There’s always one guy that you always knew was completely wrong for you in every possible sense, but you still went for it – if for no other reason, maybe because there is always something incredibly hot about sleeping with someone that you know you definitely shouldn’t. For me, that guy was Craig. Arrogant, sleazy, immoral and definitely unavailable in every possible way. I’ve known Craig for more than a year now but never gave into any of his advances… that was until I broke up with Serge.
The details of how I know Craig are unnecessary – but I never liked him. His unjustified and needless arrogance is always borderline insultive to anyone around him and his luck of any trace of moral framework makes him one of the least likeable people I have ever met in my life. As much as I always hated everything about him… I couldn't help but find it just as intoxicating. His advances towards me began almost a year ago and there was nothing subtle, romantic or sweet about them. There is always something flattering about a guy wanting you and expressing it – even in the despicable way that Craig did it. But as much as I turned him down, time after time, the tension between us was growing - so much that a friend once said you could cut it with a knife. And time after time, I found myself thinking about sleeping with him – afterall, some of the best sex I ever had was with guys I was never meant to be with. The last time I turned him down was right after Serge broke up with me. I was vulnerable and emotional, but couldn’t even think about sleeping with anyone else at the time…
But as it is very well-known by now, I never had self-discipline going for me as a virtue, and after a night of drinking I found myself in Craig’s bed. After all the tension that was building up over the last few months, there I was having some of the best sex I ever did with a man I practically hated. After I woke up from my drunken night with Craig, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had pushed me to give in to him this time round – was it the alcohol, the tension that had been building up between us for months now… or was it more than that? Was Craig a validation to my shuttered ego after my break-up with Serge? Was I too vulnerable (and drunk) – and did Craig happen to be there at the right place and time? Whatever it was, I kept going back for more over the next couple of months… over and over again I found myself having some of the hottest sex and then hating myself for it – how can something that felt so good at the time, feel so wrong afterwards?
Then along came Gerald (see What We Are Not) and I made a point of ending and erasing the whole mistake with Craig – cold turkey. And I was relieved to do it, completely forgot about him and was able to fully enjoy my fling with Gerald… until it was over. And then, like clockwork, I found myself in Craig’s bed once again. I won’t be tempted to say in Craig’s arms… that was never the case, we never had that type of relationship – it was just sex and then one of us was in a cab back home. I couldn’t understand what it was that was drawing me back to him time after time, wanting more. But what I did know was that I needed someone to slap me back into reality – so I reached out to Sandra.
Admittedly I was embarrassed to tell her that I had fallen back into the same trap with Craig for the second time – her disapproval of my affair the first time still made me blush with shame, but I had no choice. To my great embarrassment she didn’t sound surprised at all – “I knew you would do this” she said to me somewhere between my overwhelming shame and her reasoning, “you do the same thing every time. You find the worst possible guy for you, when you are at your most vulnerable, and you go back to him over and over again. Why do you do this to yourself?” And just like that I lost the earth beneath my feet – it was one thing to have a brief affair that was wrong; it was quite another to realise that I do this every time.
After I left Sarah that afternoon, I couldn’t shake the thought. She was right – I went back to Craig after both Serge and Gerald. I did the same with Matt – I knew how wrong he was for me and I kept going back for more (see Will he ever leave hisgirlfriend for you?). And in light of a trusted friend’s opinion, I couldn’t help but wonder: Was Craig not just a validation to my shuttered ego, was he the sequence to my overly repeated, self-destructing, devastatingly painful pattern? And if so, did Craig fit a sick, distorted relationship pattern that I had developed, or did he fit my in-between relationship pattern? Was he a safety net that I kept going back to when all else failed?
Either way, I couldn’t afford to explore the answer to those questions. I had to break that pattern – it was sick and painful. And at the end of the day, the more I came in contact with Craig, the more danger I ran of getting emotionally attached to him – and that’s definitely something I didn’t want. So I decided to break my pattern right then and there – I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist texting and reaching out to him when I felt like it, so I took drastic measures. I deleted every evidence of Craig’s existence – every text message, phone call and trace of contact detail on my phone. I’m sure his huge ego didn’t take the blow very well and it’s not easy for me either (of course I would never admit that out loud – I have my own ego to look after). But at the end it was worth it, because just like that, I finally managed to break my pattern – whatever that was.
Do you have a pattern in the men you pick or relationships you tend to get into? If so, what is it? Is it healthy, or self-destructive, like mine?