See, in both relationships, things started out casual. There were no strings attached and we were just having fun. At first, I was happy about the arrangement, because I didn’t feel smothered or pressured into making big decisions about commitment or accountability.
Then, after some time, with both men, I started falling in love. In hindsight, I know that I was very aware, from the jump, that I was falling strong for these men, but I never allowed myself to worry about the outcome until it was too late.
While in these sexual arrangements (friends with benefits or whatever you want to call them), I was delusional. Or at least I chose to be. I was determined to believe that these men were serious about me and were envisioning a future with me. I chalked up their “We are just hanging out” claims as ways not to feel too smothered. After all, I knew what it was like to feel smothered, so I just assumed they liked me the way I liked them and we were both just going about commitment in a back-door fashion.
Well, they didn’t feel committed… because in their minds, they weren’t. It didn’t matter that I met their families, their friends and their pets. It didn’t make any difference that they spent loads of money on me and shared intimate details of their childhoods with me over cozy, snuggly pillowtalk.
Both men ALSO told me that they weren’t in love with me. And boy, should I have listened. I ended up dumped and with nothing to show for it. I cried both times and both guys looked at me, hugged me and said, “You knew what we were.”
All my friends told me that they had told me so and I even got a lecture from my own mother about commitment-phobes. I was a wreck. I had been a pit-stop, a stepping stone, a ‘for now’ girl, and all the time I had forced myself to believe that I was a wife-in-making.
I was so angry, too. I was so mad that I had given so much of myself and had been basically told, “Sorry, your best efforts aren’t enough to get you loved.” I felt used and worthless.
You Can’t ‘Love’ Him Out Of An Imaginary Relationship
When you are in an imaginary relationship, you can’t really say you are being used. The truth is that usually guys let us know up front (and throughout the relationship) that there's no possibility for long-term love. We just choose not to believe. We have selective hearing.