Monday, 27 September 2010

How can you really judge a character?

I was thinking about the guy I used to date two years ago, ‘L’. I met him through 'gaydar' and on our first date we went for a scroll and small picnic in Regent’s Park. We met in Camden and I was astounded at how good looking he was. He was approximately my height, strong built, two years older than me, black with very short hair, round face, bright dark eyes raised in Scandinavia with a really nice taste in clothes.

On our way to the park, we stopped by a small super market to get some food and coffee. Next to the crisps stand, a small package had fallen on the floor. ‘L’ stopped to pick it up and put it back to its place, tidying the whole stand in the process. It’s so funny, but this minor detail made me like him. His confident, strong personality that he presented made me like him even more.

Unfortunately, the problems appeared quite soon after that first date. I still haven’t managed to figure him out and I will probably never will. ‘L’ tried and appeared as a quite successful, tough, charming person. He was (or maybe still is) a manager of a major retail clothing shop in central London. However, he was amazingly insecure, still having issues with being a homosexual (and with sexual problems on top of that).

What he managed to do is make me very attracted to him by being (very) hard to get. He didn’t want to meet up very often. He only wanted to meet every week or second week for drinks. He loved his ‘manly’ whiskies. He didn’t want me to meet his circle of friends or him to meet mine. Time was passing and I couldn’t figure out what he wanted from me. He was calling the shots and saying when and where we’d meet. I was just following his lead. I don’t believe that would have happened that easily now. I was quite inexperienced then.

Anyway, after the second month (I believe) our ‘relationship’ evolved from being drinking buddies to having sex / sleeping together after drinks as well. The first time he invited me over, I was so ecstatic about it. However, I then realised that ‘L’ had some erectile problems and the things he was promising to do in bed beforehand were just promises for him to hear. I didn’t need nor wanted any promises of having great sex. I didn’t need a porn star in my bed. I have quite normal expectations. ‘L’ however, had the need to prove to me (and him) that he’s quite the macho fucker (rubbish). Having all these high unmet expectations made him frustrated, grumpy and a pain to be around. It was even having an affect on me doubting myself and feeling undesirable.

Anyway, to cut a story short, ‘L’ was very protective and caring. I had a really nice time when I was out with him. Our problems in bed were still there, but I thought to give him some time and support and that maybe it will go away. We didn’t have a normal relationship and we only met sporadically. He even went home with someone else he met in a bar in our night out (my all time low).

The real reason I was thinking about ‘L’ recently, was the fact that at some point I met a colleague of his from work. When I told him that I sporadically was seeing ‘L’ he was surprised but didn’t admit why. I then found out from a common friend (gossiping) that the colleague had the worst impression of ‘L’. He said that no one liked him at work. That he was very obnoxious, hot tempered with occasional drinking issues. ‘L’ apparently had been into fights with most them. I didn’t like it of course, but I thought that ‘L’ being a manager had some responsibilities that made him the ‘bad’ guy always making them do stuff…

Unfortunately, soon after, I got into a very nasty fight with ‘L’. He got extremely jealous of my friend ‘gb’ because we were very close. I have to admit that I didn’t handle the situation on the beginning very well but it sure wasn’t that bad. I thought that we could talk about it like normal people, but ‘L’ was drinking, screaming and verbally abusing me for the next two days. It was really bad. That fight started on Friday night to end in Wednesday with me not picking up the phone any more when he was calling me.

I was thinking about the whole situation recently because a friend was complaining to me about her friend who was about to marry a real jackass. Why can’t she see for herself what an asshole her future husband is?
With ‘L’ I knew that there were problems. I just foolishly thought that with time they might be solved. I was thinking that he was treating me well. I didn’t believe what his colleague told me. I didn’t see the lack of real friends from his part (always important).
Thankfully, I managed to slam the door (hard) at his face. It wasn’t that easy though. Of course I was the ‘bad’ guy at the end with ‘L’ texting me that I am not giving him another chance that he deserved and that I was being awfully harsh at him (among many other things).

My question is this: How can you really see the signs? How can you distinguish the prince on the shinning armour from the prince with the fake teeth and bad breath? How easily is it to accept your friends’ opinion to stay away?


  1. Nik. In my opinion, this is going to be a question even the “novice” will have problems answering. Most especially if you are in “like” or in “lust” or maybe even that other dreaded “L” word… “love” - you will ignore the signs. You wont see them. You might think something is amiss, but you wont admit that you have been wrong because you liked someone who was a douche bag.

    I dunno. That’s just my thought.

    I was with someone for almost 3years. Who I thought was the bees knees. When we broke up – something everyone saw that I did not, I went through another 2 years of mourning for him. I was devastated, yet, when I think back to it, I know / knew – it was never going to work out. at that moment in time, nothing mattered more to me than being with him.

  2. First, it breaks my heart that you went through this. I went through a bad relationship years ago because I was "blind" to the obvious signs that he didn't want from me what I wanted from him. I think with many of us, the issue is that we have a desire or a need to be close to someone and we "overlook" the small things that turn out to be big things. Two egos, two sets of self esteem issues, and two personalities often collide more often than mesh. It's not enough that one has feelings; both need to work on the relationship and have the same goal. BEHR HUGS to you my friend!

  3. Most of us have been through this with friends and or lovers: we either don't see the bad or ignore it. Hindsight is 20/20 and it is easy to look back and think "woulda/shoulda/coulda" but, when it comes to affairs of the heart, we rarely allow logic to interfere.

  4. @wozzel. It must be hard for your friends and loved ones seeing you with someone that is clearly not good for you. Do they have a responsibility to make you see things clearly? Or are you totally on your own and your friends are praying for you to open your eyes soon?

    @behrmark Thank you so much. It is a story of the past and I am in a happy relationship now. I have put a closure on this some time ago. However, I can't help but wonder.

    @Breenlantern True. When it comes to issues of the heart, logic cannot interfere...

  5. The signs are there, but who can see when there is chemistry involved?

    My rule is that if my friends don't like him, there must be something wrong...


  6. I think you always see the signs, its often that you choose to ignore them, in the hope that...

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  8. @Pearl Yes, a friend's opinion can be quite valuable, but still...

    @MadeInScotland True... But you can't always see the bug picture. Sometimes you just need to add all the signs together...

  9. It's a very tough situation to be in. A person can be blind to something that is quite obvious to his friends. The friends need to get the blind person to open his eyes of his own accord. It can't be forced.