I am looking for an honest evaluation of whether I guy I fell in love with is a jerk or if I just fell too hard for someone. It's OK if you say he's not a jerk and that I was foolish. I just want to know.
I met him 15 years ago in 1992 during the end of our senior year in college. We were instantly smitten. Nothing physical happened. I was very conservative and he respected that. We mostly spent countless hours hanging out. No TV, not going anywhere, just sitting in my dorm room from 9pm until 7am talking.
I was only 21 and I didn't realize how special that was. I decided not to pursue things with him because he wasn't really attractive to me from a physical standpoint. I didn't reply to his phone calls, letters, etc. I guess you could say I was a jerk but I didn't want him to think I was interested when I wasn't.
3 years went by. I am Indian (strict conservative values) so my parents introduced me to a lot of eligible guys but I just didn't click with any of them. There were no 9 hour conversations. So I decided to call him and see what he was up to. He had moved on and was dating someone else. He wanted to be friends so I agreed. We didn't live in the same city but we emailed each other alot. I was falling in love with him and emailing every day. He was writing back equally long emails. It was like things hadn't changed. He never mentioned his girlfriend in those emails. He never even used the word 'we'.
I was falling deeper and deeper for him. I would send him little packages which he accepted. It just seemed weird that he'd respond to me if he was dating someone else. I didn't want to believe that he loved her all that much if he was emailing me frequently. About 9 months went by and I finally came out and asked him if he was interested. He said 'no'. He was happy with his girlfriend. I was crushed. I said goodbye.
I could only stop talking to him for 2 months. Then I decided if being friends was all I could get, then I'd take that. I missed talking to him and having him in my life in some way.
Another year went by (it's now 1997) and he called me to tell me he broke up with his girlfriend. I tried to be supporting but I won't lie, I was happy. I went to see him in person (managed to get my company to send me to a conference near his city) and we had a nice dinner. The next day he took me to his apartment. He started coming on to me, kissing me on the cheek and eventually tried to plant a big one on me. Something didn't feel genuine and I pulled back. He was taken aback and took me back to my hotel. I was still totally in love with him. But I needed it to feel real and not like a come-on. I was really conservative in those days. Had never kissed a guy even at 26.
I went back home and he called me to spend time with him in Florida. Initially I said no (I was still living with my parents -- again a cultural thing), but then he convinced me to go. I was so excited about getting to spend a weekend with him. I lied to my parents about going with my college girlfriend. But when I was about to leave for the airport, he called me up to say he didn't think it was a good idea. I went anyway and he was really cold towards me. I couldn't take it, and I just rented my own car and spent a lonely weekend, crying in a hotel.
A few months went by and he sent me an email to apologize. I gladly accepted. Eventually I found out he had gotten back with his old girlfriend. We'd still meet for dinner from time to time. Sometimes he was borderline flirty. I eventually moved on and got married.
While I was married he'd email from time to time. I never initiated, he always did. The emails were normal emails that you'd exchange with friends.
About 5 years into my marriage in 2004, by the strangest of circumstances, someone else in my company called him up to do business with his company. One day I was walking to the bathroom and there he was in a conference room. I was in California. He was based in Boston. I work for a medium size (~700 people) company and he had a 10 person startup. So it was a bizarre coincidence that he'd end up 10 feet away in my office building.
I felt nervous and I didn't stop to say hi. But he knew I worked there and called and left me a voicemail. I saw him and we had a pleasant chat. I left feeling that things were exactly as they were supposed to be. I was happy with my husband and I felt good that I had moved on from him after having been so in love with him when I was younger.
Well eventually things went south with my husband. I was expecting but miscarried. Eventually found out that my husband wasn't interested in me and having children with me anyway. I started to think alot about the other guy. He had given me a book he had written that talked about his business success and entrepreneurship. When he first gave it to me, I decided not to read it because I didn't want to risk old feelings coming back. But now I was so angry with my husband and I did read it.
All my old feelings came back. But I was married. So even though I was in agony and not knowing how to deal with these feelings, I did not contact him. But I so wanted to. I really did. I would send him mind messages. Not sure if this was the reason, but on New Years Eve he sent me an email. One thing led to another and we were emailing more and more.
He told me to watch this movie called "Before Sunset" with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. It was all about a 2 young people who fell in love in a few days but then lost track of each other and met up almost 10 years later. It had so many similarities to my life. I cried when I saw the movie.
Emails became instant message conversations and it started to become clear that we wanted to see each other. I think it was stronger on my end. He was waiting for a business opportunity to come to California rather than just coming to see me. 2 months went by and finally I decided to see him because I just needed to know where things were headed.
He was very receptive to my trip to Boston. But after that Florida experience, I didn't know if he'd chicken out again. I asked several times if I should come. He said he wanted me to. I booked my flight and then he went radio silent. The day before I was too leave he sent me an IM saying that he hoped I wasn't expecting anything romantic. His tone hurt a lot because it was so different than the tone he used when he wanted to see me.
I went to Boston half expecting rejection... actually mostly expecting rejection. But I was prepared for that. I just needed to figure this out. Even if it ended. I know I'd be devastated but at least I'd get my feelings on the table and if he rejected me, I could then move on. I even took some spiritual books to help me on the plane expecting a broken heart. So I was fully prepared for our association to end if the conversation went that way.
Once I got there, I tried to have a serious conversation with him, but he was more interested in making out. And we did. It was very passionate. No sex but a lot of kissing. When I left to go home, he said not to worry that it would be OK. We had a few phone calls when I got back but slowly I could feel him slipping to his aloof ways. One day I was "sweetie" and the next day he was addressing me with "Hey".
He eventually came to California for business. We spent the weekend together. Again a lot of kissing, no sex. One night at dinner he said he and his girlfriend were going to try and work things out. I was devastated. I couldn't eat. Eventually we left the restaurant. He started kissing me in the parking lot. We went back to the hotel and started making out again. He asked for a BJ and I gave it to him because him being happy, made me happy. He later asked me if I was on birth control. I was so confused because he told me was going to work it out with his girlfriend 2 hours earlier.
Eventually he left to go back home. That was the first time I had a feeling about him being a jerk (after the Florida incident). I took him off my IM contact list so I couldn't IM him anymore. Over the next month, he'd vacillate between being into me and not being into me. He came back for another business trip. We spent a few more days together, intimate again. This time we did have sex (not the regular kind... the from the behind kind which caught me by surprise and I let him...I guess that counts. But I had to hold him off from the regular kind cause it didn't feel right to me.)
On the last night, I finally said to him that if we were meant to be together, then let's do it. I was ready to get a divorce. He said he couldn't give me an answer. I stormed out and left. I was devastated.
Over the next few months, we only did chats. Most conversations were platonic. Just a few were sexual. It was all very hard. I filed for divorce and moved out. He was making no progress on his end. I couldn't take the uncertainty. My divorce was in progress and his girlfriend would see him occasionally (they only spent half the year together... she lived in Arizona where they each had neighboring condos. He split his time between Arizona and Boston.)
I flew to Boston to end it. It was just too hard. The last night, again he came on to me, we kissed, no sex. But I mustered up the courage to end it. I wasn't angry. I was very strong and I told him to go back to her. I told him (as I had in other emotional conversations) that I wasn't missing from his life. I thought I was doing a noble thing. I asked him not to IM me.
2 months later he did IM me. I thought he wanted me. But he didn't. When I figured this out, I ended it again. Again he would wait a few weeks and contact me. We'd chat but then eventually I would get upset and end it again. At one point, he asked if I was sure I wanted to end it because he still might break up with his gf. I said I wasn't sure then. And he said he knew I wasn't sure. Later on, I realized how mean that was... to dangle that carrot in front of me.
For another year and half, it was like this. He'd contact me. I'd get hopeful, but find out nothing changed. He kept saying to me that he wanted to be friends. To me, I couldn't understand why he kept coming back. I thought he must have missed me. But then he was still with her. It just didn't make sense that he'd think it was OK to hang out with me and chat with me after having cheated with me on his gf. Why would he bother unless he still had feelings for me?
I finally blocked him from my IM and I didn't respond to his email. Now It's been a year with no contact and I STILL think of him (and have dreams about him) all the time, several times a day, almost all the time. I really miss our conversations and that he is the only person I ever really enjoyed talking to. We could talk for hours and hours. I am usually very quiet but with him it's different. I've met at least 30 men in the last few years. And the connection just isn't there. I miss talking to him so much. Things will happen that I want to share with him and I know he'd understand when no one else can.
I can't bring myself to believe he's a jerk. Is what I described the attributes of a jerk? I do think he cares about me as a human being. He didn't deliberately set out to hurt me. Or was I just stupid and made some bad calls on where to invest my time, and there was nothing wrong with his behavior? I just want to know what kind of person he is. Is his behavior normal and acceptable? I know I am ultimately responsible hence I blocked him. But I think uncertainly of whether I hate him for being a jerk that's making me nuts.