have a relationship with someone you meet on Tinder?!?! Why was he talking to me, a girl living no where near him, of all people?!?! This led to lots of conversations with the Besties…..because I can’t make these decisions on my own ever. He did seem genuinely interested though, and everyone was sort of on the consensus that I should just let it ride for awhile and see what happened. After all, there wasn’t really any harm in talking to him…..if it fizzled so be it.
The ATC and I talked everyday….I mean literally every day! The part that really struck me like this might actually be soemthing serious was that if he knew or thought I was upset about something, he made me talk to him. Even if I was upset about him, he always made sure that we talked about it. No one I’ve ever dated had really ever done that before. I know it seems like an important and normal thing, but for me it was new….and this will give you some insight into the level of jerk that I usually end up dating.
The ATC did cute things too….he’d randomly call me on Skype in the morning when I was getting ready for work so “we can have coffee together before you leave”….stuff like that. Idk….it’s seems stupid and sickening now given the things I know, but at the time it felt cute, and like what someone who cared about you would do when they live 7 hours away. I’m really a sucker for cute, little gestures, I think they speak louder than big, grand things that everyone can see…..but I mean clearly in this case I was so, so wrong.
THE WARNING SIGNS
Things got a bit weird in September. There had been discussions, lots of discussions, about him coming to visit me for a weekend in September. Since this was planned, I kept putting off the “Hey, maybe if we are together you should get your ass off Tinder” conversation because I thought it might go better in person. Also, it felt a bit hypocritical to say something about it because the only reason I knew he was on Tinder was because I was obviously still on Tinder. Everyone seemed to agree that if he like manned up and put his money where his mouth was so to speak we could have the Relationship Talk. Eventually, these plans fell through because according to him someone had quit the ranch and he couldn’t get a Saturday off anymore. Well, one night I was feeling particularly pouty about the whole “the guy I like is still on Tinder” thing, and in his standard fashion he made me talk about it. Part of this talk involved him bringing up that he wasn’t seeing anyone else and that he didn’t want me to see anyone else either. Remember the fact that HE BROUGHT IT UP…..this will become part of the confusion!
We didn’t talk for a few days in September at all, because he “needed time to think”. We had a three hour phone conversation one night about where things were going (which included the Tinder issue), and I believed that he was sincere. After all, if you didn’t want to talk to me anymore, I live several hours away and realistically I’d never see him again unless we planned it. I would be the easiest girl to slow fade on if you wanted to ditch someone, and there were several times were I gave him the opportunity to leave free and clear….but he never did. Even during the 3 hour phone call, I kept asking if he just wanted to not talk to me anymore….like would that just be easier for us both…..and he kept saying that he didn’t want that. In hindsight I have no idea why he didn’t want that…..probably the answer is just that he’s a world class asshole!
We did start talking again because in his words, “I don’t know what I want exactly, but I know I don’t want to not talk to you.” Again, I believed him, because relationships…especially long distance ones….are confusing and take a lot of work. Turns out that he probably didn’t want to talk to me that weekend because he was having friends….AND HIS GIRLFRIEND……up for his birthday. I had noticed a girl commenting about how she was “excited to see his face!!” on Facebook, but I let it go because I didn’t want to be jump to conclusions girl. Plus, she was friends with his mom and sister on Facebook and super chatty with them, so I thought maybe she was just a girl he knows….I mean he’s allowed to know girls….I’m not that sort of girl. I even straight up asked him if we hadn’t been talking because of another girl, and he got all “that’s how you’re going to connect those dots?!?!” on me about it……
It really takes a special kind of asshole to pull all the things the ATC did. Kudos to him I guess for keeping us all juggled properly though….seems like a shit load of work to be honest. I never got a text that was out of place or meant for someone other than me. Believe me when I say I’ve been around the block with the signs of cheating, and this was pretty free and clear of those signals……….
SLAP BACK TO REALITY
I had been needing to take a trip out West River anyway, my hair is in need of some serious High Maintenance Salon TLC. So I found a weekend where the ATC wasn’t busy working, and scheduled myself a hair appointment. The plan was that I’d spend some time in Rapid with friends, and then spend part of the weekend up on the ranch with him. HE MADE PLANS WITH ME….UGH!!!!! I was just sitting at work the other week being all excited and antsy to go see him when something popped up on Facebook that changed things.
I didn’t go looking for any of this, after all I was really trying to be trusting and I believed that he was sincere. He might have been, but he was also being super sincere with his girlfriend….the Rodeo Princess. I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just that creeping informed me that she is in fact a rodeo princess. She’s actually the same girl that I had weird feelings about over his birthday when we stopped talking, and that he totally denied. The only reason I found out about any of this Behind the Scenes action was that she had posted several things about the ATC on Facebook, and because he commented on them, they happened to appear in my feed. Thank goodness, because as much as it was a slap in the face, he was just going to let me come see him like I was the only girl for him.
I’ve been cheated on a lot in my dating life, sadly for me that’s nothing new. However, I have never….ever been the “other women”. I make a point to avoid that at all costs because I know how shitty being hurt by someone that you trust is. After sending a Facebook note to the Rodeo Princess and fielding an “I’m so sorry I fucked up” phone call from the ATC I discovered that I was in the fact the other women. The ATC and the Princess had been together since APRIL she informed me. To her credit, she was very polite to me about the whole thing, and didn’t blame me for any of it. Not everyone would have been like that I don’t think.
Her relationship status is now single, but she’s still friends with the ATC and his family on Facebook. I promptly deleted him because I don’t need that sort of shit in my life dragging me down. If she wants to keep his cheating ass be my guest. Here’s the thing Princess…..if he was faithful and decent to you he would have never met me on Tinder, and he certainly wouldn’t have started a relationship with me. I’m sure I’m not the first girl he cheated on you with, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the last. Also, I’m not sure that “being more cowboy than you thought” is a good reason to be a complete scum bag……but he’s all yours darling, I don’t want him.
Here’s the thing Asshole, no one….and I mean no one on the face of the planet…..has ever woken up one day and been like “oops….look at all the girlfriends I accidentally collected….I have no idea how this happened!” You don’t get to sit there on the phone and play the “I’m confused, I’m sorry I fucked up, and I didn’t mean to hurt you” card…..only Ronald Weasley gets to look that confused about what’s happening, because he’s adorable and not an asshole. You sir…..are no Ron Weasley!!
How did I collect all these women?!?!”–No one ever
I don’t care about how fucked up and shitty your life was before you left home. It makes no difference to me that your mom is on crazy pills and your dad is a drunk cowboy. Also I’m throwing the bullshit flag on girls never noticing you and that giving you anxiety….you’re too good looking for girls to ignore honestly. If you play with people’s emotions you don’t get to throw a pity party for yourself! If the only things you’re capable of saying are dumb lies, I don’t care to hear it. If you understand that your life has been so awful, rise above it and do something! Everyone has problems, issues, and a past, I for one, strive not to be defined by mine.
Also…there’s no way you can be sorry. You’re not sorry you were trolling around on Tinder in July and found me, you’re not sorry you didn’t end it any of the times when I was having weird feelings about the whole situation, you’re not sorry that it when too far……YOU’RE ONLY SORRY YOU GOT CAUGHT! The most sickening, confusing, and assholish thing to me is that you were going to let me come see you! When I called to say that we hadn’t been talking as much as we used to, and things felt weird, and that I didn’t know if I wanted to come up and stay with you….you got mad at me, and told me that you didn’t know how I could feel that way and that you just wanted to see me and blah blah blah blah blah.
The worst part is that I wanted so much to believe you. I told my coworker that you were either the least assholish guy I knew or you were going to be the biggest asshole on the planet. I didn’t see how there could be any grey area. So thank you for proving me right! You ended up not only being not the person I thought you were, but the worst incarnation of the person I was hoping you weren’t. Everything that spewed out of your gorgeous face was a huge lie. As much as you sat on every phone call, Skype date, and texting exchange and told me how sincere you were about everything….you weren’t. There’s no way you could have been. My all time favorite was when, on several occasions, you flat out told me “I’d never lie to you”. Well….you did….for months!
This isn’t the first time a relationship has fallen apart, and it probably will not be the last. It is kinda the first time that something like this has just come up and slapped me across the face though. I will be the first to admit that I had done a fair amount of creeping around and trying to investigate things and I never really found anything…..other than the Rodeo Princess stuff I talked about. He was always so willing to talk about everything that it seemed like a lot of undo effort if he was trying to hide something.
I’ll never understand, and that’s the part that bugs me the most. My analytical personality just doesn’t like loose ends, problems I can’t solve, and issues I can’t resolve. The whole experience has left me feeling just a bit blah. I’m not sad, I’m not even really angry. I’m hurt and I feel a bit like an idiot. I think it hurts the most because even though I didn’t know him long, I felt like I could just be myself around him. I don’t often have that feeling with the people I date, which is probably why my relationships never work out. The bestie always says if I can’t talk to the guy the way I talk to her it isn’t meant to be. For all the ATC flaws…..and basically all he is is flaws, I at least felt like I could be totally myself when I talked to him. If I was upset, I could be upset….and he understood that. I think that’s probably why it hurts the most, because I really did try and be open and honest with him even though it made me nervous, and he just sorta threw it all back in my face.
Don’t think for one minute that I’m going to let the ATC ruin my upcoming West River weekend! Plans have been adjusted, and the hair change I planned might end up being a bit more dramatic now, but honestly, it might be a bit more fun now! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a little time on a ranch, but if I’m honest with myself that’s never a life I’m going to live. It would have ended eventually, and probably better sooner rather than later. I had an epic life before the ATC, and it can only get better from here!
At the end of the day….this. Every hour of everyday….just this!