I Think We Need to Talk

Finally, Tuesday night, N agreed to come by so we could talk. When he arrived, we exchanged a quick kiss on the lips. You could cut the tension with a knife. We started with some banter between us and my other roommate while I finished emptying the dishwasher. When I finished, I asked him if he wanted to go out on the balcony.

I knew what was coming, and I knew what I needed to do. I also knew a lot more than he thought I did. I let him go first, fully giving him the opportunity to come clean about his transgressions.

He opened with many, many praises. Two that stood out in my head were good-looking and disgustingly generous. I liked that part. At least he acknowledged what a full package I was, but apparently he didn’t realize it if he was there to break up with me.

We started to chat about his weekend and why he never called like he said he would. He recounted the story as the following: Friday night I passed out on the couch. T woke me up in the morning at 7:30 on the couch with a dead phone. We drove down to Amanda’s and the day got away from me. I didn’t call because I didn’t know what to say to you.”

IMMEDIATELY, I called him out on his lies. I pointed out I knew he never saw Amanda all weekend. He copped up and told me he went down the shore with his family. The way his new story progressed, he got a ride down the shore with his roommate after being woken up on the couch and met up with his parents for the rest of the weekend.

Things still weren’t adding up. I shook my head and told him I knew he still wasn’t being honest with me. He looked at me with a questioning expression. I explained how Grindr pegged him 17 miles away at 2:00am. Immediately, he shook his head and said, “I’m such a bad liar. Why am I lying!? Ok. So Friday night, I met a guy at Elmo in the city with two of his friends for dinner. Afterwards, we went back to his place on Staten Island. Nothing happened. We just hung out and then I went home.” Even then, he was still lying. No one comes back from Staten Island to Hoboken at 2:00. It would take four hours. You’d have to be insane to do that. Inside, I was crying. It was hard to hear. Outside, I was strong.

Going into this conversation, my goal was friendship. I knew we could not date any longer, but I hoped to still have him in my life as one of my best friends. However, he was making it very difficult by lying to me. My friends were much more honest with me than that. I knew what I knew and that’s all that mattered. If he was going to continue to lie to me, that was his choice.

He said, “This is not how I expected things to go.” I said to him, “You thought you were just going to come over here and rip off the band-aid?” His response: “Touché. This isn’t who I am. I don’t lie. You can ask [my roommate].”

Now, it was my turn to come clean. I had to tell him about Mr. Grindr, and I did. “I’m not going to stand here and pretend to be guilt free.” I told N I met him on Grindr. It started innocently, but when he started to suggest otherwise, I went along with it. I told him it was no emotional connection, just sex, and it was just my way of evening the playing field when I suspected him of cheating on me. I only told him about the first time we hooked up. He had no idea. I think I blindsided him with this information. My intent wasn’t malicious. But if I was going to cheat on him, I was going to have to deal with the consequences. After all, we weren’t exclusive, so I did nothing wrong according to “the rules,” but we all know what I did was wrong. I apologized for hurting and betraying him.

He asked if we hooked up in my bed and if he slept in my bed the same night. I simply replied, “I’m not going to get into the details.”

We began to talk about how we were going to proceed. It was going to be difficult at first, but eventually, we would be friends. He apologized for our timing being off. He told me he really liked me and spending time with me, but he just ended his long-term relationship with his last girlfriend shortly before meeting me. He was not ready for another serious relationship.

I took the opportunity to give him some advice. I’m not sure whether he appreciated it, but I think he did. I told him if he got into a relationship with anyone else, he owed it to them to be honest about extra curricular activities. We live in a climate when HIV is a serious threat to both his and his partner’s safety. I also told him I didn’t think he was scared enough of the possibility of HIV. Furthermore, I explained to him how wrong he was for hitting on my close friend Boston. He apologized emphatically. I explained to him if he wanted to have a more open relationship, he should have spoken up. I would have been open to that from the start, but when I thought we were progressing towards a serious relationship, how would I know to act any other way.

Finally, I told him if we were going to be friends, he needed to be more honest with me. “What do you mean?” was his response. I had my next words planned precisely. “Grindr is a small world. That’s all I’m gonna say.”

“What does that mean?” I told him I wasn’t about to elaborate or sell someone out, but I knew he still wasn’t being honest with me. He really wanted to know more details, but I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction. I already knew what he was trying to do behind my back, and in the end, I got the guy he was chasing.

At this point, he had to go home and do some work before the morning. He turned to me and said, “Can I have a hug?” I happily responded “YES!” and we shared a nice embrace. We walked inside, and as he walked out the door, we shared one more long embrace and a sweet kiss goodbye.

I finally got to say my piece, but I wasn’t fully at peace. His dishonesty still bothered me. I thought he had more respect for me — Obviously not. It just proved to me we weren’t meant to be together. Deep down I still had affectionate feelings for him, and that would take time to get over. But, we were over. Only time would tell how our relationship would evolve.

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