Opinion: Sometimes We Are In Denial About Our Partner Losing Interest

Stacy Ann

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College was the first time in my life when I got dumped. My ex-boyfriend Andrew and I were at a party dancing, laughing, and putting on the outward appearance of having a blast. When the party ended we went back to his dorm room and he told me that he didn’t like me in “that way” anymore.

Trying to stay calm, I walked out and called one of my best friends who offered to pick me up without hesitation. The moment she arrived I was bawling and feeling as if my nineteen-year-old heart had shattered into a million pieces.

Once the fog settled and I was able to actually reflect on the last couple of months Andrew and I had spent together, it was obvious that he had been losing interest in me for some time.

I should have realized that he was about to break up with me, but I had continually refused to admit his obvious disinterest in our relationship and our future.

He began putting me on the back burner when it came to his friends.

“Yeah man, I’ll be there.”

Andrew hung up the phone and I glanced over the table at him. We were in the college cafeteria eating lunch and he had barely said a word to me.

“Who was that?”

“Oh, just Tim. He’s rounding up the boys to hang out Friday night.” Andrew kept his eyes on his phone.

“We have tickets to see a concert Andrew, we bought them weeks ago.”

“I’m so sorry, I completely forgot. Can you get a friend to go with you?” His eyes still remained on his phone.

If I’m honest with myself, that was the moment I knew that something was wrong. Andrew never used to forget when we had plans and it had become a regular occurrence.

Instead of calling him out on his behavior, I remained silent because I didn't want to start a fight.

He stopped talking about the future.

It was Thanksgiving and Andrew had just met my family for the first time. My father took an instant liking to Andrew. In fact, he gave Andrew such an intense goodbye hug that he lifted Andrew’s body entirely off the ground.

While driving back home to school Andrew looked over and me and smiled.

“I could see myself marrying you. We’re so good together.”

Butterflies fluttered in my stomach where I heard those words. I was so enamored with Andrew and this was the first time he had ever mentioned us sticking together in the future. We began to make future plans and daydream about our lives after college.

Fast forward to a few months later and the future was no longer mentioned. Over winter break when I brought up making plans for that summer Andrew just said that we could see how things were going but he didn’t want to overcommit himself.

I ignored the warning bells that were going off inside my head.

He admitted he wasn’t sure about me.

This is absolutely humiliating to admit but Andrew actually said he wanted to end things. I discovered this was because I decided to snoop one day when he was at my apartment taking a shower.

While I could still hear the water running I lifted up his laptop screen, my heart pounding. It wasn’t hard to access the message to his best friend because his Facebook page was already open.

Yeah… I just don’t know if I want to be with her anymore. We are young so what’s the point of having a relationship now?

I stared at the words as my brain tried to process what I was reading. We had been dating for almost a year and he said he wanted to be in a relationship.

Realizing that I couldn't say I had seen it because I would seem jealous and insane, I exited out of the computer window and plastered on a fake smile when he came back into the room.

I pushed what I had seen to the back of my mind and hope he hadn’t meant what he said.

He stopped spending time with me.

In the weeks leading up to the break-up, Andrew was full of excuses for why we couldn’t hang out, but we would still see each other every couple of days.

Things progressed from hanging out at his convenience, to not seeing each other at all. Andrew would take hours to respond to texts, and constantly gave excuses. It was frustrating but when I asked if something was wrong he would just say that he was slammed with classes and that things would get better soon.

I knew that our mutual friends were having a party over the weekend so I got dressed up and carpooled with some friends. We got there and Andrew was in the corner. When he saw me he smiled, I smiled, and my heart broke a little right then and there.

“Hey, do you want to get out of here?” he asked me a couple of hours later and I knew that he was about to break up with me.

Cue the shock and tears. Part of me was shocked because no one ever wants to admit to themselves that they are about to be dumped and denial is a powerful tool. But I have to admit that deep down I wasn’t surprised. I had known this was coming.

After the relationship with Andrew, I learned to pay more attention to the subtle signs that someone wasn’t interested in me instead of just ignoring them.

When I reflect back on that relationship I am able to see a clear picture that my denial wouldn’t let me see before. Andrew had shown me time and time again that he wasn't fully committed to our relationship. I just had been so enamored by him that I latched on to small kernels of hope, believing I would eventually change his mind.

Hope is usually a good and powerful emotion but in Andrew’s case, I used it as an excuse to be in denial while clinging on to a relationship that wasn’t right for either of us.

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I am a writer & relationship consultant that primarily deals with narcissism, overcoming abuse & trauma, and self-love. Contact me @ Blog: carriewynn.com Instagram: carrie_wynnmusings

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