Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

History Will Not Repeat Itself

I’ve never really talked about this here, or maybe I have but it’s been in dribs and drabs.  I guess I’ve been talking around it.

I have a really bad history with a certain type of man.  Actually, ‘really bad’ might be an understatement.

Tragic.

Pathetic.

Appalling.

And I guess one of the reasons that I’ve avoided the topic is that I have a few who know about this blog (I went through this weird phase where I wanted a clean slate and thought that the way to cleanse my dating karma was to be on good/better terms with as many men from my past as possible).   One of them even used to comment occasionally, back before I made him completely Dead to Me.  I thought it was in poor taste to talk about this in too much detail, or something.

But the truth is that it affects my life and the decisions I’m making now and so here goes.  Guys (exes – you know who you are) if any of you are reading this, please don’t have a full scale freak out.  Please.

If you were to turn back time and catch me with any of the men I dated up until the last year or so (with one or two really obvious exceptions where I was intentionally dating against type) you’d find me dating a guy who was controlling, insensitive, selfish, aggressive, arrogant and a total bully.  He’d also be handsome, successful, intelligent, funny blah blah blah.  The point is that I was a total magnet for the bullies.

Which, I’m guessing for some of you might be hard to imagine as I don’t exactly come off as a doormat.  And I’m not a doormat.  But somehow, and I’m not going to get into the how (and please let’s not turn my comments into a discussion of why women find alpha men so attractive), I found myself in a series of relationships with men who really did believe that the world revolved around them.  These traits go beyond the typical alpha male stuff, btw.  These guys had extra special levels of self-involvement.

And they were well rewarded for it.  They clustered in the kinds of professions that required bullying and self-involvement and a complete disregard for other human beings.   Arrogance was, for all of them, a job requirement.

Anyway, I know this.  I know that I am, for whatever reason, susceptible to the charms of these men (and they can be very charming).  That I don’t realize how much harm they will do to me and my life until it is too late.  And so as a smart woman it makes sense to not go out with any more of them.  To avoid the type like the plague.

Which brings me to yesterday.  It was a miserable day and I wasn’t feeling well.  I had a date scheduled for last night, which was actually a reschedule from Friday night (long story).  At some point during the day it hit me – OMG – he was totally one of those guys.  I started to think about everything I knew about him (job, background) and it was like a lightening bolt hit me from out of the blue.  He was the type.  And I had a date with him.

I wasn’t going to cancel the date because he was the type of guy I try to avoid.  It was my fault for not realizing that earlier (I can be pretty stupid sometimes).

So here’s what happened.  I went to the date.  But I didn’t dress up as much as I normally would.  I wore jeans and cute top, but it wasn’t really a date outfit.  When I got there I found out that the bar we were meeting at (pretty far from where I live) was right downstairs from his apartment.  Yeah, that was considerate of him.

I ordered a non-alcoholic beverage and, I’ll admit, I was pretty defensive.  I went into the date thinking that he was probably someone I couldn’t trust and so he’d have to prove otherwise. There was no doubt he could read my vibes because the whole thing felt more like a job interview than a date.  Pretty icky and stressful.  Neither of us had much fun, but he insisted on doing the whole, let me walk you to the subway, I had fun, let’s do this again thing.  And quite frankly, it was easier to just nod and go along with it.  I don’t actually expect to hear from him.  And if I do, I promise to say no.


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7 to “History Will Not Repeat Itself”


  1. pansophy says:

    Hmmm, wow. Well I know my comments can be emotionally confrontational from time to time, but I just have to say how must respect I have for you and the journey you are on.

    You really want to figure it out rather than just look like you’ve figured it out, and in my experience that’s rare…nevermind the fact that you share it all with all of us. So I just want to honor your process and say that I’m genuinely rooting for you.

    As for trascending being attracted to narcissitic alpha males, to quote Alanis, ‘the only way out is through’.
    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/alanismorissette/outisthrough.html

  2. Jennifer-from-NY says:

    Yay Simone!
    I, in my short dating experience, tend to go for the same type of guys. Things that I’d never tollerate in a friend or to a friend were ok for those reasons we’re not going to get into.
    Anyway I’m dating a ‘nice guy’ now and it’s totally different. As a result of my last relationship I expect negativity and coldness and he’s always caring and considerate. At the risk of taking too much space, it’s going to have to end soon cause I’m here doing study abroad and will then be going home. But it’s nice to know that I can date this type of guy and it actually is better. Wondering if they’re going to show up isn’t fun. It’s sad.
    Sorry for being negative. I just wanted to say good for you for knowing what you need and what you don’t.

  3. MissMollyMoo says:

    I hear you on this one. No one would ever call me a doormat, yet I have consistantly dated guys who sound like the college-age version of the men you’ve been dating.

    Also, he really made the date in a bar that was far from you but super convenient for him? Ew.

  4. Hypatia says:

    Ah yes— The date as job interview thing. I can relate. (I think actually, that’s why I like online dating. It gets so much of the necessary info out of the way first, as you pointed out in a post below.)

    The problem with this of course is that I come off like I’m totally judging my dates, and they tend to get intimidated by it.

  5. NoBSWoman says:

    Oh yeah, the alpha male thing. Let me tell you about the string of attorneys, financiers, cops and military types I’ve dated. All of them supremely confident and borderline narcissistic. Definitely something in me that attracts these guys and vice versa.

    In some cases I think they truly enjoy the fact that I *am* a together, confident woman who puts up with very little bullshit. It makes it all the more sweet for them that I so readily put up with theirs.

  6. Simone Grant says:

    -pansophy
    This is one of those cases where I’m not comfortable saying more than I’ve said. There are SOME things I’ve gotta keep private. Anyway, I didn’t know that song. Thanks for it.
    -Jennifer-from-NY
    You’re not being negative, just honest. And sometimes that means saying things that aren’t pretty. I’m glad you’re with someone nice now, even if it’s temporary.
    -MissMollyMoo
    Yep, I travel for 45 minutes and he just walks downstairs. Seems about right for his type.
    -Hypatia
    I feel the same way (obviously). I think insecure people are always going to find reasons to feel judged.
    -NoBSWoman
    You hit the nail on the head. We’re challenges. Ugh. I feel kind of sick just thinking of it.

  7. pansophy says:

    “This is one of those cases where I’m not comfortable saying more than I’ve said. There are SOME things I’ve gotta keep private.”

    I thought everything that needed to be said was said. There was just that one story of many where there seemed to be some missing piece of information. Not a detail perhaps but a theme. Not sure.

    Anyway, Alanis has some relationship gems actually.